28 August 2008


Fall TV Preview*

Since the ultimate frenemies are coming back together (see picture at right), it got me thinking about what draws us to television. Yes we love seeing great friendships and love affairs but all couples (friends or lovers) are far more exciting when there's conflict. So I'm going to talk about the best upcoming fall shows and the conflict that drives them.

First off, the CW. First off, props to Dawn Ostroff for kicking off the fall tv season on Labor Day, weeks before anyone. But this move is not without calculation. Ostroff is desperate to revive the network and hopefully, she hasn't burned too many bridges with the cancellation of fan (though not ratings) favorites like Veronica Mars and Everwood. But the CW reigns as the network you love to hate, with guilty pleasures like
Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and the rebooted 90210 which is sure to be the next show no one wants to admit they love. All three shows premiere back to back September 1st & 2nd. Gossip Girl, with its Bananarama backed promos is highly anticipated. Will Serena and Dan get back together? Will Blair rip Chuck a new one for standing her up? Who will be the next to fall and rise again? And every OTH fan will be tuning in to see who Lucas proposed to at the end of season 5 (my money's on Lindsay but an eventual reunion with supposed "one true love" Peyton).

Next on the list is NBC's
Heroes. Those lucky enough to attend this year's San Diego ComiCon were treated to the premiere episode of this season and everyone admits that it's a game changer and also a step in the right direction after last season which was mediocre. To be honest, I'd given up on Heroes (a show that was so engaging, I read online comics and followed every episode with a religious fervor) but so far the reviews have been good so I'm rooting for it to return to glory.

One of my upcoming favorite networks is CBS. It's my new place for sitcoms. I'm eagerly anticipating the return of
How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. Both shows exhibit great comedic timing and with the addition of Sarah Chalke to the HIMYM cast, it should continue to please. Everyone is wondering if Ted and Stella will marry and if not, when will we meet the titular "mother". Also my one and only procedural show Cold Case continues to make me cry once a week. It's cathartic.

ABC has gained lots of ground in the past few years and rather than introduce lots of new shows, the network has decided to stick with its reigning hits,
Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Lost, while also giving some of its new shows a chance to find an audience. Everyone is hoping that this season will finally see Grey's Meredith and Derek settling into a relationship and viewers will be holding their breath to see if Katherine Heigl's unfortunate comments about the shows writers will result in her character's untimely death. Ugly Betty suffered a sad sophomore slump but with Wilhemina and Marc back at MODE hopefully the show will return to form. ABC's newer shows, Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money will hopefully, continue to build an audience despite being cut short by the WGA strike, while many are hoping that the break gave showrunner Shonda Rimes a chance to breathe life into the faltering Private Practice.

Given FOX's track record, I'm going into this fall rather dubiously. I was lucky that
Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles was renewed but I wonder how that luck will hold out since FOX is notorious for preemptively canceling shows that aren't breakout hits. I'm excited for the J.J. Abrams show Fringe which has tinges of Abrams other shows (Alias and Lost). And there's also Joss Whedon's Dollhouse starring one of my favorite actresses Eliza Dushku (Joss, I love you!) but I hesitate to even get attached as both Whedon and Dushku have been burned by the network before.

Finally, the ultimate "frenemy" show
The Hills is back for a fourth season. While I spent most of last season staring at the tv asking myself what happened to the last half hour of my life, so far this season has been filled with interesting conflicts and off the wall comments which makes you wonder if these people actually take themselves seriously or if they're just truly clueless. Either way, it's good television.

*picture from The TVAddict.com Click to check out his site.

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