2011-2012 Television Season: Favorite New Shows

HONORABLE MENTION: American Horror Story

The opening credits should get an award for being the creepiest credits ever (I mean, look at this). Add in a rubber body suit, depressed homicidal teens, Piggy Man and a half-dismembered limb-half-animal-parts baby, and apparently you’ve got yourself a winner.
SYNOPSIS IN A SENTENCE: An already dysfunctional family moves into a haunted house where some über creepy shit went down.
BEST EPISODE: Halloween.
NOTABLE QUOTE: “I questioned my sanity when I first found out. But this house, this house will make you a believer.” —Constance

5. Revenge
Soap-y fun in a beautiful locale where queen bitches and scheming Hamptonites are everywhere. What’s not to like? The Graysons might rival for the Scotts for The Family In Most Need of Group Therapy award.
SYNOPSIS IN A SENTENCE: A girl heads out on a mission to seek revenge on those responsible for the wrongful imprisonment of her father.
BEST EPISODE: Chaos.
NOTABLE QUOTE: “I will never forget. I will never forgive.” —Emily

4. Once Upon a Time
You can tell a show comes from the creators of LOST when the story circles around the main character, Emma, and her relationship with her biological son who was adopted by the mayor who is actually his biological grandmother while she’s unknowingly living with her mother and is the would-be savior of the fantastical world. 
SYNOPSIS IN A SENTENCE:
The Evil Queen puts a curse on all fairytale characters condemning them to slum it out in the “real world.”
BEST EPISODE: Hat Trick.
NOTABLE QUOTE: “You know what the issue is with this world, everyone wants a magical solution for their problems and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” —Jefferson/Mad Hatter

3. Hart of Dixie
This show is adorable. Plain and simple. It’s a CW show so everyone is beautiful and watching beautiful people deal with unnecessary drama is the best way to spend an evening. And if you doubt Rachel Bilson’s ability to pull off a very Cristina Yang-like doctor, here’s my (and her) response.
SYNOPSIS IN A SENTENCE: Big shot big city doctor Summer Roberts…erm Zoe Hart moves to Alabama after being bequeathed a family practice by a mysterious man who turns out to be her father.
BEST EPISODE: In Havoc and In Heat (just ditch the jorts, Wade)
NOTABLE QUOTE: “Well, my night had quickly gone downhill, but in times like this, I’ve found that one thing really helps me through — Wine.” —Zoe

2. New Girl
I feel like I should preface this by saying I can’t stand Zooey Deschanel and I fully expected to hate this. And even though New Girl hasn’t helped me dislike her less (I’d still watch without its eponymous “new girl”), I will gladly tolerate Ms. Deschanel for 30 minutes to watch this show.
SYNOPSIS IN A SENTENCE: Shenanigans ensue when eccentric Jess moves in with three equally quirky bachelors after catching her ugly hippie boyfriend cheating.
BEST EPISODE: The Landlord.
NOTABLE QUOTE:
Schmidt: Who let the dirty slut out of the slut house?
Jess [in a British accent]: Probably the slut butler, right?

1. Homeland
If you haven’t had the extreme pleasure of viewing this gem from Showtime, do yourself a favor and find a way. Like I said in my initial review, I hate politics and political shows with a passion, but this show had me hooked. You will get chills at least twice an episode. The freakiest factor? It all seems perfectly plausible. This show better walk away with an Emmy and two for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
SYNOPSIS IN A SENTENCE: POW returns to the US of A after being held captive for eight years and a bipolar CIA agent thinks he’s working for Al-Qaeda.
BEST EPISODE: Marine One, although The Weekend is a very close second.
NOTABLE QUOTE:  “Somewhere down there, there’s a tiny sliver of green just taking its time. This is how everything works. You wait. You lay low. And then you come to life.” —Carrie

Only in Tree Hill…

In honor of the final episodes of one of the most drama filled teen dramas, One Tree Hill, this will be one of the many OTH-themed posts dedicated to saying goodbye. And I’m kicking it off with things that only find in the ever zany town of Tree Hill, North Carolina:

Only in Tree Hill (and NOT Lima, Ohio) will a marriage between two sixteen year olds not only work, but yield two children and still come out hella strong.

Only in Tree Hill is it completely plausible that in a small core group of five friends, one person became the writer of two national bestsellers, one played for the NBA, one started their own successful record label…from scratch, one is a recognized musician and has toured the country twice, and one started their own couture fashion line that became a national conglomerate.

Only in Tree Hill will parents disappear while their kids are still in high school to:

  1. Travel RV style across America
  2. Transfer for a job in California and leave their daughter in the very capable hands of a family/friend who is there 50 percent of the time
  3. Flee town out of embarrassment
  4. Attend therapy/rehab

Only in Tree Hill will you find the highest car crash per person ratio than any city in the United States.

Only in Tree Hill, will a medic trip and fall, causing the transplant heart he was carrying to somehow fly out of the icebox and straight into the waiting mouth of a seeing-eye-dog.

Only in Tree Hill does Peyton Sawyer end up with Lucas Scott over Brooke Davis.

Only in Tree Hill will big name artists like Jimmy Eat World and Angels and Airwaves make the time to perform at a summer kick-off party or high school prom. And Sheryl Crow will agree to play one song per cup of coffee at a local café.

Only in Tree Hill sappy speeches in the rain fix all relationship problems.

Only in Tree Hill will you find a Derek (a psycho fake brother), Carrie (a psycho kidnapping nanny and would-be adulterer), Katie (a psycho jealous identity thief) and Xavier (a psycho with an anger management problem who has also made, “Have a nice night” the creepiest catchphrase in television). All four of which targeted the same group of friends.

Only in Tree Hill will you find Dan Scott, aka Mr. Indestructible. Dan Scott was clearly hit by the electrical storm a la Misfits and became immortal like Nathan Young. That dude should have died at least twice by now and he’s still alive and kickin’ and kickin’ other peoples’ asses no less.

Only in Tree Hill, will a Mouth McFadden get inordinate amounts of booty.

FIRST IMPRESSION: Homeland

Ladies and gentlemen: I have found my favorite most promising new show of the fall. And surprisingly, it does not include love-struck teenyboppers or any kind of supernatural being. I must be growing up!

Homeland is a drama / thriller on Showtime that stars Claire Danes as CIA agent, Carrie, who has been reassigned to a counterterrorism center after leading an unauthorized mission while in Iraq. Before leaving Iraq, she was informed by a knowledgeable source that an American POW has been turned and is now working for Al-Qaeda. When Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is miraculously recovered after being MIA for eight years, Carrie becomes convinced that he is the POW her source had been referring to.

I seriously haven’t been so intrigued by a pilot since LOST, the final shot of the episode honestly gave me chills. That being said, it’s very cinematic and almost feels like you’re watching a movie.

Now, I’m that rare journalist who has little to no interest in political current events, but Homeland (in my opinion) is extremely well done. And it’s coming less than month of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Of course, it’s on Showtime so there will be gratuitous use of the f-word, vivid torture scenes and graphic sex. But it’s well worth it. I am really looking forward to see how the rest of the season plays out.

Homeland officially premieres on Sunday October 2.

First Impression: Ringer

I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen an episode of Buffy. I know. Total blasphemy, right? So the fact that Ringer features former vamp-slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, wasn’t the driving force to me tuning into the new CW drama fest. But tune in I did and here’s my two-second take:

I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. Yay for being vague!

Bridget witnesses a murder and is consequently being hunted down by the mob. She chooses not to trust Richard Alpert Agent Machado of the FBI and instead goes to her twin sister, Siobhan, for help and the two embark on a boating adventure together. But the next morning, Siobhan has disappeared *gasp* and Bridget gets a brilliant idea. She will assume Siobhan’s identity and escape both the FBI and the mob. Genius!

Bridget’s initial foray into being Siobhan reminded me of the 13 Going 30 sequence where Jennifer Garner is figuring out everything that has happened in her future self’s past. Bridget finds out that her marriage is going to crap, she’s been doing the horizontal tango with her BFF’s hubby, and her sister is in just as much trouble as she is (if not more). Oh, and Siobhan is currently preggo with what is presumably her f-buddy’s kid.

I’m intrigued to say the least, it’s too early to tell. Ringer has definitely merited at least a few more weeks of my viewership.

RECAP: 90210, Up in Smoke

Hi, my name is Kate and I’m an addict…a television addict, of course. Tonight marked the first night of season / series premieres for the fall season. And it all kicked off with the always glamorous, never apologetic, 90210.

It’s my ultimate guilty pleasure show, but you have to admit, last season was pretty damn good. And although my expectations for 90210 are never necessarily high, I was thoroughly satisfied with the fourth season premiere.

The Good

  • The Proposal: Liam comes back fresh from his very Pacey-esque summer on a fishing boat and promptly proposes to Annie. While I love these two, I am totally down with Annie rejecting Liam’s proposal…twice. And it will clearly be a long way back for these two. But I was glad to hear Liam tell Annie that he never loved anyone else. Suck on that, Liomi shippers.
  • Improved tolerance: Ivy and odd-couple Nilver didn’t bug me at all. At all. Maybe I am growing up…
  • Annie’s new love interest: classy polo, nice to look at…I approve.
  • Dixon / Annie sibling-ly love.

The Meh

  • The Max / Naomi break-up explanation: I’m actually glad the “OMFG Naomi is preggers” storyline got scrapped and replaced by the always handy “false-positive” route. But for me, it was a poor excuse for the break-up. Yes, Max is very future oriented and he reacted like any typical boy would under those circumstances. But their relationship had already survived so much crap that for this to break them up seemed out of left field. But of course, they had to make room for the shirtless cowboy. Speaking of…
  • Okay we get it, Mr. Cowboy is hot, and the show is obviously lacking in men with thighs like hams and abs you could do laundry on, but I bet he looks just as good in a shirt.
  • Foreshadowing of a Dixon / Ade friendship: Give Adrianna a friend aka Dixon, but please, do not have them hook up. This group is incestuous enough already.

The Bad

  • Navid’s sister. Already not a fan. GTFO my screen.

Wishlist: 90210 season 4

Tomorrow marks the first day of the fall tv season. And I fully intend to spend the three hours of primetime in pure television bliss with 90210, Ringer and Parenthood. So what am I hoping is in store for our favorite Beverly Hill residents? Read on.

1. Proper send off for Teddy 

Once one of my most hated characters, Teddy has surprisingly become one of my favorites. And I am peeved that he will not be appearing regularly this season. But because his storyline was written and handled so well last year, I have complete faith that he will be given a proper and realistic send off. I would love for Ian to make a reappearance, although I doubt this will happen. I don’t care how they explain his character leaving, just as long as Teddy as happy.

2. A Lannie friendship

The 90210 season three preview shows Liam slamming an engagement ring box on the hood of the car and telling Annie that he’s ready. But since spoilers and new casting has indicated that Lannie will be ending fairly early into the season, I can only assume that the proposal doesn’t go too hot. Well, if I can’t have a Lannie relationship, I will settle for a friendship. I loved their friendly interactions at the end of season 2, but I hope they are revisited soon.

3. Save Adrianna

Adrianna Tate-Duncan isn’t exactly my fave character on 90210, but I still think that she suffered a hell of a character assassination last season. It’s obviously not going to be easy road back, as she did do a nice job at completely alienating herself from her posse, but I hope her character gets a major cleanup. She was great with Navid and deserves to be written well this season.