We’re celebrating the Fall 2011 TV season by breaking down what you need to watch live, what you need to DVR, and what you should save for online viewing this year. We’ll also give you a heads-up on the shows you should be reading recaps for to stay in the know with your friends and relatives. Yesterday we tackled Monday’s schedule. Today it’s on to Tuesday:
WHAT TO WATCH LIVE:
Glee Let’s face facts: Glee’s second season was pretty terrible. Inconsistent storylines, too many guest starts, and tribute episodes that just went nowhere. That being said, I still watched week after week. Because damn if I can’t avoid a good musical number. This season, Ryan Murphy has hired a bunch of writers to help him with the show, and promises he’ll shift the show’s focus on McKinley’s core characters and the core problems for high school students. I doubt they’ll go too far away from the big names (Anne Hathaway is apparently in talks). But at least I’ll have four new characters from The Glee Project to look out for!
The New Girl I’m not going to lie: I don’t really care for Zooey Deschanel. I think it’s because I found her character in 500 Days of Summer to be blissfully unaware of what a complete selfish jackass she was being – and I have a hard time separating where Summer ends and Zooey begins. That being said, I giggled a few times through most of the premiere (which is more than I can say for half of the other comedies I’ve seen this Fall). I’m going to give the show a chance and see if she can change my mind!
Raising Hope If you haven’t watched Raising Hope yet, then boy does writer/creator Greg Garcia have a plotline for you: “Maw Maw [Cloris Leachman] swallows a gold tooth and the family has to [see]: are they the type of people who go through poop?” he told me in a conference call last week. If the thought of Martha Plimpton and company going through Cloris Leachman’s shit doesn’t get you watching, then I don’t know what will.
Parenthood With Friday Night Lights gone, it’s the best family drama on television. But like Friday Night Lights, you probably haven’t been checking into Parenthood enough. So here’s three reasons to watch. First, the show’s filled with complex characters and complex storylines. This isn’t Glee where we’re going to randomly find out that one of the characters is totally poor, three episodes from the finale. These are developed arcs here people – with relatable, complex shit going on. Second of all, have you looked at this cast? Lauren Graham. Peter Kraus. Monica Potter. Erika Christensen. Craig T. Nelson. Talk about some talent. I mean, they even make Dax Shepard look like a good actor. Lastly, it’s the perfect show to pick up a few seasons in. You don’t need to be there from the beginning, believe me (I missed a chunk of the first season, and did just fine). Just give it a chance and I promise you’ll be hooked.
WHAT TO DVR:
90210 I know, I know. I shouldn’t be watching 90210, let alone recommending you to watch it. What can I say – I’ll always have a soft spot for that zip code – no matter who lives there. This year, the gang moves away from high school and enters what’s usually the death of every great teen-soap: the college years. I’m guessing the addition of a few new characters (like that hot cowboy we met in the premiere) and the elimination of some boring-ass ones (bye bye, Teddy) will stop things from entering Suckville, USA. But if not, I’m sure Adrianna will try and kill a baby or something to keep us hooked.
Ringer I never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Vampires just aren’t my thing. But I get the draw of Sarah Michelle Gellar (I’ve seen Cruel Intentions like, a billion times). Which is why I tuned in to Ringer to see her first TV role in eight years. In Ringer, SMG plays Bridget, an ex-stripper who poses as her rich identical twin sister Shiobhan, who she’s pretty sure is dead. Only she’s not. And if you think that plot twist is enough to get you to watch, well then you’re in luck. From what we’ve heard, there’s about 10 million more twists and turns to this tale coming down the pike.
The Rachel Zoe Project I wish I could explain my love for Rachel Zoe. I mean, on the surface of it all, it’s pretty ridiculous. She’s a complete narcissist. A constant over-reactor. And have you ever seen someone who knows how to handle stress worse than she does? But I just can’t hold any of that against her. I find her adorable and hysterical and pretty damn fun. This season, the show is better than ever – mainly because panic-mode Rachel is nowhere to be found. Pregnancy seems to have calmed the petite stylist, who is focusing less on styling and more on launching her own clothing line. It also helps that she’s finally got a good team in place. Mandanna seems to be running the show in a way that makes me feel bad about my own work ethic. Gone are the insufferable Taylor Jacobson and the playful Brad Goreski – who have both left to pursue their own styling careers. New to the crop is another hot twink name Jeremiah, who isn’t as up Rachel’s ass as Brad was, but certainly fills the “cute guy” slot in her team. Basically, it’s a more mature up Rachel Zoe Inc – with a few “bananas” throw in there for good measure.
Mad Fashion Project Runway season 4 fave Chris March is coming to Bravo with his own show, built around his design team and their “mad fashion” creations. I haven’t seen the show yet, but from what I know about Chris, and what I’ve seen in the previews, I’m pretty sure Mad Fashion will be one campy hot mess. I can’t wait! Plus, did you see his guest appearances with Sonja Morgan on RHONYC? Yeah. More of that please!
Fashion Hunters Let’s not pretend for one second that Fashion Hunters is going to be a good show. Let’s also not pretend for one second that you won’t be tuning in to watch it. The show’s about the day-to-day happenings at Second Time Around, a high-end consignment shop that sells next-to-new designer pieces at a fraction of the cost. The perfect show to DVR and catch up on a lazy Sunday morning.
WHAT TO WATCH ONLINE:
Last Man Standing Tim Allen is returning to TV in a new family sitcom. Only this time, there’s no Jonathan Taylor Thomas (and no Tool Time girl for that matter). I had a hard-time finding laughs in this four-camera sitcom – which often relied on outdated jokes and cliché gags. But I won’t underestimate Tim Allen as someone who could actually drum up a show, once they get their footing. Wait around a bit until about mid-season, then catch up with a long marathon one cold November evening.
WHAT TO READ ABOUT ONLINE THE NEXT DAY:
It’ll take you about 5 minutes to hear about who got voted off Dancing with the Stars, so a quick check-in on that should save you the time from having to sit through an hour-long results show.
WHAT TO IGNORE:
NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles are great shows to watch when you’re home sick, or perhaps living in a nursing home. But no one is going to say, “Hey, did you see NCIS last night? Man you missed an amazing episode” anytime soon. The Biggest Loser can be really inspiring to watch. But save yourself a lot of time and just watch the transformations in the finale. Body of Proof had an okay first season – though Dana Delaney isn’t enough to get me coming back week after week. And doesn’t it still feel like a show that should be on USA or TNT? Man Up! was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my life. As for Unforgettable … well, I watched the first episode, and ironically, couldn’t tell you a thing that happened.