It’s the beginning of the Fall 2012 TV season, which means PopBytes is celebrating with your annual TV survival guide! As usually, in this weekly series, we’ll break down watch live, what to DVR, and what to stream online. Oh, and this year, we’ve also given you what to marathon this season (either on DVD or during some day-long marathon viewing). Let’s start with Monday!
WHAT TO WATCH LIVE:
The Voice Queen XTina and her trio of modern-day pips are back, ready to flirt, fight, and entertain in the third season of the entertaining music competition program. While our esteemed panel of judges has yet to find a true superstar, they’ve certainly entertained. Between Cee-Lo’s white cat, Blake Sheldon’s quick comebacks, Adam Levine’s all-around-sexiness, and XTina’s red anal bead mic, there’s plenty fun to go around. Plus, the blind auditions are still pretty fun, right?
Revolution What happens when Lost’s J.J. Abrams, Supernatural’s Eric Kripke, Iron Man’s Jon Favreau and Fringe’s Bryan Burk get together to executive produce a TV show? You get Revolution, NBC’s hope for the next big sci-fi mystery show to crossover into a big-fat TV hit. The premise is cool. One day, all the electricity in the world completely shuts off… for good. Flash forward 15 years later, and that outage has completely changed the landscape of this world. Governments have fallen. Cities are in ruin. Militias terrorize the survivors (one in particular is run by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito). And the only man who may know how to turn the power back on? Well, he’s just been killed. Luckily, his daughter Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) is around, and with the help of her uncle Miles (Billy Burke), will do everything to avenger her father’s death and (we’re just guessing here) probably save all of humanity by figuring out how to turn the power back on.
For as compelling as the premise is, however, the pilot came off as, well, kind of dull. Lots of walking around aimlessly before getting into trouble – like they were stuck in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. There was a pretty sick fight sequence with Miles, but it seemed incredibly unrealistic, even in this fantasy world. Charlie comes off as a Katniss Evergreen-wanabee, which is disappointing since she could be SO GOOD. And Giancarlo Esposito isn’t the least bit as terrifying here as he was in Breaking Bad, which makes his miltia-leader role laughable. The only exciting cast-member in the show is Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), who plays Charlie’s mom. So far, we’ve only met her in flashbacks and she’s supposedly dead but – SPOILER ALERT: Mitchell’s listed as a full-time cast member so is probably alive out there somewhere. When that happens in the next few episodes, remember where you first read it.
But here’s the thing; for as dull as the pilot is, Revolution could still be a great show. If they up the danger factor and start unwrapping some of these issues early on, NBC might actually have a decent hit. Sure knows they’re desperate for one, especially after sci-fi disasters like The Event and Heroes. I’d watch it live and give it a shot.
WHAT TO DVR:
How I Met Your Mother There’s no telling yet whether season eight of How I Met Your Mother will be its last. What we do know is that the creators are writing the season as if that’s the case. Does that mean we’ll finally be told who the goddamn mother is? Probably not. The show’s called How I Met Your Mother not “How I Dated Your Mother.” Once that revel hits, they’re done. I’m guessing they’ll wait until the last episode – and that CBS will throw down major money to keep them for a ninth season. Still, there should be fun to be had in this season, in the wake of Victoria and Ted’s great escape, and the path to Barney and Robin’s big wedding. Plus, there’s probably a Robin Sparkles episode in there somewhere. That’s enough to stick around, eh?
The Real Housewives of New York City The bitches of NYC are on their last few episodes before the end of their fifth season – but don’t expect them to go out without a bang. Ramona and Sonja are fighting with Aviva, LuAnn is fake-cheating on Jacques, Heather is still screaming HOLLA every five seconds, and Carole is still the flawless voice of reason we all want her to be. Look for lots of ridiculous arguing and bitching and nonsense in the next few episodes – plus a 15-part reunion that will leave you wondering – how can people with so little going on in their lives have so many problems?
RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Here’s all you need to know about RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars: Latrice Motherfucking Royale is back and better than ever. <EOM>
WHAT TO WATCH ONLINE:
Dancing with the Stars Like most reality competition shows, Dancing with the Stars is best watched online when you can sort through all the performance clips and cut out all the annoying filler (this includes interviews and judges and all that other nonsense). This season is an all-star season, with favorites like Drew Lachey, Joey Fatone, Melissa Rycroft, Helio Castroneves, Kelly Monaco, and Apolo Anton Ohno returning for their second spin on the floor.
Gossip Girl It’s Gossip Girl’s last season, meaning they’ll be pulling out all the stops. Lots of backstabbing, bitching, scheming, and good ole making out. Plus, NELLY YUKI IS SUPPOSEDLY COMING BACK! Hooray!
WHAT TO WATCH IN A MARATHON:
Gallery Girls Bravo’s attempt at launching a non-Housewives franchise has led us through some pretty painful series in the past (Most Eligible Dallas anyone?). But I’d rather spend an hour with the herbs of Miami Social or NYC Prep any day than have to watch one more second of the Gallery Girls. If you’re looking for the worst people on television, here they are! Vapid, obnoxious twats who run around complaining about working, and somehow expecting to make it in the art world without putting in any real effort. Goddammit I can’t look away.
Basketball Wives LA I tried to avoid the Basketball Wives. I tried so hard. But dammit, those crazy bitches sucked me in. And while it doesn’t fill the void of a Flavor of Love or I Love New York marathon, I’ll still take what I can get. Watch the only way that I could do it: on a rainy Saturday morning VH1 marathon. I promise, you’ll feel better about yourself.
Switched at Birth When I first read about the concept of Switched at Birth, I was all “you have GOT to be kidding me with this shit.” Then I caught a marathon on ABC Family and holy fucking shit you guys. It’s soooooo good! Compelling characters, complicated storylines, and lots of drama. Especially in the relationship area, where it seems every minute, another couple is getting together or breaking up. The show’s finishing the last leg of its freshmen season right now, so it’s not too late to catch up.
WHAT TO READ ABOUT ONLINE THE NEXT DAY:
Will anyone be talking about any of these other shows the next day? Doubtful.
WHAT TO IGNORE:
If you hated 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly, then you’ll really hate Partners! The show about two best friends – a straight guy and a gay guy – and their respective relationships is about as painful as it sounds. I love Michael Urie more than I care to admit, but believe me – this is not the show for him. Skip it. Also, I’m a huge My Boys fan, and Jordana Spiro is the shit, but The Mob Doctor is so ridiculously cliché, you’re going to wish there was a mob hit out against you.