It’s day three of our TV Survival Guides, which means by now, you’ve figured out how this shit works. I break down what to watch live, what to DVR, what to stream online, and what to catch up on a long TV marathon, and you get the scoop on all the Fall 2012 TV season. Monday and Tuesday are already covered here. Let’s tackle hump day!
WHAT TO WATCH LIVE:
Survivor It’s Survivor’s 24th season and after all this time, you’d think there wouldn’t still be surprises and excitement to have. But the show has still found a way to entertain – mainly due to it’s fantastic casting choices, killer challenges, and unpredictable tribal councils. This season, three tribes of six will compete in the Philippines – all led by a former castoff who was evacuated from the game due to medical reasons. Oh, AND DID I MENTION THAT BLAIR FROM THE FACTS OF LIFE IS ONE OF THE CONTESTANTS? That’s right guys – Lisa Whelchel, in the flesh. Now if that isn’t a reason to watch, I don’t know what is.
Modern Family I don’t know about you, but I’m still wiping the tears out of my eyes thinking about the emotional finale last season. It was a nice switch-up from the usual crop of cliché Modern Family serves our way. Seriously – for as funny the show is, it’s predictable as all hell. Still, it’s jam-packed with loveable characters, fantastic performances, and a ton of heart. You don’t get that combo very often. Which is why, even with all its predictability, Modern Family is still the best comedy on television.
Nashville Of all the new shows this year, Nashville had, by far, the strongest pilot. The show follows Rayna James (Connie Britton), a fading Nashville superstar who is forced to team up teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), or cancel her tour due to low ticket/album sales. The characters are wonderful – complex and relatable and real. And the show gives you a glimpse into a world we so rarely really see portrayed. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, and it has hit written all over it. Trust me – you won’t want to miss Nashville.
WHAT TO DVR:
The X Factor Britney Spears may not be as entertaining of a judge as Queen XTina, but I will give her one thing – that girl serves stink-face realness better than anyone out there. Did you see those first two episodes? Even when she liked someone, she looked like she had a dirty tampon up her twat the whole time. I could not look away! Sadly, I have a feeling that excitement over seeing what Britney will do next will quickly wear off, and we’ll be stuck with the awkward formula of The X Factor that makes everything feel a little more manufactured and fake than the other music competition shows on TV. DVR it and fast-forward though all the awkward bits and you should be fine.
American Horror Story The second season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story is going to be entirely different than the first. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be scary as shit. If anything, it sounds like American Horror Story season 2 (named Asylum) will be even more terrifying than before. The show takes place in an insane asylum in the 60s (think Girl, Interrupted, only scarier). Jessica Lange returns to the series, this time playing Sister Jude, a sadistic nun in the asylum. Zachary Quinto is also returning, as are Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy and Lily Rabe. Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Step Up’s Jenna Dewan Tatum are also joining the cast, as are Chloe Sevigny, Clea DuVall, James Cromwell, Lizzi Brochere, Frank Potente, Chris Zylka, and Blake Sheldon (no, not that Blake Sheldon). So much of the plot is under wraps, but what we do know is that, like its first season, American Horror Story: Asylum will be must-watch TV.
WHAT TO WATCH ONLINE:
Arrow By now, you’ve probably figured out the pattern to The CW’s winning sci-fi formula. No matter what the crazy plot – not matter how bad the CGI – as long as you have a cast of hot people, you’ll be fine. Obviously Arrow has already got that covered, with a smokin’ cast lead by hottie Stephen Arnell and featuring Melrose Place/Gossip Girl alum Katie Cassidy and my big Broadway crush Colin Donnell. Unfortunately, besides the hot people, there’s not much there as far as plot. The show takes a modern retelling of the Green Arrow comic book story. And while Arnell’s Arrow is a darker, more damaged version of the billionaire playboy turned shadowy vigilante though we’ve seen before, I wasn’t sucked in. That doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy checking in for some hotness from time to time. Thanks interweb!
WHAT TO WATCH IN A MARATHON:
The Challenge Look, I don’t care if you haven’t watched an episode of The Real World in 15 seasons. Chances are, if you turn on MTV on a Saturday morning and see a marathon of The Challenge on, you’re going to sit down and watch. This season, they’re grouping people by seasons. So you have Real World: Brooklyn vs. Real World: San Diego vs. Real World: Tokyo Drift (has there been one of those yet?). Whatever – here’s all you really need to know: people are going to get really drunk, hook up, and fight. What more do you want?
WHAT TO READ ABOUT ONLINE THE NEXT DAY:
There may be a South Park moment everyone is talking about that you have to look up. But really – there’s nothing to rush and check up on.
WHAT TO IGNORE:
Animal Practice and Guys with Kids are currently in the running to grab the “worst shows of the Fall 2012 TV season” title – though I wouldn’t count out The Neighbors, which was so painful, it took me 15 days to get through the half-hour pilot. Look for all three of those shows to be the first ones to go. Also, prepare to say goodbye to Chicago Fire, which will be cancelled not for being bad, but for being unoriginal.