Figures. I spend all my pre-Fall time charting out the hours and hours of my life I plan to waste sitting in front of the television, draw out a map (‘cuz we roll Type A around here), share it with you… then forget to follow-up. If ever you wonder if the “scatterbrain” characteristic I briefly touch on in my About page is real, well. There you go.
I had a good time this Fall. I can officially say *this Fall* since we’re technically in Winter. I only bring this up because, for some reason, Fall TV seems to last until May. No one ever says “Winter TV”. Or “Spring TV”. Who would really care but me. I’m not a fan of saying *Winter* anything since I live in Cleveland, and to acknowledge the presence of snow here is like saying The Browns suck. (Colt McCoy and Josh Cribbs, notwithstanding.) Oddly enough, most shows I watched (and, as mentioned, liked) ended their seasons this month. Must be some new thing they’re trying. The jury is still out on whether or not I like this new format considering you’ve just spent all this time convincing me to love your show, then succeeding only to pull the rug out from under me and make me wait until, what, next September? Not cool, networks.
Here’s the skinny…
American Horror Story (FX)
I never watched Nip/Tuck. So when everyone went on and on about the genius that is Ryan Murphy only to curse him a few years later for killing such a beloved series with bizarre storylines and extreme plots that made his audience turn on him, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Enter Glee. I went from loving the snarkiness of that show only to hate/loathe/abhor/detest (enter other synonyms here) it for the past few seasons. I have no idea why I’m still watching it only to say I have a knack for following through. Also? LOST has conditioned me to stick things out. *Sigh* I was all ready to write off anything Ryan Murphy professed to touch… until I saw a preview for this show. What the twisted rubber suit is this?! After the first episode, I was freaked out. I felt dirty. I wanted my mommy. And I was generally in fear for my life and could not safely walk through my house in the dark without chanting Hail Marys. And I’m not catholic. I was in. Add in the fraktacularness that is Jessica Lange and GIVE THAT WOMAN A GOLDEN GLOBE ALREADY. Do they deliver those things to people’s houses? What’s her address?
The Walking Dead (AMC)
Curse the high powers at AMC for giving more of a damn about Mad Men than their other stellar shows like Breaking Bad (a show I mean to get familiar with over my next week and a half vacation via DVD’s) and this show. You cut the budget, fire the head writer and frontrunner, then throw what money you cut at a show that not only ended on a cliffhanger after a season of false advertising, but had the president and General Manager of the network issuing statements of apology when its season wrapped. It would have been different if the show weren’t working. Or if the special effects budget ALONE didn’t make up for half of what you cut. But the show was A HIT. The sudden changing of the guards was visible this season. The storyline suffered. I was so bored on several episodes, crossing my fingers that something, ANYTHING, would keep me from regretting being loyal. Then, the last episode of the season appeared. SLAP. MY. MONKEY.
I won’t lie. When the up-fronts showed trailers for this show, I was questioning a lot. But I give credit where it’s due. The show is really funny. Everyone in the casts works. (Except the black dude, and it’s paining me to say that but, yeah. Recast.) It’s lighthearted. Snarky. It makes fun of Suburbia which, you know, yay! And I’m digging Jeremy Sisto. Also, Alan Tudyk and Cheryl Hines? Lurve.
Up All Night (NBC)
Thank the TV gods, this show is successful! If Will Arnett and Christina Applegate couldn’t recover after being robbed of a shot at sitcom gold (Samantha Who? anyone), I was not only going to be peeved. I was going to be SUPER peeved. This show has so much going for it. I’m not even turned off by the addition of Jason Lee as the love interest for Maya Rudolph’s character. While we’re on that, Ava? Show stealer. So much of what that character does, I want on YouTube immediately so I can watch it again and again. Just those parts. To prove how much I believe the TV gods are pulling for this show, Nick Cannon went from an idea to a fart in the wind. I’d like to think it’s because of all the people who threatened to kill themselves if he stayed on. AND THE TV GODS LISTENED. Osmosis FTW.
New Girl (FOX)
You just never know with TV, you know? I was all set to write this show off once Damon Wayans, Jr. (who is killing ‘em on Happy Endings) was recast with the Miller Lite guy. But this show is slapping critics in the mouth (including me) with it’s quirky freshness, and comedy standout. No, not Zooey Deschanel. One word: Schmidt! My life would infinitely improve with him as my friend.
You’d think a show about a U.S. Military POW flipping sides would be pretty cut and dry, but no-ho-ho-HO! I don’t know whether I’m coming or going watching this show, and I kinda like it. Once I got passed the fact that the wife of said POW was not coming to invade my planet and reveal herself to be a lizard queen, and got over Claire Danes’ do-you-kiss-your-mother-with-that-POTTY MOUTH (My So-Called Life, this ain’t, honey), I was cool. And
Inigo Montoya Mandy Patinkin rocks my socks.
Again and again, this show has defied logic and Nielsen ratings. But I’m not one to tempt fate. While I love this show and am continually pissed, year after flippin’ year, at the sheer ignorance of the nominating committee of [any award, pick one] for passing over the excellence that is John Noble, I am fully aware it is on the brink of cancellation. Every season, it is on this brink. It does not deserve to jump this many sharks. IT’S GOOD. When you’re jumping the shark on lack of viewership, and not content, you know these are the reasons people lose faith in entertainment. I don’t know what can be done to save it, and I can’t even blame the network for neglect. FOX has been on the ball with promotion. I won’t thumb my nose and pretend the show can defy ratings again but, man, do I want it to. So badly. This year, alone (January through May included), has been beyond stellar.
My DVR thanks you, 2011.