I am a pop culture junkie and I love television. One of my favorite past times is to rest on the couch with my beautiful wife and watch some good stories.
And I am one who is eternally optimistic that TV can provide something smart, entertaining, and moving. And just maybe it can also show us something truly profound (e.g. Lost). So how does this new season of shows line up?
Elementary: This might be the best new show. It is a copy of the amazing BBC hit Sherlock, which places Holmes and Watson in modern-day London. Elementary places them in today's New York City. They've kept him British, but they've turned Watson into Joan, not John, and is played by Lucy Liu. I find her very off-putting as an actress. And yet, the show works and is highly entertaining.
The Mindy Project: I held off on this Office alumn solo project, but found myself breezing through the first 3 episodes. It is smart, quirky, and above all it is funny. It is probably the funniest new comedy this season.
Ben and Kate: I watched the first 5 minutes and did not laugh once, so I stopped.
Guys with Kids: Awful. It's a great set up that fails on the punchline. It is horribly lazy writing all the way around.
Arrow: I was expecting to simply watch a light episode of Smallville, but Arrow was really good. It is much darker than the comic, and has hints of Revenge. But what sold me completely was the parkour chase in the middle. I'm easy to please sometimes.
Go On: The pilot was incredibly strong mixture of humor and sadness. But now it has leveled off. It isn't bad, but it is coasting at mediocre. I actually put a lot of that on Matthew Perry. The supporting cast is pretty good, but Perry (who is capable of some great acting) doesn't seem to be trying very hard.
Nashville: I was watching the pilot about a rich, backstabbing family when I suddenly realized why it felt so familiar. Then it hit me. I'm watching Dallas. Dallas:Oil::Nashville:Country Music.
And of course there's The Neighbors. You can read my review here.
I still have yet to see 2 shows that I wanted to: Last Resort and Beauty and the Beast. I will report on them when I see them.
And the returning shows? How are they doing?
Castle: Still as strong as ever while also moving the characters' relationships forward.
How I Met Your Mother: I still have great affection for this show, but it is winding down.
Modern Family: I don't think it will ever recapture the magic of that first season.
New Girl: The show started to lose some steam towards the end of the first season, but have come back renewed and refreshed and have had some really funny moments.
Parks and Recreation: Still one of the funniest, if not the funniest show on the air.
Raising Hope: I fell in love with this show over the summer. It is weird and it knows it. This season is just as good.
Revenge: About on par with the last season, though the addition of Jennifer Jason Leigh is quite a coup. And the love triangle now becomes a square.
Survivor: Decent season so far. I'm not really rooting for or against anyone yet.
The Amazing Race: There's really only one team I'm rooting for, which is not great.
The Office: It's going really dark this year. I'm hoping its one of those “only darkest before the dawn,” kind of things.
The Simpsons: Everyone knocks this show for not being as good as it was 20 years ago. It's not. I don't think it ever will be. But there is probably more enjoyment in 20 minutes in Sprinfield than most tv towns.
The Walking Dead: Last season the show was nicknamed “People Arguing a Lot and Sometimes Zombies Show Up.” This first episode got back to basics. If each episode is as good as this (which it probably won't be), this could be the best season.