The school year is roaring down to a finish and the oasis of summer is just on the horizon. Yet, you shouldn’t get too distracted by the increasing amounts of exposed flesh on display or the return of the sun. There is work to do. After you take that much needed break to parts of the world with less clothing (Cabo, I’m looking at you), be sure to get back soon. It’s time to start planning your schedule. No, not for school or your job … for the upcoming television season. Obviously.
The school year is roaring down to a finish and the oasis of summer is just on the horizon. Yet, you shouldn’t get too distracted by the increasing amounts of exposed flesh on display or the return of the sun. There is work to do.
After you take that much needed break to parts of the world with less clothing (Cabo, I’m looking at you), be sure to get back soon. It’s time to start planning your schedule. No, not for school or your job … for the upcoming television season. Obviously. With the recently held television network “upfronts,” the yearly buzz-building announcement of what shows will be premiering in the fall (and maybe midseason), it looks like there are plenty of shows to see–and even more to avoid like the bubonic plague.
So here are some of the upcoming television highlights and craplights, handily rated for you from one to 100 on the patented Excite-o-Meter.
Life on MarsABC, Fall 2008Excite-o-meter score: 91The great time-traveling BBC police show is getting the U.S. treatment, and while remakes rarely work, the premise of this show is hard to screw with.
A cop from our time gets into a car accident and wakes up in the early 1970s, where he has a job on the police force and a life already set up for him. While this sounds like any number of time-travel shows, what the British Life on Mars did differently was not rely on gimmicks or heavy-handed explanations. In fact, the show’s creators were confident enough to just let character interaction propel the episodes, forgoing any sort of grand story arc.
Lets hope the U.S. version keeps the subtle coolness of the original. If it does, this could be the next big hit of the television season.
FringeFOX, Fall 2008Excite-o-Meter score: 80J.J. Abrams has been doing pretty well in the last few years. With many hit television shows and movies, the man still hasn’t slowed down his output. His latest project, Fringe, focuses on the mysterious happenings on a jetliner with spooky supernatural themes. And while the premise does sound a little too much like Lost, it’s definitely its own beast. Clips from the show bring to mind what the X-Files did when it premiered–a perfect balance of realness and the supernatural.
Lets hope the casting of the always-boring Joshua Jackson (or Pacey, for any remaining Dawson’s Creek fans) doesn’t slow down this possibly exceptional show.
Sit Down, Shut UpFOX, Fall 2008Excite-o-Meter score: 72Details about this new animated series are enough to make someone bipolar. First, it is produced and written by Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz (Yes!). But it is also produced by the main forces behind Two and a Half Men (Noooo!).
It features voices by Will Arnett and Jason Batemen (Score!), but also Kenan Thompson and Cheri Oteri (Foul!). The juxtaposition of quality and crap is a little too much to handle, yet Arrested Development was so good that I know you, and I, would watch anything even resembling that show. Let’s hope this cartoon–set against non-cartoon backdrops, ala Who Framed Roger Rabbit–keeps the brilliant humor of Arrested Development and ignores the influence from those Two and a Half Men cretins.
CrusoeNBC, Fall 2008Excite-o-Meter score: 65
Does the idea of watching a man putter around by himself on a deserted island, slowly growing a mountain-man beard while scrounging for food excite you? It sure piques my interest.
That’s why news that the Robinson Crusoe story will be made into a television series was thrilling. How great would it be to see a shipwreck show that doesn’t feature smoke monsters?
Then, just when I was looking forward to sitting back and watching Crusoe waste away on that damn island, I came across this in an NBC press release: “Part MacGyver, part Castaway and part Pirates of the Caribbean, this is a contemporary morality tale about love, friendship and personal discovery.”
Let’s hope it leans more towards MacGyver and less Pirates. I want hut building and fire starting, not skeleton pirates. Listen to me dammit!
The Ex ListCBS, Fall 2008Excite-o-Meter score: 32First off, this is a show about a woman who follows the advice of a tarot card reading. So if you can get over watching a show based around someone stupid enough to buy into that bullshit, then this show is for you.
The Ex List is about the aforementioned idiot (Elizabeth Reaser from Grey’s Anatomy) who realizes from the tarot card reading that she needs to get married ASAP! But, uh oh, the cards tell her that she has already dated and broken up with her destined mystery mate. That spells trouble, but what’s a girl to do? Answer: start fucking her ex-boyfriends, one by one, until she finds her soul mate. Feminism is alive and well on network TV.
Unless you have a soft spot for saccharine romantic dramas skip this show.
The Cleveland ShowFOX, Spring 2009Excite-o-Meter score: 11The fact that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane keeps getting work is one more piece of evidence that God doesn’t exist. And if it does exist, it sure hates us all. (Thank you, Slayer.)
The dismally unfunny, painfully derivative and poorly animated Family Guy will soon spawn an unholy offspring in the form of The Cleveland Show, which will focus on, guess who, Cleveland Brown and his family. Expect some not-so-subtle non-PC humor, pop culture references that hit like a frying pan to your face, and more wisecracking animals and smart babies.
If this is a hit I will quit writing forever. That’s a promise.
90210CW, Not for sure, but likely Fall 2008Excite-o-Meter score: 4Good lord. It’s beginning to look like the long-discussed Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off/remake will finally come into fruition and … wait, did you hear that … that was the sound of a million people vomiting and crying at the same time. And I am one of them. 90210 makes me sick.
Who was asking for another 90210? Well Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth, probably, as they have signed up to take part in the new series along with a new soon-to-be-coke-addled young cast.
The show focuses on a family in Beverly Hills as they … do you care? I know I don’t. Let’s just pretend this show doesn’t exist and maybe it will go away, OK? Deal.