Stand-out programs spice up seasonal premieres
Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm in Lifestyle
With the end of September, a slew of new TV shows have graced airwaves. With each network premiering a handful of programs this fall, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the new shows.
Luckily, here‚Äôs a compilation of the best new TV shows on the air this season. Save yourself from suffering through unwatchable pilots (The New Normal, Guys With Kids, Revolution) and check out the list below.
The Mindy Project
Anyone mildly familiar with Mindy Kaling‚Äôs work ‚ÄĒ whether it‚Äôs her best-selling book or her seven-year stint on The Office ‚ÄĒ knows how inherently likable she is. As a writer, she taps into universal topics, such as a love for cheesy romantic comedies, and makes them fresh with her sassy, unique voice.
Kaling‚Äôs character on the show, aptly named Mindy, is refreshingly and unabashedly offbeat. She spends her days looking for love in New York City, as in most rom-com television programs. In two episodes, we have already seen two men come and go from Mindy‚Äôs life (in the funniest ways possible, of course). But Mindy‚Äôs life is a work in progress.
Not straying too far from familiar tropes, the show clearly already has a built-in ‚Äúwill-they-won‚Äôt-they‚ÄĚ couple with Mindy and her co-worker Danny, played by the always-charming Chris Messina. The two already have undeniable chemistry, although the show will surely put off getting them together for as long as possible so as to torture its viewers. Though the show still has room to find its stride completely, the first two episodes indicate that Kaling and team are off to an ever-promising start.
Connie Britton. If you‚Äôve ever seen Friday Night Lights, you should not need much more convincing beyond those two words. For those unfamiliar with Britton‚Äôs work, she is the main reason to tune into Nashville; she plays one of its captivating, strong and loveable leads. The show explores the world of country music through Rayna (Britton), a former country queen now struggling to sell records, and her competition with the hottest new pop-country crossover act, Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere).
Nashville has all the makings of a great soap ‚ÄĒ sexual tension, workplace drama, catfights and a stunningly good-looking cast. If that‚Äôs not enough, the original songs are also catchy and authentic; some songs featured this season are written by members of Lady Antebellum.
The pilot‚Äôs only fundamental flaw is that it tries to accomplish too much and establishes too many characters. Once the show finds its groove and sticks to a tight group of main characters, however, it will be unstoppable. Nashville reminds viewers of Country Strong ‚ÄĒ if the protagonist was likable and had realistic problems. Tune in to Nashville for your weekly not-so-guilty pleasure.
At first glance, it might be easy to write off a submarine-based show. But if you have any respect for good television, Last Resort is worth a watch. The pilot will not only leave you crying and smiling simultaneously, but its dramatic, inspiring ending will also leave you craving more.
Last Resort also features impeccable writing, perfectly setting up the underwater world of the American submarine ‚ÄúColorado‚ÄĚ and immediately establishing well-defined characters. By dropping these strong characters into the high-stakes world of nuclear wars and corruption within American government, ABC has created what can easily be considered the best pilot of the fall TV lineup. The production value is also sky-high and it shows; the underwater visual effects are cutting-edge and the scenery of the French Polynesian island¬† setting is beautiful.
Though at first glance this new show featuring Matthew Perry might seem like a comedy, Go On explores a darker subject matter. Perry plays a sportscaster who, in the wake of his wife‚Äôs death, is commanded to join a support group by his boss in order to grieve properly. Though this show doesn‚Äôt unleash a torrent of jokes, it skillfully walks the fragile line between comedy and tragedy. And this unique combination is what gives Go On its heart and emotional foundation. The show embraces the fact that some of life‚Äôs greatest comedy emerges from tragedy and is not afraid to explore real, emotionally grounded moments.
That being said, this is a single camera sitcom, and the show maintains a great balance of comedy even within the context of a darker subject matter. Perry‚Äôs character even creates a tournament at his support group, making a competition of whose tragedy is the worst. Moments like these make Go On a fun watch. Combined with its built-in emotionally moving moments, the show is a highlight of the fall season.