The fall television season is a few months in now and I have been my usually dedicated self to watching the old shows I enjoy and trying new ones. I am overall very pleased with the quality of tv this fall and am equally impressed with the caliber of dramas and sitcoms present today. Since dramas are hour-long and take up the majority of my tv watching time, and require weekly loyalty, let’s do a rundown of the ones I’m currently watching.
Dexter has been my favorite show for years. I am in love with Michael C. Hall and every season the show continues to be addicting and exhilarating. This season takes a completely new turn since Deb walked in on Dexter in last season’s final scene while he was “doing his thing.” Dexter is growing as a person, dare I say, emotionally, because of his ties to his sister and their new, more open lines of communication. This show continues to have me waking up saying “yes, it’s Sunday, Dexter day!” Is it the best season of Dexter? No, but it will always have me excited to watch. You wouldn’t necessarily have to have seen other seasons to watch this one, but if you have Netflix and have yet to enter the world of Dexter Morgan, I could not suggest more that you begin at the very beginning.
Showtime: Sundays, 9 pm
This show, currently in its second season, continues to offer some of the best suspense and best acting on the small screen. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and this season has moved at a quicker pace then the last one, which explains why it took me a little while to get into it last year. Currently 6 episodes in and they have already given us the great Brody interrogation we have been waiting for, which was probably one of the best episodes of any show ever. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis both won Emmy’s for best acting in a drama for season 1, and they continue to be outstanding. I expect them to win again based on their performances in the interrogation episode alone. You can not begin watching this where it is now but I couldn’t recommend more that you begin at the beginning and catch up. Homeland is only in it’s second season so that is not too tough to do.
Showtime: Sundays, 10 pm
American Horror Story
There is no doubt about it in my mind. American Horror Story is the most ambitious, unique, adventurous, envelope-pushing show I have ever seen. Season 1, The Haunting, was excellent, but this new season, Asylym, is completely mindblowing. Each season is a new, close-ended story, so you can catch up quickly by watching this season’s few episodes on Itunes. This season takes place in an insane asylym where things beyond your worst nightmares occur daily. You have to be brave and not a scaredy cat to watch this show. I, however, do not like horror movies, like the Saw’s, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. The completely creepy, intense, scary storylines mixed with the OUTSTANDING acting has me totally hooked, from the very first scene of this season, which blew me away. Seriously. It went to a place I never would have expected from an opening scene, even before the opening credits, and I give them mad props for taking us there so quickly. Even the opening credits are completely f-d up and twisted, with images/visuals you have never seen or even invisioned. Every performance is A+ but standouts for me include Jessica Lange, of course!, who won the Emmy for the show last year. She plays Sister Jude, the ward’s head nurse/nun with secrets of her own. Other standouts include James Cromwell as the doctor from your worst nightmares, Lily Rabe, as sweet, innocent Sister Mary, who gets quite the personality makeover for a very creepy, specific reason, and Chloë Sevigny, as sweet nymphomanic Shelley, who has probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen to anyone happen to her. What happens to Shelley literally gave me a visceral reaction and was the definition of chilling. This is, in my opinion, one of the best television shows ever. You’ve never seen anything like it. Serious serious props to FX for continuing to push the envelope with their programming, and giving television watchers something completely new, twisted, and beyond exciting to watch every week. I love you Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk!! (they also write and produce Glee). Catch up this season, if you can handle it!
FX: Wednesdays, 10 pm
So far, so good! This show, currently in its 5th week, is a stellar new edition to my weekly line up. It’s about the Nashville music business and is primarily about two rivalring singers, the gorgeous Connie Britton‘s older star, Rayna Jaymes, who’s desperate to stay relevant and popular, versus the fresh, malicious huge star Juliette Barnes, played with sex appeal and star prowess by Hayden Panettiere. Could they be more gorgeous? The show features new music and is written for the show by T. Bone Burnett, legendary American musician, songwriter, and soundtrack and record producer. The songs are stellar and heating up the Itunes charts. Every episode introduces another great song in addition to good acting and stories. Particular favorites of mine are Juliette’s “Telescope” and “Undermine” and “If I Didn’t Know Better,” performed by the duet of Scarlett and Gunnar, who play a recently discovered singing team. Scarlett’s voice is unique and outstanding, played by fresh face Clare Bowen. Do yourselves two favors: watch these videos below and begin watching Nashville!
Wednesdays, 10 pm
This is a new take on the classic Sherlock Holmes and Watson tale, with excellent performances by Johnny Lee Miller (also known as Angelina Jolie’s first husband) and Lucy Lui. Miller plays Holmes as a brilliant, neurotic, recovering alcoholic and British import and Lui, as Watson, is his live-in sobriety coach. Together they solve cases and have an excellent rapport and partake in quick, witty banter. The cases have all been interesting so far, Miller is great as cocky, self-assured, but flawed Holmes and I am impressed with Lui’s subdued, even-keeled take as Watson. In this show, Lui’s usual sexy swagger is shelved and she plays Watson with flat affect and a buttoned up look. One of the best new dramas of the season and a fascinating, quick-paced procedural.
CBS: Thursdays, 9 pm
I may be a bit of a supernatural nerd, but I love this show. I began watching it because the lead, David Giuntoli, was on a booze cruise with me on my senior year spring break trip to Bahamas. He was a Road Ruler and StudentCity used to hire Road Rules and Real World cast members to hang with the spring breakers. Most of them were drunk, cocky, and kept to themselves in little reality star bunches (they were also present during my sophomore year trip to Acapulco). But on this Bahamian booze cruise, David and I chatted for about 20 minutes about how he wanted to be an actor. He was sweet, handsome, and seemed dedicated to being more than an ex-MTV guy. Well, turns out he stuck to it and is a hell of a good actor. Grimm, in its second season, tells the story of a “Grimm” (Giuntoli’s character, Nick) who can see the world’s creatures, based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. As Nick is a detective, this is a supernatural procedural. All supportive cast members are excellent, particularly Nick’s partner Hank (Russell Hornsby), his friend Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), and girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch). There is mythology by this point, obviously, as with all supernaturally- bent shows, but not something you could not pick up on quickly. It’s interesting, creepy, with good acting. It doesn’t hurt that Nick is pretty dreamy either.
NBC: Fridays, 9 pm
I am going to be completely honest, as usual. I still watch this show but I am not impressed with season 2. As much as it always was a soap opera, I think it’s crossed into cheesy soap opera, since there are about 130 grand pronouncements in each episode. They move way to quickly, totally neglecting character and relationship developments. It’s just so far-fetched. Emily’s Mom is back from the dead, living an hour away, and has never been interested in where her daughter is? Victoria and Conrad Grayson are again pretending to be married, and even having a recommitment ceremony, despite hating each others guts? Dumb. But I will continue to watch, at least until the end of the season and then reevaluate. I’m hoping it begins to turn around for me.
ABC: Sundays, 9 pm
I’m still really enjoying this show. Simon Baker is gorgeous and his Patrick Jane remains hilariously haughty, brilliantly perceptive, with great chemistry between Baker and Robin Tunney‘s Teresa Lisbon. The cases the fictional CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) solve remain fascinating and the psychological aspect and manipulation of people’s minds and behaviors due to Jane’s “mentalism” is always thrilling. As this is a procedural, you can still pick this show up at any time, even in its current 5th season.
CBS: Sundays, 10 pm
This show still captures my interest in its 9th season. Is it one of the best dramas on tv still? No, there’s too many newer, more exciting ones. But the cast is still lovable and the story line revolving around the aftermath of last season’s plane crash is this season’s new spin. Particularly engaging is the story of Arizona’s recovery from losing the lower half of one of her legs in the accident, played with realistic anger and heartache by Jessica Capshaw. Sara Ramirez is great this season, as Arizona’s wife who is struggling to support and stand by Arizona. This is despite Arizona’s intense anger and pushing Callie away, as when you have no one to blame for something, we all know you can end up blaming the people who you are closest to.
ABC: Thursdays, 9 pm