Monday, October 6, 2014

TV I Watch

It's my Fall lineup! Complete with why I watch, when, and whether or not you should be watching them too. Yes, I do keep up with all of these, though I often end up binge watching several in a day on weekends.

Once Upon a Time
Sundays 8/7c on ABC
I don't know how you could have missed this show, because it's so AMAZING, but I'll tell you about it just in case. Once takes place in a small town in Maine, where the evil witch - Snow White's nemesis - has cursed fairy tale characters (read: Disney characters) to live frozen in time, with no memories of their real selves and never able to achieve their predestined happy endings. Emma Swan, a magical "savior," is the only one capable of breaking the curse. The family relations are also all a bit weird and jumbled, given that people stuck in the town haven't aged while those outside have.  It's a fantastic cast complete with a real life love story between Ginnefer Goodwin and Josh Dallas who play Snow White and Prince Charming. Plus! The new season has added Frozen characters and stories to the line up. Since this one airs on the weekend, there's no excuse for not keeping up with it as I highly recommend you do.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Sundays 8:30/7:30c on Fox
This show is starting its second season, revolving around the misadventures of the detectives of the 99th precinct (obviously). It stars Andy Samberg, who is hilarious. And, because I'm binge watching the first season right now to get caught up, I can assure you that every episode is similarly hilarious. It's a great show for killing some time or multi-tasking with because it's not really a serial. You can watch and episode in the middle of a season, never having seen any others before, and still follow along easily. Although you'll be less familiar with the characters, of course. Add it to your list.

Mondays 8/7c on FOX
Another DC comic book show, but set pre-Batman and focusing on the exploits of a young Detective Gordon. I've seen the first 2 episodes, and it's pretty darn good. Gordon, true to his comic origins, is a great cop - meaning good at it as well as moral. I've missed Ben McKenzie on TV, and the kid that plays a young Bruce Wayne is amazing! His scream when his parents died was some top shelf acting, and he's kept up the pace thus far. You'll get more of the in-jokes and references if you're a comic fan, but even if you're not you'll still easily be able to follow the plot and it's well worth your time regardless.

The Originals
Mondays 8/7c on CW
I decided to add it! The Originals is a Vampire Diaries spin-off following the original family of vampires, the progenitors of all other vampire-kind, as the return to the city they helped build centuries ago before being forced to flee when their father came to kill them: New Orleans. There is a whole sordid family history that it really helps to know if you want to watch the show, so I recommend that you either watch The Originals AND Vampire Diaries or neither. However, if for some reason you are into this vampire drama and not the other, they do sprinkle in the various background info and you'll probably still be able to follow along. It'll just be harder. Klaus is still a paranoid, narcissistic douche-canoe, but I enjoy watching Hayley and Elijah dance around each other. I pretty much enjoy watching Elijah all the time; he's super pretty.

The Blacklist
Mondays 10/9c on NBC
I've talked about The Blacklist before as well, so I won't go into much detail here. It's an amazing show where James Spader plays a career criminal who's turned himself into the FBI in order to help them catch other criminals. His exact motivations have yet to be revealed, but it clearly has something to do with Agent Elizabeth Keen, of whom he is curiously protective. Some people theorize he's her birth father. I think that's crap, but I can't explain why without revealing major plots points. So catch up on season 1 through Netflix, and we hash it out. But really, you should, Spader is amazing as Red and so is Megan Boone as Keen.

The Flash
Tuesdays 8/7c on CW
I don't have much to say about this one yet, since it hasn't actually started. But based on CW's success with Arrow, and given that there will be some crossovers, I have high hopes. It's on my list for now - and hopefully yours - and I'll report back once I have more to go on.
*series premieres this week
UPDATE: Saw the first episode, LOVED IT! Add it to your list for sure.

Tuesdays 8/7c on ABC
Selfie follows a vain, shallow, social media obsesses saleswoman as she partners up with a marketing specialist at the same company to learn how to connect to real people instead of just collecting followers. Listen, I love Doctor Who which means I love Karen Gillan which means I'm going to watch whatever she does. That said, this sitcom's first episode was pretty a entertaining, though hardly groundbreaking half hour of TV. Plus, John Cho is always fun. This is a good one to unwind with at the end of the day, or save up for the weekend, and it's lighthearted enough that it doesn't seem like it would matter much if you miss an episode or two. Add it too your list if you've got some room and you want a feel-good show to round off your week.

Tuesdays 9/8c on CW
I feel that this one needs no explanation given that I just wrote a whole essay explaining why I love it. Read that if you're really interested, and obviously, this is one I'd recommend. As apparently would many others since the show was originally charted for only 5 seasons, but enters its 10th this Fall.
*new season starts this week

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Tuesdays 9/8c on ABC
Marvel's TV venture that accompanies the Cinematic Universe, following the exploits of non-supers trying to protect other non-supers as the world fills up with the super-powered. The main characters work, of course, for Shield, and if you've been keeping up with the films you'll recognize Coulson as the team lead. "Wait," you ask, "didn't he die in Avengers?" It's all explained in the show, my lovelies. You don't have to watch AoS to keep up with the movies, but it's damn good - on par in quality with the movies. Plus it fills in all those gaps when there are no new Marvel movies coming out in case you need a nerd fix. A must watch for any Marvel fan. Hell, a must watch for everyone!

New Girl
Tuesday 9/8c on FOX
Have you caught on that I'm trying to do these in order of air? Obviously, there are some conflicts but I typically watch stuff the day after online somewhere (Hulu or the network site). Oh, New Girl. What's not to love? Zooey Deschanel leads a cast of truly funny characters - Jake Johnson is especially entertaining and grumpy, inept Nick - as this show enters it's 4th season, and there's a reason it keeps coming back. Hilarious story lines, brilliant acting, great writing, and even a few tugs at the heart strings as we all explore the adventures and mishaps of five 30-somethings sharing an apartment and trying to figure it all out. The first 3 seasons are all on Netflix if you need to do some catching up, and the first few episodes of season 4 are available online. A definite must watch, though this one could be saved for the weekend.

The Mindy Project
Tuesdays 9:30/8:30c on FOX
Obviously, this Mindy Kaling headed comedy follows immediately after New Girl. It's kind of my guilty pleasure watch. It's funny, with an off-beat, quirky cast like New Girl, but just not quite as good. Perhaps revolving almost exclusively around a OB-GYN office doesn't lend itself as well to comedy. Mostly, it just seems less clever. But if you've got some time to kill, or just want something on in the background, it provides enough entertainment to serve.

Tuesdays 10/9c on ABC
Yet another version of Sherlock Holmes, though it doesn't expressly claim to be. It's got a bit of an interesting twist in that the deductively talented character is essentially immortal. He can technically die, but he always resurrects, always returns in a body of water, and always comes back nude. He's an ME from Britain working in the states and living with his aging adoptive son. In the first episode, he is contacted by a mysterious character who claims to know his secret, a story arc that's sure to guide the overall plot for some time. I like this one because, well, I like Sherlock Holmes, and I like the supernatural. With Forever, I get a bit of both. It bears mentioning that I already like this show more than Elementary which is not on my list. Cumberbatch's Sherlock is amazing, but doesn't get a mention since it never airs a regular season. Also, holy crap, is Tuesday a busy day!

Wednesdays 8/7c on CW
Another one where I'm a little behind - I'm watching season 2 as soon as it's available on Wednesday - but the first season was amazing and everything I've heard says the next one improved on it. This, Gotham, and The Flash are the DC shows, but unlike AoS, they are not related to the DC films - separate worlds, unfortunately. Arrow follow Green Arrow, a DC hero similar to Batman in that he started as a wealthy socialite who got into the vigilante business after the death of a parent. As his name implies, he dresses in green and his weapon of choice is bow and arrow, though he's plenty deadly with a variety of other weapons or none at all. I promise, it's cooler than I make it sound, and his teammates Diggle and Felicity are so kick-ass. As I've mentioned, I'm a sucker for comics and CW shows, so this one is a definite must watch.
*new season starts this week

Modern Family
Wednesdays 9/8c on ABC
Who doesn't love Modern Family?! Crazy people, that's who! Or bigots, I suppose, since it does feature interracial and gay marriages. But screw those people, watch it anyway because it's funny and beautiful and real. It follows the everyday adventures of an extended family, and is set up as a faux-documentary similar to The Office and Parks and Rec, but with more seamless camera work so you sometimes forget that fact. This one is goes on your must-watch list. Unfortunately, it's in its 6th season, and 1-5 are not available online. While I think it's well worth it to own, that's obviously a big expense and just not as convenient. Hopefully you've been keeping up thus far.

The Vampire Diaries
Thursdays 8/7c on CW
I know, I know, I hate Twilight so how can I be a fan of some tawdry show about teenage vampires falling for each other? For starters, Diaries is much better written, with more likable, well-rounded characters. Plus, the CW just gets me, you know? I don't want to say too much about this one since it's going to be another post by itself as part of my CW spotlight posts, but I definitely recommend it. You can catch up on seasons 1-5 this weekend on Netflix! It's got a spinoff called The Originals which is only one season old. I've not kept up with it, but I'm going to watch some now that it's on Netflix as well, and it may get added to the list.

Thursdays 9/8c on FOX
BBC fans - of which I'm one - will recognize this Americanized remake of Broadchurch, right down to David Tennant reprising his character, though with a new name and accent. The story follows the investigation of local police into the murder of a young boy in a small town. Previews seem to indicate that lots of dark secrets will be uncovered, and everyone's a suspect. The first episode was promising, though not quite the thrill-ride some previews promised. I look forward to delving deeper into the mystery, though, and I have confidence Tennant wouldn't have agreed to the project if it wasn't going to be good. If you like murder mysteries, thrillers, David Tennant, or Broadchurch, this one should be on your list.

A to Z
Thursdays 9:30/8:30c on NBC
Finally, a romantic comedy revolving around Cristin Milioti's character in which you actually get to see her! I was skeptical about this one, that it would be too cutesy for my taste. Like Cristin's last show (if you can call it that) HIMYM, this show has a non-present narrator who tells the story of how two people meet and fall in love. The difference here is that the characters are likable, and you actually get to see the relationship develop. You know, instead of just listening to future-and-present-day Ted Mosby whine about his quest for love and pine after his someday wife, only to have the entirety of their actual relationship crammed into less than one episode. I'm still a little bitter about how HIMYM drug out for so much longer than necessary or entertaining and then ended stupidly. Is that obvious? But seriously, A to Z is charming and fun, and I'm officially adding it to my list.

How to Get Away with Murder
Thursdays 10/9c on ABC
This follows students of a law professor/famous defense attorney in their quest to - you guessed it! - get away with murder based on their experiences defending "alleged" murderers while working with her. I honestly didn't expect to like this one, but the premise intrigued me enough that I gave the first couple of episodes a shot. And boy, is it good. If you don't have time in your viewing schedule for yet another show - especially a murder mystery, and God knows I feel you pain - I'm not suggesting you drop something to squeeze this in. Nor would I recommend you just try it out if you know you don't have the time, because one episode and you will be hooked. You'll have to keep watching just to figure out what the hell is happening?! It's another guilty pleasure show for me, and would be perfect for a weekly viewing party.

Fridays 10/9c on NBC
I really can't say much about this one since it doesn't start til October 24. But I'm pretty impressed with the other DC properties that have been televised recently, so I have high hopes. Plus, as previously laid out, I love supernatural stuff. This seems like a solid win for me. I'll keep you posted.

Parks and Recreation
If you don't know about Parks and Rec, I don't know how I can explain it to you. It's a mockumentary following the staff of the Parks and Rec department of Pawnee, Indiana. Similar to the setup of The Office, but totally brilliant and funny in its own right. Amy Poehler rocks the house as the lead accompanied by an all-star cast. P&R is starting its 7th and final season... sometime? It's supposed to be a mid-season start since the season will only be 13 episodes long. Make an effort to find out when it will be on and watch it, well worth your time.

So I'm all out, and nothing to watch on Saturdays. Not that this is a problem. With everything above, I need that time just to keep up. Unless you just have some really good suggestions...?

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