I’m in the middle of Fall TV heaven right now. Shows have hit their climaxes and sh*t is seriously hitting the fan for most of the tv shows I’m watching.
Let’s review the shows I’m watching…
- New Girl
- Happy Endings
- Modern Family
- Parks and Recreation
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- The Walking Dead
- American Horror Story: Asylum
- Boardwalk Empire
- South Park
The Comedy Line Up
New Girl – Fox
More-so guilty pleasure than high praise, New Girl continues to represent what all television romantic comedy should be. It has compelling and [mostly] interesting characters, great guests to spice up the cast, and a cast that looks like they’re having more fun than just reading a script. In my honest opinion, I don’t praise it any more than that, simply because I think they’re getting a little too comfortable and there isn’t much of a compelling reason to continue watching. Cece and Schmidt aren’t too much of a compelling couple, Winston is pretty stale as usual, and Nick is always cranky. Either that or he’s trying to not be cranky. And Jess is Jess. Like I said earlier, guests are nice to spice things up (Rob Riggle and Jamie Lee Curtis were nice touches), but other than that, it’s an okay romantic comedy sitcom that I’ll watch…if I have nothing else to. That being said, it does set the lower bar of what all romantic comedies should aim to be.
Parks and Recreation – NBC
Unlike New Girl, Parks and Recreation is on the higher end of the spectrum, with hilarious script writing, some of the best characters created on tv [ever], and something that many shows truly lack: heart. I’m consistently calling it tv’s current most heartwarming comedy, and I continue to stand by it. Parks and Recreation simply lights up my eyes and heart whenever the catchy tune starts. Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope will always make me giggle, and the plot movement on the show [while not as compelling as season 4] is surprisingly good for a comedy sitcom. Leslie Knope has made enemies in the past couple of episodes: Pawnee’s Resturant Association representatives, Councilman Jam, and Marsha and Marshal Langman all in the name of preserving her ideals and morals. She finally met Joe Biden which reminds me that I could watch that .gif over and over again. They saved up for season 5 for the show’s beloved Ron Swanson to finally get a love interest, which we can all root for how smitten she makes him. Overall Parks and Recreation is simply wonderful and is surprisingly strong after so long. I don’t doubt that they’ll keep it up.
After all, there is a wedding to plan.
SO MANY FEELS.
Happy Endings – ABC
I’d say Happy Endings found its groove during the middle of the 1st season. Since then, the rapid-fire, pop culture based humor has taken off and become the comedy juggernaut it is today. Still highly underrated and not well-known, this generation’s ‘Friends’ is certainly one of the funniest comedies on air. They really upped the sexuality this time around and it’s not something I’m complaining about. As usual, Jane and Brad carry a lot of the comedy as well as a lot of the heart, but as situational comedy [aka sitcom, did I blow you mind?] pairings go, Happy Endings doesn’t mind switching it up, with special call out to the Boys to Menorah episode, where Brad and Max prove to be a powerful combination. The whole Dave and Alex thing is quite annoying, but the show is so meta with self references that I don’t know if they’re trying to make fun of how sitcoms often do it…Did Happy Endings pull a fast one on me? Damn it’s even better than I thought previously.
And I thought it was pretty damn good.
South Park – Comedy Central
South Park ended it’s 16th season strong by taking on the election. They also managed to tackle Hummer sales, Morgan Freeman, Chinese General Tsao chicken, the Disney/Star Wars merge, and the nature of Obama’s win. Seriously, read that last sentence. Are you f*cking kidding me? Only South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker could ever pull something like that off and still be coherent and utterly awesome.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – FX
For their 8th season, the gang has gone awfully meta, explaining in their own tv show how it has stood the test of time and still remained relevant and hilarious. This show isn’t belted down by meaningless romances or an overarching storyline, it’s simply 5 of the worst people on the planet doing anything they possibly can to succeed in life. Their warped idea of succeeding leads them to get involved in some of the most random stuff, and the idea pool is essentially endless. They referenced within their shows about how quickly they switch from one radical idea to the next. They also reminded us of how hilarious it is to bring a normal/sane person into their world and show us again how ugly they truly are as human beings. But we love it. We love Charlie’s illiteracy, or Dennis’s pretentiousness, or Mac’s insecurity issues. I could watch these guys forever and ever.
Modern Family – ABC
This show is now my week’s chore show. Every time I talk about this show, it’s usually accompanied with some negative flak. Too vanilla, too predictable, and I’m even finding Phil Dunphy and Cam to be getting a little stale. The twist regarding Haylee was a nice touch, whose surprisingly poor life decisions are the only thing that’s genuinely surprising. For a show that promotes happiness, family unity, and ‘every-episode-will-work-out-for-the-best’ out the wazoo, her college drop was quite the nice twist that took me off my ass. Kudos for you Modern Family, you definitely manage to shock me every once in a while, but if I hear another generic family value monologue by one of the characters that applies to the plot lines of all the characters at the end with a sarcastic comedic twist, you will only disappoint me.
The Drama Line Up
While comedy is a good way to boost morale throughout the week, it’s television drama that truly gets me going. The Drama Line Up will contain MAJOR SPOILERS. GET OUT while you still can.
Boardwalk Empire – HBO
This year’s dark horse drama is attributed to how quickly Boardwalk Empire escalated into one of the more compelling dramas this year. Starting off as a relatively slow start to last season’s big twist, Nucky Thompson has conquered a lot. Throughout the season, we saw some pretty wicked things. Gillian Darmody proves to be one of sickest characters we’ve seen on TV. Richard Harrow represents the show’s innocence and probably most rootable [word?] character. Van Alden is some-what relevant again and is definitely one of the more interesting characters on the show. Thank god Paz de la Huerta is gone. I’ll say for sure that Boardwalk Empire is both fearless and beautiful. Fearless because they aren’t afraid to push the limits of what’s been seen on television and even story-wise. Killing off main characters as much as it has makes it probably the ballsiest show in TV, more-so than Game of Thrones because George R.R. Martin is the one pulling the strings versus tv series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The Boardwalk Empire writers get the genuine shock out of its entire audience when it does something shocking versus fans of the books in Game of Thrones expecting every move. The series itself is simply beautiful because you lose yourself in the setting due to the high production values and convincing setting. We get to the season finale of its third season and all the cards are on the table. We know no one is safe and heads will roll. And I’m so fcking excited.
Dexter – Showtime
A loathsome season that showed so much promise. Dexter for me is becoming a chore. A chore that I will hate watch until its series finale. The supporting characters are awful, Dexter’s monologues are becoming repetitive and lost all significance or relevance, and the overall story-arc revolving around Deb finding out has lost its luster after the first 2 episodes. The show’s only redeeming qualities are the main villain, villainously played by George Novikov is truly the only fresh and convincing face of the show. At least the horse beating will be over by around this time next year…
Homeland – Showtime
I’m still catching up, making my way to about episode 6 or 7 of season 2. As soon as I’m done, I’ll write a separate article for a total recap.
The Walking Dead – AMC
Before I went on my Boardwalk Empire binge, The Walking Dead was clearly the winner for this Fall’s TV best. And the true best winner of best series this fall will go down this Sunday when the two premiere side-by-side at 9:00. The Walking Dead has come far from its mediocre second season lull and has cultivated one of the best couples to root for this season. Maggie and Glenn are somewhere in the ranks of Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope. They may not be as adorable as them, but given the circumstances of their situation, this romance is a dim flicker of light in a bleak post-apocalyptic future [present?]. Also, by introducing two parallel story-lines that are seemingly opposite worlds and then mashing them together in a smart and probably most compelling way [if the Governor had captured and retained anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have cared as much]. New characters such as Michonne and The Governor add surprising depth to the series and almost warrant spin-offs so we can see what exactly make these characters tick. Also, fcking zombies. The true and final breakdown of this show in a post Fall season TV post.
American Horror Story: Asylum
Movies like Saw and Hostel have something called ‘torture porn’ affiliated with them. Meaning one of their sole purposes is to show us demented, fcked up stuff, simply because we find it entertaining, with no real motivation or a rather shallow plot. American Horror Story: Asylum has become quite a beacon of tv-allowed torture porn. The first season balanced carefully: a heartfelt romance, a some-what rootable protagonist(s), and ghosts and gore. Asylum seems to have lost a lot of the heart and we find even the barely rootable characters to be sick, demented, and preyed on. There’s little happiness in the 43 minutes of Asylum, and it gets harder to watch without getting upset and disgusted for no meaning. I’m curious to see what happens next, but do I really want to find out?
So what in the heck are you guys watching that I’m not that should be on my radar?
People still watch the Office? More people going to praise Big Bang Theory? I’m pretty interested into why some people watch TV. Once Upon a Time trends quite a bit and has shown up on a lot of Entertainment Weekly covers. I’m not a big network TV drama guy [once you go Premium cable, it’s hard to go back], but I have heard good things from the CW shows Arrow…maybe when things calm down I’ll pick up this Batman-similar hero. Simply because I don’t like not giving things a chance before completely blowing me off. I love geeking out about TV more than anything else in the world, so let’s geek.
The winners of Fall TV so far:
Comedy: Happy Endings
Drama: A tie between The Walking Dead and Boardwalk Empire
Also so far, the fcking greatest gif of fall season.