This season saw a ton of new shows tough it out in primetime. Now that it’s been a few weeks, we can finally judge which shows succeeded, which bombed, and which need to be put out of their misery.
There were so many new shows, not even I could check them all out. There’s only so much one person can handle! So while many shows will be mentioned here, please share your thoughts.
Revenge: This soapy melodrama is the best new show of the fall tv season. It’s bad things happening to bad people, and with all the economic unrest currently going on in the states, it couldn’t be more perfectly timed. While Emily is among the ridiculously wealthy, the audience gets to see her take down her villianous neighbors one by one. While the formula of a “revenge-a-week” was starting to get too predictable, they managed to switch it up just in time by having a wrench thrown in Emily’s well laid out plan. While the show started with a murder, and therefore we know what will come in a few more episodes, it’s been great ride to see just how we get there. The bigger mystery is how the show will function after it reaches the murder that kicked off the show. Where will it go from there to fill in the 22 episode order? While I don’t know the answer, I’m definitely going to be tuning in to find out. Verdict: Success
New Girl: This “adorkable” show rests completely on the likability and charm of its star Zooey Deschenel. Fans familiar with her work in the very twee indie duo She & Him, and her role in (500) DAYS OF SUMMER won’t be surprised. The show got off to a bit of a rocky start with the roommate change when Damon Wayans Jr.’s show Happy Endings was picked up for another season, meaning his character from the pilot had to be written out abruptly. Most shows would have simply reshot his pilot scenes with a new actor, but for some reason New Girl decided to switch one black character out for another. Wayans’ Coach character was the most likable of the roommates, so it’s been an uphill battle for the new roommate. While the show has been off-air most of October, it was just starting to find it’s footing. Hopefully the new episodes in November pick up right where the last one left off. Verdict: Success
2 Broke Girls: The pilot was rough, but had potential to explore the classic “odd couple” story trope in a modern way. However, the more episodes they aired, each one kept aiming at a lower and lower common denominator in the humor. When the biggest jokes are about horse droppings, you know the show is trouble. The only comedy worse than this that hasn’t been cancelled yet is Whitney, and unsurprisingly they were both created by “comedianne” Whitney Cummings. Verdict: Disappointment
Terra Nova: One of the most expensive and longest gestating pilots of the fall season, Terra Nova did have some impressive moments in the first few episodes. There were scenes that felt straight out of a movie in terms of scope and effects. However, those moments are few and far between, and no matter how much money they spend on effects that won’t fix some very basic flaws in the script and characters. For a story about dinosaurs and time travel, I found myself bored and unmotivated to tune in every week. Verdict: Disappointment
The Secret Circle: The new supernatural teen angst show on The CW is a perfect companion to its lead in, The Vampire Diaries. However, it’s definitely still suffering from growing pains and identity issues and it tries to juggle the teen storyline and the adult/overarching town mystery. The first few episodes focused too heavily on the teens for me, but now that the grandmother is in the loop I’m hoping for a big push of the adult plotline. Even with the “who’s sleeping with who” hubbub, there’s enough quality mystery there to keep my invested in at least a few more episodes. Verdict: Success
Hart of Dixie: Another CW show, this harkens back to the network’s WB roots like Gilmore Girls and Everwood. It’s a bit more wholesome and traditional than the other new CW shows, telling the simple story of a young New York, big-city doctor as a fish-out-of-water in Bluebell, Alabama. Rachel Bilson is her adorable self, and the supporting cast has enough talent to make you chuckle, care about their antics, and want them to all warm to Bilson’s Dr. Zoe Hart. Verdict: Success
Pan Am: Another very expensive pilot, this was all flash and no substance. The 60s atmosphere was well executed, but there’s only so much you can do with boring characters and a pointless pilot. While this debuted to strong numbers, I’m not surprised at the huge dive it’s taken in the ratings. I don’t expect this one to survive on the schedule much longer. Verdict: Disappointment
Ringer: While this was Sarah Michelle Gellar’s big return to television, I can’t behind this show even as a major Buffy fan. The acting was wooden, the characters are completely unlikable, and the melodrama just didn’t live up to the promise. For being SMG’s monumental return to television since Buffy ended in 2003, plus it’s CBS production, raised expectations and hype for The CW show and it just couldn’t attain it. The pilot was so dreadfully boring that many did not return. Luckily for it’s fans, the ratings and press were enough for a back 9 episode order to produce an entire season. Verdict: Disappointment
Once Upon A Time: One of the last new fall shows to premiere, this had amazing talent behind it. Film actress Ginnifer Goodwin, Lost writers, and stories that nearly everyone on the planet is familar with - the stakes were high. After the premiere this week, I must stay it was a disappointing start. The characters were flat and boring, particularly in the fairytale world. Without engaging characters, the fantastical stories in both the fairy and real world are going to fall flat. It’s hard to say how this show will be play out down the road - how the worlds will run parallel, how Emma will interact with the fairytale world, and so much more. With only one episode having aired, it may be too early to judge if this show will be a disappointment or success. Verdict: Pending
Lastly, since the season has been underway for several weeks now, there have already been a number of casualties. Cancelled shows are piling up, including Playboy Club, Free Agents, Charlies’ Angels, H8R, and How to Be a Gentleman. Verdict: Bombs
Have you checked out any of the new shows this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!