I’m not ashamed to admit it. Here at The Aerie, we like ourselves some TV. And no, it’s not all PBS and Discovery Channel (though I do like a good Masterpiece Mystery). And with our DVR hard drive looking sort of empty, the fall offered a chance to see what new shows might make the highly-coveted “record all new shows” level.
Here’s the ones that we’ve tried.
American Horror Story (FX) From what I can gather, producers Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy seem determined to see how far they can push the limits of basic cable content with a blood, violence and sex drenched haunted house story. They’ve recruited a great cast with Dylan McDermott (who’s not afraid to show he’s been working out) and ex-FNLer Connie Britton as the unsuspecting new tenants and Jessica Lange as the bizarre gothic neighbor. In the first couple of episodes, they’ve definitely shown that they can do the creepy, but now we’ll have to see whether they can integrate a plot that makes it worth sticking around. My guess is 75% to last the season.
Homeland (Showtime) Claire Danes plays a homeland security specialist in a very high end production about a returning Iraq War hero that may or may not have been turned by Islamic terrorists. Danes’ character is smart, but a mess – and not the sort of I’m-so-busy-and-have-man-trouble messes that a lot of female characters are – she’s a drug-popping, manic obsessive. Mandy Patinkin plays her mentor and he automatically adds half a star to whatever show he’s in. The first hour was maybe the best premiere episode that I’ve seen since the first episode of LOST. 95% chance to last the season.
Person of Interest (CBS) Speaking of LOST, in this JJ Abrams show, Michael Emerson makes his way off the island to play a mysterious billionaire who is capable of knowing things that others don’t and manipulating things for his benefit. Not really a stretch from Ben Linus, I’d say. He is interested in using a “machine” capable of filtering nation’s e-data to find out some regular Joe that’s going to be in fatal trouble. He recruits Jesus, I mean Jim Caviezel (a former kick-ass Ranger type) to do the legwork (since Emerson’s character has a bum leg). The early episodes have been good-not-great with good action sequences, but I worry that a gimmicky show premise like this one might wear thin after a while. 60% chance of season survival.
Ringer (CW) Oh, Sarah Michelle Gellar – this is how you come back to TV? In Ringer, Gellar plays estranged twin sisters – both who have some serious baggage and problems. One disappears and the other assumes her identity. Easy peasy, right? We started watching this mostly out of loyalty to Buffy and sort of a morbid curiosity. Essentially this show is beautiful people doing and saying incredibly preposterous things. But at least they’re pretty and wear great clothes. Chance of season survival? Zero. We’ve already canned it.
Terra Nova (FOX) Proclaimed as the most expensive TV series ever (something I’m not sure you want to tout), this time travel/dino/Swiss Family Robinson mash-up features a good-looking family that makes it way to a 22nd century dying Earth’s last chance: a new outpost set 85 million years in the past. The pilot took a lot of time to try and satisfy the time paradox problems (what if i crush a butterfly that means humans never evolve so I don’t exist in the 22nd century?) and why they ended up in such a dangerous time so that we can concentrate on what’s important: Dinosaurs! Let’s be real – dinosaurs are awesome. And these dino-FX are pretty good. The characters and writing are a little wooden and seem to have all been recruited from Clicheville, but we’ll see. Survival chance? 60%.
How about you, anything new on the tube?? (Though I know your tv probably doesn’t have tubes.)