Fall Offerings

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

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

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

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.)


32 thoughts on “Fall Offerings

  1. We don’t have cable. When we moved to the country we made a choice: Internet or cable.

    It’s only at times like these when I read about what other bloggers are watching that I get a little teary. *sniffle*

    Enjoy the new season and if there’s something that really captures your attention, blog about it and then I can watch it when it comes out on dvd…like we did with Mad Men. We are so late with shows we are retro. :-)

    • BD — the nice about that strategy is being able to take a longer view of what’s been good and what was maybe just hype or a flash-in-the-pan. The only hard part would be keeping away the spoilers.

  2. I watched one ep of AHS and that was enough. Good cast, creepy stuff, and no plot. Seemed pointless to me, and I’m not really that into horror anyway. Other than that, no. I’m almost finished watching The Wire. that’s ‘new’ to me. Person of Interest looked like it could be good but I didn’t know if it was going to be as complex as Lost, which my brain can’t handle anymore.

    • AHS is definitely going to have to come up with a good season-long arc to keep people around. Otherwise, it’s just good actors acting scary. Though I’m willing to give a show that looks interesting a chance to find its footing.

      Person of Interest is no where nearly as intricate or convoluted as LOST!

  3. We just got basic cable last week, which means we have TV stations for the first time in almost 2 years! We were hooked on Hulu and Netflix for old favorites, but now we’ve discovered The Walking Dead. I’m lovin’ me some zombies!

  4. I’ve never been a huge TV watcher- but I love Masterpiece Mystery. I’m a sucker for a good mystery, particularly the British ones. Our dvr died a couple of weeks ago, and the only sad part of that was that we had two Inspector Lewis episodes left to watch.

    I’ve been curious about the American Prime Suspect, too, but have decided I don’t want to make the time for that right now. Maybe I’ll catch it on dvd sometime….

    • We really liked the last two Lewis mysteries! I’m sure they’ll pop up on Netflix or in repeats soon.

      We just couldn’t pull the trigger on Prime Suspect. I think it was the hats.

  5. Shows like Homeland and American Horror Story make me sad we don’t have cable. Though, I am not sad enough to pay monthly fee. I’ll wait for Netflix to offer the shows – after one or two seasons have passed. I’m glad you liked Homeland and AHS … my first impression was … well.. impressive.

    I’m watching past seasons of Mad Men and The Walking Dead. I’m also loyal to Dexter and BBC’s Being Human; though I have to wait a long time to watch those shows. Doctor Who is another show I enjoy…. late the game.

    • LD — I think Dexter is one of those shows that we completely missed the boat on — a number of people have recommended it to us. That’s definitely ripe for being the next one we watch on DVD.

  6. I am watching Terra Nova and American Horror Story. Terra Nova is entertaining, but that is pretty much all I can say about it. AHS is insane. the shovel scene this week, completely caught of guard. I am not sure I can watch much more of the young maid though. My wife might kill me.

  7. Masterpiece Mystery is probably the only show I’ll actually stay home for and watch; otherwise most TV seems so throwaway these days. (Character development? Hello?) The Walking Dead got my attention in reruns, though the new season’s opener featured some of the weaknesses of the show—the more annoying characters taking up too much of the plot, relationship dramas, and—well, not to be a spoiler for people who haven’t seen the episode, but I don’t like seeing children hurt or killed in dramas. Terra Nova is fun, kind of like Jurassic Park meets Lost, but whether it’s enough to keep it on the air is questionable. American Horror Story has promise, but as cranky mentioned, it doesn’t have a strong plot and is in danger of being swallowed up by its own creepy effects.

    Then again, I have a pile of reading to get through for my online class. So perhaps I shouldn’t be watching TV at all, Steve. *sigh*

    • I was shocked by The Walking Dead’s premiere final minutes. That was completely unexpected — and you’re right, there’s a significant chunk of those characters that I wouldn’t mind seeing get eaten.

      I hope that Terra Nova can find a happy middle to be entertaining. I miss Poirot and the Beloved misses Zen from Masterpiece. I miss Zen’s girlfriend.

  8. No premium channels or DVR here, so of those you’ve mentioned I’ve seen Person of Interest & Tera Nova.

    Person of Interest – entertaining and it’s fun watching a “good guy” kill the bad guys instead of just beating them up, for God’s sake, but the whole “data-mining to figure out who the victim of the week is … but we only know their SSN” idea makes me laugh. I’ll watch it until it’s cancelled.

    Tera Nova – The special effects are good, but I just wish they’d DO SOMETHING other than go out in the woods and run from dinosaurs. Supposedly there’s an episode coming up about the first guy who went through ‘the portal’ and spent 180+ days alone setting up the place. I’m thinking that should have been scheduled closer to the front of the series after they got all the “who is who” crap out of the way. Again, I’ll watch it until FOX decides it’s too expensive and starts using claymation dinos.

    • GOM — yeah, I can’t quite figure out how Person of Interest is going to make the week-in week-out story not feel like sort of the same thing. Of course, Law & Order gave us 15 years of essentially the same thing. That worked out pretty well for them.

      As for Terra Nova, I hope the characters gel a little better. I see flashes of it sometimes and then they fall back into cliches.

  9. I may need to start to watch at least one of these. mostly I have been doing Cartoons (Phineas and Ferb anyone?) and NCIS reruns. and not surprisingly, I have been just plain turning off the television quite a bit.

  10. We made our TV by hand so yeah, Steve, it has tubes. ( :D ) Sorry.

    Thaks for the reviews, I feel like you saved us at least an hour of our lives. We’ve seen nothing interesting, anyway we’re too busy griping that BBC is short on long-lived mystery shows.

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