How did I spend my summer vacation? Waiting for something good to watch on TV! It’s sad I know, but if you are reading an article on this site you can probably relate, even if you refuse to do so publicly. Yes the return of Breaking Bad, Big Brother, True Blood, and the constant stream of new Regular Show episodes have kept me busy (not to mention Leverage, Burn Notice, and a few others), but my DVR hasn’t exactly been in cardio mode. So I decided to compile a quick list of the shows, new and old, that I’m most looking forward to this fall season. Granted, there are a TON of shows I’m looking forward to, but for sanity purposes I’m capping this list at 6. Be sure to fire off in the comments on your favorites and don’t forget to shoot this list to your Twitter and Facebook crew for their thoughts. Time to start getting excited for TV again people!
6. Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy is one of those shows that is good even when it is bad. It sets its own benchmarks and is only comparable to its self. It is easy to forget how difficult it is to forge a show like Anarchy and Breaking Bad where the heroes are so morally flawed, yet the fundamental archetypes of human familial connection are strong enough to overpower what should be seen as despicable codes of logic. Damn you Kurt Sutter for making me care about outlaw bikers.
Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy kicks off in the wake of a couple of major game changers and features a procession of guest stars such as Ashley Tisdale, Joel McHale, Harold Perrineau, and Jimmy Smits. Sons returns September 11 on FX.
I’ve seen the pilot for Revolution and I loved it. I can’t say I’ve seen a better example of world building since LOST, and by that I mean that with Revolution we have the synthesis of setting, concept, and character that comes along very rarely. J.J. Abrams shepherded this into existence, but in terms of the production side of things I’m most excited to see Eric Kripke back in the show-running game. Kripke is a plot alchemist that seems to employ a full grasp of both Joseph Campbell-esque archetypes, and a keen ear for the pop-culture zeitgeist. The cast is fantastic, but you really only need to say one name to lock that in: Giancarlo Esposito. He’s as effective in Revolution as he was in Breaking Bad, but has a much larger scope to play with here and I predict will become one of the most talked about characters on television this year. Revolution premieres September 17th on NBC.
4. American Horror Story: Asylum
American Horror Story surprised everyone by actually ending its story in season one, and subsequently announcing that the second season would kick off a brand new horror tale. So far we know that some cast will return, and the story will take place in an asylum, but outside of that it’s anyone’s guess what the new season will concern. I had an issue with how rushed some of the plot thread resolutions were last season, and thought they easily could have gotten another season out of the story, but I’m game for another round of what Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have cooking. American Horror Story returns October 5th on FX.
There are obvious reasons why Dexter is one of the shows ‘I can’t wait for’. Dexter (Michael C. Hall) was caught in the act by his sister Deb executing Travis Marshall. Cut to black. I really can’t think of many other season finales that has left me wanting to know what happens next more than this. It’s one of those game changers that is so huge, packs such a punch, and possesses so much gravity, that it can literally undo the show if it is handled incorrectly. On the other hand, if it works it could deliver one of the most engrossing overarching plots in television history. Given the unevenness of Dexter in recent years, it is a real gamble for the show, but the ambition is pretty much unparalleled in television and I, for one, am glad they are going for it. Dexter Premieres Sunday, September 30th on Showtime.
I’ll probably catch some flack for putting Supernatural so high up the list, or not, but the fact is Supernatural is good reliable fun and the story telling definitely rises to the level of art, the characters ooze charisma, and the soundtrack has more 70s rock than anything else on the air except for 70s Show Reruns. New show-runner Jeremy Carver seems to think the last couple of seasons were a bit too ‘thick’, even for long time fans and I agree, so I’m anxious to see what adjustments Mr. Carver makes when Supernatural returns on October 3rd on TheCW.
It’s hard to describe what makes Fringe so good, which is really what makes it so good, and while I am deeply saddened to see Fringe heading into its final season I can’t help but feel respect for FOX for giving the show a proper send-off. FOX has lent amazing support to Fringe, considering that it is NOT a ratings heavyweight by any means, entirely on the strength of the story. You could attribute some of that to the kindness of the network, but I prefer to think the story is just so good, it will not be denied. Fringe kicks off it final season September 28th on FOX.