Every fall, a bunch of new network TV shows start, and you have to figure out what’s worth your time and what you can ignore immediately. The sad fact remains that for every Modern Family, there are two Running Wildes, three FlashForwards and at least 34 $h*! My Dad Says. Well, this year, you’re in luck. Because we watched hours of TV—and trust us when we say it wasn’t always good. Below are four of our picks for this fall season.
NEW GIRL (FOX)
Remember when you thought Zooey Deschanel couldn’t possibly be any more endearing? You can’t get five minutes into FOX’s New Girl (working title without realizing how wrong you were. Jessica Day (Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer) goes through a bad breakup and subsequently moves in with three single guys: Schmidt (Max Greenfield, Ugly Betty), nick (Jake Johnson, No Strings Attached) and Coach (Damon Wayans Jr., The Underground). Jess is socially awkward, goofy, dorky—and totally adorable. New Girl is fast—really fast. as in, don’t get up outside of commercials to take a bathroom break or you’ll completely lose track of the plot. But considering the alternatives, New Girl is charming—and worth the watch.
PAN AM (ABC)
Vintage worked its way onto television in 2007 with AMC’s hit Mad Men and climbs to 30,000 feet with the ABC premiere of Pan Am. The aptly titled show follows the crew (Jonah Lotan, Christina Ricci, Karine Vanasse, Kelli Garner and Margot Robbie) of the ever-so-stylish Pan am airline in all of its 1960s glory. There’s mystery, intrigue and even espionage–one stewardess turns out to be a covert spy. Fans of Mad Men will be delighted to know the mile-high series is different enough to be original, and similar enough to be just as deliciously nostalgic.
Imagine being dropped in the middle of Desperate Housewives as a normal, new York City 16-year-old, and you have the general idea of Suburgatory. Tessa (Jane Levy, Shameless) is being raised by her single father, George (Jeremy Sisto, Law & Order), who is worried about her circle of influence in new York City—so he packs up and moves the small family to the suburbs. The plot here could easily flounder, but it doesn’t. Suburgatory is witty, understated and a complete breath of fresh air.
Creepy thriller/dramas seem to be a theme this fall season–beginning with NBC’s Grimm. The pilot follows Detective Nick Burkhardt )David Giuntoli, Road Rules) who discovers his legacy: He’s a descendant of the brothers Grimm and is bestowed with a rather uncomfortable gift-seeing “beasts” for what they really are. Proving its “The stories were real” tag-line, Grimm blends fairytale fiction with reality into a concoction that sci-fi fans will adore, and while it is fairly cheesy at times (think, big-bad wolf goes after a young, pretty, blonde jogger wearing—you guessed it—a red sweatshirt) the promise for an interesting show is definitely here. The dark aspects to the plot are certainly more in keeping with the original stories.
Heather is a writer, editor, Nutella connoisseur and Seattle transplant by way of Great Britain and Orlando. Follow her on Twitter @hdcroteau.