Shiny New Fall TV Part I

a.k.a. Zooey D owns.

At last the new TV Season is here and the networks are literally dying to win back audiences to their comfortable low channel numbers. So what have they got for us? Dinosaurs. Overly Serious Crime Procedurals at least one of which could be called CSI: Fairytale Forest. Extensions of popular franchises. And of course following deodorant trends, every show must be clearly marketed to dude or chick demographics. I remain steadfastly asexual in this regard.

The first batch of shows I saw are definitely skewing toward the chick side.

Clearly the best thing I will watch this year is Fox’s New Girl.


Not only does it have the adorable She of She & Him in the lead but it’s got Deputy Leo from Veronica Mars in it!

If you’re worried about a ManicPixieDreamGirl overdose, don’t. Jess, as played with nervous energy by Zooey Dechanel, is a real character. There’s meat on dem bones! She’s full of insecurities but oddly confident in her akwardness. She’s a sundress wearing girly girl but she can also hang with the boys. In a great scene we see her toppled by a pair of sexy stilettos, laying supine like a turtle turned up on its back resigned to her fate like a sighing Eeyore. Also, she’s funny. Really funny. Really, Really Really funny. I’ve seen Zooey in a lot of stuff and I never thought she could be this funny. I particularly like the way she gets softer as she sells jokes that are getting away from her. It’s like a signature move.

What makes this all work is the show likes Jess. She’s not just a vehicle for quirky humor that we laugh at. We don’t look down on her. We want to be her friend and share a laugh with her.

We want to sing our feelings out loud like she does. I want to sing out that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show.


This is the state I’ll be in if they cancel this after half a season. Minus the pink socks of course.

And now… the not so good.

Full disclosure. I’m a sucker for shows on the CW. Or at least… it starts that way. The problem is they burn through storylines and relationships so quickly that by season two they’re usually left with sensationalist B-stories and odd pairings that make no sense. In otherwords they get soap-ey. The Vampire Diaries had a great first season and there are some who would argue that it’s never been hotter, but for me, it flamed out. That’s the thing about fire it consumes air. We need some breathing time goddamn it.

THE SECRET CIRCLE

So I’m happy to see them branching off a new show using the same formula and with Britt Robertson from the underloved Life Unexpected (First Season only) no less!

The key difference between VD and SC is that The Secret Circle isn’t Twilight meets True Blood, it’s Harry Potter meets the Craft. The main character is a magic noob who must learn to use her latent powers in this world that’s foreign to her -as opposed to Nina Dobrev’s Elena who is just kind of useless. I won’t lie. It has potential. The magic is dark stuff. The pilot starts with a murder and then a man is tortured toward the end, as his lungs fill with water. It’s a far cry from the silliness of Charmed and if things continue in that Stephen King-esque direction we could be in for a good time.

Although the constant alt rock soundtrack really kills any suspense. When did TV shows become Pandora?


And then there was this scene which is just the tween girl heart money shot.

RINGER

I had modestly high hopes for Ringer. Sarah Michelle Gellar back on TV, where she is still adored by Buffy fans, a noir like mystery, what could go wrong? The pilot kind of sucked. Direction was sloppy. Pacing was off. SMG seemed like she was sleepwalking through most of it until it came time for a “rape/murder” scene which she NAILED. My dad was confused by the end, but I think I got it. The cast is mostly window dressing and yet, there’s a good idea here that if nurtured properly could turn into something good. Did I mention how much I hated the police detective and the best friend? If ever there were a call to recast a show, this is it.

I also watched Up All Night which, even as a new parent, failed to make me laugh. The tone was just dead. Like when you pick up the phone and it’s all mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Can’t wait for Person of Interest next week.

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