Despite the fact that Bones jumped the gun way too early this year, and thus wrecked my plans to post this before my TV season officially began (my own fault for forgetting it was early, but still), we're going to pretend that didn't happen and have another round of "here are the shows I'm watching this fall, in order of my excitement level and why." Because I want to establish traditions, darn it!
In the interest of getting everyone to read this, I'll even force myself not to specify spoilers that may have influenced my decision. (mutter grumble)
First thought: OK, I really do not like how crime shows keep slipping farther and farther out of my central-interests core. This is not who I am! I am not a sci-fi/comedy kind of person! Am CRIME SHOW JUNKIE. Want my identity back now.
1. Pushing Daisies
An obvious first-choice pick, because it's pretty much the only show I am legitimately, 100% looking forward to seeing again. Mostly when I think about the upcoming TV season, it's "RAWR. NOT DONE WITH DOCTOR WHO, GO AWAY," but then I make a special exception for this show because it's sweetness and delight. Even with the less-than-pleasing spoilers that hit earlier this summer, they all seem to have washed away, leaving only a feeling of warm contentment. I need my Ned and Chuck, people. I need my undiluted syrupy sweetness, and my Digby, and flippant comments from my cranky Emerson. Come back to me, show! Right now!
2. How I Met Your Mother
In the grand scheme of things, with all the sucky finales and the fear of potential changes, I'm surprised to discover how this one sneaked its way to the front of the pack. Especially with Stella in tow! But I cannot lie, I have missed the incredible humor - as deft and tightly woven as the writing is, the best part is how it actually makes me laugh out loud - and I'm really excited to see where Barney/Robin goes. I could take or leave the ship, but I'll be damned if I can leave that look in Barney's eyes. (also: fantastic internet goodies like Barney's Blog. Looking forward to the return of those along with the show).
3. Private Practice
I was devastated when this show didn't come back after the strike, while now my edge-of-my-seat anticipation has tapered off in the long months since then...but this show has Addison, who is AWESOME, and I can't wait to see her in action again. (please note, "action" is used here in a generalized sense, and should not be assumed to be preceded by the words "getting some") I also miss Violet. And Cooper. Individually. I'm tacking my interest in Violet/Cooper up on a shelf until he removes that vile "Charlotte" creature from his person. But for the most part, um, Addison! And Taye Diggs! I mean Sam. We totally learned to call him Sam, remember?
I keep getting really excited for this show, only to remember that Megan's gone, which dampens that excitement pretty fast. Still. I'll always have Charlie's fantastic hair (even if it takes me a couple of months to adjust to every change), and the bond between the brothers, plus - as long as I can cling to it - one of my top 5 'ships on TV in Charlie/Amita. I cannot wait for more Cute Moments! And now that I think about it, too, SPY'S RECAPS. Make the world go round, and thus all shows she touches worth watching.
5. Survivor: Gabon
Y HALO THAR, WORLD OF COMPETITIVE SWIMMING, CLIMBING, AND FOOD-GATHERING! Even with a long summer break to cool off, I appear to still be hot like burning for the one and only reality show that's both stood the test of time and claimed my heart. I'm still down for another round of newbies with challenges, complaining, fantastic wildlife shots and social ostracizing. Not sure how I feel about your premiere being delayed a week and extended by an hour in an attempt to steamroller Grey's Anatomy's premiere, though. I know your station and ABC have a long-standing feud over Thursday nights, but God, this is an aggressive first attack.
6. Cold Case
Following HIMYM's under-the-radar strategy, and banking on its years of experience as my most reliable workhorse combined with a season of memorable standalones last year, this one is actually leading my crime shows. I put Numb3rs before it because that's the one I'm technically more excited about, but in the long run Cold Case has the fewest detractions going for it. There were no big cast changes, I like all the characters, and they weave casework with personal storylines in some of the most skillful ways on TV.
I'm RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF EXCITED for the premiere (if we were basing this list on premieres alone, CSI would have taken the top slot again), and I have to admit to piqued curiosity as far as the playing-out of Grissom's storyline goes. What if they could keep their pre-final-four streak of unexpectedly good episodes going? That hope is tempered by my fear that everything will go topsy-turvy and take the show plunging with it. I'm looking forward to the new season's potential, but I'm equally nervous that my feelings might change in an instant.
8. Grey's Anatomy
Remember that big, shouty, angry post I had a few days ago? Yeah, I'm looking forward to this season anyway. I don't know! It's becoming a crack-addiction show! Maybe it's the fact that no matter how bad it gets, I am rarely at a loss for words. I can review GA episodes to death, what with their eleventy billion storylines going on at once, and if smart analysis fails, then I get to stick with a rantview. *grins*
*weighs options* On the bad side, there's Kutter (and Taub) and really gross visuals. On the good side, there's whopping amounts of House/Wilson tension, and probably still some Wilson angsting. And Cuddy. And Thirteen. And that girl from Dr. Horrible in the premiere! OK, I've talked myself into getting excited. Also, possibly due to my recently discovered love for Clark Adison, Foreman's air of mildly annoyed detachment as he oversees the proceedings is a lot funnier and more entertaining than I remember. Plus, you know, House's sarcastic flippancy in general = good times.
I lot of my excitement was concentrated in the premiere...which was good, but now I'm not sure how to feel. I have a lot of love going for Booth and Hodgins, and a general enjoyment of the humor that this show brings, but a lot of displeasure for the handling of certain storylines. It's not as easy to drop-kick as it seems like it would be, but I am also emphatically not anywhere near a feeling like "this show is so great."
Shattered a lot of my trust with that finale, show. As much as I want to see Ziva and Abby again, and believe that the old team will get put back together soonish, I fear how long it might take for that to happen. In the meantime, I don't want to see your new characters, infuriating new director included (OMG, I had almost forgotten about him. *all cylinders now firing on negative feelings*). I have to admit the promo looks promising, but after last year's hit-or-miss season, I think I'm going to have to see an episode to overcome my generally lukewarm feelings.
12. CSI: Miami
I don't even have the energy to be excited about mocking it right now. *waves hand limply* Go. Bring me Eric/Calleigh, or at least more UST. Resolve the Julia nonsense. Don't forget the scads of murderous rich people, now. *watches promo* Oh no, I take that back! I am suddenly FULLY READY to embrace this show's ridiculous transformation to cracktastic cheese again. There will be Fashion Shows! There will be more on the continuing saga of Natalia hate! I want to bust out the word "asshattery" in relation to Ryan again! And so help me God, there had better be Yelina at some point to rescue my sanity, too.
13. CSI: NY
This show is headed down towards Without a Trace territory with alarming speed (it's below Miami, for god's sake). After that dull-as-sin finale, I'm frankly having a hard time mustering up any enthusiasm for its future. Does Lindsay's hair look good again yet? God, I really don't want to wade back into the mess that is Danny's Issues. Guess I'll just pin all my hopes on the potential for good Flack screen time, then. Or maybe how the Favorite Characters circle, with two spaces available next to Flack, is swinging back towards Mac & Stella's way.
I miss that one brilliant post-season-11 year this show had in 06-07, when I was brimming with love for the new Kovac family and Gates and Sarah. Right now it feels like it's going to be another year of cases that just happen, while I play a waiting game of balances to see how long it takes all my favorite characters to leave and/or if they can get down to fewer than three I actually like. But it's also their last year and I've been promised a slew of familiar faces to return. I'm going to keep playing the wait-and-see game for now.
15. Law & Order: SVU: You know the rule; duty calls. Guest stars will abound, some of whom will actually grab my attention; there will be Stabler and Benson drama that I'll roll my eyes at in theory but probably eat with a spoon in practice; I will continue to bemoan the lack of Munch, and a lot of the rest is going to ride on how I feel about the new ADA. It is really hard to think of this show as anything but filler material, and yet I don't know what I'd do without it.
16. Without a Trace
How the hell this one limped back onto the lineup after I finally drove it out in May, I don't know, but it did. It'll probably be yet another year of fast forwarding, and mini reviews full of complaining/eye-rolling and hating Jack Malone something fierce, but I feel a need to watch Samantha juggle motherhood with the FBI, or something. And, well, Danny's always pretty. Maybe someday he'll even talk to Elena again (and maybe pigs will fly).
-New Adventures of Old Christine and Til Death fall under my "no reviews for you, but if I'm bored and/or procrastinating and have time, I may watch you for purposes of vague amusement and/or mention you occasionally." They do a decent job of bringing the funny.
-Law & Order will remain on reserve as a potential time-filler, if Alana de la Garza looks particularly fantastic in a preview one week
-And I still haven't decided how I feel about The Office. Officially, we're separated. If it really makes an effort to get back together with me, though, I might be willing to give it a second chance. But I'm not sure - I'm pretty content just playing with Jim and Pam on my own. There's vastly more cuddling.
Lost Off Last Year's Watchlist
-Moonlight and New Amsterdam, kind of, but they were never actually on it in the first place, and I'm frankly a little relieved that they've been put to rest.
-Technically "Back to You" was on last year's Fall Preview, but that thing got axed from Network RS after one episode, so...
-Pushing Daisies has joined the review pile
-Otherwise, no *real* new shows. However, am eyeing "Dollhouse" as a candidate for a summer replacement fandom. It'll depend on its reception by actual watchers...I don't even remember what it's about right now, except that I love Eliza Dushku, and the title sounds compelling. Hence my keeping an open mind about it without feeling a desire to tune in.
EDIT: Shows in Holding -Lost, American Idol, Medium, whatever the hell Torchwood and Doctor Who are doing in 2009...these are all things we'll discuss when the time comes. At the moment, they're so far off it's not worth mentioning.
P.S. As I made the YouTube rounds looking for new season promos to kick-start my interest in the above shows, I found a really awesome extended promo from last year for Private Practice, which works like a movie trailer to sum up the background of Addison's character in a nutshell so that even if you don't watch Grey's Anatomy, you can be convinced to watch her in this show. Oh my God, this is so fantastic, I've watched it at least twice. I'm so enchanted by this clip, that somehow I want it to be an actual movie that I would so go watch in the theater. It's that compelling. Or maybe I'm just blinded by my incredible love for Addie. Either way.
Here! Try it on for size!