I remember the good old days, when September meant a new round of TV shows to be excited about. There would be a bevy of new comedies, some action shows (Air Wolf, The A Team), and maybe a drama that interested me. By November I likely would have only stuck with a couple of them, but for a TV freak like me, it was akin to Christmas morning, with each night bringing something new.1
That was 30 years ago, when I was an only child with a single mom who worked two jobs and my evenings were spent alone in front of the television. Things have changed significantly. I have kids that suck up a lot of our TV time. A wife to share prime time with. And a preference for live sports and reading over hour long dramas.
Still, it is disappointing to read how this fall’s new shows all seem to seriously blow. NPR’s TV critic recommended none of the new shows on the four networks. He said it was the first time in 35 years of reviewing TV shows that was the case. Bill Simmons’ buddy Alan Sepinwall was less harsh, saying a couple shows were decent. In his view, though, there are more flat-out awful new shows than promising ones this fall.
It’s hard for me to get sucked into new shows. I still have two seasons of The Wire to finish up, my addiction going off the rails in early summer. The handful of shows I do watch are all gearing up this week. And I’m several episodes behind on 30 for 30.
I want there to be a new show I can get in on at the ground floor, rather than learning about it after two seasons when it’s better just to wait for the complete DVD set (see Mad Men). We don’t have HBO, so Boardwalk Empire is out. Terriers on FX has decent buzz, but adding another hour of recording to the DVR feels like the first step in deleting them without ever watching in a month or two.
So for now I think I’ll stick with my Wire DVDs, Modern Family, Cougar Town, and NBC’s Thursday comedies.2
If I’m missing something good, let me know.