Yonas Michael’s Fall TV NEW SERIES Score Sheet

It’s been a massive fall television season for new series and some very strong ones at that! Personally, some of the most under-promoted new shows had surprisingly strong debuts (Terra Nova, Unforgettable), while some of the most anticipated failed to meet expectations (New Girl, The Playboy Club). It’s definitely a great year for quirky comedies, strong female characters, creative procedurals, and beautiful blondes with deadly agendas!

NEW GIRL
While the series opened with a hilarious and heartwarming pilot episode, the show lost me by the second episode. The recasting of the hilarious Damon Wayans, Jr. seemed to have set the entire series off course: The novelty of Zooey Deschanel’s “offbeat” character quickly wears off by Episode 1.03, the replacement for Wayans brings nothing to the table, and, frankly, the other two roommates’ romantic lives aren’t as interesting as the writers seem to think they are. But, what do I know? New Girl just got a full series pickup by FOX. C+

UNFORGETTABLE
The twisty procedural about Poppy Montgomery being a detective who uses her photographic memory and her inability to “forget” anything to solve crimes may seem hokey. But it’s not bad. Not bad at all. It may be nothing innovative as far as detective dramas go, but all three episodes screened were consistently enjoyable and kept me interested enough to keep watching. B-

 RINGER
The highly-anticipated comeback series for Sarah Michelle Gellar may not have hit a home run in its pilot episode, which was plagued with shoddy production value (CBS clearly didn’t bother properly funding it), some forced dialogue, and a lot of narrative jammed into forty-two minutes. But the following two episodes quickly turned the series into one of the juiciest new dramas of the fall. And it just keeps getting better! B+

2 BROKE GIRLS
A surprising gem from CBS, the multi-camera show starring Kat Dennings and co-created by funny woman Whitney Cummings is easily the best comedy series of the season. The show’s fresh take on the all-too-familiar “rich girl-meets-working class” hook really works, mainly due to the lead actresses’ onscreen chemistry. How can you not love these two? A-

REVENGE
Acting as Ringer‘s sister series (no pun intended), the Emily Van Camp revenge fantasy hour is just as juicy, twisted, and melodramatic, as Van Camp returns to the Hamptons to extract retribution on the people who betrayed her father ten years ago. The show doesn’t move as fast, but certainly does a good job of keeping the viewer engaged by dipping its feet in the salacious lives of its ensemble cast. B+

UP ALL NIGHT
Nothing terribly groundbreaking, but nothing terrible either. I definitely expected more from the Will Arnett-Christina Applegate comedy about parenting, as fans of both, but the single-camera comedy stays in mostly mild territory with the exception of a few quirky one-liners. B-

THE PLAYBOY CLUB
The Hugh Heffner-narrated (yes, Hugh Heffner-narrated) pilot episode was mediocre at best, but it showed some promise with the lead “bunny” accidentally murdering a powerful mobster with her heel. Yeah, this probably wasn’t headed anywhere good. C

THE SECRET CIRCLE
The CW’s new guilty pleasure series about witches is just as predictable as it is addictive. And I’m shamelessly hooked! The acting may be questionable, especially from the newer actresses, the dialogue may be written to cater to thirteen-year-old Twilight fans, and the concept may be overdone, but it’s certainly another hit for Kevin Williamson. B+

TERRA NOVA
One of fall’s few sci-fi series has very little chance of stick around and it’s a damn shame: The show, surprisingly, very good. The two-hour series premiere effectively made you care about the core family, believe the  prehistoric setting of the show, and spot the signs of a season-long mystery arc about what Terra Nova’s founder is really up to. Fingers crossed this one gets an opportunity to get through the season (FOX has a bad track record with this). B

SUBURGATORY
The quirky comedy may have overdone the quirk in its pilot episode, resulting in my lowest rated comedy pilot, but its second episode did a  pretty bang-up job of redeeming it. As long as the series remains in that balance of satire and reality, I’ll be sticking around at this barbecue. B-

WHITNEY
Easily the most panned comedy series  this season, Whitney Cumming’s self-titled sitcom really isn’t that bad. Its pilot suffered from a few tired jokes,  an over-reliance on stereotypes, and even more of an over-reliance on its laughing track. But, after one more misstep in its second episode, the show finally got it right with a downright hilarious and charming third episode. Come on, Cummings. I’m rooting for you here! B

Yonas
Los Angeles | Special Contributor Email: yonas@theTVsisters.comYonas is cool enough to be the only guy who writes for The TV Sisters. When he's not glued to a "Homeland" marathon or a rerun of "The Weakest Link", he likes to write shows and stuff: http://yonasmichaeltv.com/
http://yonasmichaeltv.com/

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