In Anticipation – Fall TV season 2011

What a short summer! Once again, it is time to sit down and make the final decision. Which shows will make the cut to get programmed to one of 3 PVR’s in my house? After a lackluster season 2, where story-telling was sacrificed at the altar of stunt-casting, Glee is gone. In fact, I never watched the last 6 eps that aired as it felt too much like a chore. I stopped caring and then I erased the eps from the hard drive. What a relief! The docket is cleared to allow for some indulgence. Loyalty (to Buffy) dictates that I pick up Sarah Michelle Gellar’s (SMG) new show “Ringer.”

The buzz surrounding “Ringer” is favorable overall, with SMG in a dual role playing twin sisters in trouble. One takes over the identity of the other and hopefully suspense and intrigue will follow. The anticipatory buzz suggests noir elements and there are comparisons to much beloved and still missed “Veronica Mars” so I am curious but not overly optimistic. That it airs on the CW (Tues, 9pm) works in its favor as the ratings expectations are more modest. If it was to air on Fox, or CBS (the original network that it was developed for), I probably wouldn’t bother investing the time, as the likelihood of it getting cancelled mid-season is so high. But on the CW, it may find its audience. In Canada, Global (Fri, Sept 16 @ 10pm) is picking it up, which should be interesting to see how it fits in with the rest of the programming. The supporting cast is solid, with Nestor Carbonell (Lost’s Richard Alpert) and Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic 4’s Rex Reed, also had a great cameo in Horrible Bosses). SMG is more than capable at handling a dual role. Any Buffy fan can probably recall with fondness the episodes where she and nemesis Faith switched bodies. Both SMG and Eliza Dushku brought subtley to the performances. Her dual role as Buffy-bot was also a blast, albeit the opposite of subtle.

Regarding dual roles, Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries) is really outstanding in her dual role as Elena and Katherine. It is more than just a make-up, hair and costume change. It is a walk, an attitude, a look, a tone, –great acting. I am really looking forward to what season 3 will bring (so are my daughters).

I am also looking forward to the return of Supernatural (what have those Winchester boys been up to lately?) and Castle. True Blood has only one more episode to go, and Breaking Bad has 5 more to go. But then Dexter starts up in early Oct, taking over True Blood’s timeslot. Then the Walking Dead starts up in mid October, filling the gap that Breaking Bad will leave. Sigh, between AMC, TMN and HBO the Sunday night 9-11 pm timeslot is locked down for the better part of the year. It is a struggle to keep up.

Every year, there is a show that is on the bubble for me. Last year it was Chuck (buh-bye) and this year it is Being Erica. These are shows that start strong but seem to be lose their charm with every following season. The reasons for this are sometimes hard to pin down. Often it is a case of there being something else I want to watch more. This is compounded by the time limits of work and family life. After 2 episodes of Chuck’s return last year, I deleted it with no regrets. I simply stopped caring. This year, Being Erica is the one that is at risk. My interest has been waining toward the end of last season. The writers have deviated from the basic premise, have introduced in a bunch of new characters that I don’t care that much about and Erica is becoming less relatable. Time will tell.

So here is the list of what is currently programmed, for now:

Being Erica
Vampire Diaries
Supernatural
Castle
Breaking Bad
True Blood

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