As I mentioned a little while ago, the new fall season is upon us. And yes, as usual, most of the new shows look middling-to-terrible. But there are a few that show some potential, if not promise, and I’ll definitely be tuning in to at least give them a fighter’s chance. You will notice a complete lack of comedies on this list, because I don’t think any of the new comedies look good at all (yes, even GOB and Felicity’s “Running Wilde” looks like crap). Not many of the dramas look great, either, but I had to go with five so, here you go, the one show I’m really looking forward to, and the four other shows I’m least not looking forward to.
5. Detroit 1-8-7 (premieres on September 21 at 10 p.m. on ABC). Yes, yes, we all continually rail against the fact that most new shows tend to be about lawyers, doctors or cops. And we’re right to do so. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get a good one now and again. And this one looks decent, as I understand it’s going to focus a little less on the procedural whodunit and a bit more on all the other drama that comes from being a homicide detective. Plus, it’s got Michael Imperioli, who was mustachedly fantastic as a cop in the clumsy “Life on Mars” retread. The show’s exec producer, David Zabel, was responsible for the dying years of “ER,” and has some “Dark Angel” and “JAG” under his belt, so this show could quickly turn into a melodramatic shitshow, but I’m willing to give it a shot.
Ok, the “do you know where you are … this is homicide,” worries me. But the pickings are slim folks, so if I’ve got to anticipate five shows, this is one of them.
4. No Ordinary Family (premieres on September 28 at 8 p.m. on ABC). Regular folks get super powers. Fool me once, shame on “Heroes.” Fool me twice, shame on me. And yet, with Michael Chiklis and Romy Malco, I’m going to try it out. Sure, it’s also got Julie Benz, last seen happily staining a bathtub, and this clip doesn’t give us much to go on while also managing to look rather schlocky, but I can’t help myself. Deep down, I’m still putting boards in plastic and sliding the long and narrow white box back into my closet (them be nerdy comic book storage references for those of you blessed not to know of such things), and I can’t help but at least give it a chance.
3. Lone Star (premieres September 20 at 8 p.m. on Fox). Many folks said this was the best network pilot to be seen over the spring and summer (to be fair, “The Nine” had this honor a few years back and managed to fail miserably). And it’s a premise with some potential — the show is about a con man who has two identities and two families, and shit is starting to close in on him because, you know, it’s easier said than done to juggle two women and two lives. “Lone Star” could quickly get convoluted, particularly given Fox’s track record when it come to soapy drama, but I’m intrigued.
2. The Event (premieres on September 20 at 8 p.m. on NBC). This show has no business being good, what with it being the latest in a long line of Lostian serials with lots of questions, not to mention the fact that it’s about a big government conspiracy, which AMC’s “Rubicon” is already doing good things with. But I love me some Zeljko Ivanek and Blair Underwood, and there’s just enough here to tempt me. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to turn into a steaming pile, but as with the previous three, I’m trying to remain open minded and give it the benefit of the doubt.
1. Boardwalk Empire (premieres on September 19 at 8 p.m. on HBO). I really tried, though I wasn’t explicitly saying so, to keep both of my lists focused on network TV. But I am looking forward to “Boardwalk Empire” more than any show in quite some time. I have been for a while, as I suspect many of you have been too, and now that many a review have come down to say it’s as good as I hoped, I’m even more stoked. I have to admit to being torn when it comes to Prohibition. On the one hand, I like the sauce, so the notion of illegal booze burns me to my core. On the other hand, my great grandfather was a bootlegger, so I may very well own my being, to some extent, to Prohibition. But none of that matters when you’ve got Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald and Michael K. Williams double fisting guns, does it? I’m fucking giddy.