So Tim took, among other things, umbrage at my listing the start of the fall TV season as a reason to be excited about September back when we ranked the months. Well, I know it’s not a traditional thing to get excited about, but it’s mildly exciting to get a whole new crop of television shows, not to mention the return of old ones. So, in my defense, here are ten things to be excited about in the Fall 2009 TV Schedule:
10. Cougar Town Premieres September 23rd on ABC
Just kidding. I’m not actually excited about this at all, but what was I supposed to do, make a list of nine? That would be irresponsible.
9. FlashForward Premieres September 24th on ABC
In this new show, everyone on Earth simultaneously blacks out for two minutes and 17 seconds, and they all see six months into the future. When time-travel is involved, things can go two ways: Either they can be really awful (Heroes) or pretty cool (Lost). The show features Lost alums and the producer of The Dark Knight, which bodes well, plus, the trailer is pretty enticing.
8. The Jay Leno Show Premieres September 14th on NBC
I’m not really a Jay Leno fan, but I’m very intrigued by the concept of a prime-time talk show. Jay Leno doesn’t really get a lot of respect as a comic. It’s probably because he’s not very funny. But he knows what people find funny (Headlines, Jay-Walking, etc.) and people like him as an interviewer. I predict that the show will actually be a success, since the expectations are low and people like known quantities.
7. Community Premieres September 17 on NBC
Joel McHale’s funny, right? John Oliver’s funny. Chevy Chase was funny like 25 years ago. So why wouldn’t they be funny together in a sitcom?
6. How I Met Your Mother Season Five Premieres September 21 on CBS
Season Four of HIMYM ended in kind of an odd way: Barney and Robin appeared to start dating, Ted fought a goat and took a job teaching, and Marshall literally jumped off a building (granted, it was onto another one, but still). I’m not really crazy about where the plot of the show is now, particularly the Robin/Barney stuff, which reeks of the show trying to be Friends, so HIMYM comes in at #6.
5. Mad Men Season Three Premiered August 16 on AMC
The only reason this isn’t higher is that it’s kind of cheating: I don’t think you can technically “be excited” for something that is currently happening. Nevertheless, Mad Men is currently the best show on television, and the last episode hinted at some of last year’s brilliance. Plus, we’re approaching the Kennedy Assassination, and I think every fan of the show is eager to see how they pull that off.
4. The Hills Premieres September 29 on MTV
Man, it’s make or break time for this show. Can it survive the departure of the brilliant literary mind, Lauren Conrad? I was a big Kristin Cavallari fan back in the Laguna Beach days, but, as I’ve said before, I actually think the show will suffer: There was something about L.C.’s “no drama” attitude that, despite its obvious contradictions, made her appealing in a way that Kristin’s “lots of drama” attitude is grating. But Spencer and Heidi might have a baby, so I’m watching.
3. Bored to Death Premieres September 20 on HBO
Finally, Zach Galifianakis has made it big with The Hangover, so I can now tell people that I’ve been a fan of his since before he got big. I mean, I’ve been on his bandwagon since his Comedy Central Presents from like nine years ago. Plus, I’ve often dreamed of one day becoming famous, just so Jason Schwartzman could play me in a movie. So put these two together in an HBO sitcom, and I’m psyched no matter how banal the trailer looks.
2. Real World/Road Rues Challenge: The Ruins Premieres September 30 on MTV
So The Real World has now churned out three disappointing seasons in a row (even I gave up on Cancun midway through), but the show at least serves as a decent farm system for Challenge contestants. This season’s set-up is “Champions vs. Challengers”: I don’t know why MTV insists on consistently setting the teams up in ways that lead to such competitive imbalance. Why can’t we have a RW/RR Challenge Draft Show? The only other downside of this season, though, is C.T.’s lamentable absence.
1. Curb Your Enthusiasm Season Seven Premieres September 20 on HBO
The new season of the funniest show currently on television is going to feature of a reunion of (possibly) the funniest show ever on television. Do I need to say anything else?