Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Best New Shows (So Far, While There's Still Some Time to Save Them)

Since I've missed the past few nights of television (gasp), I was going to post my picks for the best new shows, until I got home late last night to find that EW had just done their annual Best 5 New Shows, so DAMNIT, they beat me to it, but since I have nothing to write about since everything since Sunday and Monday is still waiting to be watched at home, I'm going to do it anyways. Plus since numbers for some of my faves are abysmal, NOW IS THE TIME TO START TELLING YOU TO WATCH. Why are you NOT WATCHING?

1. Friday Night Lights - I have to say it is my favorite, with each episode feeling like a mini-indie movie, and emotionally the most powerful and realistic despite the fact that I don't live in a small town or ever cared about football. Of course, since I love it, it's bound to fail (and so far it is, with some of the worst numbers by far... WHATS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? WHY ARE YOU WATCHING THIS SEASON'S HORRID Dancing with the Stars? At least in Canada, the ratings are horrid and CTV shoved it aside to the oblivion of Saturday nights, not put it at number 4 in the ratings? Of course, Canadians still aren't tuning into FNL but maybe it's the American Football thing?). (Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC/Global, though moving to Monday Oct 30th at 10pm for a trial run).

2. Ugly Betty - You all know my new love for Betty by now. It's funny, it's campy, it competes with Barney for the best one liners on television, it's heartwarming and despite the somewhat predictable storylines, I cannot wait to see the next episode everyweek (but not to find out what Senior Meade did with Fey). (Thursdays at 8pm on ABC/CITY)

3. Heroes - Clunky dialogue aside, the premise alone saves this show and with the added Masi Oka as the lovable Hiro, it makes for intriguing television. Good popcorn fun! (Mondays at 9pm on NBC/Global)

4. The Nine - The subsequent episodes following the pilot haven't felt as fresh as the pilot, but the first 10 minutes of each episode, that show 10 minutes more of the 52 hour hostage is gripping and emotional. The connections made between the Nine people from the bank hostage are interesting enough, though I can't help feel that they missed an opportunity by skipping so fast towards regular life following the horrific incident. Still, as more details leak out about the hostage, the more I'm invested. Again, which means this show will probably die since the numbers are not looking good for The Nine. (Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC, Tuesdays at 8pm on CTV)

5. Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip - Not the slam dunk we thought it would be since Aaron Sorkin seems to be living out his idealic life through his show. Still, the banter between Matthew Perry, a surprisingly likable Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson are enough to keep me coming back. This could have been higher on the list, if they had some better sketches in the show within the show, and stopped being so smug (that's why I turned The West Wing off, don't make that mistake again). (Mondays at 10pm on NBC (for now), Sundays at 10pm on CTV)

6. Smith - Well, this one is gone already, but I was hooked despite the morally questionable characters. Anything to hear Shohreh Aghdashloo speak, anything to watch Virginia Madsen, and anything to watch Johnny Lee Miller and Simon Baker be bad boys.

7. Brothers and Sisters - Yes, I said it. Brothers and Sisters, and apparently I'm not the only one, since it seems to be doing quite well for ABC (in Canada it loses to Studio 60 which actually is a hit with similar ratings to Hereos). The show where we all came to see if Calista Flockhart still had any width to her, and left wanting to see more of the druggie brother (Dave Annable), the gay brother (Matthew Rhys), and Rachel Griffiths. Sally Field also seems to be having the time of her life with this role, and now add to it the Everwood crew (Greg Berlanti as showrunner, Treat Williams in guest spot), and I'm sticking by this show. (Sundays at 10pm on ABC/Global)

8. Men in Trees - Yes, I know. It probably moves feminism back 20 years. Who cares. It's cute. It's fluffy. It's the television version of cotton candy northern style. The flirting between Emily Bergl and Derek Richardson as Annie and Patrick is enough to warrant attention, and I like that they are exploring a new relationship slowly just as much as they are exploring Marin's (Anne Heche) new found singledom (and obvious spark with Jack (James Tupper)). (Fridays at 9pm on ABC/CITY)

9. Help Me Help You - I didn't want to watch it, I did by mistake, and I laughed out loud a LOT. It's up against Veronica Mars and House so I'm not sure how long this will last but this was a complete surprise to me at how much I quickly got into this show. Ted Danson got back his cred. (Tuesdays at 9:30pm on ABC)

10. Justice - Two words: Victor Garber. (Mondays at 9pm on FOX/CTV)

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