Reasons I know it’s autumn:
- The pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks.
- Everything I could possibly consume now comes in optional pumpkin flavors.
- I can wear a sweater and beanie at all times, and no longer be accused of insanity.
- My favorite shows are returning like the Jedi. Or the King. Or whatever non-nerdy thing is known for its remarkable return.
- New shows are premiering and making me feel like a giddy schoolgirl at the start of a crush.
When you're done listening to Bon Iver and running around in the leaves, you should make yourself something warm and cinnamon-y and watch pretty people do pretty/funny/dramatic things on television. Here are some new and shiny faces that you should know about:+
The New Normal (NBC)
For better or for much worse, Ryan Murphy is the gay ambassador to mainstream television. His newest show tells the tale of an L.A. gay couple and the single mom they hire as a surrogate. One Million Moms has already started their trademark "why are we letting homosexuals outside where they can be seen" ruckus, which is ironic given the fact that Ellen Barkin's character counts herself as one of them. I can't say I'm terribly jazzed about this series. I can say that I'm pretty much not okay with it. It's typical Ryan Murphy fare, with a whole lotta stereotyping and celebrity cameos to distract from the plot. There's also some really shitty things said about lesbians, including the main characters referring to them as "ugly men." Like, really Ryan Murphy? Is that fucking necessary? The one bright and shining star of this episode was Julie Goldman's face, which reminded me that I'd rather be watching In Your Box Office. Apparently Leisha Hailey will be on the show later on in the season, but I love her so much that I want to sweep her up and carry her away before she can be a part of this Shit Train to Shitville. September 11, 9:30 PM EST.
The Mindy Project (FOX)
Mindy Kaling is totally adorable, guys. I love seeing female comedians do well, and I'm glad she's finally having her moment. Sure, the Straight Girl Unfulfilled Without Boyfriend narrative is tired and a little dangerous, and maybe I can see where this show is going a little too clearly, but the jokes are pretty smart. Kaling is just the right amount of self-deprecatory, and it's funny. It's sad when I am shocked and amused by a comedy pilot being genuinely funny, but this managed to make me laugh, and that is no small accomplishment. There's also enough guest appearances by SNL and The Office alums that it took me a second to realize this is broadcast on FOX and not NBC. If you like cute and funny girls who are also doctors, you should check this out. September 25, 9:30 PM EST.
Has the Sherlock Holmes narrative been exhausted yet? In the last five years, there’s been the movie series with Robert Downey Jr., the loose reinterpretation via House M.D., and that BBC show with the hobbit and the guy with the intense browline. Are we all Sherlocked out? No, I say! Because in this version, Watson is played by Lucy Liu, and if you can’t get down with that then there is just no hope for you. Gender-bending is my favorite way to remake anything - I’m still waiting with bated breath for the all-female version of The Expendables. This series’ Sherlock is fresh out of rehab, and Dr. Joan Watson is his roomie there to keep him sober. They live in Brooklyn and solve mysteries and say snarky things to each other! I’m on board. September 27, 10 PM EST.
Can I be the one to say this? Okay, I'm gonna be the one to say this. Do we really need another show on rich white thirty-something "sassy bottom/straight top" gay men this season? Was that necessary? Simply having a white gay man on a show, or even a show where a white gay man is one of the main characters, does not mean that we can give it a gold star for diversity and walk away happy. Here's a show based on the lives of the creators of Will and Grace. My only feeling about it is that I'd like to see a show on a network television, comedy or drama or dramedy or I don't even care, where a lesbian is the lead. A queer lady of any orientation, really. Let's do this, mainstream. I know you suck at everything that isn't patriarchy or heteronormativity, but can you just try? For me? Thanks, mainstream. September 24, 8:30 PM EST.
Beauty and the Beast (The CW)
Beauty and the Beast is the Disney movie I most identified with as a child because I too am French and a brunette and hairy all over love to read. The CW has its own version of the fairy tale starring Kristin Kreuk and someone whose name is Kiwi Jay Ryan. I would be more behind this if they were both chicks and making out all the time, or if he was actually super ugly and beastlike instead of having a SMALL SCAR ON HIS CHEEK but you know, details. Let’s hope they do this right and don’t sell abusive relationships as romantic. Cross your fingers, kids. October 11, 9 PM EST.
A soap opera about Nashville, you say? I would be cool with this show if I hadn’t seen all the promotional material, which has the main female leads in super awkward physical poses. Like look at this image up here. How freaking uncomfortable does Connie Britton look? And I’m pretty sure Hayden Panettiere’s typically short arms have been photoshopped to the approximate length of her legs and where is her head sitting on her body and nothing about her stance is human oh my god I feel disturbed. I saw posters on the NYC subway this weekend and was thoroughly creeped out by the weird angle of Connie Britton’s head as she sat on the guitar throne. Anyway, this show is about country star drama in Nashville, and since it’s a soap opera, it is probably also about kissing drama and money drama and surprise love children drama. But it’s country music, so they can write some ballads about it! October 10, 10 PM EST.
Since the inability to access the Internet and thus Autostraddle is probably the worst thing we can imagine, here is a show about it. And it’s not just the Internet, it’s electricity and apparently all forms of energy that have inexplicably stopped working (??? I am by no means god’s gift to physics or science or numbers in general, but aren’t there ways to generate energy that don’t require modern technology?). This leaves the world in a post-apocalyptic state, which is very "in" right now thanks to Katniss and Co. And if you like bow and arrows, holy bajeesus this show has a ton of them! Bella Swan’s dad and a pretty lady in a leather jacket and some other people have decided to go on a quest to return the ring to Mordor and bring energy back to the planet. Then they can get back to downloading their Real L World torrents already. There are also some swords. September 17, 10 PM EST.
I know. This is an image from The Matrix. Unfortunately, Vegas is not about Trinity kicking ass all over the place, but I couldn’t find any good promotional images for the show and as a website for queer ladies, I figured that the only takeaway point you need is that Carrie-Anne Moss is on this show. Otherwise all the other main characters are male, and either for or against the new sheriff in town, played by Dennis Quaid. Yawn. Carrie-Anne Moss wears green and is Carrie-Anne Moss. September 25, 10 PM EST.
The Carrie Diaries (The CW)
I think we’ve all spent an afternoon watching Sex and the City reruns while finishing off a tub of cheese popcorn. If the second movie didn’t turn you off the franchise entirely, The CW is reigniting your interest by creating a show about Carrie in high school. The premise of SATC was four women having sex in the city because they were of legal age to do so, so I’m not sure if this is going to become First Base and the City or Probably Statutory and the City. Midseason.
Emily Owens, M.D. (The CW)
Emily Owens was super nerdy in high school and doesn’t like high school drama. Good thing she is now an adult who works at a hospital? Wrong! This hospital is just like Seattle Grace and full of high school drama. Sorry, Emily Owens. You’re the one who decided to work at a hospital on The CW. What did you expect, girl? Mamie Gummer, who plays Emily Owens, is Meryl Streep’s daughter FYI so maybe Meryl Streep will guest star at some point. And yet I feel like Meryl Streep is incapable of showing her face on a television show because it is too holy to be seen there. October 16, 9 PM EST.
Made in Jersey (CBS)
Remember in Legally Blonde when no one took Reese Witherspoon seriously because she was a girly girl who wore a lot of pink? Turns out the legal world is currently not taking girls from Jersey seriously. I will probably watch this. I have a super duper soft spot for Italian-American girls and I would totally split a cannoli with the leading lady if you know what I mean. My only complaint is that her accent is super duper bad and will probably bother me for a while. Like, I’m not expecting Fran Drescher here, but I’d like to at least feel that you come from the general vicinity of the tri-state area. September 28, 9 PM EST.