WHEN: Thursdays at 8pm EST on ABC (Premiering September 24th)
WHAT: (from ABC’s press release, May 2009) When a mysterious event causes the entire world to black out, humanity is given a glimpse into its near future, and every man, woman and child is forced to come to grips with whether their destinies can be avoided or fulfilled. Adapting award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer’s revolutionary novel, executive producers David S. Goyer (visionary co-writer of “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight“) and Brannon Braga (“24,” “Star Trek: Enterprise“) invite you to embark on a journey to answer the question, “if you knew what your future held, what would you do?”
WHY: Because you want to get into a show like Lost without having to sit through 5 years worth of episodes on DVD to understand it all, because you want to know why the hell these people blacked out!!!
WHERE: Official Flash Forward Site
Laneia: What did you seeeee?
Riese: I think six months from now they will all turn out to be lizards.
Robin: I was with another man, and… and… he was a LIZARD!
Riese: … And I was drinking a beer!
Carlytron: I’m pretty sure there was a moment of Nathan Fillion as the OTHER MAN but I could be wrong.
Robin: I think this is a really cool concept but not for a TV SERIES!!!
Laneia: Yes Robin.
Laneia: A movie would be GRAND.
Riese: How long can this concept last?
Carlytron: I think this is trying to be the new LOST.
Riese: Everyone wants to be the new LOST.
Robin: Its like- maybe one season is interesting, LOST was good for 1.5 seasons.
Laneia: A new Lost out of this shite would KILL ME!
Carlytron: I read that the producers said that by the end of the first season you’ll have a complete story and it’ll go up to the day that they flashed to, basically catching up to the future. [Carlytron’s note: Read a semi-spoilery chat with the producers at Sci Fi Wire]
Riese: Then what happens next?
Carlytron: No idea.
Riese: Hiro goes to Korea!
Laneia: I want to stab this show.
Robin: Then maybe it like, morphs into an entirely different show.
Riese: I want to stab this show in the ear.
Carlytron: I think that, like V, people will be all ‘zzzz’ real fast. The Nine had great potential too, just like this, and they canned it (which hurt me). So final thoughts on Flash Forward, ladies?
Carlytron: Like V, will fizzle out.
Laneia: Is the opposite of rewind.
Riese: It’s like Grey’s Anatomy is going to be in six months probs.
Cheryl: Okay but I said this about 24 and it totally took off.
Laneia: This is an interesting point.
Riese: I keep thinking Meredith Grey is in it.
Carlytron: The doctor looks exactly like her, same scrubs and hair.
Carlytron: Between V and Flash Forward, which do you think will do better?
Riese: Flash Forward.
Robin: Flash Forward.
Carlytron: I agree, Flash Forward.
Laneia: Flash Forward.
Cheryl: I’ll go with V just to be different.
Riese: The one without the lizards.
WHEN: Wednesdays at 9pm EST on ABC (Premiering September 23rd)
WHAT: (from ABC’s press release, May 2009) Today’s American families come in all shapes and sizes. Shot from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, this comedy takes a modern look at the complications that come with being a family in 2009.
WHY: Because it looks hilarious, because one of the families is a couple of GAY DADS, because Al Bundy is in it.
WHERE: Official Modern Family Site
Carlytron: I am so excited about this!
Robin: It has universal appeal, it’s totally gonna take off!
Carlytron: One couple is gay men adopting a baby; another is an older fellow and a hot young girl; and the other is a younger straight couple with kids. And the families are all related.
Riese: Ed Bundy
Cheryl: AL BUNDY
Cheryl: Omg Laneia said TED BUNDY
Robin: Gay DADS!!!!!!
Carlytron: <3 gay dads!
Robin: I love gay dads! I love gay moms too! I love gay parents!!
Riese: I have a gay mom and she’s not that funny.
Riese: Also though did anyone else want to laugh more during the preview?
Robin: But Laneia is a gay mom and we loooove her.
Laneia: I hope they don’t disappoint me with this show.
Carlytron: Same here.
Riese: No I think this will be cute & fun.
Laneia: Because I really want to love it.
Carlytron: I really want to love it as well.
Riese: I’m excited about the gay dads, though they seemed a bit stereotypical in the preview.
Carlytron: Yes but pilots always suck.
Riese: It seems Arrested Developent-y, style wise.
Riese: People are really trying to make good shows these days I think, ’cause of the Internet, and how people talk about shows more online if the show is good, so fluff sitcoms aren’t being made as much as they used to be. Sidenote, anyhow.
Carlytron: Yes true.
Laneia: Yes Riese, correct.
Carlytron: Thanks, Internet!
Robin: Thank you, Al Gore.
Carlytron: Al Gore says you’re welcome. He’d be here but he had to go save a whale. So ladies, any final words on this one?
Cheryl: It gets a double plus bonus for two gay dads.
Laneia: DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME, ABC!
Robin: It’s going to be like the Obama of TV: full of hope, slow on the uptake.
Carlytron: Robin, that was GOOD!
Cheryl: Do you think they will overdo the gay dads thing though? We should watch for it.
Carlytron: Yeah, we should be on High Gay Alert for that.
Carlytron: HGA threat level orange.
Laneia: Level 5.
Carlytron: Threat level midnight.
Cheryl: Roger that command center.
Robin: More like threat level pink glitter.
WHEN: Thursdays at 9:30pm EST on ABC (Premiering September 17th)
WHAT: (from NBC’s press release, May 2009) The student body at Greendale Community College is made up of high-school losers, newly divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active. Within these not-so-hallowed halls, Community focuses on a band of misfits, at the center of which is a fast-talkin’ lawyer whose degree has been revoked (Joel McHale, “The Soup”), who form a study group and end up learning a lot more about themselves than they do about their course work.
WHY: Because Joel McHale is a Funny Guy and the preview looked pretty funny too, because you’re hoping it will be better than Parks and Recreation.
WHERE: Official Community Site
Carlytron: Community. The only NBC show we will be discussing, as my beloved Parenthood starring Maura Tierney was pushed to spring.
Cheryl: NBC is weaksauce.
Carlytron: It looks genuinely funny, I think, and Joel is likable. And Chevy Chase!
Robin: I actually have to say- this trailer bored me to tears.
Cheryl: Omg loved the trailer when he did the breakfast club quote.
Riese: I couldn’t get through it, I was already bored.
Carlytron: Oooo are we split on this one?
Robin: Obvious jokes. I hate obvious.
Riese: Boring, just like community college.
Laneia: I like this show! So far.
Carlytron: Me too!
Robin: Zzz. Community = Cat Deeley to me.. it’s already dead.
Carlytron: Leave Cat out of this!
Robin: I hate that bitch.
Carlytron: She is a charming lady who has nothing to do with this discussion!
Riese: I think I might just be impossible to please, I feel like Negative Nancy about every show on television except for Law & Order and True Life.
Robin: It’s OK though Riese, cause TV mostly sucks.
Laneia: True Life: I Hate TV.
Carlytron: True Life: I Need 8 DVRs.
Carlytron: NBC has a pretty weak track record lately w/ comedies, so it will be interesting to see which way this goes.
Cheryl: It will get dropped after like 6 eps.
Riese: True Life: I Hate Everything on Teevee, Including This Show, Isn’t That Meta?
Robin: Although I have realized that a life with Carly means a life with TV so I have to suck it up and learn to love it.
Carlytron: Yes, yes you do.
Riese: I like documentaries.
Robin: So we are split on this show. That’s good. Shows we don’t always think alike… though we are lesbians.
Carlytron: Yes, look at us all defying stereotypes!
Riese: Defying gravity too probs.
Laneia: But CHEVY CHASE!
Cheryl: Really who wants to watch a TV show about a community college? It’s too much like real life, and that just blows.
Laneia: Omg Cheryl! I’m about to go live at a community college.
Riese: Yeah, like parks & rec had trouble ’cause people are like, the job is boring, the end.
Laneia: I was jk btw.
WHEN: Tuesdays at 9pm EST on the CW (Premiered September 8th)
WHAT: (from the CW’s press release, May 2009) In an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family.
WHY: Because you are a masochist, because you want to see fake lesbians make out maybe, because you like Ashlee Simpson’s “acting,” because you’ve never watched the original so this won’t offend you in the least.
WHERE: Official Melrose Place Site
Carlytron: OMG MELROSE PLACE!
Riese: Didn’t like the first one, won’t like the second one.
Cheryl: WAIT! I need a beer for this one!!
Carlytron: The ad campaign is RISQUE.
Laneia: MAKE IT STOP!
Robin: I can’t really speak to this because it’s not my thing. This kind of show makes me ill.
Laneia: Carly, please, make them stop.
Riese: I will watch the girl kiss on YouTube so I can write a column about how they misrepresent the bisexuals.
Carlytron: I didn’t watch the original. I will not watch this.
Laneia: Make them stop stop stop!
Riese: I thought the first Melrose Place was so boring, which is weird ’cause I was really into 90210 at the time.
Laneia: It was different in the 90s! Like, it was trashy, but in a different way? But this is just TRASHY!
Riese: Yeah, or maybe it was just original.
Carlytron: I feel like every “teen” thing nowadays is able to cast from a seemingly never ending supply of identical-looking hot young no-names who are in fact not the same people as it turns out.
Cheryl: I watched Melrose gen1.
Robin: I did too!
Riese: Did you like it?
Cheryl: Um Heather Locklear was hot.
Riese: I remember the girls were all into that guy, Andrew Shue or something?
Laneia: It was like reading gratuitous ya novels, right?
Riese: Yeah, totally.
Laneia: But this is GROSS.
Robin: I watched it and pretended to like it cause my friends were all into it.
Riese: 90210 was the first show to do that though, the trashy high school thing. So it was fresh and interesting. Now the genre feels stale. Even though they aren’t in high school on Melrose Place.
Robin: 90210 was mostly innocent though.
Laneia: I feel weird saying that there’s a right way to do trashy, but I think there is.
Riese: There is a right way to do trashy.
Laneia: And this.. is not it.
Robin: Right, its not campy or ironic.
Riese: Yeah, which I think people feel Gossip Girl is.
Riese: Melrose Place has no commentary.
Robin: I love Gossip Girl.
Laneia: Even thought I don’t watch GG
Riese: It is just soap opera, but at night — like, a series of plots that don’t really change your concept of life or make you think, but just provide fodder between sex scenes… which won’t even show real sex.
Cheryl: I think they are trying to get back into the Aaron Spelling thing and tie in old characters from the old Melrose Place.
Carlytron: Yeah it’s like a carbon copy of 90210‘s formula, the remake thing.
Riese: The new 90210 is horrible.
Carlytron: I think they should just give us GG and leave us the hell alone!
Laneia: Do not want!
Cheryl: I mean it was all sex and treachery like resurrecting DALLAS.
Laneia: Yes please leave my 90’s in the 90’s.
Carlytron: OK so verdict: hells no!
Riese: Except I will watch the girl kiss. That’s all. Only to mouth off about it.
Carlytron: And while we’re at it: adding Rumer Willis as a dyke will not make us watch 90210 either.
Riese: It will make me watch those scenes on YouTube.
Laneia: Um, wait. I might watch that.
Carlytron: No thanks.
Riese: I will have to watch it, again, so that I can bitch about it.
WHEN: Wednesdays at 9pm EST on Fox (Premiering September 9th)
WHAT: (from Fox’s press release, March 2009) Seriously? Ok, fine, I’ll stick with the format: GLEE is an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. The show follows an optimistic high school teacher, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), as he tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the high school’s glee club and challenging a group of outcasts to realize their star potential.
WHY: If you read Autostraddle regularly then I probably don’t need to explain this to you, but here goes: Because it’s the gayest thing on tv aside from RuPaul’s Drag Race, beacuse it’s super fabulous, because there is singing and dancing, because THE LYNCH CAN DO NO WRONG, because you’re still not entirely sure how this show is on Fox but are glad to live in a world where it exists.
WHERE: Official Glee Site
Carlytron: What is there to even say about this at this point.
Laneia: Number one feeling?
Riese: I hate children and music.
Robin: We are all so excited about this!
Carlytron: It will change everything for everyone forever.
Cheryl: Nothing to say, it will be awesometown.
Carlytron: It’s like Bring it On meets Popular meets High School Musical, and Jane Lynch can finally get an Emmy!
Robin: This is like my ideal show.
Riese: Alex isn’t excited about it actually.
[UPDATE: Alex has redacted her statement after seeing the pilot (previously she’d only seen one dance/song number clip, not the whole show), and is now excited about it).]
Carlytron: She isn’t?!
Riese: She said she thinks it is going to be too cheesy for her.
Robin: Oh wow.
Laneia: Is that … possible? Too cheesy?
Robin: (I’m listening to Miley Cyrus, I can do cheesy.)
Robin: I know! ::hangs head in shame::
Laneia: What song is it?
Robin: “Party in the USA.”
Laneia: Whatever, I listened to Hilary Duff like she was my little sister.
Riese: I am excited because I think songs & dancing fix everything.
Carlytron: Songs and dancing fix everything. see also: Footloose.
Cheryl: What happens if they pull a MYSOCALLEDLIFE with Glee?
Riese: I worry about that too. although if Jordan had broken into song, and Brian Krakow had danced like no-one’s watching…
Laneia: You always have to worry about that when a show is actually good.
Riese: I know, MSCL scarred me for life. For teevee life, that is. Now I am afraid to love again.
Carlytron: Fox has a bad track record with GOOD SHOWS.
Carlytron: See also Arrested Development
Riese: Family Guy. American High
Carlytron: Also how is this on Fox? Right?
Laneia: I feel like Fox is the only channel that could have Glee, aside from the CW. But it’s not vapid enough for them
Riese: It’s like Fox is just that straight guy who gives biased news at night for Republicans and is trying to like other things but gets scared. Like they’ll put on something cool & young & interesting for like a minute and then pull out.
Carlytron: It could have gone cable, but I’m glad it’s network. It is getting a huuuuge online push. They are backing it hardcore, they even moved SYTYCD to the fall for Glee, to support it. So I feel like Fox is invested in it, and that relieves me.
Riese: Wow! The gays!
Cheryl: Crossing fingers for a long life for GLEE.
Carlytron: Yes, me too.
Riese: It is what America needs in the recession.
Laneia: GLEE could be the first sign of a network actively seeking the gay viewers.
Riese: There are many more people in the world who are talented at good song and dance numbers than there are at writing teleplays, therefore song-and-dancing is FTW.
Carlytron: FINAL VERDICT: NUMBER ONE FEELING!
Bored To Death
WHEN: Sundays at 9:30pm EST on HBO (Premiering September 20th)
WHAT: Jason Schwartzman plays a Brooklyn writer who copes with a painful breakup by becoming a private eye.
WHY: Because it stars Ted Danson, Jason Schwartzman, and Zach Galifianakis, because it looks smart and funny, because it features your dreamgirlfriends Kristen Wiig and Parker Posey as guest-stars.
WHERE: Official Bored to Death Site
Riese: You want me to watch a trailer called Bored To Death?
Carlytron: He reads all these mystery stories. And decides he can actually solve mysteries! I would totally do that.
Robin: The trailer is so short.
Riese: Sounds boring.
Cheryl: OMG anything with Jason Schwartzman rulz!
Laneia: I feel like Jason Schwartzman can do no wrong.
Riese: I wish Rushmore was just a show, or The Royal Tennenbaums was a sitcom!! OMG!
Laneia: Royal Tenenbaums would NEVER last past season 1!
Carlytron: Bored to Death also features appearances by PARKER POSEY and KRISTEN WIIG.
Cheryl: Omg Parker Posey yes!
Robin: Love her.
Carlytron: I am super hella excited about this show.
Riese: She’s my favorite, Parker Posey.
Carlytron: I <3 everyone involved in it and I trust HBO to not eff it up.
Laneia: I have a question: I read somewhere that the formula for Bored To Death was done in the 90s. What the hell does that mean?
Riese: Harriet the Spy? It does sound familiar but I can’t think of what it was.
Laneia: I don’t understand how a show could feel 90s?
Carlytron: It didnt seem 90s in the trailer.
Carlytron: It seemed stylized, almost modern faux noir?
Laneia: Seems FRECKING AWESOME!
Carlytron: I wish he had a cartoon rabbit counterpart tho.
Robin had to go at this point but she will be back later. Somehow, we soldier on…
NEXT PAGE: Spartacus, A Beautiful Life, Three Rivers, and a few honorable mentions.