Autostraddle’s Ultimate Fall 2010 Television Preview/Pre-Judge

It’s that time of year when my attention turns to three things:

1. School supplies
2. Sweater weather
3. Fall TV

I’ve been a loyal viewer long enough to remember when fall was the only time TV was new (there was none of this “midseason replacement” and “summer premiere” crap). But I can’t remember ever seeing such a full-to-bursting fall schedule! And yet very little of it looks half as thrilling as a lingering glance (or lingering shooting lesson, zowie!) on Rizzoli & Isles.

Instead of trying to get my head around the gargantuan list of new and returning shows (several people with superpowers have already compiled some handy lists and schedules), I’m just going to hit the highlights and lowlights.


Boardwalk Empire

Sundays starting Sept. 19, HBO, new

I can’t decide what appeals to me most: the setting (Atlantic City during Prohibition), the cast (including Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald), the title that reminds me of Monopoly, or the fact that I’ll now have something to watch on Sundays while I’m waiting for Mad Men to start.

Boardwalk Empire

Sister Wives

Sundays starting Sept. 26, TLC, new

This is apparently the real-life version of Big Love. I mention only because it makes me think of that “Sister Friend” thing — remember when Rosie O’Donnell and Wynonna Judd called each other that all the time? No? Well, I’m just saying: I hope they don’t start calling each other “Sister Wife.” Ick.


Mike & Molly

Mondays starting Sept. 20, CBS, new

I’m not sure I can actually bring myself to watch this, because it looks like a lame(r) descendant of The King of Queens. But Melissa McCarthy is adorable and truly gifted comedically and will always be the only real Sookie to me (Stackhouse who?). Also, Swoosie Kurtz is in it, and I still miss Sisters.


Mondays starting Sept. 20, NBC, new

This show seems to feature girls with guns, including Rose Rollins (Tasha on The L Word). That is all I (need to) know.


Hawaii Five-0

Mondays starting Sept. 20, CBS, new

Kidding!! You couldn’t pay me to watch anything that stars the spawn of James Caan. (Yes, Grace Park is on the show too, but I just don’t think that’s enough to overcome the rest of the suckage.)

The Event

Mondays starting Sept. 20, NBC, new

FlashForward made me wary of shows that have a big secret, but Laura Innes is on this, so I’ll give it a try. Oh, and Lisa Vidal is on it too. Wait a minute! I just figured out what the “event” is: the reunion of Dr. Weaver and her firefighter girlfriend Sandy! Can we please page Dr. Legaspi while we’re at it?


In Treatment

Mondays and Tuesdays starting Oct. 25, HBO, returning

Nothing will ever be as good as that amazing first season — featuring Mia Wasikowska in a heart-breaking, breakout role — but I’m looking forward to seeing Debra Winger and Amy Ryan every week. But wah, no Dianne Wiest!



Tuesdays starting Sept. 21, Fox, returning

I don’t always love everything about this show, but I’ll still be happy to see it (and Jane Lynch) again.


Detroit 1-8-7

Tuesdays starting Sept. 21, ABC, new

Hmm. Why didn’t they call it Detroit 4-4-2 and use that Blondie tune as the theme song? Also, Michael Imperioli plays a cop on this show, which just makes me miss the American version of Life on Mars. Um. Never mind.

Raising Hope

Tuesdays starting Sept. 21, Fox, new

This seems to be about the recession and parenthood. These are not my favorite topics. But Martha Plimpton is one of my favorite actresses, so I’ll give it at least two episodes before I give up and watch The Goonies instead.

Running Wilde

Tuesdays starting Sept. 21, Fox, new

Bluh. The presence of Will Arnett and David Cross does not another Arrested Development make. And why does David Cross get to have two new shows while Laura Kightlinger (whose brilliant The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman is being ripped off by the aforementioned Cross on his other show) has none?

The Good Wife

Tuesdays starting Sept. 28, CBS, returning

I still don’t think Archie Panjabi deserved the Emmy, but I sure do hope Kalinda turns out to be gay. Mostly I wish Alicia would smash Peter’s face in. Then the title would be all sarcastic and stuff.

Updaaate! It seems Lili Taylor may play Kalinda’s love interest. Yeeee! Taylor has always had the gayest vibe ever, even when she’s playing straight. And she is always a delight. Though I still wish I’d never seen The Addiction.


The Whole Truth

Wednesdays starting Sept. 22, ABC, new

Maura Tierney is breathtaking with short hair. But not with Rob Morrow at her side. I do like the idea of watching a case unfold instead of being told who to root for. (Except I’m totally rooting for Maura’s side every time.)


Modern Family

Wednesdays starting Sept. 22, ABC, returning

The gayest and happiest show on TV. I wish I had just one relative who’s as funny (a la Phil), as lovely (a la Gloria or Claire) or as dapper (a la Manny) as these people.


Wednesdays starting Sept. 22, NBC, new

I like it when NBC *actually* gets more colorful. But the ads for this show just make me want an espresso.




Thursdays starting Sept. 23, NBC, new

Casual racism against Indians is not funny, but the idea of outsourcing a white guy does make me chuckle. Probably not for an entire episode though. Unless they could actually outsource some of the white guy a-holes I work with. Hilarious!

$#*! My Dad Says

Thursdays starting Sept. 23, CBS, new

I still can’t believe a Twitter feed got turned into a TV show. How does one tweet-cap such a thing? Also, I think they should have just called it SHATner My Dad Says. Hee.

Grey’s Anatomy

Thursdays starting Sept. 23, ABC, returning

I have yet to sit through an entire episode — I just fast-forward to the Calzona parts — but this show features the best lesbian relationship on TV right now. And wow, is that a sad fact!


30 Rock

Thursdays starting Sept. 23, NBC, returning

I take it back — the best lesbian relationship on TV right now is Liz Lemon and her female viewers. I’m betting this will be the last season of 30 Rock, though, because middle America doesn’t seem to like this brilliant show. Whuck?!

The Office

Thursdays starting Sept. 23, NBC, returning

This really *should* be the last season of The Office, because it’s pointless to go on without Michael Scott. Hold me, Amy Ryan.



Fridays starting Sept. 15, uh, which was a Wednesday, NBC, new

Who would ever quit the Supreme Court? I mean, except for Justice O’Connor (I still haven’t forgiven her). But Carly Pope is on this show, and I’ve loved Jimmy Smits ever since he romanced a butch Ellen Barkin in Switch. He might not be able to overcome the preposterous premise though.

Body of Proof

Fridays starting Nobody Knows When, ABC, new

Jeri Ryan and Dana Delany. What more could you possibly need?! Maybe some better writing. Maybe not.


…and the most marvelous splendid fantastically exciting thing ever:


Tuesdays starting October 5, SyFy, returning

Can the second half of the season really be as good as the first? I can’t wait to find out. And we don’t have to wait as long as we thought, because it’s coming back in October instead of January. And guess what: Paula Malcomson (the mom) is still in the credits. I guess she didn’t plummet to her death after all.


Whew. I’m spent. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot, and there are plenty of things I just don’t watch, like Bones and Fringe and House and probably some other amazing show with a one-word title. Lo siento!

And really: stock up now on snacks. This season will require some sustenance.

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  1. that girl from capricia looks super gay in that picture, which I’m going to assume means exactly what it probably doesn’t

  2. You forgot Dexter! For shame! It comes back next Sunday, the 26th, and after a hell of a season 5 finale… it’s going to kick off in high gear for sure. Can’t wait!

    Also, Parenthood returned this Tuesday on NBC. Am I the only one who watched that show last season? Well it was really good, y’all. We really love it in my house. And bonus, it has Nate Fisher in it! We really love him.

    • Oh my God! I am so excited for Dexter! The ending was crazy. My supervisor at work just finished watching last season and now that’s all we talk about.

        • You have to separate the two, otherwise it makes watching Dexter super weird. I’m going to be bold (and possibly make a bad decision) and say that I like Dexter better than 6 Feet Under.

          • !!!

            I actually think Six Feet Under is the best show ever on television. I’m not being hyperbolic. I honestly think it is the best television program of all time, hands down. I WISH EVERYTHING DIDN’T END

            I’m tough to please though… I get REALLY into a few shows (L Word, Six feet Under, QAF, The Office) and bitch indiscriminately about all the others. I’ve also failed to get into Mad Men, True Blood, 30 Rock… i’m bad at tv.


          • I would say something about Dexter being better… but I want you to like me cause you are like super awesome.
            So instead, I’ll say I usually only watch like two TV shows a season cause I don’t usually have that much time. And most of my favorite shows have been Showtime shows. And The Office, but it hasn’t been as good lately.

          • This comment agrees wi-oh wait, wrong post.

            I’m gonna have to agree and say that Six Feet Under was perhaps the best thing to ever happen to television. It was just.. a completely perfect show in literally every way. I might love it more than I love Doctor Who and that is saying a lot.

            You definitely have to separate Dexter and David when watching MCH because it just doesn’t meld well. It’s hard though. Peter Krause will always be Nate and when watching Parenthood I keep expecting him to suddenly become surly and smoke pot a lot. It’s because the characters were so finely crafted and became so like family that they become that. It’s why it was so perfect.

          • I concur about Six Feet Under — I mean about it being the best ever. I felt like I lived inside that show, which I know sounds weird, but it was so good and I loved it so much.

            Mad Men is the same for me (though totally different), so they are a tie. But I will still give Dexter another try someday — I had the same initial reaction of “No, David Fisher, no!”

          • I have that problem too and my girlfriend still has to remind me that the L Word was not real life. Usually when I start a sentence with “Remember that time Alice/Dana/Jenny/Bette..”

            It doesn’t sound weird to say you lived in Six Feet Under cause I did too and I think most people who really love it also did. That’s what made it so great, you know. It all felt so much like family and consistently hit such an emotional chord that everything became very real. Because the feelings that it made you feel were definitely tangible.

            I think everyone should give Dexter a try. It’s a legitimately fantastic show with great writers and such a wonderful cast. And I mean, hell, even if you can’t get into the first three seasons… watch season 4 because John Lithgow was SO insanely frightening and good and that whole season was just nonstop amazing.

    • Parenthood is awesome…does the blonde teenager in it trip anyone else’s gaydar though? seriously, her pillow looks like a pride flag, I would really like her to be gay this season.


    I agree with the boardwalk empire comment totally something to watch before mad men.

    Any news on V? (not that it was good or anything just wondering)

  4. none of the new shows the season appeal to me at all except Boardwalk Empire….& I don’t have hbo while I’m at school :( – BUT COME ON NOW! NEW ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA TONIGHT!!!!

  5. Psyched by this post for a few reasons:

    Boardwalk Empire sounds all kinds of fun. I live quite close to the Asbury Park boardwalk, and have seen these types of shenanigans even in present day!

    ScribeGrrrl!! It’s so nice to see you writing here. Your style is totes jellin w/ the autostraddz. All Feelings point to LOVIN IT.

  6. Oh dear! I missed Dexter, Stargate Universe, Always Sunny and a kajillion other shows deserving of attention.

    (I did look for updates on V, but I don’t think it has a date yet. Also, gosh it is difficult to google a letter…)

    Anyway, I am heartily sorry for all oversights. It’s just that sometimes I have to forgo TV in order to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero. You see my dilemma.

    @Caitlin – thanks! I like it here. :)

  7. Heeeeyyyy!

    Lili Taylor has joined the cast of The Good Wife and “may become a romantic foil for Kalinda.” This is why TV shows filmed in NY are great: Lili’s like, hey, I’m just hangin’ out in the city, so why not?

    (Also, Mamie Gummer will be on The Good Wife too! Otherwise known as Meryl Streep’s daughter and quite a good actress in her own right.)

  8. My line up..

    Wednesday- Modern Family and Cougar Town(Yes, that corny show wiggled its way into my heart)
    Thursday- Vampire Diaries
    Friday- Smallville
    Sunday- Kardashians

        • It’s just not the same without wheelchair Jimmy and crew. ALSO, was anyone annoyed at WCJ aka Drake during the VMA’s? Like I’m sorry, you’re from Canada, and we’ve all watched Degrassi and know for a FACT you do not talk like that. Cut it oout with the ghetto accent please.

          • I know what you mean. Thats why I some times eye roll with Drake lyrics. Like I remember you chasing after Ashley like a b*tch. I am more of the WCJ era too but Degrassi boiling points was SO good!

  9. I’m so psyched for It’s Always Sunny! I’ll need to watch it online, though (friggin’ Canada). I’ve started watching The CW’s Hellcats…it’s this season’s guilty pleasure for me. It features a lesbian cheerleader, too! I’m surprised that there haven’t been any blurbs on AS about it. It’s fluffy and dumb, but I get a kick out of it.

  10. “Nothing spices up marriage like a little sexspionage.” That’s how they’re marketing Undercovers. I like J.J. Abrams and all but this show is going to flop.

  11. I love Caprica so much, I thought the first half of the season was brilliant. I’m also looking forward to Bones, Fringe, and Glee.

    • no I liked that one too. I’m not sure when it comes back. I shall google it….Sunday Sept. 26th at 10.

  12. Boardwalk Empire: I had the pleasure of visiting lovely Atlantic City, NJ and (because I’m from the south or something) just learned that Monopoly was based on the streets there.

  13. Scribegrrrl, oh how I’ve missed you! Does this mean you’ll be recapping any of these shows for autostraddle? Is that a yes? Is that a most definite?

    Thanks, you’ve made my Friday.

    • No, thank *you*!

      I dunno what I’ll be doing ever, so I have no definite plans. Recapping is scary.

  14. I don’t think anything is ever going to help me get over the lack of BSG on my screen (though it was rather nicely finished, great arc, so that’s better than most the shows I’ve watched). SGU is just not up to scratch as a replacement!

    Though in the meantime, and in between rewatching BSG/Twin Peaks/X Files/Buffy, I will be watching: Dexter, Lie to Me (though it’s just finished this season in the UK), House, Greys, reruns of HIMYM (suddenly I find it very amusing).

    In the UK, I am LOVING the Great British Bake Off. I know it sounds ridiculous, and it kinda is – in a charming British way. PLUS it has an out lesbian as one of the presenters (and she’s rather cute) – so that’s more reason to watch. Gorgeous food, some eye candy, and a British-silliness to it – great show!

  15. As a choir nerd, I feel obligated to do this since no one has yet:


    BTW, I have a total celebrity crush on Naya Rivera. Anyone else?

    • HEAR, HEAR. and on dianna agron. and the brittany/santana love on the show is so adorable it hurts a little to watch.

      • Yes because it’s something you’ll never have. Almost like when you were little and someone told you unicorns weren’t real and all your plans and dreams fell apart in that moment because you had FULLY INTENDED to make a career of being the owner of a unicorn stable in San Francisco, and now you know it will NEVER HAPPEN.

        Not that I have any experience with the aforementioned moment.

        • oh, naturally, neither do i. not that i ever dreamed of having a unicorn for a best friend and traveling everywhere with it and opening up a magical bakery in the middle of the forest for all the woodland creatures, which wouldn’t have made sense in the first place for a variety of reasons that, having never dreamed of it, i certainly haven’t bothered to contemplate.

          that was a long sentence. my best female friend and i have the brittany/santana dynamic down pat, but she’s straight, so the universe clearly is working against the perfection in every way possible.

  16. Ditto Naya.

    As a sci-fi nerd, I feel obligated to squee:


    H.G. Wells, Myka and Claudia are my new Holy Trinity…


  17. I am so excited about this Boardwalk Empire malarkey, even more so since the makeup looks perfect. I heart makeup.

    I only have room for one polygamy show in my life (ha), so I’m saving it up for Big Love.

    I like Tasha’s outfit.

    I’m really like The Big C with Laura Linney and Gabby Sidibe (“Who the FUCK wears dresses?”), which is only 3 or 4 episodes in at this point, I think. It’s fantastic.

    Grey’s and Modern Family are non-negotiables. This all bodes well for winter hibernation action with the tomboy!

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