Tag Archives: Homeland

FALL IS FUN: New Series for 2011/2012 – Other Networks

So if my original plan had worked out, this fourth Fall Is Fun would have been about CBS. But time has moved quicker than I have and one of my most-anticipated new shows is actually premiering tomorrow, and so what was intended as the fifth and final post, series “other” non-Big-4 networks, has been moved up. (Check out posts 1, 2, and 3 – FOX, ABC, and NBC for more Fall Fun!)

RINGER (the CW)
Premieres Tuesday September 13 at 9pm

This is the show that premieres tomorrow. I am not going to get to watch it, and that is making me Very Upset. Because holy crap does this show look exciting.

The most important thing about Ringer is that Sarah Michelle Gellar Is Finally Back On Television. She’s had a good break after her seven-year stint of Being Buffy. And now she is returning and ready to remind us exactly how ridiculously phenomenal she is. Not only do we get one Sarah Michelle Gellar, we get two. DOUBLE THE FUN. And since each twin she is playing seems to come with her own insanely twisted plotline, DOUBLE THE AWESOME. Plus, as if Sarah Michelle Gellarx2 wasn’t enough, the cast also includes Ioan Gruffudd* and Nestor Carbonell.

I’m almost confused that this series is on the CW. It seems way too…legit. Yes, there are certain network-typical elements already obvious in the preview, e.g. way too much designer clothing, way too much glitter, way too much everybody having sex with everybody (and probably a CW-standard horrible pop soundtrack). But so far, all of the characters appear to be adults. And the general theme appears to be rather…dark. And not mopey vampire dark or tweens on drugs dark. Mob hits and druglords and sororicide dark. I almost wonder if Ringer would work on one of the major networks…

Possible production flaws (and by “flaws” I do mean “it’s mostly a matter of taste”) aside, there is one definite upside to this series being on the CW: less ratings anxiety. The CW does not compete for ratings on the same level as the four major networks, so this series doesn’t need to draw quite the same numbers in order to survive. Not that I think finding an audience is going to be a problem, because the show does look pretty damn intriguing and, again, Sarah Michelle Gellar Is Back On Television.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)
Premieres Wednesday October 5 at 10pm

Apparently, this show is what happens when the creator of Nip/Tuck teams up with the co-creators of Glee. Which, personally, I find incredibly confusing. I never watched Nip/Tuck, largely because when it was at its prime I was way too young for watching it to be even remotely appropriate (but also because depictions of plastic surgery tend to make me want to barf – see: The X-Files S4e6 “Sanguinarium”). I do watch Glee, which is primarily why I find this confusing. I’m hoping the total genre shift is just going to prove that Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy are actually as good as the early days of Glee implied they were. One show writer who doesn’t have to prove a damn thing: Tim Minear. His involvement means I would watch this show purely on principal, nevermind who the other writers or the cast are (Zachary Quinto, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange, anyone?).

I say “would” because I don’t know for sure that I’m going to be able to watch this one. I am not a horror movie girl. I will readily admit that I don’t have the stomach for it. Usually, I acknowledge that thriller/slasher/horror films are a prominent feature in the landscape of American-grown entertainment and leave it all well enough alone. Time was, I could have been assured that TV content limitations would keep me moderately safe from being plagued from nightmares but, well, yeah. Those days are gone and you’re allowed to say “shit” on Suits. My curiosity may outweigh my fear at least as far as the pilot episode. The only preview I can find for the show is thirty seconds long and pretty much embodies the term “teaser trailer.”

I GREATLY ENCOURAGE OTHER PEOPLE TO WATCH THIS SHOW. Because it will probably be awesome, and because I will feel less bad about chickening out. And because it may not last very long. (Sorry, Tim Minear but you did choose the Twitter handle @CancelledAgain for a reason…)

HELL ON WHEELS (AMC)
Premieres Sunday November 6 at 10pm

I think I am more fascinated by the idea of this show than I will be by the show itself. Post-Civil War America? Awesome. Building of the Transcontinental Railroad? Awesome. Classic Western vibe? Awesome. Cast including Colm Meaney and Tom Noonan? Awesome. And then I remember that I don’t actually like Westerns all that much, nor do I tend to care about AMC shows. When the reality that I’ll need to prioritize and cut some things out of my viewing schedule sinks in, this will be one of the first things to go. So once again, I ENCOURAGE OTHER PEOPLE TO WATCH THIS SHOW. It will probably be good. It’s just not really my taste. (Which may mean, more than anything, that I ought to expand my horizons…)

HOMELAND (Showtime)
Premieres Sunday October 2 at 10pm

When all I knew about this show was that it starred Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis, it was the new series I was most excited about. Now I know it also stars Morena Baccarin, and I know that Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa of 24 (and other awesome things) are involved, and I’ve learned a bit about the premise, and as a result the impossible has happened: I am Even More Excited.

Homeland dissects the chilling possibility of the rescue of a hero turning into the aiding of a terrorist. It combines the oh-so-current flavor of fear of American homeland security with the pulse-pounding excitement of a conspiracy thriller, and tops all that off with the heartbreaking flavor of human ability to cope with the most extreme abuse (mental, emotional, and physical). I sound like a talking point dictionary or something, but seriously: there are some big, scary, brilliant story elements at work here. And some big, scary, even more brilliant production and performance elements putting them together.

I want this show to be The Next Greatest Thing from Showtime. I want it to succeed and flourish and lead to massive amounts of well-deserved recognition for everyone involved. (If this doesn’t end up being as good as I hope/expect it is, I might cry a little bit.)

Bonus Mention:
The Secret Circle (premieres Thursday September 15 at 9pm on the CW). This is based on another series of novels by the same author whose work forms the basis for The Vampire Diaries. So it is probably Not That Bad At All. Plus, it has Thomas Dekker. If there was nothing else good on, I would watch it. Maybe I’ll watch the reruns in a few years or something.

Feel like I missed something? That’s probably because I have absolutely no interest in seeing it. If you want a full Fall/Midseason schedule, I suggest Zap2It’s nifty interactive chart, which will provide you with a nifty little interface and handy links to check out the titles you don’t recognize.

*I never want to have to spell this name Ever Again. OMG BE LESS WELSH.