Heather’s 2013 Fall TV Schedule

Last night, the temperature dropped to the 50s in the part of the country and it remained chilly when I left for work this morning. In a nod to the weather, I swapped out my normal open toed shoes for my pair of knee high boots. The first football game of the season was on last night.  As I dodged school buses on my way to Dunkin Donuts for my pumpkin coffee, one thing became very clear to me.

Fall was here.

Now, technically I know that autumn doesn’t really arrive until around September 21st, but there is no denying that summer is beginning to beat a hasty retreat. Some of the trees are already beginning to change and you can already buy Halloween candy in some stores. I am personally excited about this as fall is my favorite season. Not only does it bring my birthday, but I love the weather, the food and the activities that come along with the season. Most importantly, fall means the beginning of a new TV season.

This is always a slightly stressful time for me as I try to decide which new shows to check out, which shows to drop and how to maneuver all my timeslot showdowns. These are pretty minor problems in the grand scheme of things, but deciding which shows deserve my precious leisure time is not something I enter into lightly. As painful as it is to watch a show that winds up being canceled or turns into a dud, I also hate to be not watching a show that becomes a pop culture phenomenon. I take this stuff seriously.

This season has been a particularly difficult one to navigate as there are just so many new shows to consider. I generally don’t jump on board with new shows during their first season unless there is something that definitely speaks to me or the critical buzz is unanimous; I’ve been burned once too often with shows that I got invested in only to be reminded that middle America and I do not see eye to eye on what makes a great show. The odds of any new show making it are pretty slim, but with many of my old favorites now gone (Adios 30 Rock) I do have more free time to take a chance on a newbie. And that is a dangerous thing for me.

This isn’t finalized, but here is my preliminary TV schedule for the fall of 2013. I’ve indicated the shows that I’m on the fence about – several of my regular series have become boring to me or have dipped in quality – and the new series that I’m willing to gamble on. It’s funny how daunting TV can be when you write it all down.

Monday

Here’s the shocker of the week – I currently have NOTHING on my agenda for Monday nights. I bailed on How I Met Your Mother for good last year and have no regrets and while I enjoy The Voice enough, I know I won’t become a long time regular viewer. I might be convinced to give the new programs Sleepy Hollow, Mom or The Blacklist (I do love me some James Spader) the chance, but as of now none have sold me. I figure I’ll primarily use Monday to catch up on the clusterf*ck that is my Sunday nights. More on that below.

Tuesday

8 pm – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC) new

8:30 pm – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) new

10 pm – Sons of Anarchy (FX)

Given my love of The Avengers, taking a shot on a TV show based in that world isn’t much of a stretch. I’m not as confident about Brooklyn Nine-Nine – my comedic sensibilities do not really match up with the live action comedies on Fox – but Andy Samberg, the great Andre Brauer and generally positive buzz are enough to at least temporarily overcome my trepidation. I’ve been in on Sons of Anarchy since the show debuted and while I think that the later seasons have failed to meet the quality of the earlier seasons (especially season 2), I still quite enjoy the ride. Plus there are worse way to spend an hour than looking at Charlie Hunnam.

I had considered watching The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals, but was underwhelmed with the backdoor pilot. I also decided that a woman in her 30s should probably limit herself to watching one show on The CW – and even that might be too much.

Wednesday

9 pm – Modern Family (ABC) tentative

10 pm – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX)

10 pm – American Horror Story: Coven (FX)

10 pm – Nashville (ABC ) tentative- watch on demand

10 pm – South Park (Comedy Central ) dvr later showing

10:30 pm – The League (FXX)

I’ve watched Modern Family since it began, but have become increasingly less impressed with it as the show progresses. I like some characters a lot – primarily the kids – but I don’t think I’d really miss it if I dropped it. I may skip a few weeks and see how I feel – it’s not a show that you need to watch every episode. 10 pm has become a surprising logjam; I will definitely watch American Horror Story live, since that show is too bat sh*t crazy to miss. I still have yet to catch up on Nashville from last season – I watched up until Thanksgiving – so that may just be a sign that I’m not all that committed to the show. South Park re-airs later in the evening, so I’ll just DVR the show then.

Thursday

8 pm – The Big Bang Theory (CBS) watch on demand

8 pm – The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

8 pm – Parks and Recreation (NBC)

9:30 pm – The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC) new

10 pm – Parenthood (NBC)

10 pm – Scandal (ABC) tentative

While I like The Big Bang Theory – one of the very few things I watch on CBS – I can easily catch up on it when it is on demand. Parks and Recreation is my primary focus on Thursday nights; no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to quit The Vampire Diaries, so I’ll DVR that to binge watch multiple episodes on the weekend. I’ve loved Michael J. Fox since I was a little girl (my college admissions essay was about him. No joke – I got into a doctoral program writing an essay about the actor), so I’ll absolutely tune in when he makes his return to television. My only concern is that my comedic sensibilities have changed quite a bit since he last graced my TV and that my affection for the actor will not be enough to keep me interested. Parenthood makes the big mood to Thursday nights, which will mean that the Bravemens will simply make me tear up closer to the weekend. I’ve yet to watch any of the previous seasons of Scandal, but people will not shut up about this show so I may catch up and give it a whirl to see what all the sudsy fuss is about.

Friday – TV Wasteland

10 pm – Dracula (NBC) new and VERY tentative

I may DVR Dracula simply because I’m curious to see what NBC is going to do with this familiar story and partially out of some interest in whatever Jonathan Rhys Meyers does. I don’t expect it to be good, but what else am I going to watch on a Friday (assuming I’m even home, which is a big assumption).

Saturday

Various – College Football

If I’m around, a good chunk of my Saturdays are spent watching Notre Dame games. Otherwise I’m out and about and if I am home, this is time to catch up on anything I haven’t cleared off the DVR yet.

Sunday – TV Nirvana

8 pm – Once Upon a Time (ABC) tentative

8:30 pm – Bob’s Burgers (Fox) on demand

9 pm – Boardwalk Empire (HBO) on demand

9 pm – Homeland (Showtime)

9 pm – Revenge (ABC) tentative

10 pm – Eastbound & Down (HBO) on demand

10 pm – Masters of Sex (Showtime) new

10:30 pm – Hello Ladies (HBO) new

I’ve soured quite a bit on the ABC shows; Once Upon a Time, which I initially loved, is beginning to feel a little played out and boring and Revenge kind of went off the rails last season. I’ll give both a few episodes to convince me to stay around. Of the two, Once Upon a Time is the more likely to be dumped, though I’ll tune in to watch Nick Swisher’s wife as The Little Mermaid. I love Bob’s Burgers, but until football season is over the likelihood of games running over and throwing off the delicate ecosystem that is my DVR schedule necessitates me catching the show on demand. I generally like Boardwalk Empire, but I don’t love it, so for now it will get watched at a later time. Same goes for Eastbound & Down. Homeland must be watched live so as to avoid spoilers, though I do have my concerns that a certain character is still on the show. Despite my trepidation about new shows, I will give almost anything on HBO or Showtime a chance. So Masters of Sex and Hello Ladies will get the nod at 10 pm, at least until I make a decision about either show.

I may be missing a show or two and this may evolve as we get into the season, but this is what I predict my TV schedule looks like, plus Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It is a healthy dose of TV, but thanks to the miracle that is the DVR I can skip through commercials for a lot of these shows and compress my necessary viewing time. Still, there is no denying that I love my TV shows.

What’s on your fall viewing schedule? Any new shows that you are excited about? Any old shows that you are breaking up with? Sound off in the comments below. For a fairly comprehensive list of season premiere dates, click here.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Comic Con Edition

One of the things on my pop culture bucket list that I’m dying to do is to attend Comic Con in San Diego. If you are unfamiliar with Comic Con, it is basically pop culture mecca; while the convention originally was focused primarily on comic books, it has morphed into a giant celebration of all things pop culture. It is the venue where tons of exciting news about television shows and movies is revealed and where die-hard fans congregate for the chance to see their favorite actors and directors at panels. If you love pop culture, it is something that you have to check out. It’s ridiculously popular and the people often have to camp out to get into the more popular panels, but I feel like it is something that I have to experience at least once if I am going to call myself a pop culture enthusiast. Perhaps next year.

But thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you don’t have to go to Comic Con to get all of the breaking news and scoop about your favorites. This week’s round-up is chocked full of nuggets from convention as well as some other pop culture goodness that happened in the last two weeks. I just saved you all a roundtrip ticket to California.

So kick back and peruse my bi-weekly summary of all things pop.

  • The biggest news of the Con in my opinion – Superman and Batman are going to be in a movie together!
  • Game of Thrones paid tribute to dead characters with an In Memoriam video (contains spoilers- duh):

 

  • NBC has released a trailer for Dracula:

 

  • Watch the entire X-Men: Days of Future Past Panel:

 

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson is rebooting Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

 

  • Also Breaking Bad related – Walter White’s journey:

 

  • A How I Met Your Mother video from Comic Con. Amen, kids. Amen!

 

  • You can watch the entire HIMYM panel here.
  • A trailer for JJ Abrams’ new show Believe:

 

  • Sons season 6 promo – everyone looks really mad:

 

  • A new NSFW red band trailer for Kick-Ass 2 debuted at Comic Con:

 

  • A trailer for the new season of The Walking Dead:

 

  • A sneak peek of the Veronica Mars movie:

 

  • Metallica released a trailer for their upcoming film:

 

  • Watch the entire Marvel panel:

 

  • A Hannibal gag reel:

 

  • Trailer for season 2 of Arrow:

 

  • I’m still shocked by the sudden death of Cory Monteith. I long abandoned Glee, but he was always my favorite. Addiction is no joke, my friends. To remember him, one of my favorite performances from the show:

 

  • CBS has posted episodes of Swingtown, Jericho and Wolf Lake online.
  •  An article in Rolling Stone states that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will end after its 10th season. Glenn Howerton took to Twitter to say that might not be the case:

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  • Watch Jon Hamm’s ESPY’s monologue:

 

  • As a political scientist who used to use “I’m Just a Bill” in her Into to American Government classes, I enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel’s Schoolhouse Rock parody:

 

  • Parks and Recreation has some great guest stars lined up for next season: Henry Winkler (in some inspired casting) and Kristin Bell.
  • Watch Jerry Seinfeld and Stephen Colbert (two of my faves) chat:

 

  • Britney Spears new music video for her song in Smurfs 2 features 2 cute co-stars – her sons:

 

  • Tumblr of the week: 99 Problems (illustrations of possible Jay Z problems)
  • Florence Welch is just like us – gets drunk and sings “Get Lucky”

 

  • A trailer for the 4th season of Boardwalk Empire:

 

  • Vampire Weekend covers “Blurred Lines”

 

  • Jason Momoa (Drago, GoT) has been cast in a new Sundance Channel show.
  • Dave Grohl joined Sha Na Na on stage during a Grease sing-a-long because Dave Grohl is awesome (and to the kids in the video – shut up! A legend is on drums):

 

  • A new trailer was released for Catching Fire:

 

  • Sacha Baron Cohen has quit the Freddie Mercury biopic. That’s too bad – that had promise.
  • Watch Jesse and the Rippers (John Stamos’ band from Full House) reunite on Fallon:

 

  • The Backstreet Boys have released a new acoustic single:

 

  • Beyoncé: gets hair caught in a fan during a concert, keeps singing.
  • R.I.P. Dennis Farina. As a tribute, here is a supercut of the actor saying the F word (NSFW, obviously):

 

Baby News!

  • Robin Thicke covers Icona Pop’s “I Love It”

 

  • Aaron Paul appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210:

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  • Pearl Jam debuted some new songs at their concert at Wrigley Field:

 

  • Hear your first taste of the Elvis Costello and The Roots collaboration:

 

  • Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic” rewritten so it is actually ironic:

 

  • A thief stole a van full of band equipment for the band A Flock of Seagulls. The interesting part of this story is that A Flock of Seagulls is still a thing – I haven’t heard a peep out of them since the 1980s.

As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts

  • Blurring Pains

 

  • Bill Clinton sings “Blurred Lines” (a song that I am completely obsessed with):

 

  • “Ice Ice Baby” sung by the movies:

 

  • History gets a Game of Thrones makeover in this video of the building of the Capitol:

 

  • Some new mashups courtesy of Girl Talk. First up, A Michael Jackson/Daft Punk combination:

 

  • Kanye and Marilyn Manson (I really dig this one):

 

  • This is impressive – a reinterpretation of the Wizard of Oz done a cappella with pop songs:

 

  • A Game of Hodor:

 

  • A supercut of people watching movies in the movies:

 

  • It’s Always Sunny in Pacific Rim:

 

  • And finally……A Cher/Golden Girls mashup? Spectacular!

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Movin’ On Up Edition

It’s that time again when I round up some pop culture stories over the last few weeks. Enjoy!

  • I was so sad to hear that Sherman Hemsley passed away yesterday. He was 74. I grew up watching The Jeffersons, not realizing how revolutionary it was for its time. Just a great ensemble cast and possibly one of the greatest TV theme songs of all time

His later show, Amen, was also part of our regular Saturday night rotation. And as a fellow short person, I always identified a little with Hemsley. Rest in peace – you’re now in the ultimate deluxe apartment in the sky.

  • I was also sad to hear about the passing of astronaut Sally Ride, who helped show an entire generation of little girls that they could reach for the stars too. I never dreamed of being an astronaut – outer space isn’t my thing – but Ride showed girls like me that there was a world of possibility available to them.
  • Christian Bale visited the victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting. A very nice gesture.
  • If you are looking for some new rising comedians, Esquire and Variety both recently released lists of comics to watch. There is surprisingly little overlap between the two lists and I was pleased that I was already familiar with a lot of the names.
  • Because there can never be too many vampires on TV, NBC announced yesterday that Dracula, starring The Tudor’s Jonathan Rhys Meyers, will be on their fall schedule. When NBC is jumping on a trend, it’s pretty much over.
  • Note to Zooey – this is how you do a fun iPhone commercial:
  • Bad news for Modern Family fans – the show has been forced to halt production as a result of a contract dispute with the adult members of the show. I’d watch a show with just Manny and Luke – those kids are hilarious.
  • The Matrix/Office Space mashup you didn’t even know you wanted:
  • This week’s people have way too much time on their hands link – Super Mario done with post-its:
  • See a young Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) on The Price is Right (this is probably the only time I’ll link to anything Leno related):
  • For those of you that were interested in checking out Jimmy Fallon based on my post, he has a primetime special tonight on NBC (10 pn ET) which will feature a collection of his best musical numbers (including the fantastic “Tebowie” song I couldn’t link to).
  • Speaking of Fallon, this cooler race with Matthew McConaughey cracked me up:

 

  • From another Jimmy in late night, Kimmel has celebrities read mean tweets about themselves: