I've been trying life without cable so I haven't been up on TV but I have managed to catch a few shows that are available via the web. So far, nothing new has really wowed me. A few of the shows were OK but nothing really grabbed me and made me want to tune in each week. That being said, Luther (BBC America) started off nicely and might be moving up to the #1 slot in my favorite TV shows. (#1 is Justified) If you haven't checked out "Luther", do it already. I think I've written about it multiple times on this blog by now and it's available on Netflix instant.
"Castle" has started off alright. The fallout from Beckett's almost getting assassinated and her ongoing desire to find who killed her mother led to a rather dark beginning to the season but it's settled nicely. At some point, I feel like Castle and Beckett just have to get together because the show seems like it is getting repetitive and the two trying to live together might add a nice new angle to explore.
"Archer" finished up a three episode arc that was as good as usual. I don't watch a lot of comedies on TV so "Archer" is almost the default #1, taking over for "30 Rock" which I felt kind of stumbled last season.
I gave "Body of Proof" one more shot because I like Dana Delaney and enjoy procedurals but there's just not enough there. It's kind of a poor man's House (if House had to quit being a doctor and become a medical examiner.) It's not a bad show but there's just not enough to distinguish it from everything else out there.
As for the new shows that I've checked out...
"Unforgettable": Need I say it? Forgettable. I will admit that part of me was hoping that this wouldn't do great because one of the characters in the superhero pilot that I'm writing has a similar power (although, in my pilot, the woman has perfect muscle memory as well so if you teach her once, she'll always remember how to do it). But one of the reasons that I had that power be one person in a team of superheroes is because I don't think that that ability is strong enough to build an entire show around. For instance, the younger star of USA's "Suits" has a similar super-memory but there's much more to the show than that. His super-memory helps him out of jams but it isn't the basis of the entire show. In "Unforgettable", the use of her memory in the pilot was weak and I'm not sure how they're going to be able to work it in week after week. Is the final hook of most episodes really going to be her realizing that there's something that she remembered that she hadn't noticed before? Something she forgot to remember? I don't know. I'm sure the CBS viewers will like it (although is CBS really just cribbing off of USA. First "The Mentalist" rips off "Psych" and now this show is like "Suits"?)
Alphas: Speaking of superpowers, I didn't love the pilot of Alphas but I heard good word of mouth about the show so I decided to check it out. This was a summer show so it's already finished it's run and while I still didn't love it (I wasn't a fan of most of the main characters), the series comes together well and it almost feels like an unofficial prequel to the X-Men movies (not surprisingly since one of the creators also wrote the X-Men movie.) It's definitely something to check out on a rainy day but it's not good enough that I think that it will gain a huge audience for season 2. Luckily, the show is on SyFy (after getting passed on by NBC and ABC) and that seems like a perfect place for it. It won't need to get great ratings and the lower expectations will allow them to go places that a network probably wouldn't have the patience for.
Prime Suspect: I checked out the first two episodes of the Maria Bello vehicle and it was just too black and white. The hurdles that the main character faces are just that - hurdles. There's no gray area, no moral dilemma. The bad guys are pretty bad. The good guys are solid people. The personal conflict is Bello Good, Others Bad. Honestly, the closest thing to a internal dilemma is whether or not Bello's character will quit smoking (Which makes this show a far cry from the BBC show that it's based off of.) All that being said, the show is better than I expected (the ads annoyed me) but they probably would have been better off just sticking Bello on Law & Order to breathe some life into that franchise rather than putting out this watered down version of Helen Mirren's BBC show. It's not a show that necessarily deserve to get cancelled but unless they revamp the main character and give her stronger inner demons there's really no reason to continue on with the show.
Revenge: I've always liked the idea of one off shows and this seems like it's Harper's Island meets Gossip Girl. This show is a loose, campy, modern day version of the Count of Monte Cristo but the main problem with it is that I'm not sure why I should watch. You can't really watch for the revenge plots because the "attacks" are absurd so it's not like they are clever or worth tuning in for. The person who gets it seems to be a new character so, unlike Harper's Island, it's not like you wait to see which character is going to get knocked off each week and revenge is not a dish best served to strangers (well, strangers to the audience, at least.) Emily Van Camp is nice enough but is kind of the typical bland blonde that Hollywood tries to sell to everyone for a year or two and then moves on to the next blonde. I might give it one more episode, if I'm bored, but odds are that I'm done. In short, it's a show that basically has to improve or get campier to even qualify as a guilty pleasure.
New Girl: I couldn't make it through the pilot. I really couldn't stand it and it made me completely sick of Zooey Deschanel. Career-wise, I really don't get this move. She's typecasting herself. Nauseatingly so. LIfe-wise, I get why she'd do it - good money and easier schedule but man, she annoyed the piss out of me in this one.
Pan Am: I liked this one although the storylines are all over the place and it's going to be kind of tough to keep them all going. Still, it was good enough and I'd say that I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes but the 2nd episode aired and I didn't care to tune in at all so it might just skate on by without me ever watching it again.
Homeland: I seem to be alone in not liking the pilot but I found Claire Danes to be distracting and I didn't think any of the "twists' were all that surprising. And, in the end, I just don't feel like watching a show with two leads that I really don't care about. Morena Baccarin getting nekkid does make the prospect a bit more appealing but I'm not all that interested in following up on this one.