During the summer, my weekday evenings were spent reading, listening to music, and actually leaving the house occasionally to attend live performances and engage in other activities. I’d hope this unplugged trend might continue until Lost returns in January, but several new shows have pulled me in enough that I haven’t done much that I would consider productive in the past few weeks! For the curious, following are the new shows I’ve been enjoying…
The Forgotten: ABC, Tuesdays, 10pm EST. Christian Slater leads a team of civilian volunteers who search for the identities of murder victims after the police have given up. The twist is each episode is narrated by that week’s deceased. It’s Cold Case meets The Lovely Bones. The Shield‘s Benito Martinez also stars. If you missed the pilot (which features a guest appearance by My So-Called Life‘s Devon Gummersall), you can watch the full episode online at ABC.
The Good Wife: CBS, Tuesdays, 10pm EST. ER‘s Juliana Margulies gracefully portrays the archetypal politician’s wife, enduring mass judgement and attempting to resurrect her own law career after standing by her man in one of those infamous post-scandal press conferences. While I think the show would be more interesting had it stayed focused on the moral dilemas of the political world, it is a solid legal drama. If you missed the pilot, you can watch the full episode online at CBS.
Mercy: NBC, Wednesday, 8pm EST. Judging from the previews, I didn’t expect to like this one and only watched it because the hubby insisted. I was pleasantly surprised how much the show reminded me of the first season of ER. It centers on a spunky, unhappily married nurse who has recently returned to working at a “normal” hospital after spending some traumatic time on the frontlines in Iraq. Buffy‘s Michelle Trachtenberg plays a humorously optimistic young nurse. I’m a little worried they’ll mistakenly go all Grey’s Anatomy with silly romantic subplots, but otherwise I liked it. If you missed the pilot, you can watch the full episode at NBC.
Modern Family: ABC, Wednesday, 9pm EST. This quirky half hour comedy shares the same kind of sarcastic, oddball humor of Arrested Development. But rather than following the exploits of an eccentric rich clan, Modern Family looks at the dysfunction of a multi-cultural Middle Class family. Married With Children‘s Ed O’Neill plays the family’s curmudgeony patriarch. If you missed the pilot, you can watch the full episode at ABC.
The Vampire Diaries: CW, Thursday, 8pm EST. My new guilty pleasure by Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson. Though the previews, overall plot, and direction of the premiere were all very similar to Twilight, the subsequent episodes have reminded me more of Buffy and Angel. It’s the standard sarcastic, misfit high school gal falling for a lonely, conscience-stricken vampire story, but it’s done well. But the highlight of the show for me is Lost‘s Ian Somerhalder as the sexy, over-the-top villian vamp. The music has also been pretty good so far. If you missed the first two weeks, you can watch both episodes at CW.
Flash Forward: ABC, Thursday, 8pm EST. This is the big disappointment. After so much hype (the “from the network that brought you Lost” promo was a summer-long joke in my house, with my best/worst parody being “from the womb that brought you Roseanna Arquette, it’s David Arquette!”), I had hoped for more eerie mystery. But despite the cool premise (the world’s population blacks out for 2 minutes and see glimpses their future selves) and presence of Joseph Fiennes, the dry, melodramatic pilot ep seemed more like 24 than Lost. But it was kinda cool to see a brief dramatic cameo by Family Guy‘s Seth McFarlane and the new ads reveal Dominic Monahan will join the cast, so I’ll give it another chance. If you missed the pilot, you can watch the full episode at ABC.
Update: As of mid-October, the only new show I’m still watching and loving is The Vampire Diaries. All of the others listed above failed to live up to their premieres.