I start here, but say that I am leaving TWO off this list, because I feel that they go without saying, you should watch them. Glee is number one, which, if you haven't watched it yet? JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON NOW. It is charming, hilarious, and just all around fantastic. Number two, of course, is The Vampire Diaries! Not only is this probably the only good drama the CW is churning out this year, but I will give you my personal word that the episodes only get better. And plus, you all are going to watch because you love me and want me to keep a job right? ...right?
so anyway, without further ado...
Let's be honest here. ABC has been a real swing and a miss when it comes to comedy. You have shows like Cavemen that inexplicably get through, where shows that are charming and funny like Miss Guided get thrown under the bus due to scheduling. I didn't know if ABC would be able to recapture any sort of hilarity in their comedy. According to Jim, that's enough outta you, thankfully. I popped in Modern Family, hearing that it was "so funny" but not entirely believing. Yes folks, I was a skeptic. But for the adoration I have for Julie Bowen, I went on. Let me tell you. This is the funniest, funniest show I have seen in a LONG time. It's charming and manages to capture the insane dynamic of a family, yet still drive home the heart of camaraderie and love within that family. It is not an easy balance, between being overly cheesy with the "moral" of family love at the heart of it, and still remaining funny. Let me tell you right now, Modern Family does it flawlessly. I'm torn between my love of Julie's long-suffering mother who is trying so hard to parent her children (and husband) and said husband, who is so concerned with being the "cool" dad to really parent. Until of course, he has to shoot his son with a BB gun for punishment. I was in tears while watching this show, and if you like to laugh, then watch this show.
the good wife.
Julianna Margulies. Nurse Hathaway. I have missed you. However, I was not willing to keep slumming it in Canterbury's Law with you. I'm sorry, it just didn't work out. So now you're playing a lawyer again ... hey, haven't we been here before? No folks, we have most certainly not. The plot may seem odd, and really, the previews don't give you very much. JM plays the wife of a councilman who is caught up in a sex and money scandal. Yet she is just like those other wives you see, remaining stoic in front of flashing cameras, you want to shake her when she walks off stage. Until of course, she slaps her husband across the face and walks away. Oh yes, we are rooting for you, Carol Hathaway. There is a small time jump, and then you really get into the meat of the drama. Her husband locked away in prison awaiting trial, JM's character has to get herself back into the work place, and playing catch-up with the career as a lawyer she once had. It isn't easy with everyone a lot younger than she vying for the attention of higher staff (and secretaries, at that) especially once she is put in competition with a younger lawyer. Yet at the heart of it, here she is, a mother, a wife, someone who has been through hell, and knows a lot about picking herself up and forging ahead. It's a triumphant story in the smallest of ways, where swelling music and flowing tears don't completely detract from what you are watching. You want her to win, you want her to become her own woman and prove to herself that she can do it, all on her own if she has to. I was left wanting more, and pulling for this fictional character I'd only met a half hour ago.
Was there really any doubt this one would be on here? I mean come on, Joel McHale on my TV more than just breaking the fourth wall? Being charming? Strike that in the win column. What I didn't expect was for how hysterical this show is, and how it just kind of ...fits in a way I hadn't expected. Chevy Chase is in it, come on, do I really need to keep going? Never mind, I will. What starts out as something I'm not sure works well together (a bunch of random people in a made up study group?) It actually comes out really fun. Joel is obviously his charming, funny self, and by the end of the episode, you kind of fall in love with the rest of the group. Even the weirdos. I don't think it's something you'll only get if you went to community college, but I did, so I found it doubly funny. I can't want to see what comes of this, and it's a really good show of people from all different walks of life coming together, and the hilarity that ensues.
For just a moment, let us forget that Rebecca Romjin really ... isn't...that ... good of an actor. And carrying her own show? Well, I believed it more when you were Pepper Dennis, bb. But here's the thing. Aside from a few missteps here and there, the pilot is charming, it's fun and amusing. If we for a moment, push aside Rebecca, and let her co-stars Lindsay and Jamie step out into the spotlight, you have to take a moment and say "oh my GOSH these girls are awesome." Lindsay plays the mousy newspaper journalist who really doesn't have the gall to stand up for what she wants and what she believes in. Jamie is the mom with a deadbeat husband who just doesn't do anything. Together, the three of them discover their witchiness (yeah, it's a word now. Deal with it sucka!) and find themselves. Lindsay's character has the power of suggestion. Jamie's has elemental power. Rebecca's, precognition. Now I'll say that I haven't seen the Witches of Eastwick movie, but I mean to. I really enjoyed this pilot. It's a darling drama and really grabbed my attention. Plus, my friend Wendy is writing on it, so let's all give her some staying power, shall we?
mercy. three rivers.
I know, I'm totally cheating. But, I have a good reason to. In a sea of medical, paramedic, whatever dramas that are coming out this year, these two really, really stood out. it seems like there isn't a SHOW around that doesn't have a doctor or five hanging around in the wings, and I was thinking what I'm sure a lot of you are thinking. Ugh, do we really need ANOTHER one? Well, I will venture to say that both Mercy and Three Rivers put a different enough spin on the medical profession that yeah, you can probably stand to have another one or two on your tivo.
Mercy. Veronica is a nurse. There's something different for you right there. Also? She's a returned Iraq war veteran who is struggling with her marriage and falling back into her routine of a life. She's used to being on the front lines, stitching up people as she goes and calling the shots. Back at her home in Jersey, she isn't used to the doctors who boss her around and act like she doesn't know what she's talking about. "you're just a nurse." is the tag line for a lot of these guys. And yet, just when you think it might get a little boring, with her attempting to reconcile her separation with her husband, WHAM you get smacked in the face with a gorgeous doctor (who some of you might recognize from Men in Trees) who knows Veronica very well. They were together in Iraq. She is in love with him, and he just signed a two year contract at her hospital so he could be with her. ...but oh crap didn't she just put the halt on divorce papers? Here's something. In the midst of personal drama and relationships, there is such a big beating heart. Veronica herself says it best. When her handsome-doctor-man says "I treat the disease." She just looks at him and replies. "I treat the patient." I may or may not have gotten a little teary when she was the one person to tell an elderly woman about to go through painful surgery just so her kids would be happy, that "yeah, it's okay to take a breath, realize that it isn't going to help, and gracefully take what life you have left." (that is not a direct quote at all, mind you). Mercy offers a lot, and I think it'll be one of those really good, strong shows to come out of the gate. I hope anyway. But oh, Michelle Trachtenberg ... ~dramatic sigh~. Please step up your game. This is not Gossip Girl. Don't you make me "SHUT UP, DAWN!"-you to death, K?
Three Rivers. I have watched this pilot twice (because I made my mom watch it with me) and while it took me a little while to get over swooning over Alex O'Loughlin, I started to pay attention. The thing that I really love about Three Rivers, is that I really don't think it's a story that has been told before, or at least not from this POV. Or POV's as it were. You take a medical transplant team ... which yes, you have seen transplants done on every medical show ever, but this follows the actual team. From the patients they are trying to save, to them going to retrieve the organs, to then bringing them home for transplant, all with a ticking clock looming over their heads. This would be an interesting story all in itself, but then add to that they take three stories that will all connect by midway through the episode. One. The person in need of a transplant. Whether it be a basketball player's heart going out or an older man's lungs slowly deteriorating, they are in need of a transplant to save their lives, and badly. Two. The person who wakes up that morning, and has no idea that by day's end, they will have saved several people's lives by losing their own. It's kind of morbidly poetic, isn't it? You follow each of these three points (Three Rivers, get it?) and they all return to the Three Rivers Medical Center (in Pittsburgh) to the end, and in that end? I found it to be extremely gratifying. Yes. I CRIED and I even get a little choked up now thinking about the events of the pilot and how they all came about.
Flash Forward: I know, WHY IS THIS NOT ON TOP 5?! Don't get me wrong, this show is excellent, it's very well written, well acted, and all around a fun ride. But here's the thing. I already have an insanely confusing and flash-forward/backward-y show in Lost. I know, I know, we are swearing up and down that this is not Lost, and really it doesn't have anything to do with the other at all. This show is really good, I cannot WAIT to see what comes next, but if they keep going going going like the pilot, I'm afraid I will get really confused, and maybe even a little bored. I'm hoping that Marc (because I love him so) will throw in twists and turns I don't see coming, and that I will be able to be constantly surprised by it.
V: I loved this pilot. I really really did. But it seems like the further away I get from it, the more I don't care. Which ... is not a good thing. I hope that it will be able to keep my interest, and really challenge me as a viewer to delve in deeper with the storylines and really ponder the things that happen. Elisabeth Mitchell does a STELLAR job, but come on, did we expect any differently? Add to that a really great supporting cast, and we've got an all around solid show. I'm slightly scared though, because they have halted production for "re-tooling". Never a good sign, guys.
Stargate: Universe: Okay, let me start by saying I haven't seen this pilot yet. HOWEVER, I saw the preview at Comic Con and holy crap. I have never watched Stargate. I have never had any desire to. I was part of that "eehhhh, pass." crowd. But oh my holy DAMN if this doesn't look amazing. People who have seen it so far are hailing it as the best damn pilot SyFy(SciFi) has ever come up with. Aside from my beloved Battlestar Galactica...right?
So there you have it, my picks for this year's dramas. Granted I haven't seen them all, but these were the ones that I know I will be tuning in each week. To the two of you still reading, you were always my favorite.