Sunday, September 2, 2012

What DanielleTBD is Watching on FOX for Fall 2012...



Raising Hope (Tuesdays, 8 p.m.) - I can admit when I'm wrong, and I have never been more wrong about my assessment of this show. When I first saw the pilot, I was kind of turned off on the concept because I rejected its premise: I didn't think Jimmy Chance should be raising this baby because he clearly couldn't raise himself. But the episodes went on to show just how much heart and love was really there in this unconventional village raising this one perfect child, and now it is the show that not only makes me laugh the most consistently but also one of the ones I look forward to the most week after week. I have missed this show so much over the summer, refusing to linger on that weird season finale and instead wondering what kind of wacky summer antics (probably involving a homemade Slip N Slide or community pool) they were getting up to. The new season is introducing Sabrina's family for once, to show how the other side lives which is bound to bring out the competitiveness in Virginia, but it's also addressing some of my early fears years after I personally put them to rest. A social worker starts checking up on the family, worried about young Hope, and that seems like a meta nod to all of those still writing this show off without truly getting to know it. But I think I'm most excited for the fact that we'll dive deeper into the Chance family history to learn bigger secrets than the fact that Jimmy was once a music prodigy. (starting October 2nd)

Ben and Kate (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m.) - I feel like calling this new family comedy "charming" sells it short. Everyone knows you call things "charming" when you can't find nicer ways of saying "simple" or "small," but there is a sweet message at the end of the pilot that no matter who else comes and goes, your family will always be there for you-- and they'll love you, warts and all. In today's crazy world, that does seem simple and small and therefore charming. It's a warm, heartfelt message, and I hope people don't scoff at it the way I would have if it wasn't filled with such oddball characters. The one thing I'll say is I couldn't get past the not-quite-sibling vibes I got from the two leads in the pilot, so I'm watching mostly to make sure those dissipate. Once they do, this is going to be a rare gem of a show. I have high hopes because its creator, Dana Fox, is one of the most vibrant, unique people, still shiny and new and unjaded, in this business. (starting September 25th)

New Girl (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) - Maybe I'm a sadist, but I can't wait to see what becomes of Jess' life when she is suddenly a mess in both her personal and her professional life. She carries herself in such a ridiculous way, I was kind of surprised she held such a real, responsible job in the first place, but now that she's going to lose it in season two, it's going to be a make or break moment for the character. I've always loved the guys on this show and the way they mess with each other, and of course, that shouldn't be easing up anytime soon considering they're all still living together and still in the tough spots they were in at the end of last season. Schmidt is always good for a naked laugh, and hopefully the show will spread the wealth a little more in season two. (starting September 25th)

The Mindy Project (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.) - I really like Mindy Kaling. I just find her super relatable and fun and down-to-Earth in her writing. I like that her character is as pop culture obsessed as I am, and it has affected her real life relationships. Kaling and I have both written books on that, so there is an inherent kinship here that makes me want to root for this show hard. Plus it saved her from the sinking ship that is The Office. There is a lot about this show that seems to be unfolding sitcom style, rather than with big character arcs, and that is the one thing I feel the need to watch (out) for because I don't love shows that drag their characters around and around with no growth, just punchlines and crazy scenarios. But so far, so cute, so I'm looking forward to seeing what else she brings us. (starting September 25th)

Fringe (Fridays, 9 p.m.) - I caught up on this show late, so I feel like it's just getting started when really it's about to say good-bye. Hands down my favorite episode from last season was when we jumped into the future to see what had become of the Fringe Division-- and the daughter we didn't even know Peter and Olivia were going to have. Though the season finale "cliffhanger" left a lot to be desired, wrapping up such a large story with a final thirteen episodes, I know I will be on the edge of my seat for each one, watching and waiting for whether or not the Fringe Division today can save themselves and their universes from the future they glimpsed. (starting September 28th)

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