We're a few weeks into the Fall 2013 television season, and yes, there are still a couple of shows waiting in the wings to debut at all, but already some pretty major adjustments have been made to the schedule. Shows have already been dropped across a few networks, and more personally, many shows have been dropped for not living up to my (not even crazy high) expectations. But the good news is that there are a couple of shows that came out of the gate with super strong episode two and threes and completely hooked me in a way I just did not expect. That is super rare and therefore that much more thrilling when I experience it.
- 8 p.m. - Masterchef Junior - We've already established that I'm a sucker for cooking shows, but when there are kids involved the obsession grows. These are 8-13 year olds who have better palates and more skills in the kitchen than I do, and it's both inspiring and a little scary. They're already so much more talented and accomplished than I am! But there's a sense of fun to this reality show that doesn't exist on any other.
- 8 p.m. - The Carrie Diaries - This hasn't premiered yet, but after seeing the second season premiere on a review copy, I know I'll be sticking with it for its sophomore season because everyone has grown up a lot over the summer, and that makes for more interesting conflict to come when they're all thrown back together. Carrie is pretty much living independently in Manhattan, but soon she'll be thrust back into high school life in Castlebury and forced to juggle and play double duty again. As someone who knew all too well the feeling of just biding time one place before getting to where you really felt you belonged, I can't wait to see how she handles it! But also, Samantha's a fun free-spirit, and Walt is even more awesome now that he's had time to get comfortable with who he is. If the three of them were on their own, Three's Company-esque show, I'd watch that!
- 9 p.m. - Hawaii Five-0 - The people are beautiful and so is the scenery, but the weekly criminals are intense, and even a few seasons in, they've managed to do things they've never done before and create interesting worlds that I wanted to spend more time in. Case in point: the mystery of ancient stolen rings and an artifact that opened a secret panel on a statue to find them. This got two innocent people killed at the top of the show, but it kickstarted an exhilarating hour of television. Actually, every episode is pretty exhilarating.
- 9 p.m. - America's Next Top Model - I admit I started watching this season just to ogle male models, but I quickly became obsessed with the ridiculousness of the "social media score," which just sounds made up, and the aggressive make-up, and the over the top photo shoots, and the creepy moving photographs. My favorite guy has recently gone home, but the person I think actually deserves to win is still there, so I plug on.
- 9 p.m. - Raising Hope - This hasn't premiered yet, but I've seen an advance copy of the first four episodes, and it's the same crazy, quirky family comedy (now with cuter, more talkative kids!) that I fell in love with years ago. We get to learn even more about the Chances' past while watching them work toward building a better future for little Hope.
- 10 p.m. - Haven - Every plot point on this show can be seen coming a mile away, and yet I can't look away. It's one part the "it's a part of the Stephen King universe and therefore I must see it through," one part Nathan's dreamy eyes, and one part desire to see if Audrey really can save the town of Haven once and for all-- even though I was hoping Lexi would stick around a bit longer.