Thursday, August 18, 2011

TV Preview 2011/2012 – 25 Must See Series, Part 1: 25-21

Has television programming ever been better than it is right now? Not in terms of great individual shows, but in terms of lots of really great shows (many of which did not make this list, and I had some tough decisions) on the air right now. This is a list of the best twenty five series in the upcoming 2011/2012 season.

Rank: 25
Genre: Fantasy Horror/Romance
Network: HBO
Creator(s): Alan Ball
Premier Date: June 26, 2011
Current Season: Fourth
Plot Summary: The series is about Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress working in rural Louisiana who discovers a new world of creatures, falling in love with a vampire named Bill Compton.
Why It Made the List: While True Blood is a bit on the over-dramatic side (like a supernatural soap opera), there is no denying that it is a great series featuring wonderful imagery and characters (typical of most HBO dramas). This is a show I always look forward to each season, regardless of how crazy it gets. Paquin, Moyer and especially Skarsgard have really made this show great, as well as the other actors. Deborah Ann Woll is also brilliant. While not all the stories and narrative arcs have been strong, Ball’s best stuff is outstanding (I love all the material with the characters Sophie-Anne Leclerq and Godric). This is a must for fans of romance and/or supernatural genre shows.

Rank: 24
Genre: Comedy
Network: CBS
Creator(s): Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
Premier Date: September 22, 2011
Current Season: Fifth
Plot Summary: The series is about a young woman who moves across the hall from two physicists, who are brilliant but socially awkward. While hesitant at first, she befriends them becoming part of their group of friends.
Why It Made the List: The Big Bang Theory at its best is very funny, sweet and even dramatically engaging. But, many of the episodes are repetitive to an extent. Also, (and maybe this is just me) the character of Leonard is not nearly likable enough to be the main protagonist. Parsons’s Sheldon Cooper and Cuoco’s Penny are both great characters and carry the show, and make it worth watching and very enjoyable despite the joke-scheme becoming a little tired. This is a must for fans of sitcom comedies, especially if you identify with these characters.

Rank: 23
Genre: Comedy
Network: ABC
Premier Date: September 21, 2011
Current Season: Third
Plot Summary: The series is about three families (all related to one-and-other) and trials and tribulations they go through each day.
Why It Made the List: Modern Family started out very funny in season one only to get better in season two. The dynamic between the three families is great – how they interact both with each other and within their own family unit. The mundane normalcy of life is done in a hysterical fashion of slapstick and awkward comedy. This is one of the best sitcom comedies on TV, and while it plays better for 25 year-olds and older viewers who can relate with the characters it is still worth checking out for younger viewers as well.

Rank: 22
Genre: Comedy
Network: CBS
Creator(s): Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
Premier Date: September 19, 2011
Current Season: Seventh
Plot Summary: The series is the story of how Ted Mosby met his wife, as told to his kids through a series of antidotal stories.
Why It Made the List: How I Met Your Mother is great because it has a wonderful cast. NPH steals many an episode. The show took a little dip in quality in season five, as creators Bays and Thomas were developing a new show in addition to running HIMYM. But, season six was much better and a return to form (though, still not as great as the first three seasons). The seasons are uneven in terms of episode to episode quality, but season six had some really good stuff. The show has sort of a limited timeline in its future as Ted is well past thirty now and needs to meet his wife. Season seven has been rumored to be the show’s last – but a change in format once Ted meets his wife could prolong it. HIMYM also has had a fantastic group of guest actors (both for single episodes and season arcs), and I look forward to see who will show up in season seven. This is a must for fans of shows like Friends, as this is essentially this generation’s Friends.

Rank: 21
Genre: Drama
Network: HBO
Creator(s): Eric Overmyer and David Simon
Premier Date: Spring 2012
Current Season: Third
Plot Summary: The series is about the city of New Orleans – recovering, reinventing and rejuvenating its identity after Hurricane Katrina.
Why It Made the List: First thing you need to know about Treme is that it is by David Simon who also created The Wire and Generation Kill – both of which are excellent. Next, the cast is fabulous (featuring a number of The Wire alumni). Third, it is an HBO drama, which means it has marvelous character work and is not afraid to go down any narrative road. And fourth, the show incorporates the music of New Orleans – its heart and soul. Fans of HBO dramas life Six Feet Under should check Treme out.

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