Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TV Preview 2012/2013 – 25 Must-See Series, Part 1: 25-21

Rank: 25
Genre: Comedy
Creator(s): David Caspe
Current Season: Third
Channel: ABC
Return Date: October 23, 2012
Plot Summary: Set in Chicago, the sitcom centers around six friends facing the struggles of adulthood.
Why It Made the List: Basically, Happy Endings is the best ‘Friends’ comedy on TV right now (taking over from How I Met Your Mother and maybe The Big Bang Theory which have both sort of fizzled out and become overly repetitive and tired). The show is very funny led by the antics and great performances of Coupe, Pally and Wayans, Jr. While season one was funny, it struggled a bit and the show was almost cancelled. However, season two is fantastic, propelling Happy Endings into the conversation discussing the best sitcoms on network television. It is defiantly worth checking out for fans of shows like HIMYM and Community (as it shares a similar scene of humor).

Rank: 24
Genre: Comedy
Current Season: Ninth
Channel: NBC
Return Date: September 20, 2012
Plot Summary: Set as a mockumentary, the series presents the day-to-day exploits of the employees of Dunder-Mifflin’s Stanton, PA, branch – romances, ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, friendships, and so on.
Why It Made the List: The eighth season of The Office, its first without Michael Scott (Steve Carell), is the weakest so far. The ninth season also faces many challenges as the show is losing its executive producers, writers and actors Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein. B.J. Novak (actor/writer) is also going to appear in less episodes, and Wilson is going to be leaving midway through the season for a Dwight spin-off. Clark Duke and Jake Lacy are joining the cast as new members of the office (much like Kemper did in season five or Helms in season three), and writer/producer Brent Forrester (with the show since season three) is taking over as executive producer along with new series writer Dan Sterling. This season will be pivotal to whether or not the show is cancelled or continues on, phasing out old cast members and bringing in new cast members (similar to the way Grey’s Anatomy has progressed). This show barely made this list, but I am giving it the benefit of the doubt as seasons two through seven were all quite good. I hope it can find some rejuvenating magic with the new writers and cast members and return to is spot among TV’s best five comedies.

Rank: 23
Genre: Comedy
Creator(s): Lena Dunham
Current Season: Second
Channel: HBO
Return Date: April 2013
Plot Summary: The series is about the experiences of women in the early twenties in New York City.
Why It Made the List: Dunham and Judd Apatow have given HBO a new modern version of Sex and the City (for the more hipsterish/slacker crowd) with Girls. Dunham is a great new voice for woman on TV, both as the show’s star and its creator/writer (of every episode). TV, like film, is short on female voices, and Dunham brings one that speaks to her generation on their level, and is fresh and different. Girls is not a comedy that is going to work for everyone, as it is specifically stylized for younger viewers, but for fans it offers a unique almost interactive relatable experience (especially for those in urban settings).

Rank: 22
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Creator(s): Paul Abbott
Current Season: Third
Channel: Showtime
Return Date: January 2013
Plot Summary: The Gallaghers are a poor family living in Chicago. Their mother left and has a new family and their father is in a perpetual alcohol induced stupor. Led by the oldest Fiona, the six kids work together to get by and stay together as a family.
Why It Made the List: Shameless has replaced Weeds as Showtime’s best comedy/drama (as Weeds has rapidly declined in quality). While it is dramatically compelling with great characters and writing (which is to be expected coming from Abbott – who gave us the fantastic miniseries State of Play), it is the crude comedy that often takes center stage and makes this series stand out (much like another Showtime comedy Californication). However, unlike many comedy/dramas on television, Shameless is also steeped in reality and is very relatable, as it touches often on fundamental emotions (while still being silly at times). Fans of family oriented comedies and dramas who do not mind more adult and crude material should really enjoy this series.

Rank: 21
Genre: Comedy
Creator(s): Rob McElhenney
Current Season: Eighth
Channel: FX
Return Date: September 2012
Plot Summary: Charlie, Dennis, Mac, Dee, and Frank own an Irish bar in Philadelphia. Each member of the group has an overabundance of arrogance and a huge ego mixed with sheer cluelessness and insensitivity, often leading the group into wacky misadventures and extensive arguments.
Why It Made the List: Simply put, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the funniest comedies on TV. Even after seven seasons, the material still works and feels fresh (which very often not the case). The antics of the group are just a pleasure to share in. This series is a must-see for fans of un-politically correct, zany and awkward humor.

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