My take on the 2011 shows

We’ve hit mid-season, which means, I suspect, that my friends are waiting to hear which of the new fall shows I’ve really enjoyed, which ones stink, etc.

Of course, I probably should’ve done this weeks ago, because your viewing habits have already been set for the season.

At the beginning of the fall, I mentioned the shows I was most interested in: Terra Nova, Once Upon A Time, Grimm, Pan Am and Ringer.

Which ones do I still care about?

The only one I look forward to every week is Once Upon a Time. I’m rooting for this little town of curses fairy tale characters, and well, it’s got Jane Espenson, and I tend to root for her, too. Emma Caulfield is going to be on it in a few weeks, so, we can check in with her.  It’s charming, and I really want to know how it all works out.

I’m still limping along with Terra Nova and Ringer, but, without much enthusiasm. Terra Nova had an ok pilot, but I remained unconvinced. At this point, it feels mostly tedious to me, and I’m finding it hard to swallow my disbelief. They were sent into the past to save the future? But, the future is still sucking, so, why do they keep sending people? Don’t they (the future) know it pretty much already failed? Dumb.

Ringer is convoluted and is much more soapy than I’d like. The supposedly dead twin is increasingly unlikable, and I’m not entirely sure I care about any of them any more.

Pan Am was, well, boring. Sure, there’s espionage going on, and people are having affairs, but, somehow, I wasn’t compelled to watch after the first episode. Grimm was much the same, even if, admittedly, I like the pilot better than the Pan Am pilot. It might be a show I check out again later. I think it has some identity issues, and it’s trying to be a blend of humor, pathos and horror like Buffy was, but, it’s not managing the tonal shifts with nearly the Buffy’s deftness. Which is disappointing, since David Greenwalt is there, and he was a longtime Buffy writer, and co-creator on Angel.

Strangely, a show I hadn’t heard too much about has also earned my interest. I should’ve paid more attention earlier, because it’s Tim Minear’s new show, American Horror Story.  It’s about a family who unknowingly moves into a house with more ghosts than the Stanley Hotel. It’s creepy, and it’s hard to know what is and isn’t real. Several of the people introduced from the beginning aren’t even alive. We only anticipated a few of those, and it’s just gotten weirder. Don’t watch this if you aren’t a fan of scary movies. It’s pretty warped. The best news, if you’re a Tim Minear fan?  The ratings have been on a steady growth pattern, and it’s already gotten a full season order. Maybe his “curse” has been lifted with the show about a cursed house.

I’ve also peeked in at Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, with Michael Emerson, and Revenge.  Unforgettable is ok, but too reliant on its gimmick. Blue Bloods struck me as a very typical cop show, and I don’t care too much about ordinary cop shows. Person of Interest is the best of this bunch, and has a J.J. Abrams pedigree, which, for me, could be an asset or a detriment. It’s watchable, but, seems largely unremarkable. Except, of course, that I just remarked on it.

At any rate, that’s my take on the new fall shows. I’m looking forward still to the River, to premiere in January.