For the first time ever I’m not looking forward to the premier of the Office. In the past I would count down the days until I could see Jim’s newest prank on Dwight and Michael’s most recent social transgression. It was the highlight of the fall, but no longer is that the case. Fortunately, there are still plenty of shows that I am getting very excited about seeing this fall.
- Parks and Recreation: Last season left off with a series of cliffhangers that should make for an interesting season. Tom has left the government to go into business with Jean Ralphio. Ron’s first wife Tammy has returned, and she is scary enough to send Tammy 2 running. Leslie has been approached by a group asking her if she is interested in running for public office all while she is carrying on a secret relationship with Ben. Parks and Recreation is now by far the best ensemble cast on television, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store this season.
- Dexter: At the end of each season I wonder exactly how Dexter is going to be able to have another one. After his wife died I thought that the show was about to jump the shark, but last year was yet another great season. Last year ended with Dexter getting left by Lumen Pierce, a woman who finally understood who he was and accepted him for it. Now Dexter must balance life as a single father with an older Harrison while still quenching his desire to kill those who are evil.
- How I Met Your Mother: I think this is the season when we will finally meet the future Mrs. Ted Mosby. Last year we were teased several times, but finally it was revealed that he met her at a wedding where he was the best man. In the season finale Ted was about to give his best mans speech for Barney’s wedding. Now it could be another plot ploy considering he is also supposed to be Robin’s best man, but I think now we will get some answers. The issue will be whether or not the show will work once we have actually met the woman because shows like Lost didn’t work when they were found and Prison Break stumbled after they were free. But I have the ultimate faith in Barney and Marshall still making this a success.
- Psych: By no means is Psych a great show. But it is clever, funny, and has some compelling characters. The most interesting subplot, the Yin & Yang killers story arc is over, but I think that week in and week out there will still be interesting and fun crimes for Shawn and Gus to solve. I just hope the relationship with Juliet doesn’t overtake the show killing it to me in the way that Jim and Pam hurt The Office.
- Boardwalk Empire: Season one was a slow starter that eventually took off pretty well. Steve Buscemi is a tough character to believe, but the rest of the cast is excellent. This show is a cool take on gangsters in the prohibition era that doesn’t go the route of many other shows with dumb fight scenes or unnecessary and gratuitous violence just for the sake of it. Boardwalk may never be as good a show on HBO as The Sopranos or The Wire, but I think it could go down as one of the better shows in it’s history.
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: I was a late arrival to this show, but it is still one of my favorites. It is the best written and acted show on TV, with the quirky Charlie and stuck up Dennis and the ever-abused Deandra. Danny DeVito ties it all together with his one liners and crazy behavior, and the fact that they are allowed to have gratuitous swearing makes it all the better.
- Archer: I was initially very skeptical about Archer. To me it looked like a cliched show that didn’t hold much promise. Then I saw the cast and finally some episodes from season one, and from there I was hooked. Arrested Development carry-overs Jessica Walter, Judy Greer, and Jeffery Tambor do an excellent job portraying another dysfunctional family and wacky secretary. Each week the story holds a clever plot, writing and voice acting. I can’t wait for what this season has in store.