Boob Tube Breakdown – Fall TV Preview 2011

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

I love September. People stop asking me to go do things out in nature, which saves my pasty Irish skin from the harsh rays of the sun and allows me to sit inside with my one true love, the old boob tube.

Since most of you fine readers have personal lives and don’t have the time to research these shows like I do, I have a full breakdown of all of the new shows in my fifth-annual “Boob Tube Breakdown.”

(However, this year, with apologies to Sarah Michelle Gellar, I have decided to leave out The CW because, well, let’s be honest – you weren’t going to watch any of their shows anyway.)

As always, some of these shows will be good, some will be bad and quite a few will be promptly canceled. It’s an exciting time to be a couch potato, so let’s see what the TV Gods have to offer this year:

2 Broke Girls
CBS (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 19, at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: 2 Broke Girls is a comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash. Sassy, streetwise Max Black works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner. Sophisticated Caroline Channing is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot. At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style.

My Take: 2 Broke Girls sounds like a terrible 90s girl group. Max Black and Caroline Channing sound like porn star names. And this show sounds terrible.

A Gifted Man
CBS (Premieres: Friday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his [deceased] ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle), an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him. Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her.

Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale). When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged. Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone.

My Take: Isn’t that always the way with ex-wives? First they take half of everything, then they haunt you from beyond the grave. That must really put a crimp in his dating life. God, this comes across as such a terrible, “feel good,” hokey premise. What a waste of Julie Benz and Margo Martindale.

Allen Gregory
Fox (Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Allen Gregory is a new animated series that tells the story of one of the most pretentious seven-year-olds of our time.

When he looks in the mirror, Allen Gregory De Longpre (Jonah Hill) doesn’t see a child. He sees a young man who is intelligent, sophisticated, worldly, artistic and romantic – characteristics he inherited from his doting father, RichardI (French Stewart). The pair share an extraordinary father-son bond – a bond that is sometimes annoyingly interrupted by Richard’s life partner, Jeremy (Nat Faxon), for whom Allen Gregory has minimal respect, if any at all. They live together in a stunning architectural loft, along with Julie (Joy Osmanski), Allen Gregory’s adopted Cambodian sister.

My Take: There is not a single thing about that description that appeals to me. I’d rather Fox stick with the underrated Bob’s Burgers than take a chance on what sounds like a “more pretentious” Frasier.

American Horror Story
FX (Premieres: Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: American Horror Story revolves around The Harmons, a family of three who move from Boston to Los Angeles as a means to reconcile past anguish. The all-star cast features Dylan McDermott as Ben Harmon, a psychiatrist; Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon, Ben’s wife; Taissa Farmiga as Violet, the Harmon’s teenage daughter; Jessica Lange in her first-ever regular series TV role as Constance, the Harmon’s neighbor;Evan Peters as Tate Langdon, one of Ben’s patients; and Denis O’Hare as Larry Harvey. Guest stars for the series include Frances Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge as the Harmon’s housekeepers; and Jamie Brewer as Constance’s daughter.

My Take: Putting aside the fact that that’s a pretty loose definition of the phrase “all-star cast,“ this show does have a lot of potential. FX has the best track record these days for producing quality dramas. However, the one thing that does concern me is the fact that this show is being made by Ryan Murphy, the guy behind Nip/Tuck, which means that by season three we’ll have a boy-touching priests, a deranged serial killer attacking those close to the Harmons and a deformed lobster baby.

Boss
Starz (Premieres: Friday, Sept. 21, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) sits like a spider at the center of Chicago’s web of power; a web built on a covenant with the people. They want to be led, they want disputes settled, jobs dispensed and loyalties rewarded. If he achieves through deception and troubling morality, so be it. As long as he gets the job done, they look the other way.

Yet despite being the most effective mayor in recent history, a degenerative brain disorder is ripping everything away from him. He can’t trust his memory, his closest allies, or even himself.

My Take: I think the key to this show’s success is the level of Grammer’s dickishness. If he’s like a live-action Sideshow Bob, it may be worth tuning in. Either way though, if they don’t use this as the show’s theme song, they are missing out.

Charlie’s Angels
ABC (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: Everyone deserves a second chance – even a thief, a street racer and a cop who got in a little too deep. After all, the three women who solve cases for their elusive boss, Charlie Townsend, are no saints. They’re angels … Charlie’s Angels.

Set in Miami, this fun, glamorous, action-packed take on the 1970s smash hit series introduces us to three new angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Minka Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure – Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs.

My Take: I think the Angels most difficult mission will be making America care about another pointless retread of this overrated, campy 70s show.

Enlightened
HBO (Premieres: Monday, Oct. 10, at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Enlightened is the new offbeat HBO series written by Mike White and starring Laura Dern as Amy, a self-destructive health and beauty executive who has a very public workplace meltdown. After three months of contemplation and meditation at a treatment center in Hawaii, Amy returns rested and ready to pick up the pieces of her old life and reshape the world she left behind. That includes delivering well-meaning, but generally unwanted advice to her mother Helen (Diane Ladd), with whom Amy is now living; her slacker ex-husband Levi (Luke Wilson) whose only solace comes from recreational drugs; and the crew of awkward co-workers Amy finds herself reassigned to. The series follows Amy as she navigates an unconventional path between who she is, who she wants to be … and what everyone is willing to tolerate from her.

My Take: Sure, why not, I’ll give “How Amy Got Her Groove Back,” starring Laura Dern and Luke Wilson, a shot

Free Agents
Network (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 10:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Based on the witty, cult U.K. series of the same name, Free Agents is a crooked, romantic comedy from creator John Enbom and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland that explores the trials and tribulations of finding love and companionship – the second time around.

Hank Azaria stars as newly divorced Alex, who is missing his kids and trying to keep himself together. Alex’s co-worker Helen thinks she has it together, but she drinks too much in order to cope with her fiance’s untimely death. It’s no surprise then when these two overworked public relations executives share an ill-fated night of passion and are forced to cope with the awkward aftermath.

My Take: It’s really difficult to say. Adapting a British show for NBC could mean we get another The Office or it could mean we get another Kath & Kim. The important thing to remember though is that this is a sitcom on NBC, which means that regardless of how good it is, no one will watch it.

Grimm
NBC (Premieres: Friday, Oct. 21, at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: Grimm is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Portland homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he is descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.

As he tries to hide the dangers of his new found calling from his fiancé, Juliette Silverton, (Bitsie Tulloch), and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries and alliances of the Grimm world.

With help from his confidant, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Grimm creature himself, Nick must navigate through the forces of a larger-than-life mythology, facing off with Hexenbiests, Blutbads and all manner of ancient evils, including royal lines dating back to the original profilers themselves, The Grimm Brothers.

My Take: “It seems that Goldilocks found the conditions just right … for murder.” YEEAAAAH!

Hell on Wheels
AMC (Premieres: Sunday, Nov. 6, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Hell on Wheels is a contemporary Western that centers on former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon, portrayed by Anson Mount, whose quest for vengeance has led him to the Union Pacific Railroad’s westward construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

My Take: I’m not sure the people over at AMC understand what the word “contemporary” mean. Justified is a contemporary Western – this is just a Western. Unless they are planning on having the South rise again in modern times (which some Southerns have no doubt been rooting for ever since that wicked “War of Northern Aggression”), they are not using that word correctly at all.

Homeland
Showtime (Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 2, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Who’s the hero – who’s the threat? When MIA Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody returns home to a hero’s welcome after eight years in enemy confinement, brilliant but volatile CIA agent Carrie Mathison isn’t buying his story. She believes that Brody has been turned and is now working for Al Qaeda. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse with nothing short of American national security at stake. Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patankin star in the provocative, suspenseful new Showtime Original Series Homeland, from Executive Producers of 24.

My Take: This sounds like it could be really great if they can find a way to give it a 24 vibe to it. Here’s hoping Mandy Patankin gets the Jack Bauer role. “My name is Jack Bauer. You betrayed your country. Prepare to die.”

How to Be a Gentleman
CBS (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 29, at 8:30)

Synopsis: How to Be a Gentleman, inspired by the book of the same name, is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer. Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society. Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy.

When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.” Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion. Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link.

My Take: Man, what an “odd couple” these two guys make. Has anyone ever made a sitcom about a comically-mismatched odd couple of guys like these two? Oh Hollywood, how do you keep churning out these brilliant original ideas?

I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Fox (Premieres: Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Annie (Jaime Pressly) and Nikki (Katie Finneran) are former high school outcasts whose pasts inform their current parenting styles. Annie, who was raised in an ultra-strict, über-religious household where she had little-to-no freedom, pretty much allows her daughter, Sophie (Kristi Lauren), to do whatever she wants. Nikki, once an unpopular, overweight social pariah, has reinvented herself as a pretty Southern belle whose top priority is providing her daughter, Mackenzi (Aisha Dee), with the childhood she never had.

Sophie and Mackenzie are best friends, which leads to a lot of co-parenting for Annie and Nikki. They have given the girls everything they asked for and everything they never had: clothes, money and self-esteem. The unintended consequence is they have created two mean girls just like the ones who tortured them years ago. Sophie finds her mother embarrassing and mocks her at every opportunity, but she secretly needs her mom and knows that her behavior is not always appropriate. Mackenzie, on the other hand, is the more manipulative of the daughters – she knows how to work her mother’s insecurities to her benefit.

My Take: If watching the show is anywhere near as tedious as reading that description was for me, I’m not liking this one’s chances.

Last Man Standing
ABC (Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: Today it’s a woman’s world, and this man’s man is on a mission to get men back to their rightful place in society.

Tim Allen returns to ABC in this new comedy from Jack Burditt. Men may have built civilizations, invented the locomotive and created ESPN, but they’re about to find out that it’s not a man’s world anymore. You can’t get manlier than Mike Baxter. He’s the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store, he loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women – namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before.

My Take: Women be shoppin’.

Man Up!
ABC (Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 8:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Three modern men try to get in touch with their inner tough guys and redefine what it means to be a “real man” in this funny and relatable comedy.

Will’s grandfather fought in WWII. Will’s father fought in Vietnam. Will plays Call of Duty on his PS3 and drinks non-dairy hazelnut creamer. So what happened to all the real men? They’re still here – they just smell like pomegranate body wash now. Meet Will (Mather Zickel). His evolved, sensitive nature is why his awesome wife, Theresa (Teri Polo), married him. But Will and his friends find themselves wondering – in a world of Axe ads and manscaping – what does it really mean to be a guy anymore? Will is more interested in finding the perfect gift for his son Nathan’s (Jake Johnson) 13th birthday than in doing his job selling insurance; sensitive soul Craig (Christopher Moynihan) still pines for his college ex, Lisa; and Kenny (Dan Fogler) clamps down on his anger and asks himself, “What would Tobey Maguire do?,” when his ex, Brenda (Amanda Detmer), starts seeing a guy (Henry Simmons) who is everything he’s not and much better looking. After Craig crashes Lisa’s wedding to try to win her back, they are all faced with an opportunity to Man Up and be like their forefathers.

My Take: Did I mention: “Women be shoppin’”?

New Girl
Fox (Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: A new comedy series from executive producer and writer Liz Meriwether, New Girl features a young ensemble cast that takes a fresh look at modern relationships.

Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) is an offbeat and “adorkable” woman in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves into a loft with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn’t. Although she’s quirky and somewhat awkward, Jess is comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she’s not used to hanging with the boys – especially at home.

My Take: I’m not sold on the premise, but I would watch Zooey Deschanel read ads for skinny jeans and vegan cupcakes out of the phonebook.

Once Upon A Time
ABC (Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: From the inventive minds of Lost executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide.

And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close … where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

My Take: From the producers of Lost, eh? Oh great, I always thought my fairy tales could use more daddy issues, women getting kidnapped and unresolved plot points.

Pan Am
ABC (Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Welcome to 1963: a time when only a lucky few could take flight, experience a global adventure or gain a front-row seat to history. Those lucky few flew Pan Am, the largest, most prestigious airline in the world. More than Coca-Cola, Elvis Presley or the transistor, Pan Am exported American culture to the world abroad and brought that world back to American shores.

My Take: It’s like Mad Men, but without John Hamm, Christina Hendricks and lax basic cable censorship rules. In fact, being on a Disney-owned network, the stewardesses aren’t even allowed to smoke on the show. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Person of Interest
CBS (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: Person of Interest stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent, Reese, who teams up with a mysterious billionaire, Finch, to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese’s special training in covert operations appeals to Finch, a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes.

Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law, using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the “person of interest” and stop the crime before it happens. Reese’s actions draw the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter, and Fusco, a cop whom Reese uses to his advantage. With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.

My Take: Jesus and Ben Linus teaming up with a psychic computer to fight crime? Add in a tricked out van and a pug sidekick and I wouldn’t miss this show for the world.

The Playboy Club
NBC (Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: From Academy Award-winning Executive Producer Brian Grazer, The Playboy Club is a provocative new NBC drama about a time and place that challenged the existing social mores and transformed American culture forever. It’s the early 1960s, and at the center of Chicago lies the legendary and seductive Playboy Club, a living, breathing fantasy world filled with $1.50 cocktails, music, glitter and of course, beautiful Bunnies. The key to the club, which offers the ultimate in beauty, is the most sought-after status symbol of its time. But all that glitters isn’t gold, and in the back rooms and alleys behind the club, life happens – both good and bad.

My Take: As long as the Internet doesn’t start offering free porn, I think this show has a real chance to succeed.

Prime Suspect
NBC (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: From Emmy Award-nominated producers Peter Berg (NBC’s Friday Night Lights) and Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) comes the crime drama Prime Suspect that takes a look inside a New York City homicide department. The series stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails NYPD homicide Detective Jane Timoney, an outsider who has just transferred to a new squad where her new colleagues already dislike her. Jane is confident and focused – and also rude, abrupt and occasionally reckless. She has her vices, and rumors of a questionable past follow her everywhere – but at the end of the day, she’s an instinctively brilliant cop who can’t be distracted from the only important thing: the prime suspect.

My Take: Hopefully this is the show that finally helps me tell the difference between Maria Bello and Mary McCormack.

Revenge
ABC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: “Revenge is universal. As primal as the need for love, sex or the feeding of a searing hunger. Revenge crosses time and culture. It starts unwinnable wars and visits generations of blood feuds on families with unsettled scores. Revenge is as old as humanity. Dark and dramatic and endless.”

-Mike Kelley, Creator of Revenge

Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of revenge.

Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) is new to the Hamptons. She’s met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how – with a vengeance.

My Take: I can only hope the show is as generic and devoid of content as that above quote from Mike Kelley. “Revenge is a word that’s in the dictionary. It has seven letters. It sort of rhymes with ‘unhinge.’”

Suburgatory
Network (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 8:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the ‘burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they’ve ever been.

Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa’s mom pulled a Kramer vs. Kramer before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he’s feeling a little out of his league. So it’s goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the ‘burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they’re really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast.

My Take: The title of this show sounds like a really lame punchline to a joke my dad would tell. That joke would probably still be better than this show though.

Terra Nova
Fox (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: Terra Nova follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past.

When scientists unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past – a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time.

My Take: It has time travel and dinosaurs, so obviously I’m intrigued. But honestly, it will all come down to the special effects team’s ability to give us well-rendered dinosaurs on an episodic TV show budget and the writing team’s ability to expand on the show’s promising premise. Wait … who am I kidding? This is Fox we are talking about – the show will be phenomenal, but will be canceled after five episodes.

Unforgettable
CBS (Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder.

Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop. Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember.

My Take: I already forgot this show exists.

Up All Night
NBC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Up All Night … is an irreverent look at modern parenthood.

Christina Applegate stars as Reagan Brinkley: loving wife, successful career woman, life of the party and, most recently, mom. Determined not to compromise her career or cool reputation to the cliches of motherhood, Reagan adjusts to life with a baby and returns to work with the support of her stay-at-home husband, Chris. As Reagan and Chris figure out their new life, self-doubt, sleep deprivation and the pressure of today’s parenting protocols rattle their confidence. What’s more, the endless needs of Reagan’s boss, ambitious but vulnerable talk-show host Ava, threaten to throw Reagan off balance.

My Take: No. Just no.

Whitney
NBC (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: NBC’s new multi-camera comedy Whitney is a hilarious look at modern day love, which centers around Whitney (Whitney Cummings) and Alex (Chris D’Elia), a happily unmarried couple. Together for three years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched, which seems to get a mixed response from their friends.

My Take: The premise seems a bit forced based on that description, but the commercials for the show have been pretty funny and I’m a fan of Whitney Cummings’ stand up, so I’ll give it a try.

The X Factor
Network (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 8:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Since its debut in 2004, the x factor has remained the U.K.’s #1 program for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million for its 2010 finale. The format swiftly broke similar records around the world, where local versions have consistently rated #1. The series has received numerous honors worldwide, and more than 100 million records have been sold by artists launched through the series, including over 90 #1 singles and albums and 150 Top Ten records.

My Take: I imagine this will be a smash hit, but the idea of another TV singing competition is just a’ight for me, dawg.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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