Fall TV Preview 2012 | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

September 9, 2012

Fall TV Preview 2012

September is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love that the weather cools down, Hubby is back in school, Pumpkin Spice Lattes abound, and TV shows become new again.



If you've come to know me at all, you're probably aware that I take my television viewing responsibilities quite seriously. It's a responsibility, people!  I'm not a couch potato by any means. During the day, the girls and I rarely flip on the screen. I've actually tried to reduce Chica and Bug's show-watching, and we've cut back to local cable only.

But when the girls are nestled in their beds for the night, and 8pm rolls around, a part of me comes alive.  It's not that I love TV, per se. But I love the stories. I love getting wrapped up for a half an hour with characters I've come to love. I love following the plot over several months, seeing where the show will take us. Yes, sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember it's not real. But getting involved with the shows you love is half the fun.

So I'm going to be honest here: I have all of my TV show season premiere's mapped out on a calendar. This is no lie. I want to be ready, and I don't want to miss a thing. I've mentally divided my shows into 3 lists:

  • Regular Can't Miss
  • On Probation
  • Give A Chance

Regular Can't Miss are the standard shows I love. They ended the season with a solid, and sources predict another great season.

On Probation shows are those that have been around for a while, but certain qualities about them give me doubts about their future. Maybe the writing wasn't strong last year, maybe the show has jumped the shark and should have retired a few seasons ago. Whatever the reason, I watch with caution, so that if I have to break-up with the show or accept a mid-season cancellation, I am not too upset about it. Grey's Anatomy, I'm looking at you here.

Give A Chance shows are new this season, or at least new to me. I usually try to do a little research on the up-and-coming shows, making a mental note of ones that seem interesting. Last season, I added New Girl to the mix, as well as Parenthood despite the fact that I had not watched the previous 2 seasons.  Both ended up being keepers. Two years ago, I gave The Event a chance. And it made it 2 weeks before I had to say bye bye.

Without further ado, here is my Fall 2012 TV Line Up, complete with premiere dates (and in case you missed last year, here is the 2011 Fall TV Preview)

Can't Miss:

New Girl (Premieres Tuesday 9/17, 8pm and 9pm)

When I saw the headlines that Zooey Deschanel would be starring in her own sitcom last Summer, I knew I had to give it a chance. I made sure I was home the night it premiered, and I was...whelmed. Not overwhelmed. Not underwhelmed. Just whelemed. I guess I had expected more, and I wasn't sure how I liked her mopey-I-just-broke-up-with-my-deadbeat-boyfriend-I'm-a-helpless-girl act. Hey, I'm just being honest. Luckily, I commit to giving every show 1 month before I decide to keep it in the tribe or let it loose (sorry, The Event, you only made it 2 weeks). I'm glad I gave New Girl at least 4 episodes Because despite not putting their best foot forward, New Girl quickly became one of my favorite shows. Possibly of all time. The beginning episodes were awkward, and you could tell the writers were trying to figure out characters and where the show was going. Once they hit their stride, you couldn't keep me away. Without fail, New Girl had me laughing (possibly to the point of tears) each and every week.

This season, I look forward to seeing if Nick is committed to staying at the apartment or will he move in with his girlfriend. Will we see some of the romantic tension between Nick and Jess play out? Let's hope there are more Schmidt hilariousness, as well as what comes of Coach's job. I foresee a strong season, hopefully one with a ton o' laughs.

Parenthood (Premieres Tuesday 9/11, 10pm)

I don't know why I did not get my act together during the first two seasons. But over and over my friends kept urging me, "Steph you have got to start watching Parenthood. It is totally up your alley. You. Will. Lurrve. It." I decided to jump right in during the Season 3 premiere, with the wikipedia page  on my browser so I could make sense of the family dynamics and some of the bigger things I missed the first 2 seasons. WOW. I've never had my heart stolen by a show before I met Parenthood. I have fallen in love with the Braverman family. The writing for this show is incredible. I love the complexity of each character, with the woven histories and function within dysfunction. I feel like I could drive to Cali right now, and the Braverman's would be waiting for me. I appreciate how they are tackling the topic of Autism with Max Braverman's character, as well as painting a real picture of family life - not one that is candy-coated (although some may argue that an upperclass white family may not be a well-rounded depiction of life).

This season, I am excited to see how newlyweds Crosby and Jasmine adjust to married life, the direction The Luncheonette will take, Amber's relationship with political figure Bob Little, as well as what comes of the foster/adoption situation with Julia and Joel. That is just to name a few of the many story-lines I am stoked about!

The Good Wife (Premieres Sunday 9/30, 9pm)

This is one of the few shows I have seen since it's debut in 2009. I'm not always into courtroom dramas (although I was partial to Judging Amy - oh how I miss it!), but following the story of heroine, Alicia Florrick, has been riveting. As a woman, I connected immediately with Alicia's character. We are introduced to Alicia during a press conference in which her husband, Illinois State's Attorney Peter Florrick, admits to a sex scandal. We've seen these press conferences in real life, and we often miss the behind-the-scenes impact on the family. We walk through Alicia's devastation and return to work as a lawyer after a 12-year season of being a stay-at-home mom. She is hired at the law firm of an old law school friend, Will, and it is evident there have been feelings between them but never discussed. Courtroom shows are never without drama, and there is a the combination of fresh story lines each week through the court cases, as well as the over-arching story lines that span over the season. I will not share any spoilers from past seasons, in case there are viewers catching up, but every episode leaves me anxious to get to the next!

This season, I am dying to find out about Kalinda's husband, Alicia and Will's relationship, if Alicia and Peter's relationship will continue (so many relationships!), the future of the Lockhard & Gardner law firm, the return of Cary to the firm, and how recurring characters and previous cases will pop up this season.

Community (Premieres Friday 10/19, 8:30pm)

Oh how I love an underdog!  Community grew on me over time, and I soon became part of the cult following. The show is quirky, and while it has a strong cult following, it lacks the overall momentum of a consistent national viewership. It took a [possibly permanent] hiatus last season (much to the chagrin of the cult fans - they put up quite a fuss on Twitter, demanding the show be returned), and many were glad to see it return to finish out the season. Community was, thankfully, renewed for another season, but I am wondering if it may be it's last. The prognosis is not good, with it's move from a strong Thursday night line up to a Friday night spot, I don't believe it has NBC's support.  But it has mine.  I love the creativity of their writers, with mind-boggling movie-themed episodes, inside jokes and complex plots. Yet, it's silly and outlandish and everything you want to be watching after a long, hard day.

This season, I think Community will be cancelled at the end of this season (if not mid-season) if there is not an outpouring of new viewers. If so, I believe Community will go out with a bang. I am hoping to see more of Abed and Troy's ridiculousness, movie-themed episodes (c'MON, Community!  Big Lebowski, pleaaaaaasssse?), and some resolution of sexual tension between Jeff and Annie (not as big of a fan of Jeff and Britta).  #sixseasonsandamovie

Parks and Recreation (Premieres Thursday 9/20, 9:30pm)

Something about the small midwestern town of Pawnee and the eclectic blend of characters that make up the Parks and Recreation office is endearing. Leslie Knope, one of the main characters can be a bit eye-rolling much at times, but she is charming. Having her romantically linked to Ben gives her a bit more grounding.  I love the hijinks of Tom, as well a April and Andy.  But hands down, my favorite character is Ron Swanson. How can it not be? The irony of a man who hates goverment but works for a government department is not lost on viewers. His one-liners are amazing ("You had me at meat tornado.") Some great story lines have been created with the show, such as last season's City Council race. This is another NBC show that I adore, but fear is in it's last season. But here's to hoping!

This season, what will happen now that Ben has accepted the job to work on another campaign, but in Washington DC?  How will Leslie adjust to her new position as City Councilwoman? Will Tom and Anne actually move in together? How will Parks and Rec survive without Leslie at the helm?

On Probation:

Grey's Anatomy (Premieres Thursday 9/27, 9pm)

Oh Greys. Why do you do this to me? I unfortunately did not become a fan until the end of Season 6, when the gunman was loose in the hospital and shot Derek. Once I caught that storyline, I committed the summer to watching reruns on Lifetime until I was generally caught up (you'd be amazing: by watching 2 reruns per naptime, 5 days a week, how quickly one can catch up on a television series). I was committed from there on out, throughout the losses of doctors, the introduction of new staff. I wanted to see how Meredith and Derek would play out, as well as many of the other complicated relationships. Some fans jumped ship with the death of George O'Malley and the near death of Izzy Stevens, but many have continued to watch. I remained a fan, even commending their creativity with the musical episode. With so much up in the air this past season, I was anxious with the previews for the Season 8 finale. Despite how much had changed over the years with the show, I was still taken aback at the death of Lexi and the unresolved story waiting to unfold this season. I'm not sure how it will look to continue after season 9, as many are squawking over the spoiler that we'll also be losing McSteamy, Dr. Mark Sloane. Some of my friends are saying they will not watch this season, despite being longtime fans. I was a committed ER fan for many years, and was happy to have another medical drama to pick up when it ended. So, I'm giving it another season, hoping that new life will be breathed in.

This season, I need to see resolution from Season 8's plane crash. I know we'll be losing Sloane, but I am not sure if Arizona Robbins will survive, which will throw a big transition for Callie. I'm interested to see the new doctors introduced this season, as well as new cases. How will our interns handle becoming official residents? And will April still stick around despite failing her boards?

Modern Family (Premieres Wednesday 9/26, 9pm)

It pains me to put Modern Family into the "On Probation" category. Now don't get me wrong. I love the Dunphys, the Pritchetts, and the Tucker-Pritchetts. When I do finally settle into an episode, I get my 30 minutes of laughter. Phil Dunphy still remains my favorite character on the show, although I have a spot in my heart for each. I love the dynamics of this modern family, and no, I do not think this show will be on the potential chopping block. I have this on my Probationary list because of how it is scheduled. I'll be into Modern Family for 3 weeks when it is aired consecutively. But then it will be absent for another 3 weeks, which is long enough to make me lose interest. So when it comes back on again, I kind of have to hype myself back up to watching it, or I'll let it lie. Which I don't want to do. I'm just surprised that such a quality TV show can go absent for several weeks at a time, to the dismay of it's viewers. C'mon, ABC. Get your stuff together.

This season, I obviously want to see Gloria's baby announcement play out, as well as what will happen with Cam and Mitchell's attempts at growing their family. I think these two scenarios will play off each other interestingly within the 3 families. How will Claire and Mitchell feel about Gloria bearing them a half-sibling? How will Cam and Mitchell handle struggling to adopt while Gloria is pregnant? And how will things look now that Haley is in college? A lot of interesting story lines to look forward to - just please air them in a somewhat consecutive manner!!

Give a Chance:

Revolution (Premieres Monday 9/17, 10pm)

I never thought of myself as a sci-fi chick until I realized...I kind of dig it. In movies and books, that is. And not all sci-fi. I've yet to find a sci-fi TV show that I found interesting enough to continue watching (The Event, anyone?!). And no, I never got into Lost. Yet, the trailers for the new series Revolution quickly grabbed my attention. I enjoy post-apocolyptic stories (Hunger Games, The Road, etc). Not zombies. But the idea of civilization rebounding and waht the world looks like after a world-wide crisis. Perhaps it's something about rising above? Perhaps it's wondering, "how would I survive in a world like this?"

Anyway, I digress.

The plot revolving a worldwide technology failure (everything from transportation to computers to lights), and how life has continued to thrive (or not thrive) in the years to follow. It sounds like there is a  large militia component in the current society, and a family who has a key to unlocking the secret to reversing the blackout. See? I'm already wanting to see what happens!  Looking forward to tuning in on this next week.

The Mindy Project (Premieres Tuesday 9/25, 9:30pm)

This show has me slightly less excited, but many of my friends have it on their radars, which intrigues me a bit. I really like Mindy Kalig - I think she is a hilarious actress and proven herself as a writer. I think the past few seasons of The Office (and I'm talking, like, since Pam and Jim got married) have gotten weird and left a bad taste in my mouth. So maybe I am projecting this onto Mindy. Which is not fair. So I'm going to give her show a fair chance (which, in Steph TV Terms is 4 weeks). Especially since it's on directly after New Girl. And the premise sounds cute and funny. I believe in you Mindy!  Prove me right for watching!


I've had my say, now I'd like to hear YOURS - so leave a comment!

What shows are on your Must-See, Probation and Give a Chance lists? 

What are your predictions for this TV Season?

(and most importantly)

What shows am I completely missing that I need to put into my rotation?


  1. I don't watch too much TV but BIg Bang Theory is a must see!

  2. I love this! Thanks for sharing! Here is my lise:

    Must See:
    Parenthood - I am looking forward to seeing more of the Braverman family. It is one of the few shows that my husband and I really get into together. We find it to be more relate-able than most shows in recent years.
    Once Upon a Time - I didn't get into this until midway through the season last year and caught up. I find the stories to be a tangle of intrigue. I enjoy seeing how each fairy tale is intertwined with the others. Not surprising that its from the creators of Lost. ;-)

    On Probation: Well, there isn't much in this category because I cut out a few shows in the last couple of years already. I got tired of all the sleeping around in Vampire Diaries, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice (plus all the pro-abortion themes).

    Give it a Try:
    Revolution sounds like one that I might like. I am a big Hunger Games (and Divergent) fan and it sounds targeted to that audience. I hope they do it well and it isn't too much like a copycat.

    Go On with Matthew Perry is promising. My inlaws were counselors for years and they said the shows depiction of group counseling was hilarious. I might watch a few episodes for fun. I miss Chandler Bing. ;-)

  3. I wish I was cool enough to watch shows like this! The last time I did was on Fridays when I was in middle and high school! TGIF : ) Oh well. Now all that I watch is the Real Housewives and that is only if I am not working on a wedding album.

    Some of these shows look fabulous! : ) Gary has been watching something about two waitress girls that are starting a cupcake business I think. He loves it. I think because of the girls. Whoever they are : )

  4. I take my TV viewing seriously, too - I chalk it up to my parents banning TV from our house growing up, so since I was 'deprived', now I'm making up for lost time. ;)

    I have a very long list of 'must see' - luckily my DVR handles quite a lot, plus Hulu+ picks up the slack so I can watch while I'm working on my computer.

    I started typing out all the shows I watch, but it would fill your entire comment section...heh. I did see a preview of the first episode of Revolution and The Mindy Project - both look very promising! In addition to that, my top 'must see' of returning shows are (in no particular order) Bones, Touch, Castle, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Revenge, Once Upon a Time (just off the top of my head. It's pretty crowded in here!)


  5. I love you list it is similar to mine.. I am pissed that Greys will suck with out Lexi and Mark. Really killing Arizona. It is getting like private practice down right depressing.
    I cant wait for Castel, Shameless (showtime) and Fringe(fox) to return.. and I dont think they are back til later in the season.

  6. Good point re: Modern Family. It's the reason network TV is frustrating, but ABC takes the scheduling irregularity to a new high. I'm dying for Parenthood and hope they give them the full 22-episode season this year. Ending it in February last year was a major disappointment. How can a show that so many people LOVE have such mediocre ratings? I blame the scheduling and bad lead-ins. Up All Night is another favorite sitcom!!

  7. Okay. Wait. When I sneaked a glance at Wiki *right* at the finale when we all "watched together," Mark Sloane was signed on to come back in September. Maybe it will only be for a few episodes, but this is the first I heard that he's gone.

    Must watch:
    Greys, New Girl, Go On, Anger Management, Private Practice (when I have time, during naptime) and Celeb. Apprentice, cause, you know...

    1. (Celeb Apprentice doesn't start til spring AND I forgot to include Shark Tank)

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