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A Week Into the New TV Season, What Do YOU Think?
September 28, 2009  | By David Bianculli
good-wife.jpgThere are more of us writing at TV WORTH WATCHING, dispensing more opinions all the time, and you can find our thumbnail summaries of our reactions to the new fall shows by clicking on the FALL PREVIEW banner on the main page.

But now that the fall 2009-10 TV season is a week old, and you've had a chance to sample most of the new shows, the ball's in your court. What shows hooked you enough to tune in? Which ones were disappointing, and which ones impressed you, and why?

Click on the banner for a refresher list, and comment away. Did Modern Family make you laugh? Did Flashfoward pull you in? In your estimation, was The Good Wife good? And so on...

It's time for US to read YOU for a change...




rorr said:

The only series premieres I've watched are:

Flashforward - seems like a decent show. Watched the first episode - but I'm not inclined to get pulled in. I don't think it's the next Lost for me. I'm waiting for V in November and Caprica in January to premiere. I think both those shows have more appeal to me than Flashforward. I miss Lost tremendously, highly anticipating the final season.

Glee - from your recommendation, I watched it (even though I didn't think it would appeal to me). Surprisingly enough, I love it. The first few episodes have been unpredictable and the music fabulous. I can't wait to see where this show goes.

I watched the season premieres of House, Bones, Fringe...but I probably won't watch them weekly. I'll just tune in here and there.

Watched Dollhouse season 2 premiere. I want to believe in the show, because of Joss Whedon (loved Buffy, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible - didn't like Angel) but the Dollhouse's worldview and morality seem very twisted and dark. I was surprised and disturbed by Ballard's own personal use of Echo on Friday's premiere. So the verdict is still out for me.

So that's my analysis so far. Still watching: How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, the Office.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 1:09 PM

Chris Collins said:

Glee and Community have definitely worked very well for me. Joel McHale and Chevy Chase's presentation to the class was just delightful.

Also, I was thrilled by the return of How I Met Your Mother and Castle. Both felt like welcoming home old friends.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 1:16 PM

elise said:

Glee makes me happy. It is so delicious and wickedly funny! A definate guilty pleasure.

I also enjoyed The Good Wife. Underdog wins respect. I'll always root for the underdog...so I'll be coming back to watch this show. Marguiles is terrific!

Flashforward? Well, since I never got sucked into LOST (I will have to go and watch the series on DVD) I am curious concerning what's next. Intriguing. So far, I'm coming back. (I guess I should pay attention for hints and clues...)

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 2:01 PM

Roger Caine said:

Loving Glee the most. Had a son who did show choir for four years in HS so it is so much fun to watch a show that we lived thru parts of.

Agree on Community with others, always liked Joel McHale and so far it's pretty good. Avoiding Dollhouse and Flashforward because I can't commit to more shows. Will pick up on DVD later on.

Missing Pushing Daisies and Reaper big time. Also saw Modern Family and was really suprised. Liked it alot.

Still holding onto HIMYM and TBBT (even though CBS is retarded about getting to past episodes onlne) both of which seem to get stronger each episode. Must admit that I've always laughed out loud at least once during every episode of 2 1/2 men and still pause to watch the vanity cards at the end.

Also am a big horseracing fan, so I've watched Jockeys from the beginning and will keep watching.
Saw the SNL premire....really bad. Need to cut the show down to one hour and bring in some new writers. Surely there are 2-3 young writers/comedians around that can help it out.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 2:28 PM

Susan Monnelly said:

Modern Family made me LOL. There are so many great characters. Hope it continues to make me chuckle.

I can't wait to watch another episode of The Good Wife. I'm hooked.

Also like Community. I too loved that presentation with C. Chase and J. McHale. I was rolling on the floor.

Glee is just wonderful.
Flash Forward looks pretty interesting. I'm starting to formulate questions and love TV that makes me think a little.

So glad Dollhouse and Fringe are back. Also looking forward to Lie To Me.

I'm a fan of most of your recommendations, David, so I stayed away from the ones that you did not like. Don't want to waste my time.

I'm a Hulu user so not all shows are available to me.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 3:06 PM

Mark Mascolino said:

On the fence about the second season of Dollhouse. In some ways the content introduced around Amy Acker's doctor character was beyond awesome but a lot of the rest of show felt disjointed.

I like everything about Community except for Joel Mchale. The rest of the class is very good and there seems to be some unique characters there but the plainly condescending jerk who is trying to get the cute girl hook is contrived and has been beaten to death by other shows.

Likewise for The Good Wife, while the family drama and fallout of the affair is fantastic and very current in the zeitgeist (loved, loved, loved, loved the opening press conference sequence), I was disappointed to see this show fall into the troupes of a normal legal procedural. That's been done to death as well.

Flashforward is still on the DVR and I hope I am not disappointed.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 4:42 PM

Eileen said:

Glee is absolutely adorable. It's wry, funny, dark and oh so entertaining.

I'm enjoying Community, and Susan and Chris are right -- the presentation by Joel & Chevy was hilarious.

This is really the week I'll catch up on all the new shows. I'm looking forward to seeing Modern Family and The Good Wife.

And, after all these years, I still enjoy Law & Order: SVU. The acting is first rate, and the story lines are always intriguing. I don't know how Dick Wolf & Co. continue to put out the consistently excellent product they do year-in and year-out.

Caught the season premier of New Adventures of Old Christine, and it's still great. Wanda Sykes is the best sidekick ever.

Mad Men continues with great story arcs and fabulous characters.

So, this year, the new season couldn't come fast enough.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 4:53 PM

Marti said:

New shows watched: Durham County (on ION channel) and The Good Wife.

Shows I am still watching: NCIS (original), House, Criminal Minds, Bones, and Medium.

Shows I stopped watching last year: CSI (original) and Ghost Whisperer.

In case you are wondering what else I watch: I watch a lot on Discovery, Investigation Discovery, History, History International, and Science. No premium channels in my house, so am limited to a free movie channels.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 5:50 PM

Sarah said:

Well if you really want me to heres my take day by day---

Mon-No new series but loved the season primieres of House,HIMYM and the big bang Theory. Heroes is still up in the air and Castle is just cute and fun.
Tues-Loving both NCISs and The Good wife was better then I thought it would be, I like that it looks like she won't always be in the courtroom. the forgotten was a little wierd with the whole victims VO but we'll see.
Wed-I did laugh a little with Mordern family
Thurs-Flash Forward was just what I thought it would be and depending on where it is going to go will be the real test,although the ending was a little unexpected.I like Glee but worried about where they are going with this whole baby thing.(Gulity Pleasure The Vampire Dairies)
Fri-It is going to take some time to get use to the kid on Ghost whisperer and Numbers was just as good
Saturday night live eh
Sunday still waiting for three rivers

There are others but thats all the time my eyes and dvr can consume,for now.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 5:52 PM

Nathan said:

I usually watch five to six hours of television a week, not much considering the average American viewer supposedly watches twenty-nine. I usually have two shows I'm deeply invested in ("The Sopranos" and "Buffy" in the past, more recently "Battlestar Galactica" and "Lost"), and the rest I just sort of watch with interest. I've been watching all the pilots and season premiers; there's plenty on tv to fill the five to six hours, but I don't see anything out there right now to really fall in love with.

I was enthusiastic about the "Glee" pilot when it showed up over the summer, but it seems like the show is already starting to show its age. By episode three we had a fake pregnancy plot -- the sort of thing that shows don't usually resort to until they're on their last legs. The fourth episode had, by my count, only one original number by a member of the cast, and the same Beyonce song repeated three times. I realize how hard it must be to put songs and dance numbers together every week, but if they couldn't do it, they shouldn't have acted like they could.

Of the rest, "Flashforward" is the one that seems the most promising. But it's hard to know much from just the first episode. People keep comparing it to "Lost," but that was a show whose pilot was big and cinematic in a way that hadn't been seen on television before, and hasn't been seen since. Even "Lost," love it as I do, hate it as I sometimes have, has never recreated that level of magic in the seasons since then.

It always puzzles me when people talk about how dark "Dollhouse" is. To me, the show's biggest failing is that it isn't very brave about tackling the creepiness of its subject matter. It's like "Mind Control, Indentured Servitude, and Prostitution: The Lighter Side!" That's its biggest failing; its second biggest failing is that it has a lead actress who isn't quite up to the job. I'll keep watching until the bitter end, though, which I expect is just eleven episodes away.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 7:02 PM

Angela said:

Since I haven't enjoyed a comedy since Frazier, I was totally surprised I really liked Modern Family. Most of the writing seemed real, smart, yet laugh out loud funny! I don't like comedies that feel like they are insulting my intelligence. All the characters were great. And the touching moments felt real too.
Glee was great. First time I've seen it. Maybe I just needed something upbeat and "nice" for a change, but I really enjoyed it. The football players dancing was a riot. Again some very touching moments between the young gay man and his father, among others.
House was better than it has been for a long time. A nice change from routine.
Flash Forward didn't hold my attention. (Though I didn't care for Lost either).
Missed The Good Wife unfortunately. I've never tried Dollhouse.
Still love Mad Men and am waiting for Caprica and Breaking Bad.

Comment posted on September 28, 2009 7:49 PM

Rich said:

Well...to be honest. Very anemic. I think we are seeing one of the greatest rifts in 'creative TV' due to cable and new media ever. OR...perhaps, maybe because most of us are 'seasoned veterans' of TV we've seen so much we're currently jaded.

"Glee" mis-represented itself. The pilot leads you to think it was going to be about the students and a satire of the HS pecking order (with Music). Now, the adults are getting just as much air time and focus-what? This show has already lost its focus. Every character is depressed or wallowing in being an 'outcast' or loser (except Jane Lynch)- yet, they all love "Glee"? It's not even funny anymore. Everyone whines or is lying, how am I supposed to root for anyone?

"SNL"- for the love of Haruhi someone put this series out of its misery! Michael Scott ("The Office") is less cringeworthy. There is NO Hope! Give it Up! They haven't been edgy or funny in years. Especially since NBC (Via GE) is so tight with Obama- they'll never make fun of him. How do you make Dane Cook, Jon Hamm, & Megan Fox unwatchable?- put them on SNL. Scrap the entire concept!

"Flash Forward"..eh, not bad. I've seen alot of these people before. Where are the new break-out stars? it looks like a 'Filler Cast'- this story isn't sucking me in.

"Dollhouse"...groan. Awful theme music & opening sequence. Eliza is still carrying the series? Everyone on that show 'Pops' more than her! The show did amazing with with subplots but it crawled with Eliza's plot. Topher's hidden depth and Sierra's comments about Asians were clever. I don't think Joss is trying. Every fear & criticism I had in my blog last May still stands (Yeah, I'm that guy). All I can say is: "They dumped Terminator for this?"

"Heroes"...3 eps in, more drama, less powers?...bored now. It's off to Hulu when I'm bored.

"Fringe", "House", "HIMYM" & "BBT" still exceeding expectations. Thank God I have a backlog of Anime.

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 8:38 AM

Greg said:

Fringe seems good.
Good Wife seems Really Good.
Modern Family Pretty Good.
Cougartown - Very Funny
The Cleveland Show - Not too shabby.
The new Family Guy Episode - Awesome!!!
Latest Curb - Awesome as always.
The Georgia O'Keefe Movie on LT was 5 star good
So liking the latest Entourages.
Also loving the New Sunny in Philly's
And my Monday Night CBS Sitcoms.
And the New Law & Order's
Not even Watching Jay at all anymore.
Glee - Not my cup of tea - watched and moved on.
Haven't had time for much else.
Have yet to begin the new Dexter or Duchovny.
Or the new Crash season on Starz.
Or that new Detective show on HBO.
Oh, and I blew it and missed the 35th Season SNL Premiere. Damn!

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 9:17 AM

shauna said:

Still loving How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang - both actually make me laugh every episode. Still watching Bones and Castle because they're cute and fun with just enough crime drama mixed in to be interesting. Painfully still watching Heroes and The Office, but I don't know how much longer I can keep it up. There is just nothing interesting going on on Heroes and The Office is really played out at this point. Also, I know it's not right to compare it to the Brit Version, but David Brent was just a socially awkward guy and Michael is actually a pretty nasty person who has become extremely unlikeable.

As far as new shows go, I love Glee, but I'm a drama/musical geek so that isn't really surprising. Community is funny, but not hilarious. It's nice to see Chevy Chase actually managing to make me smile instead of cringe like he has for so long. I recorded Modern Family but haven't gotten around to it yet. I like the idea of The Good Wife being the aftermath of one of these scandals, but another show about a legal drama is just too boring. Flash Forward is interesting so I'll stick it out. Can't watch Dollhouse because it's Faith (yes, I know that's weird).

My reality shows are Top Chef, Project Runway and So You think you can Dance. TC and PR are both still good, but they should've kept SYTYCD on to just once a year. I'm bored of it already and fast forward through the whole thing.

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 11:11 AM

Chris J. said:

Modern Family is my favorite of the new season..great characters and great writing. How they linked everyone together was a big surprise for me as well.

Community I like as well. I thought second episode was weaker then the first. The characters are all very superficial right now too..hopefully they'll continue to get more interesting as we learn more about them.

Flash Forward is on the fence for me. I thought the pilot had a couple nice twists. I just kept thinking to myself, why don't they just try and NOT make the future happen as they saw it. Take the friendship bracelet and burn it for example. See if it comes back. The characters are going to take some getting used to as well. I don't really love any of them at the moment.

Looking forward to seeing The Middle as well as I've read good things.

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 2:16 PM

Greg said:


I quite liked Eastwick as well. Had my doubts but very fun. Kinda like The Craft meets Desperate Housewives in a way so very familiar (Not tha I watched much of either fo thsoe two shows). And I used to like the silly original movie on which it is based. I wonder if there will be any cameos from the four original movie players (3 witches and one worlock)?

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 4:10 PM

Paulette said:

Good Wife and Modern Family are great new shows. Julianna Margulies usually has me at hello. Modern Family was hysterical and hope the high level of comedy continues.

Castle is new to me and have enjoyed the interplay between the leads there. Plus Susan Sullivan as Castle's mom.

Still liking Bones & The Office & can't wait for 30 Rock to return.

I gave House a shot for two weeks, but it's not going to hold my interest for much longer.

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 4:23 PM

Marlark said:

So, with the advent of "whole episode" online viewing, my approach to TV Worth Watching Fall 2009 Edition has allowed for three categories:

    • Must Watch Live

    • Nice to Watch Live But Can Be Deferred to .com Viewing

  • Record It Because You Can't Watch Live and You Can't Watch Online

So the question is, have any of the new shows made its way into any of these categories?

Answer: Very, very few.
- Glee (the unqualified BEST new show)
- Community
- Modern Family (maybe, we'll see)
- Flashforward (maybe, we'll see)

And, since we need to have a life off the couch (or computer room chair), are there shows we can kick off the list from last year?

Answer: Yup.
- Heroes (this show has gone nowhere and has gotten more boring than CSI: Akron)
- Hung (I realize this has now ended its run, but what started with questionable promise turned into the most depressing, unfunny, unenjoyable show on HBO since...)
- Bored to Death (though it's not really boring, kookie needs to be at least enjoyably interesting; High colonics? Really? I hope it makes these characters worth caring about soon)

So what remains of (mostly) scripted TV that's worth watching made up of old and new?

Mad Men
Curb Your Enthusiasm
30 Rock
The Office
How I Met Your Mother (why oh why won't CBS put this online?)
Big Bang Theory (ibid)
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Flash Forward (we'll see)
Law & Order
Project Runway
The Phillies (deep into the Fall, hopefully)
..and why do I keep watching Entourage? Lloyd!!!

(If we include NetFlix, then add Dexter to the master list.)

TV Regret of the Day: I wish I had the time to catch up to and enjoy Breaking Bad.

Some Other Observations
"National Parks" I found myself gently dozing off into a blissful mellow nap during......DAMN! I almost fell asleep again typing about it. I LOVED Civil War, Baseball and other Ken Burns efforts. What is it about "National Parks" that makes me...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

"Jay Leno" This is no longer a philosophically reprehensible programming move by NBC, it actually IS a reprehensible programming move by NBC. Cynical. Cheap. (And not at all watchable.)

"The Good Wife" Such good acting. Such horrible dialog. I think this is in the category of Grey's Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, and Commander-in-Chief. In other words, future Lifetime programming. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Oh? And in the "Blink and Miss" category, did Law & Order have its premier this past week? A fascinating exploration of torturing terrorists which was promoted NOWHERE? This is still the best of the L&O suite. No respect, I tell ya.

Thanks for asking, David. I guess it's really hard to invest in and put on quality TV programming and give it the time to mature into a great show. I hope the networks, broadcast and otherwise, let some of these flourish.


Comment posted on September 29, 2009 4:47 PM

thedivinemsblue said:

I was so disappointed by Californication. I loved the speed of the show, and the sexy clever dialog. But now it's really turned into a sort of parody of itself. Note the extra random 35mm film shots here and there to give it faux sexy arty speed. Bleck.

Dexter was ok, but frankly nothing will ever compete with season 1 of Dexter, and therefore I am forever disappointed. Also, the actress that plays Dexter's sister is just bad, and has been since day one.

I have to say that all dramas right now pale in comparison at this point to Mad Men, which has an increasingly interesting Season 3 afoot.

Modern Family was completely surprising, silly and cute. Great acting, a little trite, but with all that's going on in the world, it's a nice respite.

Glee is good. But it tries so hard, too hard. Example: the joke that the principal tells in the bar in episode two or three I believe. That was funny. If Glee refined itself, clipping out the frequent crappy jokes, and just stuck with the interesting story lines, nice songs, and two or three good jokes a show, I would like it much more. It's trying for a pace that's like Arrested Development, but the flops slow it down and make it seem really Lame (with a capital L).

Cougartown was also totally surprising. Laugh out loud funny. The actor who plays the son does an incredibly convincing job. And Courtney Cox must have taken acting lessons from Tiny Fey because she's matured as a comedic actress, quite a bit. Still, the name is lame, and I'm afraid people will pass it up because of it.

Community is OK. Better than expected, given all the lackluster reviews. There are some amazing characters, and the show format really has potential (like 30Rock) to have great guest spots from hilarious people. I think it needs help, and more John Oliver.

The newest episode of Parks & Rec is good, but like its Office cousin, the mocumentary format is really losing steam fast. Amy Pohler is hilarious and good, but sometimes so over the top it gets uncomfortable, like David Brent, but with less fantastic and revolutionary results. The Office is completely off my list this season as its first two episodes have been an incredible waste of time.

I personally am looking forward to the return of 30Rock and Lie to Me (I love Tim Roth).

Also, SNL's Thursday Update has been more solid than SNL itself. I wonder if their writers are being spread too thin?

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 11:18 PM

thedivinemsblue said:

I forgot to mention that I also watched the premiere of Accidentally on Purpose, which I assume will be cut before the season ends. It is exactly what has been, and apparently still is wrong with network TV, and why cable is even encroaching on their comedy shows. It has a cushy time slot, but is so awful, I frankly feel bad for Jenna Elfman, because I think this ruins her chances at a comeback. She's so cute, but this is simply a horrible show.

Comment posted on September 29, 2009 11:22 PM

Sherman said:

It's hard to comment on the new season when I'm still savoring the end of summer, specifically Mad Men, which continues set the bar for excellent television. And Psych deserves a mention for being goofily predictable or predictably goofy, but most of all for resurrecting the TV theme song with so many cover versions (recently Bollywood and "Boyz II Men" renditions).

As for the new season, Modern Family and Community simply tickle my funny bone and seem deftly crafted, chock-full of jokes, visual gags and interesting juxtaposition.

Accidentally on Purpose: predictable and shallow, yet I keep watching. Darn that Jenna Elfman.

Jay Leno Show: I tried this, but will now watch as often as I did for his Tonight Show run... it depends on the guest and if anything else is on (or on the DVR), which means about twice a year.

Glee: probably the highest expectations for a new show (because of Fox's novel spring pilot), so it has the farthest to fall. While I love the musical numbers, I was concerned that the show could fall into a string of show-stopping numbers and over-the-top scenes. But after last week's episode focusing on Kurt's character and how understated was his father's reaction was to Kurt's sexuality, I'll keep watching until they stop making this show.

Returning shows: I can't believe how compelling the season premiere of The Amazing Race was. The instant elimination was gimmicky good, but the first set of challenges and mix of team dynamics promise a fantastic season.

Castle is so much fun, I kind of expected to see the USA Network logo in the corner. Sorry, broadcasts, but Burn Notice, Psych and Monk make Castle more at home there than on ABC. (But thanks, ABC for airing Castle.)

How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory: more of the great writing and impeccable timing I've come to expect.

And I look most forward to the return of Better Off Ted, Chuck and Friday Night Lights.

Comment posted on September 30, 2009 12:45 AM

Sally W. said:

I kind of like "Community" so far - but it's kind of unfair that it's in the same time slot as "Fringe," which I'm still into watching (although the season premiere twist of "Fringe" made me rather sad; I liked Charlie the way he was, but still enjoy the Bishop family angst and humor). Due to the scheduling conflict (and my lack of DVR or other technology), I had to resort to watching "Community" online - but I still prefer watching my tv on the real tv!

"Glee" has been so far a good watch, but I fear that it could go down the "Ally McBeal" route of going too over the top - it's a hard balancing line between parody and sincerity, and so far it's trying, which I find endearing, so I'll continue trying to see how it goes.

I'm still a big fan of "How I Met Your Mother." Neil Patrick Harris is terrific! Plus, I do wonder whether Ted is ever going to meet the Mother, but his the journey and his enjoyment of his friends are what truly significant.

"Law and Order" (the original) had a pretty gripping season premiere (even if a little crazy, as usual), with Jack McCoy as strong as ever. I like the chemistry of McCoy and his lawyers, and even enjoy the chemistry of the cop side too; somehow impressed that this long-running show still has a running engine.

I have mixed feelings about the new Jay Leno show and about "House" - probably because I wonder how much they can keep going with formula (in their respective genres/categories).

Also, Ken Burns' National Parks documentary has been a good watch for me, as has Masterpiece Mystery with "Inspector Lewis," so I'm glad PBS can fill in for me if the broadcast or cable stations aren't doing it.

Comment posted on September 30, 2009 1:19 AM
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