The return of the fall TV season is always full of promise, much like every New Year's Eve! And, also like New Year's, we have great hopes for what's ahead, but often find many great and disappointing surprises along the way.
So, now that we're fully into the fall season, here at SideReel we've found there are some new and returning shows we thought would be awesome but have turned into letdowns, and some shows we expected to be flops but have become surprising new favs!
Here are my top shows from the beginning of the TV week, Sunday - Tuesday, that I've found to be surprisingly better than expected or surprisingly worse than expected this season. Check 'em out below and stay tuned later this week for RachelL's best and worst surprises for the rest of the TV week!
Better Than Expected:
The Good Wife - As I mentioned in my CBS Fall Preview, I thought The Good Wife would be good, but not personally being a fan of legal dramas, I didn't expect anything special from it beyond some basic drama and great performances by the wonderful cast including Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth. Yet despite my inability to watch an entire episode of anything legal-related on TV except the late and great Eli Stone, this one not only has remained a priority on my DVR recordings, but has become a show I really look forward to every week! I haven't actually found Margulies' acting to be the strongest point, and Noth isn't even around that much being in jail and all, but the storylines of both the legal cases and Margulies's character Alicia's personal struggles with her husband's situation and her family's huge life shifts because of it have kept me glued to this newbie every week, much to my surprise!
House - I've been a faithful House fanatic since the moment I watched an episode, but I can't deny that my faith in House's greatness was seriously wavering at the end of last season as we saw House go to a mental institution, and we got promos that he was actually going to spend some screen time in that institution. I was almost entirely convinced this season was going to be the fall of the mighty House as it tried and failed with this mental institution gimmick. I felt there was no way House being in there could be interesting, that it could be anything but entirely disjointed from the rest of the cast and plot, and there seemed no way for House to go back to the sarcastic genius the entire show had built its foundation upon. Yet, here we are, a number of episodes in, and House is by far the Monday show I look forward to the most! The shake-up has made House as a character and as a show even more fascinating, and I kick myself for doubting!
Worse Than Expected:
The Cleveland Show - Oh, Seth. Yes, three shows in I feel like Seth MacFarlane and I are friends enough for me to tell him that this Cleveland Show experiment was the worst. idea. ever. Or, actually, scratch that. The idea was not so bad. The execution? An abomination of all that was ever funny. I know that's harsh, but having become a huge Family Guy fan in the last few years and now having every episode committed to memory (because I haven't been too busy workin' on that novel...), and having stuck it through the first questionable season of American Dad! to find it finding its own hilarious footing in Season 2, well, I have to say I really expected The Cleveland Show to pull through, but now instead I have to say I know a MacFarlane disaster when I see one. Cleveland should have stayed on Spooner Street because I've totally lost track of him now as I can't make it past the first few minutes of the episodes these last few weeks.
Trauma - I'm still keeping up with this one, but honestly just because it's filmed in San Francisco, my current home, and it's just plain fun to see the city in HD from a helicopter and play "name that neighborhood" as they run around rescuing people in various familiar parts of the city. I'm tolerant of the plot and I won't say the trauma drama isn't sometimes exciting, but overall, I'm not drawn in by the characters and there's not enough plot to speak of to keep enough viewers around. I slightly expected that to be the case, but am disappointed to find that to be the way it's playing out. So much for the latest and greatest ER replacement.