Fall Things Reconsidered: Sunday, Monday & Tuesday TV - Featured

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.


Default avatar cat
Oct 19, 2009 10:30PM EDT

I think you need to add Community to the better than expected column. That show is wayy funnier than i thought it would be, I actually like that a lot, much better than Parks & Recreation. The Celevland Show is awful, I watched half of the first episode and that was it, not a very good idea. The Middle is another that is much much worse than expected. While Curb Your Enthusiasm, Smallville, Cougar Town, Californication and Bored to Death, have been better than expected in my opinion.

Oct 19, 2009 11:19PM EDT

Im with ak10 on the smallville, community, cougartown front (with an emphasis on cougartown due to my low expectations, and my high expectations of smallville) and most defiantly on parks and rec, which has absolutely fallen flat. i know the cleveland show has been nothing short of a disaster thus far, but i predict a huge pickup in the next few episodes now that they have the main character grounded with a job and a set supporting cast.

Oct 20, 2009 12:35AM EDT

I wasn't excited for House to come back, it was quite low priority for me when the season first began. Last season was a dud for me, but I decided one day I'd catch up on it since I had nothing else to watch only to find the old group is back together. It has been moved back to high priority. Much better than expected. I was really excited for The Good Wife because I'm a huge Chris Noth [who by the way isn't on the show near enough] the first episode it took me 5 different tries to watch it. I thought hm maybe I should delete from the DVR but first I gave it another chance, something may me fall in love with it. It is on the level of must watch the night it airs. The Cleveland Show I didn't expect much from in fact I wasn't even planning on watching it since it took the spot of my beloved King Of The Hill but I gave it shot since I'm so used to my four animated shows Sunday night. The first episode was absolutely horrible I didn't plan to watch it again but for some reason I did. The little baby/kid grew on me and that is the only reason I have seen all the episodes so far.
As for shows that exceeded my expectations it has to be Mercy, I'm not a fan of the medical shows other than House but I saw a preview for this one day and decided to watch it. I was hooked from the very start. Way better than expected.

Oct 20, 2009 1:07AM EDT

The Cleveland Show has been pretty bad, save the Jennifer Aniston bit, but I have faith that it is picking up steam. If it turns out that the steam is full of hot air and I've wasted valuable minutes of my life I'll just skip a couple of cigarettes to make up for it.
Cougar Town was better than I expected I must admit but not Community. I knew from the very moment I heard about Community that it would be made of awesome and I have not been disappointed. Community = awesome x badass/funny^5
Oh and I have never liked cop shows, or investigative dramas I guess I should say, whatever. In light of that, it was nice to find a second cop show that I liked in the first season of Castle( the first was Life on Mars, the UK version). Somehow the new season just seems better. Maybe you agree maybe you don't. If you disagree I don't care; if you do, I like your style. If you are unsure then the terrorists win because contrary to popular belief, it wasn't the gays that made dinosaurs go extinct. It was the bisexuals! those greedy INDECISIVE bastards

Default avatar cat
Oct 20, 2009 9:14AM EDT

House did it once again, they pulled it together and got the old team back on the track ! So glad !
The good wife is excellent, didnt expect that at all...margugulies acting is superb.
Mercy is very good so far, wasnt sure as its ANOTHER hospital show, but its actually good.
Castle, what can I say, I would watch anything that has THE CAPTAIN in it and while it was a bit slow in the beginning, I really look forward to every new episode now. Although I think dialogues could be even more witty specially on Nathan Fillions part. But as I am soooo glad he finally is back on the screen after FOX fxxk up on FIREFLY, I take what I can get ;) Loved Dr. Horrible´s- Sing-Along-Blog by the way.
Cougar Town is actually very very funny, better than I expected.
A tip: Just finished watching the second season of The Fixer, the best show from the UK in my opinion.
Cleveland Show, Community, The Middle, Hank are sort of dull...
LOVE the new Dexter episodes, specially the last one, OMG, wow ! and of course Mad Men.

Default avatar cat
Oct 20, 2009 9:17AM EDT

me again, totally forgot to mention I love GLEE ! High entertainment factor, excellent singing, beautiful.

Oct 20, 2009 9:35AM EDT

i totally agree with the cleavland show sucking. i also can't help but notice that cleavland has changed completely from that push over in family guy who talks slow and everything to a black slightly more mature peter griffen on his new show

Oct 20, 2009 11:33AM EDT

hmm sunday and monday tv well being a brit and being very honored to be able to see new shows before they even air in the uk i have to say that my choice of shows i like will most def be a lot differant from others for instance
on sundays i like cold case always have but am worried how far they can take this show and will some one please give lilly a make over she looks so dull
american dad love itsimpsons awesomecleveland show its ok but i cant see it lastingfamily guy love it
three rivers very very good (i can hear the groans now)
now to mondaysaccidently on purpose not bad needs tweaking a bittrauma kickass show kickass actors oh and ye love s.f my number 2 fav place to live if i was in the states
castle great show and as i have said before some where on here i think its really nice to see that his daughter is not one of these brat kids that often get portrade in shows like this
lie to me hope they keep this show going tim roth is a great actor
although i love big bang theory i worry how much longer they can keep on going now penny and lenord are together suppose they could break up but that would not be as funny
one final thing because of this awesome site i am able to tell my family of the great new shows coming up and what to watch out for and what not to watch

Default avatar cat
Oct 21, 2009 2:50AM EDT

Oh Please... complete bull
theres always gonna be wannabe haters,
Cleveland SHow is if anything ABOVE EXPECTATIONS,
alot funnier than u seem to want to give to it credit for ...
there always gonna be internet "it Sucks" kids
and considering its Seth's third successful comedy (so far), YOu're not really giving it credit
deserved... Why don't u watch it again, and be less of a cynic...
the humor's different but its very funny...
Do not listen to this crappy article

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