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Today is the day…

The kick off of the fall season. A slow kick off- only a handful of shows premiere this week (FOX Mondays- Bones and newbie Sleepy Hollow; Dancing with the Stars on ABC; the FOX Tuesday lineup- newbies Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, plus New Girl and The Mindy Project; over on CBS on Wednesday is Survivor: Blood vs. Water, and then most of ABC Fridays- Last Man Standing, The Neighbors, and Shark Tank.)

But still, with today being the day life gets more enjoyable (I REALLY like tv!), I thought I’d talk about which returning shows I’m most looking forward to…

The first is one of the few good comedies from last year to actually get a second season, The Neighbors. Now, originally… well, rather than recap what I originally thought, let me just show you…

The Neighbors

Episodes Watched: 1
Snap Judgment: Call me crazy (don’t call me crazy, that’s mean!), but The Neighbors was actually better than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still bad; I just expected it to be a lot worse. It’s a cute enough idea, and there were a couple humorous moments in the pilot. It just seems like this show is better fitted for ABC Family than ABC. The humor is weak. If the show lasts, it would be wise to embrace the zaniness of living in an alien community. It really just has a bland feel behind it, though.
Grade: C

Well, over the season, that grade went up to an A. Embrace the zaniness they did, and I’ve come to love those green little men and women hiding in average suburban human bodies with their athlete names. I’ve even come around to loving Amber, who for the longest time annoyed the crap out of me, but her softening a little at the end of last season made her more likable. I want to see her and Reggie Jackson make it work, I want to see Larry Bird interact with more humans, and I want to see little Mike Ditka be ridiculously horrible at sports some more. I hope Jackie Joyner-Kersee gets to blindside a few more kids and have more fun with American accents, and I would like to the Weavers get schooled in something by the Zavbronians rather than it always being the other way around. I hope for another awesome Halloween-ween (aka Halloween-one-ween) episode, though it’ll be hard to top last year’s.

Point being, watch this show if you like zany and heartfelt. Also, watch this show because it was moved to Friday nights, and admit it, you don’t have anything else going on, so you might as well watch it- you can put off starting a Netflix binge until afterwards!

Next up: How I Met Your Mother. I’m also somewhat leery about this, because the last few seasons really haven’t been that great, save for an episode here and there. And I predict the same for this season, because stretching out a long weekend to fill an entire season seems… well, dumb. But I have faith in Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, so I’m sure it’ll be mostly hilarious. Plus, I do like their way of letting us get to know the mother before Ted meets the mother, because there’s always been the debate about whether Ted meeting her would be the final scene of the show or whether he’d meet her and we’d get to see them date a little, so I think letting the audience meet her and get to know her before she and Ted meet is a nice compromise.

Also in the comedy realm- New Girl. I’m glad Nick and Jess are going to make a go of it, because even if it ends disastrously, it will be crazy hilarious along the way! Plus, it’ll be fun having Damon Wayans Jr. on for a few episodes and seeing him shake up the dynamic of the roommates. And supposedly Winston will actually have some real story lines this season, which is great, because I think Lamorne Morris has been woefully underutilized. I’m also hoping Merrit Weaver can stay on, but somehow CeCe and Schmidt get back together, because I love them together, but Merrit Weaver is awesome. Can’t she become BFFs with Jess and CeCe, even if CeCe is dating Big Guy?

As for dramas, I’m really looking forward to Parenthood. It’s been a consistently good show, and since I imagine this will be the last season, I bet it will be better than ever. I like that they’ve had the more immature characters grow up a little, and that some of the more annoying characters won’t be on quite as much. I’m excited to see what happens between Amber and Ryan (I hope they do make it down the aisle, because I love Ryan); I hope that Joel and Julia don’t actually cheat on each other and just deal with some temptations, and I hope that even though they’re bringing back Ray Romano, we don’t focus on Hank and Sarah as much as last year. Let’s focus on Hank’s mentorship of Max only, k? Thanks.

I’m also looking forward to American Horror Story: Coven. This is hilarious for me to say, because I thought last season was a ridiculous mess, and the first season was just ridiculous. They use gore and overt sexuality  for the sake of edginess versus actually telling a story, which is lame and makes it feel cheap, honestly. But, despite the messiness of last season- ghosts, aliens, monsters, psychopaths, more psychopaths, Nazis, and Jessica Lange singing the Name Game, which was actually awesome- it was entertaining (which I can’t say for the first season). And given the once again awesome cast for this season- Jessica Lange again, Sarah Paulson again, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Dennis O’Hare again, Mare Winningham, and more- I’m actually looking forward to this season and hope that it focuses on being sinister and scary versus over the top and edgy. Trying to get edgier and edgier is what ruined Nip/Tuck, Ryan Murphy. Don’t make the same mistakes over and over. It’s the definition of insanity.

Homeland looks like it’s going to be amazing this year. It’ll be the first time I’m watching week to week; I binged season one and two with my sister, so I’m not sure how it’s going to feel having to wait a week between each episode and try to avoid spoilers. Actually, I know exactly how hard it’s going to be, because it’ll be like every year with The Walking Dead (which I’m also, as always, crazy excited for). It’s hard with shows like these, where they actually are unpredictable and don’t wait for the finale to pull punches- where there’s an actual sense that anything that could happen. I want to know the spoilers because I want to know what’s coming, but I also try to avoid them like a zombie plague, because I want to be able to be taken by surprise. Shane’s death was in fact diminished since it was spoiled a week or two ahead of time with the DVD description “including Shane’s last episode.” With these, suspense is everything. It was weird watching the first couple seasons of Homeland having known some of the twists, but not all (that damn bomb jacket- woo boy, that was exciting, because I knew how it ended, and was like “WHAAAA?” when it didn’t happen how I figured it had!)

And finally, I’m excited for Castle, simply because I want to find out if Kate says yes or no to his proposal. It’s already been spoiled she takes the job in D.C., so I’m trying to figure out how the supporting cast stays relevant, and does it mean there will be two COWs per episode, or switch back and forth between a D.C. case one week and a NYC case the next? It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamic shifts with her in a new job. And will it last, or will she miss NYC and her old partners and come back? I’m also intrigued to see how the dynamic shifts on Parks and Recreation with Ann and Chris leaving mid-season. I love Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, so I really don’t want them to leave, and I can’t imagine Leslie without her BFF, but imagine it’ll be emotional and hilarious and entertaining to watch her freak out over Ann leaving (especially since I assume Ann will be pregnant).

There ya go, four readers. What returning shows are you psyched for?

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