It’s October and the fall TV season is back in full swing. That means that everyone can stop pretending that they want to be outdoors and return to the light of the television where they belong.
Here for the discerning Knox viewer is a short list of some of the shows coming out in the fall. Since it is impossible, and in many cases, boring, to list all the shows here, the list was limited to new shows or returning favorites. Some shows—like “CSI,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Grey’s Anatomy”—were glossed over, since their fans’ viewing habits are pretty much cemented, no matter what is said here. Also, you may notice that Emmy darlings “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are not listed here. “Mad Men” just wrapped up its fourth season, and “Breaking Bad” is not going to air again until July 2011.
All the shows listed air on weekdays, because, other than “Saturday Night Live,” the weekend is a complete TV wasteland. It is almost as if the programmers thought we had better things to do. Each show is listed with its time slot, but for the many who are not able to watch them live, most of the shows will be available from Hulu.com, iTunes or the network’s website the following day.
“Boardwalk Empire” —HBO 8 p.m. — According to overwhelmingly good reviews, this show infuses enough style into the series to make every episode feel like a mini gangster flick. If it sounds like I did not watch the show, that is true. It is currently unavailable from Hulu, Amazon or iTunes, so it is inaccessible without an HBO subscription.
“The Simpsons” — FOX 7 p.m. — “The Simpsons” is starting its 22nd season. If you have watched it any time in the last few years, you know what you’re getting: a show that’s still sort of funny, but not anywhere near as funny as it used to be.
“Chuck” — NBC 7 p.m. -—The nerd-spy-adventure-comedy returns with more action and Dune references in the fourth season. It’s pretty good.
“Hawaii Five-0” — CBS 9 p.m. — This reboot of the 60s show may not be the best show ever, but it’s a decent cop series. Really, it is great that Grace Park (Boomer/Athena on “Battlestar Galactica”) and Daniel Dae Kim (Jin on “Lost”) have work.
“Glee” — FOX 7 p.m. — The hit Fox dramedy musical is back for the second season with a boatload of Emmy nominations, and, um, way less Emmys. This year has had more singing and less plot. That is a good thing, because, let’s face it, the plot is getting ridiculous.
“Raising Hope” — FOX 8 p.m. — The best new comedy of the fall, “Raising Hope,” follows Jimmy, a guy who lives with his white trash parents. He’s not quite sure where his life is going, but when his one night stand leaves him with a new baby, Jimmy is determined to give Hope a better life. And it’s actually funny.
“Running Wilde” — FOX 8:30 p.m. — On paper, this show looks amazing. Although the total opposite couple is a tired premise (in this case, he’s a spoiled man-child, she’s a bullheaded environmentalist), “Running Wilde” stars Will Arnett and was created by Mitchell Hurwitz who created the genius comedy “Arrested Development.” Sadly, despite the pedigree, the show is unoriginal and dull.
“Modern Family” — ABC 9 p.m. — The breakout comedy of last year is back, and it is even funnier than last year. Seriously, if you are not watching “Modern Family,” what is your excuse?
“Community” — NBC 7 p.m. — The story of a sleazy lawyer’s return to community college is one of the funniest shows on TV. If you are not watching Community, you’re worse than the guy not watching “Modern Family.” Come on, what are you doing — homework?
“30 Rock” — NBC 7:30 p.m. — Unlike “The Office,” “30 Rock” has stayed funny over the years, and now that Matt Damon is guest starring, the show is more appealing than ever.
“The Office” — NBC 8 p.m. — Although last season was lackluster, the first episodes of this season have been decent. They are not as funny as the episodes in the first seasons, but the show may be able to die respectably when Steve Carell leaves the show at the end of the season.