Year after year, we have this little get-together every September and I tell you my favorite picks for the new TV season.
And year after year, as the season plays out, networks steadily bump off my favorites like some cruel game of Whack-A-Mole.
Last year, I was gushing over something called Pan Am, a sexy period piece about stewardesses at the dawn of the jet age. This one takes off strong, I said.
Absolutely true. First episode was terrific.
Then it lost altitude every week after that. Even I wasnt following it by the end of the season, when ABC pulled the plug.
Ive had lots of misses. Last year, I didnt care for 2 Broke Girls, which turned out to be one of the brightest new comedies of the season. I loved Unforgettable with Poppy Montgomery, which got axed at the end of the season, though CBS later decided to make a few more episodes for next summer.
I gave four stars last year to Hart of Dixie, a CW series about a young New York doctor plopped in a small Alabama town for her first job. It was great at first, then faltered. It wont be on my DVR list this year.
My thing is I dont try to pick TV shows that I think will be commercial successes. I try to pick ones that have something going for them great writing, engaging characters, clever plots. I had a feeling that Honey Boo-Boo would be a cable smash, but I wasnt going to send you to it. I knew youd find it anyway.
My two loves of the new season are both dramas: Nashville, a complex tale of a country stars sagging career, and 666 Park Avenue, a show that makes the horror stories youve heard about New York real estate seem tame.
But they could fail, and not because theyre bad. Nashville, debuting Oct. 10 on ABC, is up against CSI on CBS and must find a way to appeal to people who arent into country music. 666 Park Avenue, debuting Sept. 30 on ABC, is up against Sunday night football on NBC and wont get a strong lead-in from Revenge.
This year, Im thumbs down on Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes remake that seems to waste the many talents of Lucy Liu, though many other critics love it. And Chicago Fire, a smoldering downer about a low-morale fire station, doesnt ring my bell. Ill also pass on Arrow, a comic-book inspired thriller about a shipwrecked playboy who comes home aiming for revenge. And Ill toss Partners, a standard buddy comedy, on the heap, too. Ditto Beauty and the Beast, a gloomy Jekyll/Hyde thing without a singing teapot.
Well talk again next year about my taste in TV. I do have this going for me, though I get paid to watch TV and complain about it.
You just do that for free.