Critical 10: Fall 2012 TV Preview
The essential couch potato checklist.
Breaking Bad's on vacation, True Blood's gone for now, and the end of Louie's third season is just around the corner. With summer TV wrapping up left and right, it's time to look into the future at the best of what the upcoming fall season has to offer.
Treme - 9/23, HBO
It's a shame that this New Orleans drama may be entering its third and final season, since creator David Simon (The Wire) has plans to conclude the series in a fourth season. Simon's slow-burn style doesn't tend to pull ratings like many of HBO's shock-a-minute shows, but hopefully the network will grant him the opportunity to give Treme a proper ending.
Fringe - 9/28, FOX
Ever since the early days of this sci-fi/mystery, Fringe has been a bubble show, constantly receiving threats of cancellation from FOX. But what its fans lack in numbers they make up for in dedication, as the show has made it all the way to a fifth and final season. A bubble show allowed to end on its own terms? It must be some kind of miracle!
The Walking Dead - 10/14, AMC
The zombie drama hit record high ratings with its second-season finale, proving that we just can't get enough blood-spurting carnage. Two new characters (Michonne and The Governor) and an abandoned prison setting prove that the third season will follow the best and most devastating story arc from the comic book series.
Community - 10/19, NBC
The greatest and most consistently imaginative mainstream comedy on television returns for its fourth season. What makes this season different from the rest, however, is that the show is moving forward without showrunner Dan Harmon. Hopefully his absence won't damper the adventures of everyone' favorite study group at Greendale Community College.
American Horror Story: Asylum - 10/17, FX
The debut season of Ryan Murphy's horror series gradually turned into a humdrum sob story full of unlikable characters. So why should we give it a second chance? All the best cast members (including Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, and Frances Conroy) are returning as different characters for an entirely new story set in a mental institution. Throw in a 1960's setting and Chloë Sevigny, and you've got all the elements of a potential winner.
Elementary - 9/2, CBS
We probably don't need yet another take on Sherlock Holmes -- the BBC's Sherlock is stellar, and Guy Ritchie's films are fun enough -- but this Americanized take is at least worth a look. Jonny Lee Miller stars as the genius detective, this time an addict transported to New York City to enter rehabilitation with his sober companion Joan Watson, played by Lucy Liu.
Revolution - 9/17, NBC
Post-apocalyptic setting? Check. A disparate group struggling to survive? Check. A production credit from J. J. Abrams? Check. Set fifteen years after a mysterious event wiped out all forms of energy and technology, this ambitious sci-fi adventure isn't ashamed to call itself the next Lost. Since everyone knows how that all turned out, it will take a little less mystery and a little more actual plotting to win us over this round.
The Mindy Project - 9/25, FOX
Best known as the ditzy Kelly from The Office, Mindy Kaling takes a stab at creating and starring in her own show with this single-camera comedy. Kaling plays a quirky physician maneuvering through relationships and workplace shenanigans, and judging by the TV spots so far, this one looks promising. Chris Messina co-stars.
The Dust Bowl - 11/18-19, PBS
The mighty documentarian Ken Burns returns for this two-part account of the worst manmade ecological catastrophe in American history. We know exactly what to expect with each new project from Burns, and the format just never seems to get old.
Witness - November/TBA, HBO
This intense four-parter will follow combat photojournalists as they risk their lives in war zones around the world. Michael Mann is watching over the project.
TV & Film News By Kristy Puchko
The Mindy Project is coming!>>