After a summer heavy on re-runs and sprinkled with only a few new shows like The Gates or Rookie Blues, I was anxious for the Fall Television Season to get under way. The start of the Fall Season is always a time to welcome back old favorites, and find suitable replacements for shows that may have jumped the shark. With a good portion of the premiers now in, here is my breakdown on some of the shows of the new season.
Lived up to the Hype:
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Those loveable nerds from The Big Bang Theory lived up to the hype, with the show’s move to Thursday night still drawing a huge audience.  Of course, besides the lovable geek speak that is a hallmark of this show (as a degreed Engineer, it all sounds way too familiar to me), the show rises and falls with Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons). The season premier finds Sheldon with a girlfriend (though he denies it), which in itself is material enough for an entire season. The highlight of the opener of course was watching Sheldon go on his first date. Howard’s robot incident was an amusing subplot as well. Overall, this is still the best sitcom on TV.
The Vampire Diaries (CW)
Elena’s doppelganger, the evil Katherine (Nina Dobrev), is back in Mystic Falls this season hell bent on tormenting the Salvatore brothers, in the season premier of The Vampire Diaries, but for me the most amusing part of the first few shows this season has been the transformation of Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) into a vampire. The insecure, needy, and jealous Caroline makes for an amusing vampire. As for Damon (Ian Somerhalder), he is on the outs with Elena, given that he killed her brother in the season opener (no worries he came back to life), but come on, you know that somewhere along the line these two will have to hook up. Meanwhile, there are werewolves in town, a fact that the Salvatore brothers find hard to believe, after all it’s probably all an urban legend, right? It’s about time the show got down to introducing a few wolves to the plot lines.
Good to See Returning:
Castle has never really been about the detective work or the crimes, there are too many shows out there that do this better. However, few shows have a pair with the chemistry that Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) have, chemistry that Castle puts on the line when he fails to give Beckett a call over the summer. It takes the whole first show of the season for Beckett’s frosty exterior to melt, and for the child-like (or childish) Castle to worm his way back into her heart, but by the end the dynamic duo is back together again. The pity of course is that these two can never hook up or the show would be dead. How the writers go about keeping the relationship fresh will decide how this season turns out, but so far so good. Occasionally of course a puzzling crime will also make the show fun to watch. One thing I could do without is Beckett’s new hairdo. Why? Castle should’ve at least commented on that.
Supernatural begins this season a year after last season’s finale. The opening sequence set to the song Beautiful Loser (Bob Seger) finds Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) trying to fulfill his brother’s wish by shacking up with Lisa and her son, and trying to live a normal life away from hunting. Of course this doesn’t last long (or we wouldn’t have a show) and when Jins show up to mess with him (actually to poison and kill him) we find out that Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) is alive and well. Soon the two are hunting demons again, but just when you think the Winchester boys are back in business, Dean decides to go back to Lisa. How long can Dean play house? How long will female fans put up with him being shacked up with Lisa? Not long, or the show won’t survive, after all, Dean is the funnier and better looking of the two, and the series needs his wit as well as his return to single man status.
New Show to Watch:
Does Hellcats have what it takes to stay on the air? According to the first set of ratings it does, and while some critics have lambasted the performance of Alyson Michalka as Marti, I think she is perfectly capable of pulling of her role. Though really, pre-law and cheerleading? Overachieving much? I mean, especially since Marti’s mom is a big child that needs constant looking after. The brightest spot on this set, or at least the quirky and most interesting character belongs to Ashley Tisdale who gets to play sheltered and perpetually peppy Savannah Monroe. While I am not sure if Savannah is meant to provide most of the comic relief in this series, her character makes the show fun to watch. Scenes without the “Sunshine” Savannah are just not the same. Then again, being a control freak, I find commonality with characters that have a touch of OCD.
Jumped the Shark:
Dancing with the Stars
What a disappointing cast this season. I mean, when you spend the ramp up to the season premier talking up Bristol Palin, you have a show in trouble. Forget the dancing, poor Bristol does not have three interesting things to say when she is on camera. And the Hoff (Dan Hasselhoff)? Really? Who couldn’t see his early exit coming? Normally I will cheer for Chelsie Hightower (same religion) to go all the way, but the poor girl is teamed up with Michael Bolton this season, so how far can that go? The judges are still the better part of the show, but by now we pretty much know what they are about to say. Heck, even I can name all the Latin dances, or know what a proper Viennese Waltz should look like. Color me uninterested this season, at best Dancing with the Stars will make for good background noise while I hammer away at the keyboard.
 Big Bang Theory