Boardwalk Empire, 9pm on HBO
My unpopular opinion is that the Scorsese-directed pilot of this new HBO prohibition drama was far more boring than it should have been. That said, the appeal of a Scorsese-produced gangster tale starring Steve Buscemi is absolutely too great for me to resist following the show for the rest of the season. Michael Pitt's performance is going to be a high point of this series, I predict, and I have loved Kelly Macdonald for ages. I will keep watching, and hope not to be disappointed.
Sister Wives, 10pm on TLC
Premieres this Sunday, 9/23. Haven't seen yet, but I will surely be drawn to the trainwreck.
Lone Star, 9pm on Fox
This troubled show is already facing the possibility of cancellation after having aired only the pilot, and this could be yet another one of Fox's missed opportunities. The story of a con man leading a double life is far from fresh, but there was something charming and interesting about this show's debut. It may be difficult for me to look past the bigamy aspect of the story, but there was just enough intrigue for me to wonder how the protagonist will be able to juggle everything in his life. That said, I don't know if a drama set in the world of Texas oil barons is something that Fox audiences would ever respond to.
The Event, 9pm on NBC
I've been burned before when promising shows such as Heroes, FlashForward, and The 4400 petered off, unable to sustain the momentum they had created for themselves with lofty hooks. Mercifully, The Event fizzles out about 10 minutes in to the first episode, so I don't have to get invested in it before feeling disappointed.
Chase, 10pm on NBC
U.S. Marshals tracking down criminals, Texas-style, with witticisms aplenty. Boring.
Hawaii Five-0, 10pm on CBS
To quote my friend Tony, "It's got Boomer and Jin in it. There's no way it could suck." Except that lead actor Alex O'Loughlin is completely without charisma. Nonetheless, a glossy cop show set in Hawaii could turn out to be one of the more sustainably solid dramas of the season, so I will probably check out a couple more episodes. And hey, who doesn't love watching troubled white protagonists with helpful PoC sidekicks? (Sigh.)
No Ordinary Family, 8pm on ABC
I liked it better when it was called
Raising Hope, 9pm on Fox
A lighthearted comedy of errors in the vein of Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle, and My Name is Earl (from the creators of, etc.), this was a very sweet and quirky story of a loser raising his baby with the help of his irresponsible family. And most importantly, MARTHA PLIMPTON!
Running Wilde, 9:30pm on Fox
A single-camera comedy from Mitch Hurwitz, starring Will Arnett and Keri Russell, with a cameo by David Cross?!?! OMG yes please. Except wow this pilot was boring, awkward, and borderline offensive. I'll surely give it a shot (as we all know, pilots can suffocate trying to set up their worlds) for a few more episodes, but David Cross' new IFC show The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, which premieres next month, looks way better.
Detroit 1-8-7, 10pm on ABC
While I doubt that this type of show needs, or will even really benefit from, the mockumentary style used in the pilot,* this was an impressive debut for a fairly typical cop procedural. It almost came off like someone tried their best to dilute The Wire for network primetime, and succeeded. A multicultural cast led well by Michael Imperioli, this might be for people who love Law & Order, but tune out when the show gets to the courtroom.
*I just found out that they recut the show to omit this aspect, but I saw the pilot on a screener before the premiere.
Undercovers, 8pm on NBC
J.J. Abrams' latest spy caper stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as an extremely sexy married couple drawn back into their former lives as CIA operatives. Well, Alias this isn't. I found the pilot to be boring as sin, and while I would love to see an awesome successful show led by a PoC cast (see Hawaii Five-0, above), I was not compelled enough to want to keep tuning in.
Hellcats, 9pm on The CW
Yeah, this show is just not up my alley. I know, I watch really silly shows like Gossip Girl and Greek and even The Secret Life of the American Teenager, but this one takes itself waaay too seriously. And while Aly Michalka's backstory and setup are completely ridiculous, there was a great throwaway line about how her drunk of a mom vomited on her during a gymnastics competition a few years back. That is incredible.
My Generation, 8pm on ABC
I loved this show. I saw the pilot a few weeks ago and I am actively excited to see it again. Combining the ennui of a mosaic cast in their late 20's with flashbacks to their senior year of high school in the year 2000, this show has tons of heart, and amuses with its mockumentary tics. Plus the soundtrack elements of the flash backs warm my 1999-music-lovin' heart.
S#*! My Dad Says, 8:30pm on CBS
Premieres tonight, 9/23. Haven't yet seen, but I read the pilot script, and it was surprisingly enjoyable for an adaptation of a twitter feed (this is the time we are living in!). And if you haven't been suffering from Shatner over-saturation, this could be really fun.
Outsourced, 9:30pm on NBC
Haven't yet seen, but am fairly convinced I should expect this to be offensively bad. I am reminded of Aliens in America, which maybe I didn't "get," but which I could barely get through one episode of.
Blue Bloods, 10pm on CBS
The best way I can describe this is that it is the ultimate show for my mom. She's a cop who loves cop shows, and it stars Tom Selleck: perfect recipe. As the child of a law enforcement family, I definitely enjoyed how the pilot set up the central family. Dad's the Chief of the NYPD, one son is a detective, one son is a rookie, one son died on duty, and the daughter is an ADA. Even grandpa is a retired cop. But it will fall to the rookie to consider investigating a secret society in the NYPD that may well intersect with his own family history...