Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Favorite New Shows of 2011

It's the end of the year which, of course, means I must do some kind of best of list! Lists are what make the world go round! You can't say you don't love a good list, though you may be able to say that you don't necessarily like what's on my list below.

Because this is an entirely subjective list. Your favorite show? It just may be that I haven't seen it. I am but one person, after all, and I can't spend all my time watching TV. I'm not saying I don't spend a, um, decent amount of time doing that, BUT! Still, I haven't seen everything, so the list below is just of my personal favorite shows that debuted in 2011. That's right, the shows had to have debuted in 2011. Maybe I only just started watching Merlin and Breaking Bad this year, but alas, they have been on for some time now, so I can't include them.

In no particular order other than how they popped into my head...

Honestly, I had no idea how much I was going to really enjoy this show. It does the family-friendly scifi epic right (as in, Terra Nova could take some notes). Sure, there are some cheesy moments, and they haven't entirely figured out what to do with the youngest son, but the action is usually pretty gripping, and the mysteries set up and solved and expanded in timely and interesting ways. If you like some alien scifi, you should like this show.

 Revenge is probably the most addictive soapy show on television right now. The first few episodes were very takedown-of-the-week, but thankfully they started to divert from that formula and embraced the serialized soapy nature of the show. And the success the show is having is just proof that audiences will tune in for serialized shows - if they're good. Revenge is. If you haven't watched it, you really should get caught up over the holidays so you can join in the fun in real time when it comes back.

 To be honest, really the only reason I'm including this on here is because I am such a fan of the book series. While the show definitely does the books justice, for the most part, I do think it has a tendency to get a little too serious with itself. I'm also not sure they've found the right balance between all of the characters yet, but perhaps as it goes on, it will. I did think it was kind of ridiculous how people got all crazed about the major character death being some huge surprise when it was in the book, and completely propels everything that happens in the rest of the series. But I won't go on a rant. If you like smart fantasy, you'll probably like this.

At first, this show seemed like it could get overly cutesy-twee-quirky. Certainly that is half of the appeal of Zooey Deschanel in the first place, but you don't want to overdo it. Luckily, they seem to have found the balance. I have found myself laughing so many times in nearly every episode, you don't even know. Schmidt? Genius. The scene with Zooey and Justin Long, where they were doing the old-timey voices while getting it on? OMG. I was laughing so much. I do think the show probably appeals to girls more than guys, but regardless it's a lot of fun.

Um, what? What is this show doing on here? It fully has a recipe for disaster, and by the pilot alone it lived up to that disaster. But then the show started to clue into that dynamic of Everwood gone by that I love, and now I am hooked. Sure, it's pretty cheesy and sometimes over the top (particularly the character of Lemon... come on, tone her down), but it has a heart and some nice chemistry between the actors going for it. Just forget that Rachel Bilson is supposed to be some kind of wunderkind surgeon and you'll be okay. And, seriously, Zoe and Wade forever. Come on.

To be fair, this show absolutely pissed me off so much with its mid-season finale. And it has taken a while to find any kind of groove. But I like the set-up enough and find the mysteries intriguing enough that I will keep watching for the foreseeable future. But that does not mean I forgive them for killing off the only character that I really liked so soon. Bring him back, I say! Bring. Him. Back! (And his hipster wardrobe!)

Honestly, the original UK version of this show is arguably better. I was seriously concerned this one was not going to be able to live up to the original in any way, but it turns out I was happily wrong. I do think one of the characters was miscast, but perhaps this particular person will get better over time? One can hope. What I liked about this version was that it used some of the same storylines from the original, but it tweaked them in interesting ways, and moved at a faster pace. It will be interesting to see how it continues to follow, or not follow, the original. By far one of the better series Scifi, excuse me, Syfy, has put out recently. Sorry, Alphas, but I find you extra boring.

Honorable Mentions: Grimm, Suits, Fairly Legal, 2 Broke Girls

Did I miss your favorite? Any shows you think I should be watching that I'm not? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments! 


  1. I will have to check out Falling Skies - haven't heard much about it. They had the creepiest advertising campaign during Comic Con 2010 - foam people falling from the skies.

    Also adding to the list: Grimm, New Girl and 2 Broke Girls. :)

  2. Falling Skies was really a pleasant surprise for me. I got hooked on it during the summer season.

    I'm gonna be honest, half the reason I like Grimm is because it's filmed in Portland and I get to be like "Hey! I know that place!" sometime in every episode. 2 Broke Girls is also VERY traditional sitcom-y, and has one extremely annoying side character, but I still seem to find myself recording it, so there ya go.

  3. Wow. We are mostly simpatico! Once Upon a Time is probably my favorite new show this year-- GOT is a close second though, and I like New Girl and Revenge too. Good picks!

  4. That just means you have good taste! :)