The beginning of the television season every fall reminds me of going back to school. There’s an excitement in the air as you wonder what is going to happen, if you’re going to find any “new” friends to watch all season, or if some “kids” are going to flunk out of the schedule. That sense of discovery is this year centered on four new shows, which I can’t wait to become as obsessed with as I am with Lost and Grey’s Anatomy.
Pushing Daisies (NBC)
First off, this show looks good. What remains to be seen is if it’s going to be good like Lost, and take viewers by storm, or be good like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and only be appreciated by critics and get ignored by viewers. I certainly hope it’s the former, as I’m still mourning Studio 60 and I don’t think I can take another heartbreak. In Pushing Daisies, Ned (Lee Pace), a pie-maker, has the strange ability to bring people back from the dead with just a touch. Unfortunately, he can also send them back to the land of Hades with just one more touch. This is helpful when he just wants to ask how they died or who killed them, helping out his friend Emerson (Chi McBride), but when he comes across his childhood sweetheart Chuck (enough with the Chucks this season, seriously!) played by Anna Friel, he decides to keep her around. Sadly, this means he can’t touch her. I can envision the many scenarios now, as they will probably become love interests, and Ned won’t be able to get any lovin’. She might trip and fall, and he’ll just have to let her go sailing by. The show is sure to be quirky, funny, and touching (no pun intended) as Ned figures out how to navigate life and literally keep his friendship with Chuck alive, all while solving crimes and baking pies. With Heroes co-executive producer Bryan Fuller onboard and Barry Sonenfield as another executive producer, I don’t see how Pushing Daisies can go wrong!
Premieres Wednesday, October 3 at 10pm
New Amsterdam (FOX)
There’s just something about being immortal that intrigues me, and that is what draws me to this new high-concept show offered by Lasse Halstrom (Chocolate, Cider House Rules). John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kingdom of Heaven) was a Dutch settler in the 17th century when he stepped in front of a sword destined to kill a Native American girl. In thanks and to heal him, she conjured a spell that rewarded him with immortality until he found his true love, which is both a blessing and a curse. He has wandered the streets of New York City for four centuries, watching friends and children live and die, until we find him, a “modern” homicide detective who knows the city like the back of his hand. This show seems like it’s hit or miss. The concept could get old, though if we get to see his life at different points and thus NYC in different stages, it could be very interesting. Here’s hoping enough people look past the cheesy “true love” line and see what this show has to offer.
Premieres Tuesday, September 25 at 9pm.
How would you feel if you found out, at age 21, that your parents had sold your soul to the devil before you were even born, and that that was why they never cared what you did in school or in life? Slacker Sam (Bret Harrison) is in exactly that predicament, and finds himself as the devil’s bounty hunter, even as he struggles to deal with his feelings towards his parents and towards his brother, who was always pushed to succeed as Sam himself was allowed to fail. Surrounded by a gaggle of misfit friends and coworkers, Sam must adjust to his new life. From the mind of Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) this show is sure to be witty and refreshing, if it doesn’t get lost amongst all of the other fantasy-themed shows on the fall slate.
Premieres Tuesday, September 25 at 9pm (Get out the DVR!)
I admit my primary curiosity about this show centers around its star, Kevin McKidd, whom I became enamored with while watching the DVDs of HBO’s amazing T.V. series, Rome this summer. He is a captivating and fascinating actor, and I am sure he will bring the role of time-traveling Dan Vassar to life with as much dedication and success as he did Lucius Vorenus. Another fantasy-inspired show, Journeyman has everyman Dan able to travel back in time to help people (a bit like Quantum Leap, yes). His family finds it hard to believe his tales of the past, but he manages to leave markers of his presence and I’m sure that throughout the series they will grow to accept his tales as more than fiction. I think this show will feel a bit familiar, but will also be a comfortable and intriguing show to watch.
Premieres Monday, September 24 at 10pm