What To Watch

In recent years, I've become a big fan of a lot of the TV shows that have come out on television, mainly because of the recent rise in quality in a lot of the storytelling that's been coming through. LOST has been one of the biggest movers and shakers thus far, causing a bit of a change among a number of stations and a number of new shows coming out with a much different focus than before.

So, as a friend described, I did something incredibly geeky over the summer, and set up a table comparing the shows, times, days and what they go up against. Thus, I've come up with a list of shows that I suspect will do well, and which ones I'm recommending for the upcoming season.

Returning Shows:

Prison Break (FOX) - This was one of the best scripted and arched series that came out last year. Now, the inmates of Fox River Penitentrary are all on the run, and now that the show's in it's third episode, it looks like they're keeping up the intelligent storytelling and scripting. Can't wait to see what happens next.

House, M.D. (FOX) - Doctor House and the doctors are back, and they're picking up where they left off, after House was shot last season. This show has some of the more interesting characters in TV, although they don't have the tight storylines that Prison Break has. However, the sarcasm makes up for it nicely.

Veronica Mars (CW) - Remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Now imagine it without the vampires, supernatural elements and keep the cute blond girl, who's father is a Private Investigator and the various problems that she solves over the year, and you've got Veronica Mars. It's highly and tightly scripted and has some of the best dialogue and characters to date.

LOST (ABC) - I don't think that I really need to talk too much about LOST, do I? 48 or so survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 land on an island with a mysterious creature that eats people and a couple of hatches with computers and other things like that. Oh yeah, and everyone's connected somehow. And, after last Season's cliffhanger, the next six episodes are supposed to be a sort of miniseries to clear everything up. Can't wait to see what happens next. Season 2 comes out today on DVD.

Supernatural (CW)- Last season, the two brothers lost their parents, their mother (and one of their girlfriends to a monster) and the father who vanished. They hit the road and work on taking out monster after monster. It's a little formulaic, but it's got great camera work and some very fun stories. Season 1 comes out today on DVD. Great watching for Halloween.

Battlestar Galactica (SciFi)- Coming up in October, this is the show that I'm waiting the most for. Season 2 left us with a year long jump ahead in the story that left the remains of the human race under the control of the Cylons and the Galactica and Pegasus jumping away to who knows where. The SciFi channel is leading up to the show with a small series of webisodes that'll lead people into the 3rd season, as that there's another gap in time. This season is going to be darker, deeper and better than the last two. The DVD for Season 2.5 will be released on September 19th.

And now that the shows from last year have been looked at, there's several new shows coming that also look very promising:

Heroes (NBC) - Around the globe, a number of people start finding that they have powers. A girl can heal quickly. A cop can read minds. A painter can paint the future and another man can fly. And, it's not based on a comic book, but it's rooted in the tradition. Reports are that this show's got potential and interest, although a little formulaic to start, but it's going to be launching into a full blown story arc. I'm excited for this. Also airing on the SciFi channel.

Jericho (CBS) - In a small, midwestern town called Jericho, one character comes in mysteriously. As people start asking him questions, a nuclear bomb blast is seen on the horizon and communications are cut off from the town. As the season goes on, we learn why. I'm not sure that this is going to do terribly well, but it should be interesting if it does.

Six Degrees (ABC) - The Six Degrees of Seperation states that anyone knows anyone six people down the line. One person knows another, who knows another, etc. Small world, right? This show's about six random people in New York City, who's lives are impacting each other's in some way. The really interesting part of this? J.J. Abrams has some hand in this. He also did LOST and Alias.

The Nine (ABC) - Nine people are caught in a bank robbery. As it goes bad, they're held for 52 hours. These nine people are linked together somehow, and that's all that I know. It's an interesting concept, but I can't see it lasting for very long.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) - This one looks amusing. It's about back stage life behind a sketch comedy show, and it's been getting some of the biggest buzz than almost all of the other new shows. It's created by the guys who did The West Wing, and from the previews that I've seen online, it looks interesting.

Vanished (Fox) - Comes on just after Prison Break, so it's got some of the audience from there. The wife of a senator goes missing, and there's a wider conspiracy that will be uncovered. I haven't seen any of it yet, but it's getting decent ratings. I've heard that it's a little predictable.

Those are the ones that I suspect will do well, although there's several others, such as Shark, Justice, Kidnapped, The Unit, Smith, and maybe a couple others that might do okay during the season. It should be interesting to see where this will be taking TV and the storytelling that it tells.

Now, just to end, a couple of the shows that I'm going to be missing in the upcoming Season:

Alias (ABC) - Going from being a double agent to missing a year of her life to various other drama in the spy world, but also great action and a very tight storyline, Alias was a very fun show. The first two or three seasons were really good, especially 1 and 2. While it dragged a little 3 to 4, the show did leave on a good ending. Despite that, I do wish that it was still going. Season 5 will be released shortly.

Surface (NBC) - This was very short-lived, but it was very interesting. A new life form appeared in the oceans. Big new life forms. They trashed a nuclear submarine, one small one was raised by a small kid and the government got really paranoid. Had a lot of potential, but I guess it didn't really appeal to the audiences. Complete series was just released on DVD.

Arrested Development (Fox) - Quirky, deadpan and hysterical. This is probably the one show that I'll miss the most, especially after watching all of last season, which only lasted 13 episodes. The writing and characters were the best and funniest. If only Fox listened to the fans again. Season 3 was just released on DVD.

Theshold (CBS) - An alien spacecraft lands in the ocean and the government enacts a plan to contain the situation. Too scifi for CBS apparently, as this was killed off in just 13 or so episodes. I only caught a couple episodes of this, but it seemed interesting. Now out on DVD.

The West Wing (NBC) - I heard that this was really well done, well acted and well written, and the awards that it won certainly means that it has some of those. I personally haven't seen it, but given what some people have said about it, I might give it a short somewhere down the road.

And that's it. I doubt that I'll be able to see most of the ones that I'd like to see, but given the fact that a lot of the shows are making their way onto the internet on the show's network's official sites, I'll probably be able to get an episode in here and there.