We Don’t Just Read; Sometimes We Watch TV

Here in the US, the fall tv season is about to start, and I’m idly fascinated by the themes of this fall’s new shows. The supernatural character shows have progressed – much like the paranormal grows ever more familiar in romance publishing, superpowers are everywhere on tv this fall.

There are shows that deal with death, hell and mortality-related superpowers, such as Reaper and Pushing Daisies. There’s shows that are flat out about superpowers, like Bionic Woman, and Aquaman, which go along with Heroes. And there’s a time traveler dude on Journeyman.

A few years ago, everything was crime procedurals and forensic dramas – still is, to some degree, since CSI: Original Recipe is still on, as is CSI:Sunglasses and CSI:New Yawk. Now it seems a good half of the new hour-long shows involve someone who has a superpower, and I’m so curious about that. I heard once that some colors move through popularity cycles, from clothing to car exteriors to room paint, but I can’t find anything online that supports that idea. Nonetheless, I wonder if themes move from books to tv or tv to books, and in this case, the popularity of paranormal fiction has spread even more into tv shows. Of course, the lead time for tv show development is a bit different than a book’s development, but I am still curious to see which shows thrive and which do not.

What shows are you looking forward to this fall – and if you’re not in the US, what’s new on your tv that you’re way into?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    I’m dying for the new season of The Office and new episodes of Weeds and Ghost Hunters.

  2. 2
    cecilia says:

    If I can jump in (as a person who usually just lurks), I blame the massive presence of paranormal superpowers in romance on/give credit to Sept. 11 and its aftermath. All those invulnerable or even immortal heroes who can share their immortality or at least protect everyone who counts – I find it hard to believe that’s not stemming from some major anxiety about safety and stability in the world. I assume it’s similar on TV, but I haven’t watched for a few years, so I don’t actually know.

  3. 3
    Kalen Hughes says:

    I’m so all about Journeyman (hello Lucius Vorenus!). And I can’t wait for the new season of Dexter. Pushing Dasies will get a chance, if only because I loved Lee Pace on Wonderfalls (there’s a show I still pine for).

  4. 4
    Jaci Burton says:

    bwahahahaha @ CSI: Sunglasses.

    My husband and I had to stop watching it because of the Horatio sunglasses on/off thing. Drove us batshit crazy. Will have to share your retitling of the show. He’ll get a laugh out of it.

    I’m dying for Dirty Sexy Money. Looks hysterical. And I can’t wait for the return of Greys Anatomy, Men in Trees, Ugly Betty and CSI Original.

  5. 5
    asrai says:

    How I Met Your Mother. Classy little half hour sitcom that I can’t get enough of. Other than that, nothing really. I work evenings so watching evening TV is really out for me. I miss CSI tho.

  6. 6
    Marta Acosta says:

    I agree with Cecilia and not just because it gives me an excuse to use the word zeitgeist.

    Fantasy/paranormal takes us out of the normal world, yet still gives us an assurance of order in the universe, forces of good prevailing, etc.  Either that or the trend is the usual copy-catting of something that’s been successful, i.e. Buffy, giving rise to innumerable doppelgangers.

    Also, I’m looking forward to “Moonlight” starring Alex O’Loughlin.

    Sarah, you’re still here instead of in a labor room screaming at your husband!

  7. 7
    Jenny C. says:

    I’ll admit it: DH and I are serious Heroes junkies.

    As for new shows, I’m really excited about Journeyman.  Kevin McKidd was great in Rome, and (flying the geek flag a little higher) I love Quantum Leap, so I like the premise.  Okay, well, so maybe I have a thing for time travel in general.  And it helps that Journeyman follows Heroes’ time slot.

  8. 8
    mandylo says:

    I am looking forward to Moonlight as well. I have been looking for something to fill the Buffy/Angel void, so maybe this is it.

    I can’t wait until the new season of Project Runway starts. I have a total girl crush on Heidi Klum!

  9. 9
    Yvonne says:

    I’m really looking forward to “Pushing Daisies.” I love the idea. It looks a little twisted and sweet at the same time.

  10. 10
    Katie W. says:

    Personally, I think the rise in paranormal TV shows correlates with the rise of super-blockbuster movies based on comics. “The X-Men” and “Spider-man” franchises helped pave the way for “Heroes,” which then spawned all sorts of new super-hero shows. (I’m excited about “Bionic Woman,” but mainly because there are quite a few “Battlestar Galactica” people on it. I love me some “Battlestar.”)

    “Reaper” on The CW looks fantastic. It was created by two WOMEN, which is unheard of when it comes to paranormal shows. Kevin Smith directed the pilot and from what I’ve read, and seen, it is going to be incredible. Full of cheeky Buffy-esque humor.

    Even though I’ve never seen a single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” I’m definitely going to watch at least the first few eps of “Private Practice” because of Taye Diggs, and Audra MacDonald. Yay for Broadway stars on TV!

    “Journeyman” looks interesting, along with “Moonlight” (both mentioned above) and I’ll record the first eps of both, probably. I’m sick of super rich people and all of their woes so no “Dirty Sexy Money” or “Gossip Girl” for me.

    And I’m reserving judgment on the nerd comedies (“Chuck” and “Big Bang Theory”) and am excited about “Back to You” because the multi-camera sitcom format needs to be revived and I think that show might do it. I might watch “Viva Laughlin!” depending on how good/bad the musical numbers are in the first episode.

    Which is not to mention all of the returning shows that I am already obsessed with… which I won’t write about here because this is already a huge comment.

    (By the way… for the “Buffy” fans out there: James Marsters, aka Spike, is joining the cast of “Without A Trace” for the fall season. Which means that I will now be watching “Without A Trace.”)

  11. 11
    Lauren says:

    I can’t wait for House to return, I love me my snarky doctor fix and a little Dr. Chase on the side.

    While it is so not the X-Files, I find Supernatural entertaining on the occasion.

    And yes, Ghost Hunters! It’s Wed. so it’s on tonight, and that makes me happy. I love that show.

    The Tudors- Historically inacccccurate but entertaining and mmmm Henry Cavill.

    Battlestar Galactica- Oh…oh Season 3 finale…ohhhh.

  12. 12
    Bron says:

    I don’t know if it’s hit the US yet, but I am enjoying Torchwood . It’s the Dr Who spin off, but is definitely blazing it’s own trail. The aliens/paranormal events are still there, but less of a focus than the characters, and there’s some wonderful character development going on – with a much darker edge than Dr Who has attempted.

    Definitely not for the kiddies, though, which is why it’s shown late at night here. There be sex, and discussion of sex not in polite terms, and, in last night’s episode, m/m kissing.

    As I said, it ain’t Dr Who :-)

  13. 13
    Katie W. says:

    Lauren:

    Tell me about it! My husband got me addicted to “Battlestar” (and I got him addicted to “Harry Potter,” so all is fair) and we cannot go through a single DAY without bringing it up. We constantly go back and forth about who could be the fifth Cylon (he thinks it’s Baltar and I think that is impossible because it would make Baltar too happy).

    And speaking of X-Files… have you heard that Duchovny and crew are working on a new “X-Files” movie? They swear that it isn’t going to suck like the first one.

    House… Love, love, LOVE me some House. Even though it’s hard to kick a painkiller addiction when you watch a show with a painkiller addict. But I’ll get through it somehow.

  14. 14
    desertwillow says:

    Spike is going to be on Without A Trace!

    I’ll start watching again.

    I’m looking forward to Moonlight, hopefully Medium is going to be back, and Bones, otherwise my enthusiasm for television is nothing compared to what it was when I was twelve. I think I’ve seen everything.

  15. 15
    Leah says:

    I’ve really been looking forward to Fox’s New Amsterdam ever since I heard about it, but I now I see it’s been moved back to January, and it looks like it’s going to air Friday nights – not exactly a huge vote of confidence from the network.  But I loved Pete Hamill’s FOREVER—not even really thinking about all the similarities in New Amsterdam until an AP article pointed them out—so it’s not too surprising I’d be into the TV show too.

    Also looking forward to new House (I love that Hugh Laurie can go from playing a fop like Bertie Wooster to such a cynical bastard like Greg House), Project Runway and Bionic Woman.

  16. 16
    Jenna says:

    Torchwood! It’s a Doctor Who spinoff that just started airing on BBC America this weekend. It’s kind of X-Files-y, kind of CSI-y, and the lead character is a fifty-first century omnisexual time-traveller.

    And the cast is so very pretty.

    Also looking forward to Supernatural, Lost (haven’t given up on Lost yet, dammit—I have to see this one through), and Heroes. Of the new stuff, Pushing Daisies looks most like my speed.

  17. 17
    Becky says:

    I’m another one waiting for Moonlight.  It’s got Jason Dohring aka Logan from Veronica Mars.  And Pushing Daisies looks interesting.

    I missed the end of the last season of House- the premise is a lot less fun when you’re the one in the hospital confusing the doctors- but I heard that Foreman, Cameron, and Chase have been/will be fired for the upcoming season.

    I can’t wait for Ugly Betty to come back!  I’m also looking forward to ANTM and Project Runway.

    Medium is scheduled to come back in January.  I wish it were sooner.

    And I’m really disappointed that The Dresden Files was cancelled.

  18. 18
    Kimberly Anne says:

    CSI: Sunglasses!? *snorts milk out of nose*  Horatio’s bespectacled antics are the only reason to watch that show—so snarkworthy. 

    I try not to get too excited about TV anymore, since nearly all of the shows I’ve loved have betrayed me (I’m looking at you, Gilmore Girls).  I will be tuning in to Viva Laughlin, because I love me some Hugh Jackman (mmmm, so tasty, and musical to boot).  And a musical TV show?  So there.  Gods, I miss Cop Rock.

  19. 19
    Carrie Lofty says:

    “Torchwood” is indeed yummy. An openly bisexual British sci-fi dramedy. It’s excellent.

    But on American TV, I’m waiting for my dreamboy Damian Lewis (Captain Winters of the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers) in “Life” on NBC. He’s sure to be compared to Hugh Laurie because his character is American—another Brit in disguise.

  20. 20
    Tez Miller says:

    In Australia, Summer Heights High. Hope that’s the right link. And they’ve put episodes on the website – and a mate of mine in America is happily watching it. We’re all loving Ja’mie King :-)

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  21. 21
    Lissa says:

    I am definitely checking out Moonlight for the Jason Dohring presence and Reaper on the CW sounds very interesting. Otherwise it will be the old favs, the Office, Criminal Minds and Numb3rs

  22. 22
    Deep Dickens for Esther says:

    I’m giving up on new shows this season.  After NBC screwing over Studio 60 last season, I just don’t want to invest time and energy in new shows this season, only to have them yanked off the air after a few episodes.

    Also, for those of you eagerly awaiting James Marstes’ return to tv, keep in mind that his real-life Modesto accent is nowhere near as sexy as the fake brittish one.  Very sad.

  23. 23
    SandyO says:

    Can’t wait for the new seasons of House, Heroes and Battlestar Galatica.  As for the new shows. I am a very very weak spot for Michael Vartan so I can’t wait for Big Shots.  Moonlighting looks good.

  24. 24
    SandyO says:

    I can’t type!  While I’d love to be a soft spot for Vartan (I am proud to be a dirty old woman in training), what I meant to type was I have a soft spot for him.

  25. 25
    DS says:

    Sunglasses o’ justice.  Also the Hummer o’ justice.  Can’t figure out the popularity unless it is lots of booty in string bikinis. 

    Anyway I am cynically waiting on Moonlight.  Didn’t that start out as Twilight? Apparently sold as a concept and advertized heavily.  Makes me think it’s going to suck more than the star but I’ll give it a chance.  As far as I am concerned I like Blood Ties pretty well and I’m waiting for next 13 episodes. 

    I need to catch up on Closer, Damages and Amazing Grace. Been too busy this summer to watch them when they run.  Great thing about internet—no seasons.

  26. 26
    Kristie(J) says:

    There are 3 shows that will be on my don’t miss list, Private Practice ‘cause I love me Tim Daly, Moonlight and a show that just started showing here – Blood Ties.  Then in January there will be Lost.

  27. 27

    I don’t normally watch TV (I prefer renting the DVDs and watching the entire season of a show in a row, as if I were reading a book) but I am very tempted to try the new Gossip Girls show (based on the NYT Bestselling teen series) on the CW. I just loves me a good juicy teen soap and hey, as a YA author I can put it down to research. :)

    Oh and damn, now I’m going to have to check out Moonlight to see my BF Logan.

    Marianne

  28. 28
    colleen gleason says:

    What? No Friday Night Lights fans? I just got ahold of the DVDs and got hooked after about three episodes.

    There’s a great love triangle going on and lots of other good stuff.

    Word verification: beyond34. Yep, I sure am. Thanks for reminding me.

  29. 29
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    I’ve been enjoying Mad Men on AMC.  It’s by no means going on my list of favorite shows of all time, but it has Bryan Batt in it (whom those of you who like Jeffery will mostly remember running around in a cat suit), and well it’s interesting enough to watch.

    I’ll be checking out Viva Laughlin, because anything involving Hugh Jackman and random trippy musical sequences at least needs to be watched before it’s mocked (if mocking turns out to be necessary).

    I guess I’ll have to watch Big Shots also, which I know nothing about except that it features Josh Malina, who is adorkable.

  30. 30
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    …and now that I go to ABC’s website to see when exactly Big Shots is starting, I see that it mostly seems to be about Josh Malina running around wearing only strategically placed blankets or towels.

    Or at least, that’s what registered for me.

    Now I really have to watch it.

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