Tuesday, November 6, 2012

5 New (American) TV Shows You Should be Watching

Well most of the new TV has aired and it’s time for us to decide which shows are worth sticking with and which one’s can wait until a rainy day (or never). I’m still not willing to fully commit or give up on any shows quite yet but I thought I would let you know what my five favs were – just so you have an idea where to start.


Set in a dystopian future, where fifteen years ago power mysteriously went out (and never came back on), Revolution tells the story of Charlie’s desperate quest to save her brother. It seems Charlie’s father might have known who turned out the lights, but when he’s killed trying to resist capture, so the local militia take his son instead. It’s up to Charlie to get him back but she can’t do it alone, so she follows her fathers dying advice and heads to Chicago in search of her Uncle Miles. 

Cashing in on popularity of The Hunger Games, this post-apocalyptic sci-fi hasn’t fully grabbed my attention, but it has intrigued me enough to warrant a recommendation. Don’t be fooled though, this is no Hunger Games, Charlie is a poor mans Katniss that spends most of her time whining and having weirdly strong chemistry with her uncle. That said there a few things that make Revolution worth a look. For starters the world they have created is fantastic. The production value is through the roof and this show is an eerily depressing view of the future, that doesn’t feel outside the realms of possibility. Then there are the big questions, like who turned out the lights? This larger conspiracy is so intriguing that I find myself getting resentful every time they focus on Charlie’s domestic dramas. While it’s not my favourite new show, Revolution has enough to have me hoping that when it grows into itself it could be one of the best Sci-Fi shows in recent years. Fingers crossed.

Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire is all about, you guess it, a firehouse and the men (and women although they are paramedics not firefighters) that work there. The series begins with a disaster; one of the members of the rescue squad is killed in a fire – why would anyone be a fire-fighter? Seriously? Anyway this event causes all kinds of angst and man pain for the two lead characters, Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer). There is also a whole bunch of other personal drama happening, but mostly it’s about rescuing people from fires.

To be honest the only reason I watched it was because Jesse Spencer – it appears I will never ever get over my Billy Kennedy crush (that’s an old school Neighbours reference BTW), but you know what I say, true love lasts forever. Okay ignoring my embarrassing soap opera past, this show is really well done. It’s emotional, exciting and everything you want out of this kind of an emergency services drama. The action recuse sequences are really well done and the juxtaposition between them and all the everyday drama is beautiful – I honestly don’t know how people do it, going from those traumatic events back to domestic life. It’s heartbreaking and I want to see more. And because it just wouldn’t be one of my blogs if I didn’t let my hormones rage for a moment I have to say – firefighters are the sexiest of all the emergency services.

Go On

This Community-esque comedy is about, Ryan King (Matthew Perry), a sports radio personality that has recently lost his wife and is really not coping as well as he thinks he is. He’s eager to return to work but his friend/producer Steven is not convinced so Ryan is forced to attend a life-changes support group… predictably the group is filled with eccentric but endearing characters. At first Ryan thinks he’s better than the group but he soon learns that he might need more help than he though and these lovable losers might just be the ones to do it.

While the story is familiar it still manages to be fresh and entertaining as hell. The characters might be built on stereotypes but the show actually seems to be giving them some depth and that’s not something you see a lot of in American comedies. I kind of fell in love with them all in the first 20 minutes and this is not something that usually happens (I pick one character as my entry point and then it takes me a while to warm up to everyone else). Also Matthew Perry’s Ryan King is not the character you expect him to be. If you’re looking for a little depth in your comedy then this show is has something for you – it’s actually a pretty interesting look at dealing with death and loss. Not sold yet? Well the first episode has people dressed in fantasy role-play costumes running after a Google streetview car.

Last Resort

The crew US Navy submarine is faced with a moral dilemma when they are ordered to make a nuclear strike on Pakistan. Suspicions are aroused because the order did not come through the usual channels of communication and when they call to confirm they’re fired on by one of their own. Left without many options they make their way to a small Island claiming it as their own, much to the surprise of the locals, and declaring war on the world… They have nuclear weapons and they’re not afraid to use them. All they want is a fair trail for their supposed crimes but they know that’s not going to be easy because clearly a bigger conspiracy happening here.

I hate war films with a passion so I wasn’t even planning on watching the pilot of Last Resort. Then everyone kept going on about how it was the best pilot of the season and I thought well I better watch it, even if it was just to prove everyone wrong. Boy was I shocked when I fell completely in love with this story, these characters and this show. Those of you that know me at all will know that I am sucker for a damaged character and this show has so many of them that I don’t even know where to look. Of course I am partial the mysterious marine James King but if he’s not your man there are plenty of others to choose from. Like Scott Speedman’s Sam Kendal who seems like the most together one but he’s definitely got some kind of dark past that will could come back to haunt him. There are even some awesome ladies that have me crying for more. Seriously, Last Resort has me on the edge of my seat every episode and I am thoroughly hooked. 


Set in, you guess it, Nashville; this new take on the prime time soap is all about country music well a group of people that are involved with the country music industry anyway. Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) is the fading country starlet who has to make way for the new blood Juliette Barnes (a Taylor Swift like crossover country pop star). Rayna is also having dramas with her family, her crooked father has convinced her husband to run for mayor and her marriage isn’t going that well anyway because Rayna is still in love with her ex-junkie music partner. Then there are the two youngsters who are about to start on the road to stardom if her jerk-ass boyfriend lets her anyway. Really it’s just a soap opera set to country music but it’s a damn good one.

In all honestly I watched the pilot for this series mainly because I would watch Connie Britton clean a bathroom – and she does not disappoint. She is absolutely brilliant as the older country singer trying to make it in a new industry and it’s her interactions with Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes that steal the show. Anyone that has been crying out for interesting female characters this is the place for you because these women are fierce – they are not perfect and there is a bit of a virgin/whore dichotomy happening but I hoping they will get past that because these women are way to awesome to fall into that trap. And don’t let the country music put you off because I was tapping my foot the whole time – and I am really not a country fan. There are so many things that make this show my favourite new show of the season but honestly you really only have to watch the pilot to be hooked all I can hope is that the rest of the series lives up to it.

There you go – five new shows for you to get started on… these are the shows you are probably going to hear about a fair bit on Pop Culture is Not Art so you should probably watch them or you might get left behind.

Do you agree? Did I miss your favourite new show of the season? Tell me in the comments – I can’t always be right.