Top 5 New Shows of 2011
Each Fall brings us many, many new shows and usually there are few standouts in the lineup, but in 2011 there were many that were very solid and worth continuing to watch. Since I am a TV podcaster I am obligated to at least see the first episode and share my thoughts. If a show has a solid first episode and is interesting enough, I watch at least one or two more episodes to see if the trend continues. If it is terrible or good but not interesting enough to keep watching, then I move on. All ten of these shows earned a Season Pass on my TiVo and they continue to interest me. I've talked extensively about these shows on the podcast.
1. The Voice – This show began at the end of April of 2011, but it quickly became a phenomenon. American Idol has been around for 10 seasons, and although it is still a ratings winner the show has gotten tired. What fans were waiting for was another show that completely changed the rules and this show delivered. I shared my thoughts about why it's formula works so well when I reviewed the premiere in episode 29. Suffice it say that I am hooked and am officially done with American Idol.
2. Ringer – Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on TV and that is amazing. There are very mixed opinions about this show, but I am a huge fan of it. Yes, it can be very over the top at times, but the mystery keeps me intrigued and the characters are interesting and ever changing. I love that the show brought Kristoffer Polaha (“Baz” from Life Unexpected – a brilliant but canceled show) and Jason Dohring (“Logan” from Veronica Mars – yet another brilliant but canceled show) back to TV. I wish they had a better story for Logan…err Mr. C, but I digress. It's a great show that I enjoy a lot. I also listen to RingerCast to understand even more of the storylines and characters.
3. Once Upon a Time – Later in the Fall two new shows premiered based on fairy tales, and although I enjoy both of them a lot this one has won for its consistency and great storytelling. I enjoy that they have taken the time to develop seven of their characters (so far) through the episodes so far and in the process move the story along. Since it comes from Lost writers there are quite a few of Easter eggs in each episode which go right over my head since I haven't seen that, but it's great for fans of both shows. I really enjoy the fantasy and storytelling of the show and it has grown its audience very quickly. There are now OUAT podcasts all over the web. I listen to Secrets of Once Upon a Time, Once Podcast and Once Upon a Time Fan Podcast (which features my friend Wayne Henderson as the new voiceover personality.) ABC marathoned five of seven of the episodes on New Year's Day, but if you didn't get a chance to check those out, they are all available on the ABC website and Hulu for a few more days (just in time for the new episode on Sunday!)
4. Happy Endings – In April of 2011, ABC premiered a show that looked a lot like a show that has been done many times before – some more successful than others. There is a group of friends in different stages of relationships but this one had a small twist. One couple is on the brink of getting married, but the woman backs out at the altar and the friends have to decide what side they are on. What has worked so well about this show is that this premise lasted about two episodes. Quickly, this show moved away from conflict and further developed the friendships within the group. It is very funny (even more so this season), the cast is awesome and I am completely hooked. I encourage you to check it out if you haven't. It is well worth your time to get caught up.
5. Hart of Dixie – While this show is not on many people's top lists for 2011, I happen to enjoy it a lot. Yes, it's over the top and sappy at times, but it still very solid. It reminds me of the old school WB shows that the whole family can watch together. Rachel Bilson is delightful as the big city girl finding her way in the small town and the rest of the cast is also solid, especially Scott Porter and Cress Williams. It doesn't hurt that they are both from Friday Night Lights – a show for another 2011 list). It's a show worth your time if you can put up with the sap. 😉
That is my list of favorite shows of 2011. Feel free to disagree or agree with this list – I welcome your comments.