Tuesday, 11 September 2012

List: The 8 Great Returning Shows

Yes, 8 is an odd number to count down...well, anything - but with the new US TV season starting this week, I've profiled the 8 returning shows, that have me in a current frenzy anticipating their return. So here goes:

8. American Horror Story (Season 2)
FX- 17.10.12
Officially titled American Horror Story: Asylum, creator Ryan Murphy opted for the second season scare-fest to be a completely separate affair to what was offered last year. This time, the setting is, of course, a mental asylum, detailing the various goings-on with both the patients and the staff within its 1950s setting. Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto who all had roles in the first series will return as completely new characters, with details only revealing that they will play the “opposite” of who they portrayed last year. They will be joined by newcomers Chloe Sevigny, Jenna Dewan and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, along with a host of others.

7. Modern Family (Season 4)
ABC- 26.9.12
Ratings and critical killer Modern Family returns to ABC at the end of September, with big changes about to emerge. With the heart-breaking scene at the end of season 3 in which Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) had finally had enough of the stress of trying to have another baby with partner Cam (Eric Stonestreet), Gloria (Sofia Vergara) announced that she was pregnant with her second child. Being a huge comedic success I’m anxious to know how it’ll play out…as it’s been announced that the entire first episode will revolve around Gloria breaking the news to the extended family. There are sure to be fireworks, both of the good, and the awful kind.

6. 30 Rock Season 7
NBC- 4.10.12
Liz and co. will be talking their final bow in December, after the show finishes its short and sweet 7th and last season. 30 Rock can easily be called by many (including me) one of the best contemporary American sitcoms of the last 10 years, loosely based on creator and star Tina Fey’s early experience’s as an ex-head writer for the now ironically unfunny Saturday Night Live. The show returned mid-season in early 2012 and the signs that the show was standing on its last legs were imminent, due to the fact that it had lost so much of the spark and wit it carried in it's earlier seasons. Nevertheless, it’ll be sad to see Lemon and Donaghy part ways for good.
Until a film adaptation is announced.

5. Parks and Recreation Season 5
NBC- 20.9.12
Golden Leslie Knope returns for a full length fifth season on Thursday the 20th with a changing setting taking place for the cast. As Ben (Adam Scott) heads for Washington and Andy (Chris Pratt) hints at joining the police force, Knope will be taking her newly elected position in City Council when the show returns. Parks & Recreation has struggled to obtain a large viewership since its inception, but with its small yet devoted fanbase, NBC has given one of the funniest shows on television chance after chance as it rightfully deserves. Both Lucy Lawless and comedian Jon Glaser have been tapped for guest roles this season, with the latter playing Leslie’s new nemesis within her role in Office.

4. Revenge Season 2
ABC- 30.9.12
Although I named Revenge “the show Gossip Girl wishes it was” may have seemed harsh, it is also incredibly true. The surprise hit of last year, moves into the coveted Sunday night slot once occupied by Desperate Housewives. Styled as an appropriation of The Count of Monte Cristo, the series follows Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) and her subtle and extremely personal quest for vengeance. Many questions were left unanswered at the end of the first season, ready to be unfolded bit by bit over 22 episodes starting on the 30th of September. While it has been revealed that Emily’s mother is very much alive, the role that she’ll play this season remains completely unknown. It would even be completely unsurprising if she had her own manipulative plans for Miss Thorne herself.

3. Scandal
ABC- 27.9.12
You know what (rhetorical) question I’m gonna ask...yet I'm gonna say it anyway: “Who Is Quinn Perkins?” Scandal, fronted by Kerry Washington and created by Grey’s Anatomy and TV juggernaut Shonda Rhimes left us all wondering last season who the hell the woman Olivia had invited to work alongside of truly is. Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, serves as the head of a crisis management firm, dealing with minimising political scandals in and out of the White House. 7 episodes were shown on ABC earlier this Summer, completely proving that less is more; as each episode flowed smoothly and concisely, without any waffle or unnecessary plot turns. More TV shows need to learn from this.

2. Happy Endings Season 3
ABC- 26.10.12
The most underrated sitcom returns towards the end of October for its third outing. At the beginning of the last season, the show was dubbed “The Year of Penny”, as an ode to the hilarious show standout Penny Hartz. As the dreaded and inevitable “love triangle” started to rear its head earlier this year, one can only hope that Happy Endings writers can tackle the cliché sitcom go-to the only way Happy Endings should…by making overt and unsubtle references to ‘Friends’.
Although it is one of my favourites, the fact that it’ll air the same time as the universally adored New Girl worries me. This better not be the last season already.

1. X Factor Season 2
Fox- 12.9.12
Judge me. Judge me all you want, but I’m not even gonna lie and say I’m not looking forward to seeing you-know-who on the judging panel this week. Did I watch it last year? No. But this is soon to change. A third of people I speak to about the upcoming season say they’ll watch it because they love Ms. Spears, the second say she’s a mess which is exactly why they’ll watch, and the third don’t care…but are gonna watch it anyway. Having been on reality TV overload last year, I completely neglected the first season of the show. But with the addition of Britney and Demi on the judging panel, it’s sure to be must-see-TV. 

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