The 2010 Fall television season is in full swing. There are some shows still to premiere, but for the most part the broadcast and cable networks have revealed all that they had to wow us with this autumn. (As many of you know, I watch way too much TV but I do my best to limit it by only watching recorded shows and sticking to dramas. I’m sure there are some great comedies and I know I love The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family when I watch with my own family. However, this post only covers dramas.)
Already some shows have been given the axe: Lone Star and Outlaw are two notable dramas that fell very early on. I didn’t watch Lone Star because it sounded like a remake of Dallas. I gave Jimmy Smits a chance in Outlaw, but it was hampered by lame writing and I’m not surprised it didn’t last.
The winners for this season are The Event, Blue Bloods, and The Defenders. All shows are doing well in the ratings and NBC ordered a full season (22 episodes) of The Event on 18 October 2010. All three shows are worth watching if you enjoy drama. On cable, if you can stand its graphic nature, Boardwalk Empire is also a fantastic one to catch (it has already been renewed for a second season and is one of HBO’s most successful shows in years).
The Event is adrenaline-fueled like 24 was; I love the show for a strange reason: it is written the way I would write it if I were talented enough to write for TV. There is none of that frustration I feel on other shows where the protagonist (and often the antagonist) do things and you think: “people would never do that!” Sure the situations are implausible, but they are logically consistent — and satisfying.
Blue Bloods is just plain good. With Martin Scorcese and Mark Wahlberg at the helm, it smacks of quality from top to bottom. It is great to see Tom Selleck back on television as the patriarch of (and mediating influence behind) a family of cops and lawyers. The family’s Sunday dinners are a microcosm of the wider debate about justice issues facing society.
The Defenders is a guilty pleasure for me. It’s a drama with Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell (two of my favorite comedic actors) cast as defense attorneys in a Las Vegas law firm.
Meanwhile, I am still rooting for the Canadian productions of Flashpoint and Rookie Blue. Flashpoint completed its third season, with renewal or cancellation still to be decided by CBS. Rookie Blue did very well in its rookie season; in July it was renewed by ABC for a second season and stars one of my favorite actresses, Missy Peregrym.