Roughly half of all pilots for this fall’s new TV lineup have aired by now, and although I have neither a DVR nor any other fancy cable device, I’ve been doing my darndest to catch these episodes the old-fashioned way – when they air. I became all that much more adamant about braving this archaic means of TV viewing when I realized these new shows have quite the girl-power factor. That’s right, what seems like an unusual number of shows are being spearheaded by female leads this fall, and an aspiring-TV-writer of a gal like me has simply got to show her support, right? Here’s my rundown of some of the new girls on the block:
- “New Girl” (Fox) – This sitcom starring Zooey Daschanel has real potential. It’s about a quirky teacher who spontaneously bursts out into song, watches “Dirty Dancing” on a loop, and has just moved in with three male roommates in the wake of an unfortunate yet hilarious breakup. The pilot features some sloppy scene transitions, but I think it does an exceptional job of introducing its cast of vivid characters along with its style of humor over the course of just 23 minutes. Given how vital distinct and varied characters are to the success of a comedy show, this is one to watch now and in the future.
- “Revenge” (ABC) – This pilot jumps around in time, introducing us to the story of a twenty-something girl who sets out to reap revenge on the Long Island elites that had her father wrongly convicted and jailed in her childhood. The first glimpse of this show is good, but not exceptional; in other words, I think the writers could have done a better job of building suspense and leaving the audience hanging with questions, but I’m willing to give the series a chance to blossom. I am hopeful that the show will capitalize on Madeline Stowe, who plays the evil queen of the Hamptons, and I would love to see the show create some compelling and dramatic relationships for her the way “Damages” has for Glenn Close.
- “The Secret Circle” (CW) – If you’ve ever been a fan of “Charmed” or “The Vampire Diaries,” you’ll want to give this show a shot. It is about a teenage girl who moves in with her grandmother after her mom dies in a mysterious accident. This unusual death turns out the be just the beginning, because she soon learns she and several of her new classmates are witches. I’m still unconvinced about whether this will amount to more than your average teen show, but my love of supernatural TV and Thomas Dekker (one of its stars) will inspire me to watch a couple more episodes.
- “Ringer” (CW) – I really want to like this show, which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) as a down-and-out girl who assumes the identity of her identical twin in an attempt to escape her own troubled life. The show does a lot wrong, including a barrage of redundant shots and some of the worst green-screen scenes in the history of green screens and fake yachts, but it does have some good cliffhangers. Since I’m a huge fan of serialized TV (hello, my darling “Pretty Little Liars”), I’m hoping this show will embrace its status as a nighttime soap opera and boast some juicier cliffhangers and ridiculous plot lines than its first two episodes offered up.
Psst: One show I’ve been curious to see yet somehow missed is “2 Broke Girls” (CBS). You can apparently view the pilot online via the CBS website, but I’m visiting family in Canada right now, so I’ll have to wait until next week when I’m in an ‘approved region’ to watch the show. Have any of you seen the pilot yet? What did you think? Are there any other new shows out there that have surprised you? Any shows you’re still eagerly awaiting? Leave a comment.