Much as I’ve enjoyed watching absolutely nothing of consequence on TV for the last four months, save DVDs of “The Sopranos” which I’m about ten years late in recognizing is awesome, I’m extraordinarily thrilled that the new TV season is almost upon us. There are four new shows in particular that have tickled my fancy and which I’m hoping will live up to my inflated and childishly overwrought expections:
"Fringe" (debuting Sept. 9 on FOX)
Okay, even though there’s a Whedon production waiting in the wings, this may be the show I’m actually most excited about. Developed by J.J. “I’m fucking awesome at pilots and I spent $10 million on this one” Abrams, “Fringe” is about two FBI agents who are forced to work with an institutionalized scientists to solve unexplained phenomena. This series has a lot of things going for it: one, Abrams, who has yet to disappoint me with a series; two, it sounds like a total rip-off of “The X-Files” but in a good way, like they might actually know where they want it to go and how it will end – crazy! – and three, Joshua Jackson is one of the leads. Now, I was a “Dawson’s Creek” snob but I gotta tell you, I always liked that Pacey kid. This one rates a 9 out of 10 on my anticipation scale.
"Caprica" (mini-series debut in December on SCI-FI)
From the makers of “Battlestar Galactica” comes this prequel, set 50 years before the Cylon War and focusing on the interaction between two families: the Adamas and the Greystones. The latter has developed the artificial intelligence that will one day become the cylon race and result in the near annihilation of humanity. Honestly, I can’t keep track of whether “Caprica” has been picked up as a series or not, but from all the rave reviews the pilot has been getting, I’m guessing it’s a foregone conclusion unless every BSG nerd’s television breaks on the night of its debut and the thing scores a zero in the Nielsens. Truth be told, I wasn’t too amped up about the show until I saw some of the previews and now, I’m waiting as patiently as a golden retriever with a biscuit on its nose. The set design looks spectacular. I’m totally intrigued by the storyline. And who doesn’t love them some Eric Stoltz from time to time? This one’s hammering me with a 10 out of 10 in anticipation.
"Dollhouse" (debuting in January 2009 on FOX)
Holy hell, it’s a new Joss Whedon show! I’m trying very hard not to get my hopes up for this because Joss Whedon shows on FOX are like goldfish that you get at the fair. You fall in love with them and then FOX kills them…or something like that. The series stars Eliza Dushku (who, let me just admit right now, I kinda hated a lot as Faith on “Buffy”), Amy Acker (who I kinda loved as Fred on “Angel”) and he of the soulful forehead and sexy overbite, Tahmoh Penikett from “Battlestar.” The show revolves around a human lab rats who are sent out to complete various assignments and are given different personalities and memories to best serve their mission. The concept doesn’t really do it for me but then neither did the first couple episodes of “Firefly” and I quickly proved myself wrong on that one. I should just learn by now to “Trust in Joss” because he has never, ever done me wrong. Except on “Alien 3” and that totally wasn’t his fault. And hey, because this is a Whedon show, who wants to take first bets on who the lesbian character will be? I’m guessing Tahmoh but I could be reaching. Also, I can tell you right now that in the last episode, a beloved character will get killed off for no reason. I learned some stuff from "Buffy." Anticipation scale? I’m clocking in at a 8.5 on this one.
"Virtuality" (debuting sometime in 2009)
Another one from the makers of “BSG,” this show revolves around the Phaeton, Earth’s first starship, and the virtual reality modules installed on the ship to keep its human crew from going insane on a ten-year mission to explore the solar system. Naturally, things go wrong. The details are still pretty hazy on this one, but at this point, I’ll tune in to watch Ron Moore’s home movies so sign me up. Looking at a 7 out of 10 on the scale but only because I don’t know enough yet to know how awesome it will be.
I’m also looking forward to “Kath & Kim” but only because I tangentially knew Selma Blair growing up and she always seemed really nice. Also, she set fire to things in “Hellboy,” so, go Selma!
What are you looking forward to?