Fall TV and The Top 5 New Shows I’m Excited For

It’s my absolute favorite time of the year. September brings the beginning of the Fall season! Sweaters, boots, scarves, and coats line the shelves in the stores. Starbucks brings out their Pumpkin Spiced Latte. Pinterest is filled with pumpkin recipes and the many colors of fall. But my favorite thing that September brings is the return of our favorite TV shows and some exciting new ones!

I am a self admitted TV junkie. September through November is booked weekly with what I will be tuning in and DVR-ing to watch. For me, it begins in May with the networks releasing their fall schedules. I begin sifting through them eager to read the premise for the new shows to come and find where my old shows are being placed in the week. Then July comes around and Comic Con comes to town! With the convention transforming into a pop-culture hub, the networks find an audience to test pilots of the anticipated shows and share some details (and sometimes clips) of the new seasons as well. As an annual Comic Con attendee, I make an effort to sit in on the panels I am most excited for and find the details of the one’s I missed live on the internet throughout the week. Then the anticipation climbs as I wait for the longest 2 months to get reacquainted with old familiar characters and meet some new ones and decide if they are worthy of my time.

So as the years progressed and the networks have become more frivolous with their cancellations, I have been more selective of the shows I get excited and root for. In no particular order, here are the top 5 new shows I am looking forward to seeing this season:

1. Sleepy Hollow (FOX)
Premieres: Monday, September 16 @ 9pm
This one may be personal for me as I have loved the Legend of Sleepy Hollow ever since I was a kid! At its core, Sleepy Hollow is based on a story that has been giving adults and children nightmares for centuries, but this version takes it into new and exciting directions not seen in previous incarnations.  Tom Mison stars as Ichabod Crane in this modern-day retelling of Washington Irving’s classic short story. Frozen in time for 250 years, Crane awakes to partner up with Sleepy Hollow’s sheriff Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by evil forces, including Death, aka the Headless Horseman, who’s also one of the four horseman of the apocalypse! A brilliant spin weaving American History, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and the Book of Revelation from the bible, this show looks to reinvent the supernatural genre that has become tiresome as of late.

2. The Blacklist (NBC)
Premieres: Monday, September 23 @ 10pm
NBC’s intriguing new crime drama sounds like a familiar Silence of the Lambs plot, but added twists and less violent killings will probably secure a larger audience to follow along. James Spader returns to TV as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a top fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. He strikes a deal with the FBI: He will help them take down super-criminals on a blacklist who have thus far evaded capture, but he has a list of his own demands and one of them is he will only work with rookie agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). The show reads like a psychological thriller more than your average crime dramas currently on tv, but it’s the intelligence behind James Spader‘s character that has me intrigued and will probably keep me guessing.

3. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
Premieres: Tuesday, September 24 @ 8pm
Not going to lie, Avengers may have been the best movie I saw last year. So I may be a little biased with this choice, but who doesn’t love some seriously entertaining Super Hero stories? Then you add the talented Joss Whedon to the mix and the action and comedy grounds this new show which I assume will be a huge hit. Clark Gregg reprises his Avengers role as Agent Phil Coulson, who assembles a team of top-secret agents to handle strange new cases. Set in a world of Super Heroes and aliens, the show will center on the very human agents who speak to the human condition and prepare to tackle the unknown and yet to be classified cases. The only way this show will not do well is if the stories are not thought through to meet an overall arc of a season and the action comes off too campy. I know I will give it a try.

4. American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
Premieres: Wednesday, October 9 @ 10pm
Ok, so this technically isn’t a new show, but with the anthology series the story is new each season, so I get a break on including it as a “new show”. This season is set in the iconic New Orleans in both modern day and the 1830’s and will tell the secret history of witches and witchcraft. With attacks beginning to escalate on witches in modern day, protection will be taught to the young girls who attend a secret school with the Supreme Fiona played by Jessica Lange and her daughter Cordelia played by Sarah Paulson. The 1830’s New Orleans will involve a war between some historical New Orleans figures (Particularly the Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau and the notorious  slave serial killer, Madame LaLaurie). With cinematic powerhouses Angela Bassett, Jessica Lange, and Kathy Bates playing the 3 lead witches, what isn’t there to be excited about?

5. Dracula (NBC)
Premieres: Friday, October 25 @ 10pm
This one has a well known (Not to mention GORGEOUS) star in the lead. A re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the horror thriller stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as America’s Original Vampire who comes to London posing as American entrepreneur, Alexander Grayson, who wants to introduce Victorian society to clean energy. Dracula’s real intentions are to seek revenge on the secret society who cursed him, the Order of the Dragon. Along the way, he falls in love with Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw), who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. I know what you’re thinking… The vampire trend is so old and tiring! But remember, this is the original story that introduced us to the hypnotic world of vampires. As an added twist, Van Helsing is assisting our vampire in his revenge against the Order of the Dragon. I do not expect this show to go far with a Friday death slot and the age of anti-vampire voices, but it should be a fun story to watch. Especially with it premiering the weekend before Halloween. Give it a chance, but don’t go into it with high expectations.

Labor Day Holiday

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It has BEGUN! The glorious three day weekend signifying the end of Summer. When I think of Labor Day weekend, five things come to mind:
  1. Barbeques
  2. Shopping sales
  3. Vacations
  4. Football is around the corner
  5. TV Marathons

You can bet that Andy has already scheduled the obligatory bbq on Monday (Seeing as his idea of a perfect summer day includes him manning the grill with a craft beer in his hand!…. Don’t get me wrong, if you mistook me for complaining, I am 100% excited for all the delicious foods he will be serving up!)

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We are also AS equally excited that the Football season is upon us! (You know Preseason doesn’t count) We are both in Fantasy Leagues and Sundays are booked throughout the remainder of the year with us rooting for our favorite teams. Yes, we don’t just watch football in our house; we celebrate it!

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Unfortunately, I will NOT be participating in any of the labor day sales events or going on any fantastic vacations this Labor day, but you can bet that I will most likely be sucked into a tv marathon. Like clockwork, if I have not scheduled out my holiday weekend, I will fall prey to my love/hate (ok, mostly love) relationship with the Television. I have stumbled upon and fell in love with some of my favorite shows by accidently finding or creating a marathon! There is something so rewarding about not having to wait a whole week for the next episode or more importantly, a whole SEASON! Everyone is guilty of it, some of us just don’t feel that guilty about it!

So in honor of the Labor Day holiday, I decided to make a list of 10 of my favorite shows that I’d recommend for a marathon weekend (without sacrificing your WHOLE weekend on the couch)!

1. Orphan Black
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This BBCA drama about orphans who find out they are clones has become a breakout hit after it’s first season! Tatiana Maslany shines playing multiple characters with such distinct personalities, characteristics, and accents that it’s hard to believe it’s the same actress in all roles. But this new series isn’t all about the actors, with a fresh plot and twists that keep you guessing each week, the writers should be commended on this strong show. With only 10 episodes in the first season, it’s a show you can quickly catch up on, but will keep you waiting until the spring for the second season.

2. The Americans
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Starring the lovely Kari Russell and Matthew Rhys, this 1980s-set FX drama centers on two KBG agents posing as a married couple in Washington, D.C. during the Cold War. So much more than a typical spy drama, The Americans actually has you rooting for the couple and draws on a relatable family dynamic. The tension is both darkly comic and emotionally insightful. One of the most talked-about new dramas of the year, it will keep you at the edge of your seat and with only 13 episodes in the first season, it’s a breeze to get through.

3. Party Down
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This brilliant Starz comedy was sadly cancelled at it’s prime after only 2 seasons but has kept it’s buzz through a cult following. With a comedian cast of Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, and Megan Mullally, this boisterous comedy follows a group of aspiring actors, writers, and lost souls who work for a catering company while trying to make their big break in Hollywood. Each episode follows this troop to one of their catering gigs and the antics always follow. The off-beat writing and  smart comedy stylings make this show  a worth while watch. At only a half-hour per episode, the laughs are abundant in all 20 episodes. If it leaves you wanting more? There are talks of a movie script being developed with the main cast to reprise their roles in the future. (Let’s keep our fingers crossed!)

4. Homeland
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Only a month away from returning with it’s 3rd season, this critically acclaimed Showtime hit and award winning series is a no brainer must on any binge marathon list. This show was actually a binge watch for my boyfriend and I earlier this year and after the first episode, it was clear there was no going back. In a post 9/11 world where the threat of terrorism is more Imminent and real, this exhilarating thriller centers on a troubled CIA operations officer and her investigation of an American POW who she believes has been turned by al-Qaeda and is working as a terrorist on US soil. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis brilliantly capture these morally ambiguous characters and their turbulent lives. A game of cat and mouse that centers on fear and suspicion, this show is a nail-biter wrapped in 24 brilliantly written episodes.

5. Game of Thrones

I’m sure if you haven’t heard of this show, you are living under a rock. With a built-in fan base from the novels HBO struck gold with this fantasy drama. With too many characters and actors to credit, the entirety of the cast is immensely talented and worthy of what screen time they have. Game of Thrones is not only visually stunning but boasts originality in it’s plot that is so sparse these days. Through multiple storylines of intrigue and morally ambiguous characters, the series explores corruption, civil war, feminism, social hierarchy, and misogynism in a both dark and ethereal setting. At 3 seasons and 30 episodes, it’s a little more of a commitment for your weekend, but is easily the cheapest vacation you can take without leaving your couch.

6. The Walking Dead
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Only in the middle of its 3rd season, The Walking Dead has become a phenomenon in the zombie genre. Intense and extremely well written, AMC’s horror drama is set in a zombie apocalypse where a small group of survivors search for a safe haven and struggle to adapt while maintaining their humanity in a hostile world. With other survivors becoming a bigger threat than the zombies themselves, this series relays on character development and relationships to explore human nature when the structures of society have collapsed. Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus are most successful in their character dynamics, but the entire cast shines through cutting edge story telling. Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead has followers from the graphic novel it was adapted from, but has made a name for itself by parting ways with some of the plot developments from the comics. The Walking Dead returns to finish it’s 3rd season in early October, so this weekend is a perfect time to catch up on all 30 episodes.

7. New Girl
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Want a break from all the drama? Need something a little more silly and sweet? New Girl is a perfect show to get acquainted with. Fox’s quirky (yea, I said it) sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel as an adorable school teacher trying to get herself situated in life while living with her 3 male roommates is both funny and heart-warming. Although a lot of the comedy is over the top and slapstick, the antics of this quartet are relatable to those experiencing/have experienced that quarter-life crisis stage. Not to mention I am a sucker for pop culture references and this series is swimming with them! While Zooey Deschanel can be a little hipster and not for everyone, I highly suggest watching for the ensemble cast which really hold the show to such high standards. New Girl begins it’s 3rd season in September and is only a half hour per episode, but boasts a whopping 49 episodes to get caught up!

8. Breaking Bad
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Seriously, THE BEST SHOW EVER WRITTEN. Unlike Homeland, Andy and I took it slow and caught up before the final 8 episodes of the series began earlier this month. The AMC hit about a chemistry teacher with cancer who turns to cooking meth to support his family is dark and brooding. Original and filled with twists and turns the writing is just phenomenal and the character development of Bryan Cranston‘s Walter White and Aaron Paul‘s Jesse Pinkman are captivating.  A masterpiece of television programming I can’t wait to see where this show ends. At 57 episodes, it is most definitely one of those shows you will lose hours of your life to, but so very very worth it. (And even better, all 4 seasons are available on netflix!) Just remember to breath and take your blood pressure medication!

9. Damages
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When this legal thriller first began on FX, my mom and I couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately after 3 seasons, it was dropped by the network to gain new life at DirecTV. Well, since either of us had DirecTV, it became a holiday binge show to catch up on the final 2 seasons. The series revolves around the complicated relationship between Patty Hewes, a brilliant and ruthless lawyer and her fresh out of law school protégée, Ellen Parsons. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are a fantastic ying and yang in their respective roles while each season tackles a new case at the law firm. Over all 5 seasons, countless actors joined the show as characters entangled with Hewes and Associates, but the stylized storytelling from a nonlinear narrative and the countless twists in plot are what separated the legal series from other shows in the genre. If you are looking for a smart and poignant series, Damages is well worth watching all 59 episodes.

10. Veronica Mars
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And then there was my guilty pleasure. I don’t know about you but the cancellation of this show in 2007 wrecked me and my girlfriends in college. Veronica Mars was such an inspiration to me because of the strong and independent female lead they explored in the show. The series that started on UPN and moved to the WB (for those who are too young to know that would be what is now the CW), was a modern day Nancy Drew Mystery. It centers on a witty teenager, Veronica Mars,  who is a part time private eye in her town of Neptune. The show begins with her family’s loss of status after her best friend’s murder caused her dad to lose his job as sheriff. Of course, there is so much more to the story, but I would do the show injustice to vomit up the plot in a small paragraph. Trust me, look it up and watch it! Kristin Bell is smart, charming and manipulative as Veronica and her dialogue is filled with sarcasm and sass! The series is a relatable crime drama filled with an ensemble cast of characters that keep you entertained. Thanks to Kickstarter (yea, I donated money), the long awaited movie will be released next year!! So this may be the best time to binge watch all 3 seasons and 64 episodes! I am :)