What if something’s on TV?

During our weekend at Yosemite — while one group set off on the second hike of the day — Kenley and I stayed behind with two other friends to preview four more television pilots for the upcoming season.

(If you missed my earlier post about our trip to Yosemite, you can read it here.)

As I’ve mentioned, neither of us is the outdoor type: “What if something’s on TV and it’s never shown again?”

Of course, DVRs eliminate this problem, so here are a few new TV shows you might want to set your DVR for this fall:

If you like “Lost,” watch “Person of Interest“: J.J. Abrams is behind this project, and Michael Emerson (Ben from “Lost”) plays another character of dubious background, who has a list of people who will be involved in violent crimes. He recruits a former secret agent played by Jim Caviezel to help him stop the crime before it happens. Emerson is as creepy as ever, and the writing, acting, and even the score are all excellent.This could be one of the best new shows on television.It premieres Sept. 22 on CBS.

(I previewed J.J. Abrams’ other pilot, “Alcatraz”, starring “Lost’s” Jorge Garcia, in an earlier blog post. It premieres early next year on FOX.)

Even if you like “Desperate Housewives,” don’t watch “Suburgatory“: The premise is that a dad moves to suburban New York so he can better raise his teenage daughter. They are welcomed by a horde of desperate housewives and their spoiled children. I guess it’s supposed to be satire, but it comes across way too cheesy and over-the-top. Still, “Suburgatory” has a great time slot on ABC before “Modern Family.” It premieres Sept. 28. For wittier satire, watch “Apartment 23,” which I previewed in my previous post. It premieres on ABC early next year.

If you liked “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” watch “Grimm“:  The sci-fi show borrows heavily from the mythology of “Buffy,”  although the drama is set in a police department instead of a high school. And instead of vampires, the villains are the bad guys from fairy tales, such as the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” in the pilot. The lead character — a police detective who has just discovered he is a “Grimm” instead of a vampire slayer — has the ability to see people for who they really are. David Greenwalt, whose credits include “Buffy” and “Angel,” is the executive director. The only thing missing so far: a sexy love interest, al la Buffy and Angel. Kenley said he especially liked the way “Grimm” is shot with green and blue tones, which add to the creepiness. This could be among the best new sci-fi shows. It premieres Oct. 21.

If you like “Glee,” watch “Smash“: This is a grown-up version of “Glee.” It depicts the drama that happens behind the scenes of the production of a Broadway musical. The pilot showcases several strong musical numbers, including an elaborate production scene that features original songwriting, strong vocal performances and choreography. “Smash” has a great ensemble cast that includes Debra Messing, Angelica Houston and “American Idol” alum Katherine McPhee, who is surprisingly likable and natural in her debut as a lead character. This will be the best guilty pleasure of the new season. It is on NBC early next year.

Update: After I panned “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” in my previous post, TVLine reported that three of the cast members had been let go because their characters had been “reconceived.” I’m not sure it was the actors or the writing that made this NBC show so bad.


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