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Dads and The Neighbors visit Sleepy Hollow? TV must-sees for the week of Sept. 15

- September 15th, 2013

Sleepy-Hollow-Title

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Sept. 15:

1 Sleepy Hollow

Series debut: A mysteriously resurrected Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) inexplicably finds himself in modern times. But he has not made this bizarre journey alone. A certain headless horseman is here, too.

When: Monday on Fox, Global

2 Dads

Series debut: Now the public finally gets to see what all the fuss is about. Does Archie Bunker-style humour work in 2013? This stars Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, Martin Mull and Peter Riegert.

When: Tuesday on Fox, City

3 Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Series debut: Former Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg goes the sitcom route. He plays a childish yet effective detective. But he won’t have Justin Timberlake to bail him out this time.

When: Tuesday on Fox, City

4 Last Man Standing

Second-season debut: Willie and Si Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty make their acting debuts as customers at the outdoor store run by Mike (Tim Allen). Wait, you mean Duck Dynasty isn’t an act?

When: Friday on ABC

5 Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery

Debut: Based on a novel by Louise Penny, this made-for-TV movie focuses on a small town that comes unravelled when a community member is found dead. Hey, doesn’t that sound just like Broadchurch?

When: Sunday on CBC

6 The Mindy Project

Second-season debut: Mindy (Mindy Kaling) has her new life in Haiti cut short when she falls ill. Meanwhile, James Franco guest-stars as an OB/GYN who also happens to be a sex therapist.

When: Tuesday on Fox, City

7 The Neighbors

Second-season debut: Just as Amber (Clara Mamet) and Reggie (Tim Jo) reveal to their families that they’ve been dating, an unexpected guest competes for Reggie’s attention. An alien concept, literally?

When: Friday on ABC, CTV

8 Deconstructing Dinner

Series debut: Ever wonder or worry about where your food comes from? This six-part documentary traces the path from field and farm to family table, with some surprising twists along the way.

When: Monday on ichannel

9 Bones

Ninth-season debut: Booth (David Boreanaz) last was seen breaking the heart of Brennan (Emily Deschanel) by taking back his marriage proposal. The story picks up a few months later.

When: Monday on Fox, Global

10 New Girl

Third-season debut: Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) decide to take the plunge with their romantic relationship. But after running away together, they find themselves in need of rescue.

When: Tuesday on Fox, City

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

Boobs really ARE the answer; a look back at TV trends in 2012

- December 23rd, 2012

lena dunham emmys

In his opening monologue at the Emmy Awards in September, host Jimmy Kimmel noted that cable networks accounted for all the shows in the outstanding drama category in 2012.

“The Academy is sending a clear message,” Kimmel said. “And that message is, ‘Show us your boobs.’ ”

That’s Lena Dunham of Girls in the above picture, by the way, taking Kimmel’s advice to heart – or is it having her cake and eating it, too? – in the opening bit that kicked off the Emmys.

True enough, boobs are the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems, to paraphrase Homer Simpson (he was talking about alcohol). But it actually is more complicated when it comes to TV.

The calendar year 2012 continued the trend of viewers peeling off to specialty programming and specialty channels, as the big broadcast networks try to figure out where they fit in the future of television.

The past year also saw a significant increase in the amount of internet-first “TV” programming, through services such as Netflix and the like.

Genre-wise, there has been a notable push in the past year toward fantasy, at least when it comes to drama. Shows such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time and American Horror Story remind us that when real life gets boring, we always can make something up.

Isn’t it strange that in some ways we now expect our comedies to be more grounded than our dramas? When an alien-based sitcom like The Neighbors comes along, many people turn up their noses because it’s too “ridiculous.” But some of those same people happily will watch Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead and think, “Wow, great art.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just amusing when you think of it that way.

So looking back at TV in 2012, we’ll remember zombies and dwarves, good wives and mad men, drug dealers and high-class schemers, butlers and bootleggers.

And boobs. Lots and lots of boobs.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv