The first month of Fall TV premieres brought us rivals for some of the best-established shows on television: Mindy Kaling tries to out-quirk Zooey Deschanel on The Mindy Project, NBC’s Revolution makes The Walking Dead’s post-apocalyptic world a little more broadcast network-ready, and The New Normal picks up MoFam’s progressive-family comedy without even bothering to come up with a title that isn’t just a synonym for “Modern”. As much as everyone loves some good competition, I could personally go for some originality this season. Here are three shows that are making their own way.
As far as kick ass female lead roles go, mentally unstable CIA agent with a plan to save the country from terrorists is probably the best one Claire Danes could have wished for. Showtime’s Homeland debuted last year, dodging all the post-9/11 cliches most of us were expecting, and coming out on top with six Emmys and multiple comparisons to Mad Men. Season 2 premieres September 30th, and the collection of dramatic clips set to a children’s choir’s cover of “Every Breath You Take” that is its trailer suggests that I’ll be crying through most of it.
This time last year, the stylish almost-soap Revenge was added to ABC’s Wednesday lineup, and we were all granted the addiction to beautiful, rich people drama we never knew we wanted. Set in the South Hamptons, Revenge follows the double life of Emily Thorne (played by Brothers and Sisters’ Emily VanCamp) as she attends fancy yacht parties, socializes with millionaires, and gradually reveals her evil plot to destroy them all. The shocking last five minutes of season one killed off Emily’s arch nemesis, Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), in a perfect, Florence Welch-serenaded montage that made three months of summer seem like a sick joke. On October 1st, Revenge will return with a new Sunday night time slot and a lot of explaining to do. Hold onto your grudges.
Five years ago, a drama about country singers competing for the limelight probably wouldn’t have even made it into production. But now that T. Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow have teamed up to soften our hearts, glitter up our wardrobes and prove that we’re all secretly attracted to boys in cowboy hats (did you happen to stumble upon Luke Bryan dancing at the CMA Festival and then forget to stop watching? Because I did.), ABC’s Nashville just might have a chance. Hayden Panettierre and Connie Britton star as rivals in what appears to be almost the exact plot of last year’s Country Strong, minus the alcoholism and the dead baby (as far as I can tell). So if the Hollywood takeover of country music has you dreaming of table dancing and pickup trucks, tune in on October 10th.
Photos: Homeland: courtesy of Showtime; Revenge, Nashville: ABCMediaNet