Well, about six weeks into the new television season and I find myself agreeing with tv critic Tim Goodman, there is a renaissance in good drama going on in television.
My top five shows are currently on hiatus
Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Justified and Shameless
but this fall, while there may not be any contenders for the throne there are a number of good dramas (and some that may help me round out my list to ten if they keep the good scripts coming).
Sunday night is currently the most jam packed night of television.
Boardwalk Empire while season 1 seemed slow to get going, this season this period piece set in Prohibition era Atlantic City with a sense of history (Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, Meyer Lanksy, Ben Siegel, etc) and great acting all around, is hitting on all cylinders.
Dexter after the last two seasons, Dexter has gone back to the basics and found its sense of humor again. This season seems to offer three different characters all grappling with faith and ghosts of father figures. Mos Def is especially effective as Brother Sam. Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos are very creepy.
Homeland with Clare Danes and Damian Lewis. He's an Iraqi war prisoner that may have been turned, she believes he already has turned. Who's right? A terrific cat and mouse scenario with great assist from Mandy Patinkin.
Walking Dead. More than just a zombie show. A western masquerading as a horror series this show explores the idea of what happens to humanity when the majority of humanity is destroyed. How do you go on? Hold it together? Piece together a new world?
The Good Wife now on Sunday nights but still as smartly written and acted as it was when it was on Tuesday nights. Thank God for On Demand.
Pan Am A major piece of retro fluff but very stylish and after all that drama sometimes it's just nice to escape.
Other new shows I'm enjoying:
Body of Proof A good cast (Dana Delany, John Carroll Lynch (who I've loved since Carnivale), Jeri Ryan) make this a cut above the majority of procedurals on CBS (yeah Unforgettable I'm looking at you).
Person of Interest Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel along with co-creator Jonathan Nolan (Batmen Begins and Dark Knight and J.J. Abrams (Lost) make this one very intriguing.
Prime Suspect Leave all thoughts of the great Helen Mirren PBS show of the same name behind and just enjoy Maria Bello kicking butt and taking numbers. A shaky pilot but since then every week has gotten better.
Boss Kelsey Grammar reminds us all that he is much more than Frasier Crane. As a power building mayor of Chicago with a recent diagnosis of a degenerative brain disease, this one may be a game changer for Starz!. Definitely worth checking out.
Coming up: Hell on Wheels a western about the building of the trans-continental railroad and those that followed the workers. Could be Deadwood on wheels. The pilot is said to be shaky but it's supposed to improve with subsequent episodes.
House of Lies with Don Cheadle. Not sure exactly what it's about but the promos make me want to watch!
Luck starring Nick Nolte, Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina with David Milch and Michael Mann behind the camera. Set in the world of horse racing. Looks very promising.
All of that should hold me until Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Justified and Shameless return this winter/spring.
And for the record, Playboy Club deserved to be cancelled. Why? Despite a cool retro look, it was just plain stupid. How stupid? CSI: Miami stupid. 'Nuff said.
Hawaii 5-0 isn't as fun as last season. Bringing in a new girl in seems to have thrown the team off their game.
CSI: Las Vegas Ted Danson is a welcome addition and has made this old war horse worth checking out.
The Mentalist the way the producers chose to conclude the last season's finale seemed rush and they took the easy way out with the guy Patrick Jane shot not really Red John. At this point (and for quite some time), Red John has become more of a joke than a Big Bad.
Blue Bloods All that made it interesting and worth watching last season now seems formulaic, sanctimonious and preachy.
Summer shows making a fall appearance:
Leverage, Rizzoli and Isles, The Closer, Covert Affairs and Burn Notice[b] all return beginning next month for a few episodes leading up to the holidays.
Summer shows Cancelled:
Memphis Beat while enjoyable was not as good as season 1.
HawthoRNe was totally unwatchable this season and from the various message boards devoted to the showw deserved to be cancelled.
Lynn in Sherman Oaks
"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."
"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese
Avatar-Bob's Big Boy-Toluca Lake, designed in 1948 by Wayne McAllister, still in business.