Couch Potato 2010, also known as TV premiere week

September is awesome for many reasons. The start of fall, pumpkin spice lattes, my birthday, vacation week, camping, etc. But the week the TV schedule gets ridiculously busy with new shows kinda has my heart. I even print out a calendar with premier nights to post on the fridge.

It’s the return of my favorite characters and a chance to fill the void that shows like Ugly Betty and LOST left. I’m not apologetic about ignoring phone calls or strategically scheduling things around watching shows. And not having cable, DVR, internet or tons of free time means if I don’t catch it immediately,  chances are I won’t watch it.

So, here’s what’s on my radar this week:

Monday: This is the first fall in three years that I haven’t had something every Monday night. The only show on my MUST list is Lone Star (FOX, 9 p.m.), which in its simplest terms is about a man leading a double life. It seems like character development and writing is a premium from what I’ve read, so I’m already hooked. Plus, Tyra from Friday Night Lights is on it and I feel an obligation to support her and her sassy mouth.

Runners-up: HIMYM (CBS, 8 p.m.): I haven’t watched this show from the beginning, but I think I can watch it at the gym and be distracted from my ribs hurting. Hopefully they will be hurting from laughing and not me being out of shape. And I really think the Mother will be revealed this season and I don’t want to be left out of that moment.

Castle (ABC, 10 p.m.), Hawaii Five-O (CBS, 10 p.m.): I watch Castle when it’s on mostly because of Nathan Fillion’s awkward turtle moments, but it isn’t appointment TV. I’ll wait for my dad to call me about the Five-O to see if it’s worth having something to talk to him about.

Tuesday: Glee (FOX, 8 p.m.) is my show. Random breaking out in song is how my family really lives and Sue Sylvester is my hero. If I said half the things I wanted to, I’d wear a track suit and just work from HR.

Raising Hope (FOX, 9 p.m.) and Running Wilde (FOX, 9:30 p.m.): Both of these shows look good in traditional sit-com concept (Hope about a single dad living with his parents, Wilde about an environmental advocate living with in a mansion with her non-green counterpart), plus I think they could be brain-dead TV so if I miss one episode while I’m at County Council, I won’t feel like I missed out on something.

Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): So, this is the show I hate to love. I originally started watching it because of Peter Krause and Lauren Graham. But the first few episodes were uneven and I turned it off until the last few snippets of last season and got sucked back in. I love Krause’s autistic son and how he’s the voice of reason despite being the kid I’d run over with a grocery cart at the store. I just wish the Erika Christiansen’s family would have that other baby and move away. Their stay-at-home dad/workaholic mom story line bores me.

Runners up: The Biggest Loser (NBC, 8 p.m.) Once I stop, I can’t seem to look away. Plus, I’d rather support them than fame hogging non-celebrities on other reality TV shows.

Giving up: Life Unexpected (FOX, 9 p.m.) You’re well, not unexpected. It’s the watered-down version of a never-ending Saturday morning special with better hair. My left big toe could write it.

Wednesday: ABC Comedy block, 8-10 p.m. (The Middle, Better With You, Modern Family, Cougar Town) I can take or leave BWY, but the rest fuel my quotable moments for the week. I wish more people watched The Middle so I can say “I’m lying” under my breath like Brick. They just think I’m nuts. And Cougar Town is what I imagine life to be like in 10-15 years – completely dysfunctional with lots of love and mid-day drinks.

L&O: SVU, (NBC, 9 p.m.): NBC needs to die a little bit for not putting this on at 10 p.m., but I’ll do what I can to watch during commercials of the other shows and catch during repeats. After skipping all of last season and jonesing for Benson and Stabler this summer, I’m ready for their return to my living room.

Runners-up: Um, no one. It’s already overloaded.

Giving up: L&O LA – I can’t support putting a sunnier version of the original on the air when the original was cancelled before the LA version was even cast or scripted. It’s every cliché of horses, carts and apples. And a rotten one at that.

Thursday: Also known as I don’t have a social life because I’m with my other friends.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.) I wish this show had been on when I was in high school so I could knock on my bathroom door relentlessly in the morning before school to get the siblings out. I’m just sad I didn’t think of it first.

Other than that, the rest is up for grabs. I’ve been unimpressed by Grey’s Anatomy, but I’m not gonna lie, my eyes were covered and I was squirming during the finale so I’m interested to see if the momentum carries over. 30 Rock is always good TV, but not appointment. One week I could need a Frank or Kenneth fix, but I’m not sad if something else strikes my fancy. The Office has to bring it. I don’t even remember half of last season or the finale despite the fact that I watched all the episodes. I don’t care if it’s Michael’s last season, I will abandon it like a baby on the doorstep if it’s doesn’t find a glimmer of its former self. Nikita (FOX, 9 p.m.) has gotten raves from critics. It’s another one I’m waiting on my dad to filter out for me. And I don’t put it past me to cheat on Jim Halpert with Shane West.

Sundays: Open. I might drop in to Desperate Housewives (the same place it’s been for 7 years), but eh. I’ll probably read instead.

What are you watching? Any non-cable recommendations?

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