(well, new shows, at least.)
Now that we're a couple of months into the new TV season, I can safely say that it has been amazingly underwhelming. I usually find a handful of new shows that make it into permanent "season pass" status on the ol' DVR.
This year, only two shows have made the jump.
Boardwalk Empire (on HBO) is the new fancy hour-long series on HBO. It's a solid show and, in a weak year, is getting a good amount of acclaim. More than I think it would in a more "normal" season. The show is just so weighed down by its historical references that I just don't find it to be enjoyable the way The Wire, Deadwood, or the early seasons of The Sopranos were. I don't care about most of the characters, don't care about the story, and find myself easily distracted during each episode.
And that still makes it the second best show of the year.
The best is Terriers, on FX. It's a modern noir-style detective show about two friends who've do some detective work to make ends meet. It's constantly funny, but almost every episode has moments that have you on edge, not sure where they will go next. Better yet, it all feels entirely organic. Nothing feels forced. Created by the guy who wrote the Ocean's Eleven movies and Shawn Ryan (who created The Shield), the show flies by each week and moves the grander story arc along in new, interesting ways. It is certainly the best new show, and it is probably already better than Sons of Anarchy and Justified, two more FX shows that were the best shows from the past couple of seasons.
(As another aside, a bunch of returning shows from last year have been great, most notably Cougar Town. For reals.)