It was slim pickins over the summer when the biggest hit was Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I'd never watch that.
(Except for all the times that I did -- who can resist Mama June and her "tractor foot"? Good lord, I'm only human.)
I was SO excited for new TV, that I whipped up a spuddy buddy. Allow me to introduce, The Loveseat Potato. She's kept me company through countless hours on the couch.
Is that sad and creepy? Nah!
Anyway, grab a snack -- but skip the chips unless you want The Loveseat Potato to munch on your toes -- then set your DVRs for these smash spuds (and avoid the rotten duds):
BEST NEW COMEDY
WHY IT'S A SMASH: It makes me laugh! Good thing, since it's a comedy. The writing is smart in this story of a gay couple, their surrogate baby mama, her scene-stealing daughter, and her toxic grandma. Plus, it's from Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and American Horror Story (more on that later...), with a dash of NeNe Leakes mixed in. What's not to like?
Honorable mention goes to The Jeff Probst Show (synd). Guys on the couch = enlightening.
DUDS: Ricki Lake (synd), Katie Couric (synd), and Bethenny Frankel (FOX)
BEST NEW REALITY
Life After Top Chef (Bravo, Wednesdays at 10pm)
WHY IT'S A SMASH: Fabio Viviani! He can parla italiano to me anytime. Richard Blais is still neurotic. Jen Carroll is still... edgy. And Spike Mendelsohn is still an arrogant goofball. This is a spicy nut mix of chef-testants from one of my fave shows, and I love this peek into their lives because I am a
Honorable mention goes to My Life Is a Lifetime Movie (Lifetime, Wednesdays at 10pm). The name says it all.
DUDS: Breaking Amish (TLC), Gallery Girls (Bravo), Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (TLC), and My Shopping Addiction (Oxygen)
BEST NEW DRAMA
Elementary (CBS, Thursdays at 10pm)
WHY IT'S A SMASH: It's clever! Recovering addict Sherlock Holmes assists the NYPD in solving crimes alongside his "sober companion" Watson, who is a former surgeon and a girl. You really have to pay attention to the fast-paced plot and to Sherlock's accent, but it works. And that's coming from someone who typically likes her TV like she likes her mashed potatoes. Fluffy.
Honorable mention goes to Last Resort (ABC, Thursdays at 8pm). Scott Speedman, you'll always be Ben Covington to me.
DUDS: Vegas (CBS), Chicago Fire (NBC), and The Mob Doctor (FOX)
Nashville (ABC, Wednesdays at 10pm)
WHY IT'S A SMASH: It's catchy! The songs get your toes tapping. The catty rivalry between fading and rising country stars is fun to watch. I loved Connie Britton in Brothers McMullen, Friday Night Lights, and American Horror Story (again, more on that below...). And the secret romances in Music City are steamy. Let's just hope it ends better than Country Strong did. That was depressing!
Honorable mention goes to... nobody. Go back and watch old reruns of Felicity to see Scott Speedman in his youthful glory. I have the whole series on DVD, if you want to borrow.
DUD: Emily Owens, MD (CW) and Beauty and the Beast (CW)
Lastly, it's time to switch gears and roast a couple shows I wanted to love (really, I did!), but I didn't:
WORST NEW SUPERNATURAL
American Horror Story Asylum (FX)
WHY IT'S A ROTTEN POTATO: It's horrible! And not in a good way. I totally loved this show last season. A gorgeous LA home, dubbed "Murder House," with dreamy Dylan McDermott as a cheating husband was a good time. Then they killed everybody. Guess I shoulda seen that coming. This season, it came back as a totally different story. Who does that? I don't want to spend an hour a week in an insane asylum in 1964. The inmates are ugly. Did I mention it's horrible?
Dis-honorable mention goes to 666 Park Ave (ABC). How many times does something need to attack/trap/scare the bejeezus out of you in the basement before you stop going down there? And would it kill you to turn a light on??