Writer’s Picks: The Shows To Watch This Fall


As of Sept. 22, it is officially fall and for you TV fanatics out there that means two things, discovering great new shows and watching new episodes of your favorites.

There are so many series premieres this year it’s almost impossible to keep track and even if you know what’s on TV, how on earth do you decide what to watch first? Luckily for me, I have DVR, a Slingbox, and the Internet so I can watch anything and everything, at anytime — I’m a little obsessed with TV. But, if you are limited on time and resources, the staff here at HTS is making things easy for you. We each came up with a list of our must-see shows (new and returning) for the season.


Frances is part of a small group of TV lovers who can say she literally watches EVERY SINGLE PILOT for the fall season. She even sees future episodes in her dreams

Frances is part of a small group of TV lovers who can say she literally watches EVERY SINGLE PILOT for the fall season. She even sees future episodes in her dreams

Frances’ picks

Sleepy Hollow: The plot for this show is a little ridiculous — Ichobod Crane (Tom Mison) and the Headless Horseman are real, but instead of disappearing after his encounter with the Horseman, Crane is put under a spell and goes to sleep for roughly 300 years. When Crane wakes up he’s in Sleepy Hollow and the Horseman is running amok decapitating people left and right. Of course the local police are not about a gruesome serial killer stalking the town’s residents so they pull all their resources into finding said killer. That’s when Crane meets Lt. Abbie Walls (Nicole Beharie) and she brings him in as a suspect. Of course Crane’s ramblings about fighting in the Revolutionary War and a headless horseman make everyone in the department think he’s a lunatic, but Lt. Walls in inclined to believe at least part of his story since she personally witnessed the horseman kill her boss. Lt. Walls also had her own paranormal experience as a child, so she’s not one to judge. If Crane says he’s from the 18th century she’s not going to argue. Lt. Walls decides Crane could be a helpful asset and enlists him to help with the case, thus a paranormal crime fighting team is born. On paper it doesn’t like it will work, but Crane and Walls’ fish-out-of-water banter is charming. It also helps that this shows version of Ichobod Crane is a blue-eyed British hunk instead of the lanky nerd we’re used to from the original story.

Mom: Quality sitcoms are hard to come by nowadays. Most shows are either over the top and unfunny or people do not recognize how awesome they are and they get canceled after a season or two (I’m still mourning the death of “Whitney”). As a result, I end up watching a ton of comedies I’m just not that into in the hopes of getting at least one laugh out loud moment. Lucky for me (and all you comedy lovers out there), Ana Farris has hit a homerun with “Mom.” The show follows Christy (Farris), a thirty-something mother who got pregnant too young, struggled with alcoholism, and is now coming to terms with the way her life turned out. Christy is trying her best to raise a teenager daughter and young son while working as a waitress and attending AA meetings, but she also has her former alcoholic/drug addict mother (Allison Janney) to deal  with. It may sound more like a tragic drama than comedy material, but Janney and Farris’ chemistry somehow make it work.  This is one I’ll be tuning into all season … and not just because there’s nothing else on.

Nashville: The show’s first season ended with so many cliffhangers and drama, I was literally counting the minutes until the season premiere. In case you forgot where things left off, Rayna and Deacon were in a horrible car crash, Gunnar proposed to Scarlett after acting like a major douche for the second half of the season, and Peggy’s pregnant with Teddy’s baby. Yeah, that’s a lot to fit into one finale, but that’s what makes it so juicy. This season we get to find out if Deacon will be able to recover from his alcohol relapse and deal with finding out Maddie’s his daughter. Also, is Juliette still a giant opportunistic diva? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out

Revenge: I generally do not watch soap operas, but soap operas on primetime … awesome! Revenge is my number one guilty pleasure and since revenge isn’t actually sweet in real life, I workout all my evil thoughts towards those who have wronged me through Emily Thorne. Last season ended as follows; there’s a huge bomb at Grayson Global, Declan dies, Victoria’s long lost son shows up, Nolan gets arrested for the bombing, Aiden is tired of Emily’s weird obsession with the Grayson’s, Charlotte is pregnant and Emily tells Jack she’s really Amanda to stop him from shooting Conrad. How can things get more complicated for this messed up group of people? I don’t know, but in all the teasers for the season we see Emily getting shot while in her wedding dress. It’s going to be fun trying to figure out who ends up hating Emily enough to kill her. Victoria already killed someone once, will she find out Emily is really Amanda and take matters into her own hands? Does one of Emily’s allies turn on her? What if it’s all just a bad dream and Emily doesn’t get shot at all? I’m probably going to spend the entire season obsessing over the possibilities, but hey that’s the fun part.

Rosemary likes to take pictures (as she should, she went all the way to NYC to perfect her craft). When she's not snapping photos she's probably watching HIMYM

Rosemary likes to take pictures (as she should, she went all the way to NYC to perfect her craft). When she’s not snapping photos she’s probably watching HIMYM

Rosemary’s picks

How I Met Your Mother: HIMYM just started it’s final season. After all this time, they finally revealed who the Mother is at the eight of season eight. Three episodes into the ninth season, and we still don’t know how Ted met The Mother, although we have seen some pretty intense chemistry between the two. The season takes place during the 52 hours before Barney and Robin’s wedding and finally (hopefully?) to the moment they say “I Do,” where Ted finally meets The One, and to see where Marshall and Lily end up. In true HIMYM fashion, we’ll probably see lots of flashbacks and flash forwards. After investing eight years into the lives of The Gang (or a year of non-stop watching thanks to Netflix, like me), fans are ready for the show to end. There may be some crying on my part.

Hostages: CBS has described this show as a “limited series,” which due to the plot line, seems fair. The show centers around Dr. Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette), a doctor who is to perform a surgical procedure on the US President (James Naugton). A group of men, led by Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott), shake up Dr. Sanders’ life when they invade her home and take her kids and husband (Tate Donovan) hostage. Her choices are limited; either participate in a conspiracy that would result in the president’s “accidental” death on her operating table, or risk her family. Although the numbers for the first two episodes have been mediocre, the show, with its stellar cast, could turn out to be an online binge-watching phenomenon.

The Voice: What can I say, I’m a sucker for singing competition shows, as you can probably tell from my weekly X-Factor recaps. After a sort of lackluster last season with Shakira and Usher, it’s nice to have the original four judges back (Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera). In a “reality” world where most shows like this focus on bad auditions for entertainment purposes, The Voice showcases different levels of talent, where the amazing succeed, and the mediocre get valuable advice on how to move forward. This season has already proved to have some incredible talent, unlike most reality competition shows. And although we have yet to get a successful artist from the show, it’s fun to see the judges battle it out over who gets who on what team. Also, is it just me, or is Christina Aguilera infinitely more likable now?

The Crazy Ones: If Robin Williams’ and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s return to TV wasn’t a draw enough, CBS’s “The Crazy Ones” ‘s pilot episode debuted with 15.6 million viewers. The show follows Simon Roberts (Williams) as a crazy, charming, and unpredictable exec at the Chicago ad agency, Lewis, Roberts & Roberts. Everyone surrounding Simon is quick to laugh at his antics, leaving the task of keeping him in line to his daughter, Sydney (Gellar). If the premiere’s McDonald’s commercial featuring Kelly Clarkson is any indication, the rest of the season will surely feature other big names for laughs. Note: Frances and I completely disagree on this one. She HATED the pilot. We’ll have to see more episodes before we decide who was right.

The Blacklist: NBC’s “The Blacklist” has also seen strong numbers. After a three day DVR playback, the show saw a total of 16.95 million viewers for its premiere episode. The drama centers around Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader), one of FBI’s most wanted, after he surrenders to the FBI in D.C. Reddington says he’ll cooperate since “For the moment, our interests are aligned,” but only if he speaks to Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). (FOR THE MOMENT? He’s going to go rogue, I’m calling it now. Can you really say a surrendered fugitive has gone rogue?) His interest in Keen won’t be divulged, but he says he’s going to make her famous. Reddington reveals that he has a list of terrorists and criminals he’d like to see caught, his “blacklist.”

Phoebe’s picks

As one of HTS's most active writers, Phoebe reports on everything from fashion to television

As one of HTS’s most active writers, Phoebe reports on everything from fashion to television

Star-Crossed: Star-Crossed is CW’s latest science fiction romance show. It plays off the classic star crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet except in CW’s case it’s with an alien human twist set in high school surrounding some civil rights issues for aliens. When Matt Lanter, who plays alien boy Roman, and his eight other alien friends are put into a suburban high school 10 years after coming to earth and being put into an internment camp they are less than welcomed into the community. Not a very surprising reaction considering high school is hard enough to get through being human and unpopular without adding the whole different species thing into the mix. Things look pretty bleak for the group of aliens until Roman comes across Aimee Teegaden’s character  Emery, who he is inexplicably drawn to. The show is sure to become a new sci-fi romance favorite with a great looking cast and the classic appeal of forbidden love we can’t get enough of.  For me this new show is on the must watch list because it has all the trimmings of that perfect supernatural human power couple you can’t help but cheer on despite all the obvious obstacles in their way. I have not been this excited about watching a couple develop since my Smallville days of Lana and Clark, and to this day I am still bummed they didn’t end up together. Let’s not forget the teenage angst we all went through (and for some reason can’t get enough of on screen) and feed our guilty pleasures together.

 The Tomorrow People: The Tomorrow People is the CW’s newest action packed series and it has everything from special powers to secret hideouts and a paramilitary group of scientists called, Ultra. The Tomorrow People’s premise is the evolution of humankind where a generation of humans begin to slowly be born with special abilities. Robbie Amell plays Stephen Jameson, your average teenager  up until he begins hearing voices and teleporting in his sleep. When Stephen decides to listen to one of the voices he meets John, Cara and Russell, the Tomorrow People with the special abilities of telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication. This opens a whole new world for Stephen who also learns the Tomorrow People are being hunted by a paramilitary group of scientists led by Dr. Jedikiah Price. He is forced between two worlds he is now a part of, not an easy thing for a teenager who is still trying to figure out who he is. Throughout the show we go on a journey with Stephen, who chooses his own way of keeping loyalty to his old world of humanity and new world of the Tomorrow People all while he uncovers all sorts secrets, even some regarding his father’s unexplained disappearance. My only question for this show is why isn’t it on your must watch list? I’ve only seen clips and I’m excited with anticipation of what’s to come. The main character Stephen is not only likable, but interesting and in a way you’re going through some major life changing events with him. If that does not instantly make you feel bonded to him I don’t know what will. Plus the plot line seems nicely paced so you don’t have that overdrawn out feeling that drives me especially insane. The series is also a reincarnation of an old British Sci-Fi series from the 70s and British remakes tend to do pretty good around these parts.

Beauty And the Beast:  Beauty and the Beast what can I say its been a childhood favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. So when I saw previews for this show last year I knew I had to check it out. One episode was all it took and I’ve been hooked ever since. I was skeptical whether this show could do the classic justice with a modern twist and it does on all accounts. The beast is a hunk and Belle is now a bad ass New York City cop named, Catherine — it doesn’t get any better than that. Plus the show gets you invested in the characters and the chemistry between the actors is just intoxicating and I’m seriously counting down the days until I get pulled back into it all. The new season of Beauty & the Beast is set to start on Oct. 7th and just by the way season one ended with some big secrets being revealed you can tell season two is going to be an interesting one. Last season we met dedicated cop Catherine Chandler, who carries the murder of her mother, and circumstances surrounding it, with her. She too would have been killed had it not been for a beast like man who saved her. Despite everyone telling her what she saw isn’t possible she can’t let it go. When the fingerprints of a supposedly dead Vincent Keller show up on the body of a murder victim Cat is investigating it brings her face to face with the beast, Vincent. It becomes clear to her that he was the one who saved her years ago. Catherine and Vincent end up forming quite the connection each one looking out for each other and helping each other more than they realize, and of course feelings arise on both ends. Just when things seem to be heating up between Catherine and Vincent an old girlfriend from his past spots him and shakes things up. Vincent gets carried away in the fantasy of his old life, but soon realizes he isn’t the same and has to win Catherine back. Cat still being hurt wants to keep things strictly business with him and just focus on protecting him from Muirfield. Vincent wins her over but things get complicated when he kills Cat’s boss’ brother to protect her sister. This leads to an all out manhunt of Vincent with assistant district attorney, Gabe helping lead the whole thing. Catherine’s friend Evan finds out about Vincent and in attempt to protect her not knowing the truth teams up the bad guys Muirfield, which leads to his death. It is later revealed Gabe suffers from the beast plague like Vincent, but has a medication that has helped him suppress it until now.By the end of season one Vincent and Catherine are together and stronger than ever, and more people know about Vincent than before including Cat’s partner Tess. We are left watching Vincent captured by Muirfield and learning that Catherine’s dad isn’t the man she grew up calling dad.

Vampire Diaries: If there ever was a supernatural creature I couldn’t get enough of it would hands down be vampires. To say I’m obsessed might be slightly accurate, but in the case of Vampire Diaries is there any way else to feel. The cast is gorgeous, the story is amazing, and every season gets better so if you’re not watching the question is when are you starting. Also if you haven’t got the message this show is awesome and those of you who are worried its just another Twilight don’t its not. I’ve enjoyed my Twilight fan girl moments, but realize its not everyone’s cup of tea, but Vampire Diaries is a whole different ball game that I’ve gotten even my guy friends to get hooked on despite their protest at firstWith so many changes and our favorite high school seniors graduating there’s so much to look forward to in the upcoming fifth season of Vampire Diaries. Let’s backtrack a bit a go over some of the craziness that was last season. When we last left Mystic Falls Elena wakes up to find out she transitioning into a vampire  and despite having some hesitations at first she feeds and completes the transition. Elena struggles with the new realities of her life, but Stefan is there to guide her through it even though she is finding herself drawn to Damon. When vampire hunter, Connor comes into town a whole lot of troubles comes along with him. Connor isn’t just any vampire hunter but one of the Five, a 900 year old clan of vampire hunters. Elena eventually kills Connor, but not before it revealed her brother Jeremy is also one of the Five as well. This sets off a vampire killing spree for Jeremy to help him complete the hunter map that leads to a cure to being a vampire. After some roadblocks they manage to find the cure only to have it stolen by Katherine who while awakening Silas kills Jeremy. Jeremy’s death sends Elena spiraling down and in an attempt to help her Damon uses his sire bond to have her turn off her emotions turning Elena cold and uncontrollable. Elena’s emotions are finally turned on when Damon breaks Matt neck killing him luckily he was wearing the ring and survives. Elena’s channel her emotions towards killing Katherine meanwhile Silas is determined to get Bonnie to take down the veil between the dead and the living. Bonnie takes the veil down temporarily with plans of her own for Silas. The veil being down reunites Jeremy and Elena as well as brings back a lot loved ones and supernatural enemies. Bonnie manages to use a spell to turn  Silas into stone and cast another spell to bring Jeremy back to life which kills her before she can complete it. With the veil being down Bonnie is able to come back and graduate with everyone. With their supernatural enemies out for blood graduation is anything but drama free, but Bonnie closes the veil in time while sacrificing herself to bring Jeremy back to life, and asks him not to tell anyone she is dead and instead say she is with her aunt. Elena finally chooses between the Salvatore brothers picking Damon leaving Stefan heart broken and leaving town. Season four ends with Elena shoving the cure down Katherine’s throat ,and Stefan learning he is Silas’ doppelganger right before he is locked in a safe and dropped into a lake by Silas.

The Originals: For all the Vampire Diaries’ fans out there you are familiar with the Mikaelson family better known as the Originals, the family that started the whole vampire bloodline. This year the Originals are moving from Mystic Falls and into New Orleans and getting their very own show. The show’s premise was introduced on the Vampire Diaries when it was revealed in New Orleans that werewolf, Haley was pregnant with original vampire hybrid, Klaus’s child. This news leads to Klaus having to work with the witches of New Orleans to take down his protege Marcel, who had taken over running the town after Klaus had to leave to hide from his father who was hunting him. Marcel over the years becomes out of control and in order to gratify his ego, protect Haley and his unborn child Klaus takes back control of New Orleans, and with encouragement of his brother Elijah decides to stay in New Orleans and accept his child. The brothers invite their sister Rebekah to join, but she refuses. The Originals is sure to leave us at the edge out seats and entertained with the mischief and new cast of characters we will encounter in the Mikaelson’s new home in New Orleans. There is a lot to be said about the Mikaelson siblings and boring is not even in the realm of possibilities. From the moment I was introduced to the original family on Vampire Diaries I was intrigued because its been a concept not really ever explored. I’m pretty sure everyone at one point or another has wondered how vampires even came into existence and in comes the originals perfection. They’re flawed, charming, bad ass, and a bit vindictive at times and its great. It’s nice to see time hasn’t mellowed even the oldest of vampires.

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  1. Pingback: CBS Orders Full Season for ‘The Crazy Ones,’ ‘The Millers,’ and ‘Moms’ - Hollywood Times Square

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