A look back at the BEST of the new fall TV lineup

12:45 pm EDT, December 7, 2011

Dozens of new shows tried to work their way into our hearts (and DVRs) this season, but only a few were actually worth watching. While we’re looking forward to the return of some shows, there are plenty we’re glad to be finished with—and another few we hope will be over soon.

So in honor of the mid-season finales, let’s take a look back at the best (and later this week I’ll tackle the worst) in this year’s fall TV lineup.



Crime dramas were starting to get played out, but the creators of Grimm put a new spin on a tired idea, jumping on the fairytale bandwagon to create something that’s gritty, fun and a little bit magical. The characters are relatable and entertaining, and the overarching plot adds just enough mystery to the stand-alone episodes so that you’re intrigued but not distracted from the story at hand. Grimm reminds me of early Supernatural, but with more laughs and less darkness. (I know someone in the comments is going to hate that comparison… but just know, I’m ready to argue.)


New Girl

Zooey Deschanel is one of my favorite actresses—plus I’m a sucker for any show with someone from Veronica Mars—so I was committed to New Girl. And it’s a good thing, because this show was little more than sub-par at first. But it grows on you. And it has continued to improve, week after week, since the first episode. Jess is adorably quirky, Schmidt is just cocky enough, and did I mention they cast Justin Long as a guest star? Justin Long. There is no better pairing than the awkward-meets-awkwarder match between Zooey and Justin. And they’re not even the most entertaining couple on the show. With episodes like ‘Naked’ and the fantastic Thanksgiving special, New Girl is a comedy winner. (Plus it’s after Glee, so there’s really no reason not to just keep the TV rolling!)



Last week, Selena asked if you’re still watching Ringer, a show that had so much promise but has been lacking a little in the ratings. Well I am still watching, and I love it. While Sarah Michelle Gellar hasn’t exactly been able to convince me that she’s playing two different characters (sorry, SMG fans), the rest of the cast is stellar and the show is intriguing. The pace can be slow at times, but it’s still one of the best shows out there—and I only see it getting better as time goes on and the mysteries continue to unravel.



It may be because I’ve always thought I was a New York City girl at heart — forced to grow up in the dread of suburbia — but this sitcom is the most hilariously-accurate portrayal of the suburbs (as seen through a teenager’s eyes) that I’ve ever watched. Tessa is plenty sarcastic, but she’s not TV’s typical bitchy teen. Suburgatory has the perfect mix of city snark, suburban madness and sexual tension (between Tessa’s “hip” young dad and the lovably-over-the-top housewife down the street) to keep me coming back week after week for a light 20 minutes of laughs.


American Horror Story

A ’70s-inspired horror TV show helmed by the creator of Glee sounded bizarre and I had my doubts. And in all fairness, it didn’t live up to my horror-loving expectations, but how could it? No one wants to sit through a solid 60 minutes of gore and terror each week. American Horror Story is just bloody enough and just spooky enough to keep me loving it, without ever wishing for it to just end already (you know, the feeling you get about 50 minutes into any Scream sequel). It’s sexy, it’s scary, it’s complex, and I spend the hour after every episode re-watching what I just saw (thank you FX for the encore), trying to dissect every detail and wrap my head around the psychological mindflip that I enjoy oh-so-much.


Honorable Mentions:

Hart of Dixie, Once Upon a Time, Pan Am, Revenge, Up All Night, Homeland


Later this week, I’ll be posting my picks for WORST new fall TV shows! Do you have any suggestions? Did you agree or disagree with my BEST picks? Take a vote below or sound off in the comments!


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