But along with the more depressing seasonal changes, there’s also some pretty good things about this time of year. First off, it’s an awesome excuse to sing this Kinks song at the top of your lungs at everyone:
And excuses to do so are almost always of the good. There’s also plenty of Hallowe’en-y fun right about now as lots of the Pop Culture Playpen crew can attest to, as we’ve spent the last few days desperately trying to scrub off the remnants of fake blood and zombie make-up.
And, perhaps most importantly, it also means that network shows are back in full force and there’s plenty of TV to watch at the moment. Who wants to go outside into the cold, cruel world when there’s entertainment to be had inside with the help of a screen?
Being a massive spoilerphobe, I’ve got very little idea of what’s to actually come in the new season of anything- and that’s just how I like it. So I don’t really have any well-informed predictions of what’s going to happen, but I do have some wants. And since the world does revolve around me, I’m hoping that ensures they’re going to brought about. Cos they should. Here’s ten of my solid “predictions” for what we’ve got coming in TV-land.
Gossip Girl: Chuck and Blair having sneaky sex in the beds of all the other main characters
The previous season of Gossip Girl went down a dark path- that of trying to convince the audience that they could be invested in a relationship on the show other than Chuck and Blair’s, by trying to get us to root for Dan and Blair. I say hell naw, and here’s why: Dan is a boring, moody dickhead and nobody likes him. Also Chuck and Blair are amazing together because they’re both heartless bastards who like messing with everyone else’s lives. NOW THAT’S GOOD TELEVISION. Thankfully the season ended on a better note, with Blair choosing to stand by Chuck, and trying to help him win back his fortune. The show’s launched into its final (and shortened) season with Chuck’n’Blair making eyes at each other but not quite getting together for some convoluted reason I don’t think I was paying enough attention too. Whatever, it’s time for them to be hooking up in the beds of Dan, Serena, Nate et al because a) they need to get together properly, stat and b) basically everyone else is awful and deserves as many annoyances in their lives as possible.
Misfits: Rocks fall, everyone dies
Once upon a time this show was great. Coincidentally, once upon a time, this show had Robert Sheehan in it. I have to say his departure (and the consequent lack of his character Nathan) didn’t ruin Misfits. Last season still had most of the original cast, some really good character development and a couple of really great concept episodes. However it also got very Kelly-centric, and although the new character Rudy was likeable enough, he felt like an even poorer woman’s Nathan-substitute. With the news that basically none of the original cast are going to be returning for series four, it seems time to let the show wrap up rather than beating a comatose horse to a very sad death. And now that the new series has introduced its rather uninteresting new characters and yet another douchey probation officer, I can’t see much point to tuning in any more- except maybe to look at Matthew McNulty’s face. I say, kill all the characters- and the show- off for good. And soon.
Treme: As many bitchy comments about Glee as it has time to make
I enjoy Treme, but sometimes its slow pace (which I think does make sense in the context of it being a show about post-Katrina New Orleans) could be irksome, especially in the fist couple of seasons. Now, around the mid-point of its third, the show really seems to have hit its stride- it feels tighter, and various storylines and characters have coalesced more. Which is why I took umbrage at Kurt and Blaine’s comment in early season four of Glee about them hate-watching Treme. I’m not even sure why I’m still watching Glee to be honest, it’s a shadow of its former self, I don’t understand why Rachel’s still front and centre, and I don’t think I could possibly care less about any of the newbies. Even at its best Glee wouldn’t really have had a leg to stand on taking potshots at Treme (or anything with non-autotuned music in it) but at its current low level, that shit just seemed utterly ridiculous. I say Treme has no need to be classy, and ought to shove in as many mean zingers at Ryan Murphy’s trainwreck of a show as it can until the end of its run. TREME HAD FATS DOMINO IN AN EPISODE, IT WINS AT MUSICAL TV SHOWS. END OF.
Cougar Town: Dan Harmon
Cougar Town is my new favourite toy. Community‘s Abed was pimping it pretty hard, and with good reason. The cast is phenomenal (and there’s increasingly frequent fun Scrubs cameos), the comedy is off-beat and quirky in a way shows like New Girl and Happy Endings wish they were, and it’s essentially about a group of people who just like to sit around drinking wine and maybe playing board games. BEAUTIFULLY RELATABLE. Since the creator of Community, Dan Harmon, sadly was fired and Cougar Town was surprisingly renewed by TBS (it’s back in January, even if nothing rhymes with Tuesday), I can’t think of a better idea than someone sending Harmon to go work on the show (I’m sure he can fit it in around Adult Swim). And they’ve even got a few months to sort my suggestion out! Oh and speaking of time, on the off-chance that the fourth season of Community isn’t going to suck, how about actually airing that sometime soon? Whenever October 19th actually is.
Parks and Recreation: Rihanna dates Tom
Now that Leslie, Ben and April have all got new jobs outside of the department, it might be quite difficult to include all the characters in the same storylines in each episode. The show was already struggling sometimes to shoehorn Chris and Anne into the plot, and with Andy’s new obsession with joining the police, that may be stretched even further. I think they need some shakeups! Now that the fifth season has started it’s already been established that Ann and Tom aren’t together (thank goodness, as their whole relationship story arc last season was preposterous), so I think there oughta be some stunt casting for his new love interest (and not along the same lines as John McCain as man-who-gets-his coat). Who better for the biggest coconut water fan in the world than the face of the product? Put Rihanna in a few episodes for Tom, Ann, Andy, Chris, Ron, Jerry and Donna to bounce off of while Leslie, Ben and April have their big adventures (and wedding planning) and it’ll all work out fine, trust.
New Girl: All about Schmidt
I really, really wanted to like New Girl when its first season debuted. I like Zooey Deschanel. She seems self-aware and funny, and she’s an advocate for wearing tights all year round. That’s my kinda gal. And I think there’s practically endless amounts of comedy to be mined from a girl living with a gaggle of guys who have urinals in the apartment. But the show spent its entire first season trying way too hard. Zooey’s character Jess had to be the quirkiest, randomest, kookiest girl in all the land who couldn’t apparently carry on a conversation, dress herself appropriately, or put tampons in sensible places. It just felt forced, as did the way the show keeps trying to set up the possibility of romance between her and Nick. If it can just calm the fuck down and find humour in the little moments I might be convinced to stick around for the whole of the second season. The best thing about New Girl by far is Max Greenfield playing the horribly douchey and awkward (but somehow, surprisingly sweet) Schmidt. If he got to carry the bulk of the story, it’d free Jess up to be odd without being ridiculous, and her other flatmates Nick and Winston could spend their time shouting at him rather than being awkward at Jess/basically struggling to find something to do on screen respectively.
Supernatural: Dean calls Sam out
Somehow this little show that always seemed a step away from cancellation has entered its eighth season. Yeah, I’m pleasantly surprised too. It’s gotten off to a rocky start with Sam apparently abandoning the hunt for his poor lost brother off in Purgatory, as well as the family business of saving people, hunting things and blah-blah-blah. Now, I’m resting assured that all is not what it seems, last time Sam turned up at the beginning of a season acting funky he’d lost his soul. Maybe he misplaced it again! People do that all the time! And his misty water-coloured memories of his non-hunting life have been displayed in a preposterously cheesy way- he seemed to be in love with his pet dog, and he shacked up with a TERRIBLE vet who demanded that he take ownership of the dog without verifying if he had the means to care for it. I’m hopeful that everything’s going to be explained soon enough, but just to be on the safe side I’d like Dean to shout at his little brother for an entire episode so that Supernatural can go back to being a show about two beautiful male models who chase ghosts. Or whatever.
Grimm: A Buffy parody episode
Grimm‘s a good show. Not just in comparison to Once Upon A Time‘s awfulness, it delivers solid plots, interesting characters and a well-crafted universe. It’s been developing more of a Scooby gang feel now that Nick has a group of friends who know his secret identity (he’s a Grimm, clue’s in the name really), and each other. It seems that that’s only going to grow this season, as presumably Juliette is eventually going to get over her magically induced amnesia and boy problems. Nick seems more and more like Buffy as the show goes on, he’s got special abilities and is the firm centre of this little crew of supernatural researchers. The cherry on the top though is the super cheesy intro that season two of Grimm got, which sounds eerily similar to the opening monologue from the early Buffy episodes. I think Grimm shouldn’t avoid this similarity, but rather embrace it with a full-on Buffy parody episode. If they could get the cast of The Inside (a crime procedural made by Tim Minear which starred Firefly and Angel‘s Adam Baldwin amongst others, and featured lots of Buffy-verse jokes and references) involved, so much the better!
The Vampire Diaries: Somebody stakes Stefan (and it sticks)
I was quite surprised right from the beginning that I liked this show as much as I did, I thought it would be stupid and teenage and generally how I imagine Twilight to be. Instead TVD has an elaborate mythology, an insane amount of plot and intriguing characters. However I could not give less of a fuck about Stefan. He’s boring and whiny and awful. Even when he went evil he was dull! How does a character even achieve that?! I don’t think bumping him off would hurt the plot at all, he’s handily got a far more attractive and interesting brother in Damon who can step in for him and teach Elena how to be a vampire, make out with Elena when she gets bored, get into fights to protect Elena’s family and friends etc. Does Stefan actually have his own personality and interests beside her? I think NO. GOOD LORD HE’S AWFUL. The only problem is that deaths in this show don’t always stick, if Stefan does finally get staked I hope it’s permanent. Otherwise, I’d probably be ok with him getting locked in a cage and forgotten about forever. Yeah, that could definitely work.
Damn British shows and their short seasons and long hiatuses! Sherlock is at the top of the list for such grievances, because although it does kindly reward its viewers with nice long episodes (they clock in around the 90 minute mark), with only three episodes at a go the wait in between can be torturous! It feels like such a long time since Ben and Marty were on my screen in this delightfully updated version of the classic Holmes stories that I actually gave in and checked out Elementary to fill the void. It’s bad. As in, transported to America for no real reason, Watson’s been re-imagined as a woman simply to play an acceptable love interest, Sherlock’s whole character and motivation is based around a very non-specific drug problem and the mysteries he solves are all quite stupid. Hate-watching that travesty could be kind of fun, I admit, but I want my Sherlock back. None of this second-rate methadone-esque wannabe show wanted. Sort it out and get series three of Sherlock on the air already, thanks Moffat.
What do you want to see happening in upcoming episodes of your favourite shows? Tell us all in the comments!