If You Like…Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is all about rich kids who live a life of glamour as they scheme their way through life.

If what you like about the show is all the teen drama, consider shows like:
CW’s 90210 reboot about a bunch of kids in Beverly Hills. They’re the west coast version of GG. Also from the CW is Hellcats about a girl named Marti who joins her college cheerleading squad in order to get a scholarship for school.

ABC Family has some particularly strong teen drama with Pretty Little Liars (four girls deal with the death of their friend while trying to figure out who killed her and dealing with threats by a mysterious texter known as “A”, Greek following fraternities and sororities in Cyprus Rhodes University, Make It Or Break It about girls who train as Elite Gymnastics with the goal of competing in the Olympics, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager which is technically about a girl who gets pregnant as a freshman in high school after having sex for the first time but is really a show where kids talk endlessly about sex.

Some other current shows involving teen drama are Fox’s Glee which follows a high school glee club as they try to improve as a club and gain acceptance in high school, Teen Nick’s Gigtantic which follows the children of celebrities in Hollywood, and MTV’s Skins about a bunch of wild teens who spend most of their time drinking, partying, and having sex without concern for the consequences.

If what you like best about Gossip Girl is all the scheming and backstabbing, in addition to a number of the shows listed above, you may want to check out CBS’s Survivor and MTV’s The Challenge which revolves around people being thrown into some remote location and battling through challenges in order to make it to the end without getting voted out by their peers to win some money. Both shows are reality shows, so they are different, but you have more tricks and sneaking around than just about anywhere else on television.

If you love the crazy wild behavior and out of control people, consider Jersey Shore from MTV about a bunch of Italians who go to the Jersey Shore and spend their time drinking and partying or Showtime’s Shameless about a poor family who do anything the can to survive with no adult supervision to really look out for them.

2010 Premieres and Returns

Here are the list of things premiering and returning in the next few months with my quick comments on the side. Get excited!

January 3
Brothers and Sisters (ABC), 9:00 PM/ET (I’ve heard good things about this and hope to try it)
Desperate Housewives (ABC), 10:00 PM/ET (tried the first episode and was turned off)
Giuliana & Bill (E!), 9:00 PM/ET (anyone know what this is?)

January 4
The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (ABC), 8:00 PM/ET (not a fan of dating shows)
Heroes (NBC), 8:00 PM/ET (2 Hours)
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (ABC Family), 8:00 PM/ET (hoping for less whining this time around)
Make It or Break It (ABC Family), 9:00 PM/ET (awesome!)
Cake Boss (TLC), 9:00 PM/ET
Conveyor Belt of Love (ABC), 9:00 PM/ET (sounds awful)
Men of a Certain Age (TNT), 10:00 PM/ET
Chef Academy (Bravo), 11:00 PM/ET

January 5
NCIS (CBS), 8:00 PM/ET (not a fan of standard procedurals)
The Biggest Loser (NBC), 8:00 PM/ET (my friend cries during this)
Last Restaurant Standing (BBC America), 9:00 PM/ET
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 9:00 PM/ET (not a fan of standard procedurals)
The Good Wife (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET (want to try)

January 6
Friday Night Lights (DirectTV 101), 9:00 PM/ET (I’ll be caught up by then!)
Nip/Tuck (FX), 10:00 PM/ET (any good?)
The Goode Family (Comedy Central), 10:30 PM/ET (not interested)

January 8
Ghost Whisperer (CBS), 8:00 PM/ET (hoping it amps up)
Dollhouse (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (!!!)
Medium (CBS), 9:00 PM/ET (never watched)
Numbers (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET (never watched)
Shark Tank (ABC), 9:00 PM/ET (couldn’t get into)

January 9
Legend of the Seeker (syndication) (excited)

January 10
The Simpsons (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (450th Milestone Episode) (not such a fan)
The Simpsons (Fox), 8:30 PM/ET (20th Anniversary Special) (not such a fan)
Chuck (NBC), 9:00 PM/ET (2 Hour Season Premiere) (got into this late but love it!)
Border Wars (National Geopgraphic), 9:00 PM/ET (don’t know that I’ll watch but it sounds interesting)
Big Love (HBO), 10:00 PM/ET (haven’t seen but heard good things, will try soon maybe)

January 11
Chuck (NBC), 8:00 PM/ET (!!!)
Accidentally on Purpose returns (CBS), 8:30 PM/ET (maybe I’ll try catching up)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 8:00 PM/ET (love it!)
Heroes (NBC), 9:00 PM/ET (hoping for more action)
Two and a Half Men (CBS), 9:00 PM/ET (never watched)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 9:30 PM/ET (love it!)
CSI: Miami (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET (never enjoyed standard procedurals)

January 12
American Idol (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (2 Hour Season Premiere) (I’ll at least start watching)
Southland (TNT), 10:00 PM/ET (never watched)

January 13
American Idol (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (Season Premiere, Part 2) (see above)
Gary Unmarried (CBS), 8:30 PM/ET (not great but I watch it)
Criminal Minds (CBS), 9:00 PM/ET (never enjoyed standard procedurals but my stepmom loves it)
Our Little Genius (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (Series Premiere) (probably not)
CSI: NY (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET (never enjoyed standard procedurals)
Leverage (TNT), 10:00 PM/ET (yes!)
High School Reunion (TVLand), 10:00 PM/ET (wasn’t this originally on the WB?)

January 14
Bones (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (watching!)
Vampire Diaries (CW), 8:00 PM/ET (guilty pleasure, more dynamic main characters please?!)
Parks and Recreation (NBC), 8:30 PM/ET (like it)
CSI (CBS), 9:00 PM/ET (never enjoyed standard procedurals)
Fringe (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (been meaning to try it)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 9:00 PM/ET (hoping for something good)
Archer (FX), 10:00 PM/ET (I don’t think so)
The Mentalist (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET (been meaning to try this)
Private Practice (ABC), 10:00 PM/ET (watching)
Project Runway (Lifetime), 10:00 PM/ET (NY Awesomeness)

January 17
Human Target (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (Series Premiere) (I hope this is good!)
24 (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (2 Hour Season Premiere) (great! caught up on all 7 seasons in like 3 weeks! that’s 170 hours)

January 18
One Tree Hill (The CW), 8:00 PM/ET (stopped after season 1)
Life Unexpected (The CW), 9:00 PM/ET (trying it, remember Shiri Appleby from Roswell?)

January 19
Our Little Genius (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (no)
White Collar (USA), 10:00 PM/ET (yes)

January 21
The Deep End (ABC), 8:00 PM/ET (enough with the law shows!)
Supernatural (The CW), 9:00 PM/ET (stopped after season 1)
Burn Notice (USA), 10:00 PM/ET (yes!)

January 22
Smallville (The CW), 8:00 PM/ET (watching…I love superheroes)
Caprica (Syfy), 9:00 PM/ET (don’t know)
Spartacus (Starz), 10:00 PM/ET (what is this? starring Lucy Lawless so I’ll check it out)

January 25
House (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (who isn’t?!)
Damages (FX), 10:00 PM/ET (nope, sick of law shows)
Greek (ABC Family), 10:00 PM/ET (oh sororities and fraternities, I will watch)
Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Showtime), 10:00 PM/ET (tried a few episodes, meh)
La La Land (Showtime), 11PM/ET (what is this?)

January 26
Kitchen Nightmares (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (sadly, yes. I miss Hell’s Kitchen)

January 27
Psych (USA), 10:00 PM/ET (can’t wait!)

January 28
Taking the Stage (MTV), 11:00 PM/ET

January 31
The Cleveland Show (FOX), 8:30 PM/ET (no interest)
Family Guy (FOX), 9:00 PM/ET (not my thing)
American Dad (Fox), 9:30 PM/ET (not my thing)

February 2
Lost (ABC), 9:00 PM/ET (2 Hour Season Premiere) (yes!!!)

February 4
The Office (NBC), 9:00 PM/ET (been meaning to try this one)
Important Things (Comedy Central), 10:00 PM/ET (don’t love watching comics)
The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central), 10:30 PM/ET (saw a couple episodes, not funny enough to watch consistently)

February 5
Smallville: Absolute Justice (CW), 8:00 PM/ET (2 Hour Movie) (putting two episodes together does not make it a movie!)

February 7
Undercover Boss (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET (I’ll try it but I don’t have high hopes)

February 11
Past Life (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (2 Hour Series Premiere) (curious)
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS), 8:00 PM/ET (can’t wait–are these returning players?)

February 19
Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO), 9:00 PM/ET (what is this?)
The Ricky Gervais Show (HBO), 10:00 PM/ET (meh)
The Life and Times of Tim (HBO), 10:30 PM/ET (not interested)

March 1
Parenthood (NBC), 9:00 PM/ET (lots of hype on this one)

March 4
FlashForward (ABC), 8:00 PM/ET (more action please!)

March 8
Gossip Girl (The CW), 9:00 PM/ET (of course my upper east siders)

March 9
90210 (The CW), 8:00 PM/ET (this depends on how the season progresses–less Annie anyone?)

March 14
The Marriage Ref (NBC), 8:00 PM/ET (prob not)
Sons of Tucson (Fox), 8:30 PM/ET (Series Premiere) (what is this?)
Celebrity Apprentice (NBC), 9:00 PM/ET (yeah, though I prefer the non-celebrity version)
The Pacific (HBO), 9:00 PM/ET (a mini-series, sounds interesting)

March 22
Nurse Jackie (Showtime), 10:00 PM/ET (couldn’t finish episode 1)
United States of Tara (Showtime), 10:30 PM/ET (couldn’t finish episode 1)

March 29
10 Things I Hate About You (ABC Family), ? PM/ET

March 30
V (ABC), 10:00 PM/ET (why so long?!)

March TBD
Breaking Bad (AMC) (apparently it’s been around for two years, how have I not heard of it?)
Justified (FX) (what is it?)
Day One (NBC) (will try)
100 Questions (doesn’t sound very good but I’ll prob check it out, knowing me)

April 2
Miami Medical (CBS), 10:00 PM/ET

April 9
Party Down (Starz), 10:30 PM/ET (can’t remember if I’ve seen this. If I did, I didn’t like it)

April 11
The Tudors (Showtime), 9:00 PM/ET (been meaning to try, my sister loves it)

April 13
American Idol (Fox), 8:00 PM/ET (is this another season?)
Glee (Fox), 9:00 PM/ET (why such a long wait!)

What are you most looking forward to?

Also, check out what will not be returning here.

The Canceled List

A lot of shows premiered this past summer and now that they are coming to a close, I thought it might help to look at what did and did not make the cut for another season;

Canceled:
Ruby and the Rockits
Defying Gravity
The Listener (though continuing in Canada)
The Philanthropist
The Superstars

Returning:
Make It Or Break It
10 Things
Royal Pains
HawthoRNe
Drop Dead Diva
Nurse Jackie
Dark Blue
Warehouse 13
The Middle
Cougar Town
Modern Family

Unannounced:
Miami Social
NYC Prep
Mental (rumored cancellation but couldn’t find any definitive answer)
Hung
I’m a Celebrity…
Merlin (though continuing in the UK)
Dance Your Ass Off
Hank

Anything I missed? What do you want to see back?

What I’m Watching…

SUNDAY:
Celebrity Apprentice
True Blood
Defying Gravity

Drop Dead Diva
Starmaker
Three Rivers

MONDAY:
Secret Life
Greek
The Rachel Zoe Project
Ultimate Cake Off

Make It Or Break It
Gossip Girl
Heroes
House
Trauma
Lie To Me
24

Weeds
How I Met Your Mother
The Big Bang Theory
Accidentally On Purpose

Cake Boss

TUESDAY:
America’s Got Talent
American Idol
90210
Glee

So You Think You Can Dance
Hell’s Kitchen
Blonde Charity Mafia
CNTM
BNTM
HawthoRNe

10 Things
Ruby and the Rockits
House of Jazmin

Better Off Ted

WEDNESDAY:
So You Think You Can Dance
Leverage
America’s Got Talent

Toddlers & Tiaras
Project Runway Australia
Top Chef
ANTM
Beautiful Life

Lost
Mercy
Make Me A Supermodel
RW/RR Challenge: The Ruins
Launch My Line
Merlin
Eastwick

American Idol
Old Christine
Gary Unmarried

THURSDAY:
Project Runway
Royal Pains
Burn Notice

Bones
Survivor

Flash Forward
Private Practice
Grey’s Anatomy

Making His Band
Ace of Cakes
30 Rock

FRIDAY:
Dollhouse
Smallville

Ugly Betty
Ghost Whisperer

Chuck
NZNTM

Psych
Eureka
Degrassi

SATURDAY:
Legend of the Seeker
ICarly

**Disney Channel Shows Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, Suite Life on Deck, JONAS, and Sonny With A Chance seem to jump around in terms of which night they air on.

KEY:
Two Hours
One Hour
Half Hour
Current
Not Current

If You Like…Grey’s Anatomy

What’s not to love about Grey’s Anatomy? At least the earlier seasons. I still enjoy the show, though I understand why people are frustrated. (Honestly, my biggest complaint about the show is that Meredith is my least favorite character and she’s kind of important to the show…) But if you’re looking for another medical drama, there are so many out there for the watching. (The show has come back to itself with the shooting and its aftermath.)

Private Practice is the most obvious next choice, as it’s a spin off of Grey’s Anatomy (even having the occasional crossover episode which is always fun). The biggest complaint I’ve heard is that a lot of people don’t like Addison. I don’t particularly like her either and was surprised that they chose her as the character for a spin off, but I don’t really mind her either. I really like Amy Brenneman (sort of crazy psychologist whose plot line just became absolutely absurd but dramatic) and Chris Lowell (Dell, the young, male mid-wife in training) among some of the other cast members so I’m willing to forgive Kate Walsh. And actually, I like her more on Private Practice than Grey’s. Maybe she just needed time to develop as a character. (The show has hit its stride this season with their exploration of rape.)

For another more or less Shonda Rhimes creation, check out Off the Map, which follows a bunch of young, attractive doctors as they work in the jungle. It’s more or less the same show and while some people may not be digging it, I think it’s just as strong as the two shows above. We have the exotic cases solved by doing things like using coconut juice in place of blood and ziplining to meet a patient. It’s got an added action element that makes it fun and different while keeping some of the best elements of Grey’s.

If you are looking for a show you can just binge on, then ER is the obvious choice. Despite it’s ever changing cast, this show was full of drama and compelling characters with some particularly great story lines. It’s finally over, after 15 years, which is quite impressive for a drama show, but it certainly made its mark. It’s not so easy to find these online so you may have to rent or buy the dvds in order to watch, but you will certainly not be lacking in what to watch.

I cannot overemphasize how much I recommend House. I started this show relatively late because I was out of the country when it began, but my friend and I finally resolved to catch up and we basically had House marathons for a few weeks until we were finally up to date. Great decision. The characters are each unique and different (though Mental sort of rips off the model and it is clearly a poor copy with the occasional interesting episode), with a sort of humor and sarcasm that I haven’t really found in other shows. For one thing, it manages to take someone totally obnoxious and make them appealing (think Hannibal Lector, you hate him but you have to watch, but even better because you not only want to watch you cheer him on).

For another new medical show with a different flavor, check our Royal Pains, which features Hank Lawson, a once promising doctor who “made a mistake” when he saved a teenager’s life rather than babysit a stable but important patient who died of complications. When he loses everything his brother takes him to the Hamptons where he becomes a concierge doctor and slowly rebuilds his life. This show was surprisingly well done and only got better as the season went on. With Hank as a concierge doctor rather than a hospital doctor, a lot more liberty is given in the way of story lines and locations, which is nice to see as the creativity level is upped.

And then, on come the nurse centered shows, which are all the rage these days. With HawthoRNe, Nurse Jackie, and Mercy, you have more than your pick of nurse shows. I could not even sit through an episode of Nurse Jackie but other people thought Eddie Falco was brilliant and worth the time. HawthoRNe, though slow at the start, really picked up in the last few episodes and if it keeps up the momentum, could turn into a really strong series. Mercy, which hasn’t started yet is anyone’s guess but it sort of feels like a HawthoRNe rip off, complete with the young, new nurse who doesn’t really know what she’s doing and is still in training. (Vanessa Lenges or Michelle Trachtenberg, who do you prefer? Both do a good job playing pathetic and innocent.)

Finally, the EMT medical dramas. Third Watch, which I enjoyed for a time, lasted six years and would certainly give you something to spend your time on. If you’d prefer to start a new show, then beginning this fall is Trauma, which has been dubbed as the all explosions all the time tv show. It almost looks more like 24 than a medical drama from what I’ve seen of the previews.

Like these shows or think there’s something else that should be on the list?

Look at the other if you like lists, including 24, Full House, Buffy, Friends, Heroes, and Star Trek.

Interested in owning these shows? Check them out at Amazon:

What I’m Catching Up On…

I’m always looking for shows to catch up, specifically, to watch from beginning to end while waiting for something else to watch. So, this is the list that I’m currently on, if you have any suggestions, please add them.

Catching Up On:
-Fringe
-Southland
-Rescue Me
-Mentalist
-Nip/Tuck
-Big Love

I wanted to include a list of all the shows I’ve already watched but quite frankly, there are just too many. So instead I will tell you what I do and don’t like:
-I don’t like dating shows or reality shows that follow people just talking (ie Real World, NYC Prep, Miami Social).
-I love most competitive reality shows. I like international shows (though I could not do Coupling so maybe it’s more the international reality and sci fi/fantasy stuff that I like).
-Not really a soap opera fan though I did a bit of Passions and Days of Our Lives once upon a time. (During finals time in high school we got home at 12 and I needed something to do.)
-Disney shows are just as fair game as NBC or ABC.

But I’m also willing to try new things,

All that being said, if there’s a show you think I should be watching, let me know!

24: Seasons 1-7

If You Like…24

Now, 24 has a lot of reasons to be liked, it’s jam packed with twists and surprises, some lovable characters, and great action scenes. (Plus the whole concept of following someone’s 24 hours is innovative and fun, though the effect is lost if you don’t sit and watch the show all at once.) If you like 24, there are a lot of other shows out there for you:

If what you like about 24 is the spy element, then maybe a show like Chuck is for you. Though not a serious, deadpan show like 24, Chuck is full of spy action and mystery as well as great characters and entertainment. Also on the funny but spy-filled list is Burn Notice, chronicling Michael Weston’s attempts to being reinstated as a spy after receiving and inexplicable burn notice. There’s a lot to enjoy about this series, particularly the “how to” of spying given in each episode. In this category I would also recommend Psych, though not quite aa spy show, the main character is a hyper-observant, amusing guy who pretends he’s psychic so he can play detective and help police solve cases. I have to also add Leverage to this list, though it doesn’t fall strictly into the spy genre. Leverage is about a band of thieves who band together to con the rich and evil in order to help the innocent and weak. It’s both funny, action-packed in its own way, and full of intriguing spy-like cons.

Newer spy shows include: the CW’s Nikita reboot about a woman who was taught to be a spy by the secret government branch called division. When they killed the man she loved she went awol and works to take them down with the help of a mole. USA Network’s Covert Affairs follows Annie Walker, a spy for the CIA who is graduated early in order to lure out her old boyfriend after he disappeared mysteriously (what she didn’t know what that he was a CIA spy too). This show is a lot like Alias without the crazy supernatural stuff. (There is also NBC’s Undercovers which followed a married couple that were lured back into working as spies. The show was cancelled pretty early.)

An old school spy option is Remington Steele, a show in which a woman in charge of a detective agency finds that people are reluctant to hire a woman, so she creates a false identity, Remington Steele, to be the “man” that the clients will be hiring. Things go awry when a man shows up claiming to be Remington Steele. Other old school hits include McGuyver (sort of like Burn Notice with the how to be a spy with anything around you type stuff) and Mission Impossible of course.

If the think you like most are the twists and turns, the attempts to solve the case and figuring out who’s behind everything, then shows like the CSI, NCIS, and Law And Order shows, along with Numb3rs, Cold Case, Veronica Mars, and The Shield are some good options for you. In truth there are tons of criminal shows you might try, like Dexter (on my list of shows that I plan to start once I finish Psych because I’ve heard it is excellent), Bones (which I particularly like because I find it is more character driven than the Law and Order and CSI ones), Crossing Jordan, The Closer, etc. Police shows are “the thing” for television so there is certainly no shortage of those shows to fill your days.

For a crime solving with a twist type show, you can try Tru Calling about someone who relives days into to solve murders and keep people from dying.

If the thing you are looking for is more of the action adventure, there isn’t much by way of non sci-fi shows. One good option is Prison Break. While many complain that the show went downhill as the series continued, it is still filled with some good fight scenes, intrigue, and surprises that make it a show worth watching. (I would certainly recommend Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles if you want hand to hand and gun combat and don’t mind the science fiction thrown in. Shows like Angel, Buffy, and Dark Angel also fit this category.) Alias, which didn’t always have the crazy sci-fi spin is another good spy, action choice. Though it did get a little weird from me as it got further in.

(There’s also shows like House and Lost which have a lot of mystery and plot points, with similar pacing to 24 but are really quite different.)

If I’ve forgotten anything, let me know!

For more “If You Likes…” check out these lists: Star Trek, Heroes, Friends, Full House, and Buffy.