Some TV to Look Forward To [Castle, Once Upon a Time and Smash]

*sniff* Smell that? It’s January. A new year has begun and we’re all looking forward to what new adventures it may hold. And some of us are looking forward to watching television.

January is the time most all our favorite shows come back from a winter’s nap, right as we’re growing bored with our new Christmas toys or spending the last fifty cents on our Barnes & Noble gift cards. Here are a few I’m looking forward to:

First up is Castle, which returns Monday, January 9. Castle became my obsession when I happened to catch the first episode of season 2 after watching Dancing with the Stars (I feel your dirty looks). For once being too lazy to walk across the room to find the remote paid off. I was well aware of the show during its first season, but at the time my list of must-watch shows was too big and I wasn’t willing to take on the extra workload (I’ve since parsed down my DVR’s record list). I became so hooked on season 2 that I ran out, got season 1 and watched it over the weekend.

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are a dream team and where most shows manage to grow stale around the 3rd or 4th season, Castle has only gotten better, both in terms of story and characters. One of the most amazing things about the show is how it manages to bridge generation gaps. Fillion brings in the post-Firefly crowd, ensuring that us 20-something geeks/nerds and younger are there every week, and the crime drama aspect pulls in older viewers who may have previously been relegated to the confines of CBS’s many, many, many procedurals. I was shocked to find out that both my grandmother and some of my aunts are devout viewers, giving us something to talk about over Sunday lunch.

If you haven’t taken the time yet, then get on it!

Next is Once Upon a Time, returning Sunday, January 8.

This mysterious take on the fairy tale genre became a breakout hit during the 2011 Fall season, and for good reason. The show is written/produced by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, two of the creative minds behind Lost (another show I regretfully never watched). They also happen to be the writers of Tron: Legacy, which was totally enjoyable, if you ask me. While proving that once you’re in the Disney family, you’re in for life, they’ve managed to craft what is easily one of the most compelling series on TV right now that everyone from ages 15 to 50+ can enjoy.

Before the series went on winter break, we were left with an episode that completely blew regular viewers out of the water within the last 3 minutes. It seems someone knows a little more than they’re letting on, but just how much? I am dying to find out just how deep this story goes over the next half of the season and will be keeping my fingers crossed that the hype continues long enough to ensure its return for the fall.

And finally we have a new show that has caught the attention of many, before it has even premiered!

Smash will be an NBC midseason replacement that will first air February 6 (although if you’re a subscriber to Comcast’s Xfinity you can watch the first episode right now). The early buzz is pretty big, as I had hoped since NBC has landed some amazing actors here (Angelica Houston!) as well as having one hell of a list of producers. The network, which has seen some pretty disappointing numbers over the past few years, is obviously banking on this one to bring in all of those current and post-Glee viewers. That is fine by me since I dropped Glee like a bad habit after what amounted to a completely non sequitur and abysmal second season, but that’s a rant for later.

When asked about the show, Brent Hartinger, a YA novelist, tweeted me with this response: It’s like Glee for smart people. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it’s hard to deny that Glee went fairly lowbrow fast and has managed to perpetuate some pretty awful stereotypes for gays, blacks, Latinos and even Asians.

Point being, Smash looks like it could live up to its name and it’s obvious NBC is banking on it since just watching the trailer is a testament to how expensive this show must be to produce. I’m willing to put money on that being the reason Smash is a midseason and not a lead. They need to gauge audience reaction before pumping in the millions necessary to produce a full 22 episode season. This is almost exactly what FOX did with Glee when they showed the first episode in the spring after American Idol, forcing those of us who instantly fell in love to wait MONTHS before the series started.

So what shows are you looking forward to watching more new episodes of, or is there a new spring series that has caught your eye?

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3 thoughts on “Some TV to Look Forward To [Castle, Once Upon a Time and Smash]

  1. I’m not much of a TV watcher, I’m more of a book person, but I do like to catch up on shows while I’m writing book reviews… I’m still several seasons behind on Doctor Who.

    Smash sounds really promising – Glee for smart people – yes! I feel like Glee is trying to ride that fine line of challenging stereotypes vs. “see how un-PC and honest we are??” and unfortunately, failing.

    • I couldn’t agree more about Glee. Apparently all gay guys wear bow ties and only talk about musical theatre. Guess I didn’t get the Big Gay Newsletter update on that one.

      And my TV watching has taken a major backseat to reading, so I understand that. Too much media, so little time!

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