"Open, open, open!" THE NEW TV SEASON

by Toni McGee Causey

One of my favorite commercials of all time was the Mervyn's "sale day" commercial. Sadly, I cannot find it on YouTube (you have failed me, YouTube, in my time of need... I don't know if I can forgive you...) Anyway, the camera is set up on the inside of the store, aimed at one of the glass doors. Out there, it's dark, wee hours of the morning, and there is a woman standing there, her nose pressed to the glass, palms flat next to her and she's tapping her fingertips against the glass, quietly chanting, "Open, open, open."

That's how I feel about the new TV season.

I'm always curious as to what's going to become the new hits. What's going to be the critical favorite that everyone loves and nobody really watches. (Or not enough people watch. Firefly anyone? Currently, Mad Men?) (Um, total confession--I never watched Firefly until after Serenity, the movie, had been out a while, and then I saw it and I've probably re-watched Serenity ten times. Joss Whedon is God. That is all.) (Except for Dollhouse. I am still not sure what the hell he was thinking.)

There are some shows which clearly become iconic. Did you spot what Friends was going to turn into before the craze? What about Lost? It's amazing how much both of those shows infiltrated our culture, how some of their phrases became the language of their day. Iconic, hugely popular shows change how we think about issues, how we dress, what's cool, what's not, and those style changes reverberate out into much of our society. Watching the next hot show is a bit like getting the answers to the test questions ahead of time.

Now, my problem is, I don't watch much TV in real time--I record it and watch it while I walk on the treadmill. Theoretically. That is my main goal, to find something that will entertain me enough for the forty-five minutes I'm on the treadmill that I forget that I'm exercising. Sadly, I'm often a little too aware of the show's flaws and I start getting antsy and then I end up getting off the treadmill to go do something I just thought of and before I realize it, I'm back in front of the computer, back at work, having not gotten in enough exercise. I've started Netflixing old shows that were popular that I missed (like The Wire ). I've also been rampaging through HULU for shows like Fringe , which was utterly fascinating and riveting last year. (Fringe is like CSI meets the X-Files, according to my good Pied Piper friend, Allison Brennan, who led me to this crack, I mean, show. Which is kinda amazing that I loved it so much, because I'm not a huge CSI fan, nor did I ever watch X-Files. I know, I know. Travesty. I don't even remember what year it was supposed to be huge. I didn't have DVR then, and honestly, I was sort of dimly aware it existed only after it had already ended.)

Anyway, I have high hopes for a few shows.

I very much liked the pilot for Glee that aired last spring, but I'm wondering how on earth they can sustain the point. (Then again, if you'd asked me if Buffy could have kept going on that premise show after show, I'd have said 'no.' Clearly, we don't need to listen to my predictions.)

So tell me - what show are you looking forward to? What do you think will be super hot by the end of the season? A must-see show to Twitter about? And what have you seen advertised that just screams "What in the world were they thinking?" I'm itching to set my DVR...

Toni McGee Causey is the author of the critically acclaimed “Bobbie Faye” novels—an action/caper series set in south Louisiana; the series was released this summer in back-to-back publications, beginning with: Charmed and Dangerous, Girls Just Wanna Have Guns and When A Man Loves A Weapon which just came out on August 4th and has just received 4 stars from Romantic Times.

As an MFA in Screenwriting, Toni had several scripts optioned as well as having just this year produced an indie film, LA-308, which she and the rest of the producers will be submitting to festivals.

Toni has had several of her blogs syndicated nationally from her other group blog murderati. In addition to blogging right here - she also blogs for - murdershewrites.

Toni lives in
Baton Rouge with her husband and two sons.

pics courtesy of:

Firefly: Hulu
Mad Men: AE TV and Boston.com
Friends: NBC and IMDb
Lost: ABC
The Wire: HBO


  1. Morning, Toni!

    D. D. Scott here!

    Great topic from one DVR junky to another!

    I'll admit it...no denial necessary...I love reality TV Hollywood style...we're talking KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS (and now KHLOE AND KOURTNEY TAKE MIAMI), GUILIANA & BILL, and TORI AND DEAN.

    Can't wait for the new season of UGLY BETTY (I'll be recording that while I devour season three from Netflix which comes out 9/22...not that I'm anxiously waiting or anything).

    How about Courtney Cox's new show COUGAR TOWN? Sounds kinda fun!

    Also ready for more CASTLE and how about MELROSE PLACE?

    And what would Autumn be without this season's DANCING WITH THE STARS? Think Donny Osmond's still got it? (I was a proud child owner of the Donny and Marie Barbie Dolls...also sang to their show...very loudly...into my Mr. Microphone...bet my parents seriously regretted buying me that thing!)

    Sexy, Sassy, Smart DVR Wishes --- D. D. Scott

  2. Well, I'm like you Toni - I DVR everything I like and watch it on my schedule! But there's not much I'm excited about this season. I mean in the past I was stressed out- yes stressed! Because there were sooo many interesting new shows and I wanted to sample all of them. This season I'm going to check out Glee, V, and Vampire Diaries (okay can't help it!) I'll also give Cougar Town a shot. Beyond that I'll stick to my faves Medium, Law and Order SVU, Grey's, and a few other choice shows ;D

  3. Flash Forward, Mercy, the return of Chuck, of course, and Lie To Me, Three Rivers, Glee . . . mostly I'm just ready for new episodes of everything!

  4. I like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, and look forward to Glee, but the big, big, big favorite at our house is The Mentalist.


  5. The season finale of LEVERAGE (TNT) is tonight. LOVE this show! EUREKA on SyFy (stupid renaming of the network, IMHO). THE MENTALIST. FRINGE. NCIS (the original, though I'll give the sequel, west-coast edition a chance). BONES. LOVE Bones! And..Oh, NUMB3RS. And CASTLE. LOVE Castle!

    New shows? Nothing's really caught my eye. I'll surf through them, see if anything sticks.

  6. Hi Toni!

    I'll be watching the final season of LOST with billions of other fans. Only difference is, I'm tired--ready for it to end. The plots have gotten too big, too over arcing, and I have a spiral full of notes to jog my memory.

    I am looking forward to DEXTER even though the suspense and tension have waned since the first season ended.

    If you haven't been watching TRUE BLOOD, what the heck are you waiting for? It's very enjoyable, though the plotlines differ wildly from that of the books.

    If you catch re-runs, the new HBO series HUNG was hysterical. The season finale is this Sunday.

    Let's see ...

    SUPERNATURAL has lost a lot of its original charm, but my DVR is set to start recording the new season tomorrow night.

    UNITED STATES OF TARA won't be back on Showtime until January, but it's hysterical.

    And I hope not to get hooked on anything else, but I do have Lie to Me (FOX 9/28) marked to check out.

  7. Not a lot of new network shows look terribly appealing, but I do plan to check out Fast Forward and V. And when Caprica premieres, I'll at least tune in to the pilot, though I have my doubts about the series.

    Otherwise, well, if you haven't yet watched a bit of Chuck, I still highly recommend it. I LOVE that show. Nurse Jackie on Showtime has promise, black comedy with a stellar lead actress, though it also shows some season-one missteps. And have you looked at Burn Notice yet? I think they're about to (or already did) take a mid-season break, but you'd be starting a couple of seasons back anyway...

    I agree with the poster who said True Blood. I'm currently glomming it as I work out on my Nordic Track. You have to ignore the absurdly in-your-face gratuitous sex in S1 (which does eventually calm down) and give it time to build. It's glorious, campy fun. (If you do check it out, let me know what you think of the depiction of rural Louisiana.)

    Dollhouse improved a whole lot by the end of S1. Such a weird premise, though. I also keep meaning to sit down and watch a bunch of 30 Rock, and finally see what the fuss is about re. Supernatural. I also plan to buy the thirtysomething DVDs and have a marathon, but I'm a little nervous that it won't live up to my fond memories.

  8. I don't have cable but am looking forward to FAST FOWARD (I hired Joseph Feines - sp? - as the hero in the book I'm writing now) and also MERCY. COMMUNITY could be a fun comedy, have to wait and see. And I'm glad Jay Leno is coming back. I've missed him. Oh and NCIS LA looks good as well. VAMPIRE DIARIES could be good. Returning shows I love THE MENTALIST

  9. Hi Toni, I definitely think that L&O: SVU is one to watch as is NCIS, the original, though I am saddened by the departure of Jenny. I also think that Castle and the Mentalist would be good ones too. Cold Case is another one that I would keep my eye on. Out of the new shows, Trauma, V, Three Rivers, Mercy, the new NCIS:LA, I am not sure about this one. The preview of it at the end of NCIS last season was good, but I am not sure how they are going to continue from where it ended. Good luck in your search for a show that will help hold your attention while you exercise. Great talking to you.

  10. DD... I just cannot understand the Kardashians. (How did they start off in the business? I mean, were they famous already? How did they get a show?) Though I am right there with you on the reality TV track. I love some junk TV. (As an aside, a friend-from-eons-back is the creator / producer of CASTLE. I really like the show, love Nathan Fillion, but I'm wondering how they're going to keep up with the premise of a writer tagging along on that many murder cases. After a while, his research would be done, one would think. *g*)

    Now, see, this is why this column was a huge help. Joanna, I hadn't heard of V and only dimly had heard of the Vampire Diaries. Wow, I cannot believe how out-of-the-loop I was. I like Medium, too, though I'm way behind on it. (Sometimes, it just creeps me out because of the dead showing up.) I keep getting annoyed with Grey's, but I keep watching. Whether I watch all season is going to depend heavily on how Shonda handles TR Knight's leaving and that last cliffhanger scene from last season. If we have Ghost George at any point, I'm outta there. (Ghost Denny was terrible. Love the actor. Hated the role.)

    Allison, that's a whole list of eps I hadn't even heard of! (Clearly, I have been living under a rock.) Okay, I'm setting the DVR.

    Patricia, I'm big on SYTYCD... though I wish the voting was more about ability than just popularity. (Jeanette shouda won S5.) The Mentalist? Now that's a couple of votes for that show... I'm very curious.

    Silver, I do like LEVERAGE, too. (Though is it my imagination, or was this season a lot shorter? Feels like it just started a couple of days ago!) And i can't put my finger on why, but I think this second season wasn't as strong. Can't believe I forgot BONES on my list. I've been DVRing the older eps and really enjoying them.

    Driftsmoke, Allison swears by SUPERNATURAL, but I haven't started it, yet. It's probably going to be one of those that I rent the first season just to see if I like it, and then go crazy getting caught up. Another vote for MERCY. Climbing up on the "must check it out" list.

    hmmm, Tamar, that's interesting about True Blood. It was the notorious extraneous sex scenes that were just kinda boring that put me off the series. Also, I wasn't that impressed with the portrayal of the area, but then again, I didn't watch long into S1 to really tell what they were going to do with them. I'll have to check them out. Chuck looks good, too. People keep telling me about BURN NOTICE, but I can't seem to get into it. Maybe I just haven't watched enough? It's top on a bunch of people's list, though, when I've asked around.

    Cathie, another vote for Mercy! and Vampire Diaries! And the Mentalist! Okay, my poor DVR is going to burn to pieces recording all of these, but thank you, everyone! Great suggestions.

    (sorry to have been absent today--I ended up helping my mother-in-law with a project at her school)

  11. How could I forget about Castle?!! I love that show!

  12. I'm not much of a network TV show viewer. I'm more of an HBO/Showtime/BBC kind of viewer.

    So I'm looking forward to the 3rd season of BBC's Robin Hood (actually, I've already watched it on You Tube - thank God for You Tube) and the True Blood season finale. I enjoyed the latest King Arthur series, Merlin, and I also love Legend of the Seeker.


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