It’s officially Fall, so that means loads of blogging, tweeting and podcasting about the new TV season. I’ll point you specifically to Myles McNutt’s Cultural Learnings, Maureen Ryan’s new digs at AOL’s TV Squad, some ruminations on trends at In Media Res, and, over at Antenna, an extensive array of academic critics (including yours truly) taking on all the new series starting this week.
I’m ambivalent thus far about what I’ve seen. This seems to be a particularly cautious new season, with a resounding swing back to time-honored forms and genres (e.g., all the sitcoms popping up all of a sudden). The result is not only samey; given the amazing offerings on cable these days, network TV is slipping further behind on the “must-see-o-meter.” Still, as defenders of the system will always point out, there’s still a lot more people watching (say) NCIS than Terriers or Boardwalk Empire or The Big C. There’s something to be said for habitual, comfort-food TV. That said, the ratings gap has been steadily closing for years, and the metrics of television programming are more in flux than ever. As always, stay tuned.