Returns Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. EST on The CW
When did Josh Schwartz’s ode to east coast indulgence become so hollow? Hollower? Perhaps that everything-but-the-kitchen-sink season finale (complete with an out of nowhere pregnancy) finally put it over the edge, but I fondly recall a GG that deliciously balanced opulence and sharp, designer-clad wit; it is now a saddening shadow of its former self. The first two hours of its fourth season are traipsed along the streets of Paris with the two least-convincing best friends, Serena and Blair (Blake Lively and Leighton Meester), as they try to move past their New York love affairs. What was once premium soap is now labored smut. Grade: D+
Returns Sept. 16 at 10:30 p.m. EST on FX
I’m about as convinced that fantasy football is fun as Paris Hilton is convinced that cocaine is gum, but I’ve found myself warming to this glorified frat of man-children in their second season of fictionalized sports and general buffoonery. Starring a crop of comedians (Paul Scheer and Nick Kroll) and slacker-types (Mark Duplass), it constructs a semi-scripted (so only sometimes funny) purview of male camaraderie around a fantasy football league. Grade: B
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
Returns Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS
What a tease. After an uneven fifth season, Ted Mosby’s (Josh Radnor) seemingly perpetual search for the mother of his children begins its sixth season at a wedding. The identity of the mother is mostly irrelevant (though it may or may not be HOUSE’s Jennifer Morrison), as MOTHER has proven itself an oft-hilarious journey of single life, marriage, and developing relationships. It‘s clear with Rachel Bilson’s reprisal of the eventual mother’s roommate that this season is going to further that element of the story; I’d rather it get back to being funny, which this premiere mostly is. Grade: B
Aleks Chan is a contributing writer to The TV Addict. He has seen every episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER four times, has once referred to his DVR as his “best friend,” and has only seen the pilot episode of THE SOPRANOS — and has no intention to apologize for it. He lives in Austin, Texas. His name is pronounced like Alex.
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter (@alekstvaddict), or his own blog, Screen Reader.