Airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW
After losing her scholarship to budget cuts, Marti (Alyson Michalka) is forced to join her university’s competitive cheerleading program, the Hellcats, to pay her way to law school. She makes quick frenemies with Hellcat captain Savannah (Ashley Tisdale) and ice queen Alice (Heather Hemmens), and makes cute with a scruffy townie (Matt Barr). Affixed with every sports movie cliche and horrendous flipping cheerleader scene transitions, it does offer smarter-than-expected acidic one-liners, and though it dutifully provides dueling perspectives of the “cheerleaders are athletes” debate, both are helmed superfluously. Grade: C
Airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on FX
Had I only seen the pilot for Terriers, the new buddy cop comedy from Ted Griffin and THE SHIELD creator Shawn Ryan, I would have had a hard time recommending it. After viewing four more episodes and spending more time with the kinetic chemistry of the P.I. duo (played by Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James) and easing into a twisty mystery at the center, there’s reason enough to see this shaggy hour of dogged investigators. It presents itself as an off-brand FX series in a surprisingly good sense: not quite as hard-edged and as quick to go for pulp, it breathes easier under the tint of the California sun. That said, it doesn’t command as much as attention or outright enthusiasm to itself as its network brethren might. Grade: B-
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
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.