September is the time when most TV shows start up again with new episodes. It's time to find out how the cliffhangers in April will be wrapped up and new shows are tried out (and usually fail).
Hawaii Five-O (CBS) - A remake of the classic cop show starring Jack Lord, this show is pure candy and my current favorite show (after Criminal Minds). It's filmed on location in Hawaii, so the scenery is stunning. All the actors are amazing-looking, especially Alex O'Loughlin. He's got the most expressive face and is fun to watch. I've actually been a fan of his since his brilliant portrayal of a serial killer in Criminal Minds (season 4's "The Big Wheel"), so he's the main reason I started watching in the first place. That, and I love buddy cop banter. He and Scott Caan excel at this. Their 'carguments' are hysterical.
Castle (ABC) - As a show about a writer shadowing a NY homicide detective, this is basically a showcase for Nathan Fillion, but it works. He and his costar, Stana Katic, have great chemistry and seem to have a lot of fun with their characters' relationship. I'm not terribly into the show, but it is a nice thing to have on in the background. It's light and fun, but has it's moments of serious as well. Last season ended on a huge cliffhanger, so I watched the season premiere to see what happened, but the episode in general was very different in tone to how it usually is, so I will be interested to see how it continues.
Criminal Minds (CBS) - My favorite show, this one can be very disturbing, but it's balanced by the relationships between the characters. That's why I keep watching every week. It's really unusual to see this level of caring on a cop/procedural these days and I think it's the reason they keep getting renewed. Yes, tracking and capturing serial killers is fascinating to watch, but it's also dark and achingly sad at times. With characters who obviously care about each other, it's easier to take.
The last couple years have been a bit off, quality-wise, while adapting to a new writing team, and last year they fired two of the actors (both women). It was a major mistake, and the fans were furious. This year they've thankfully fixed that and brought them both back. I'm very interested to see how their characters re-integrate into the team. That's the other great thing about this show - there are consequences. Character arcs matter, and are not forgotten. So this most recent event will most likely have repercussions within the team.
Eureka (SyFy) - This quirky show airs split seasons during the "off-season." 4.5 just finished up, with a terrific cliffhanger to lead into their fifth and final season next year. It's based around a small town of geniuses who have been discovering/developing major (and minor) scientific developments for decades. Sheriff Carter is the classic "everyman" who says all the things the audience is thinking about each week's shenanigans. It's developed into a great little show, and has only gotten better each year. This past season, in particular has been excellent. Colin Ferguson, as Carter, especially has been fun to watch. It's good to have a show that will make you consistently laugh each week. I'm very disappointed that SyFy chose to cancel it.
The Vampire Diaries (CW) - This is one of those guilty-pleasure shows that I don't feel guilty about admitting to watching. It's fast-paced, the acting is terrific, and the plot continually surprises. It's also the only show that Eric and I make a point to sit and watch together, so there's that. We mainlined the first two seasons and got completely hooked into it. If you've never seen it, and want to, be aware that the first five episodes are the weakest but are necessary to setup the world of the show and explain how everything works. After that, everyone hits their stride and the rollercoaster begins in earnest. It's great.
C.S.I. (CBS) - The original CSI is the best. It's fluctuated in quality in the last few years, reflecting the upheaval of the star (William Petersen) leaving the show. But they weathered it pretty well, I think and it's been interesting to see how the rest of the characters have dealt with the changes. This is the first airdate change they've had, however, which usually signals the beginning of the end. I'm hopeful that in this case, it won't. It now airs after Criminal Minds on Wednesday, so it's in good company.