Second Season Darlings

Giving you a chance to catch up on sophomore shows before they start.

By Bryan Berlin

In my mind there are two epic times in the year. The first is the middle of March to the second weekend in April; during this time the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament takes place, the MLB season starts, and the PGA Tour has the Masters, one of its major tournaments. The other time of the year is right now. Yes, it’s the beginning of the NFL season, but it’s also the beginning of the TV season.

With each TV season comes a slew of new shows that all the networks hype up only to watch the majority of them fizzle out. Instead of navigating through the new shows to tell you which ones are worth watching, I’m going to tell you which shows going into their 2nd season you should start watching now so you can be ready to watch them for the new season.

 

Happy Endings

Wednesday September 28th, 9:30 ABC

Happy Endings is probably a show most people have not heard of at this point. It was a spring show for ABC back in March and only had 13 episodes, but they were almost all great. In the era of documentary-style sitcoms, Happy Endings breaks the mold and goes back to the old sitcom style of Friends, Seinfeld, and Frasier. At its core, Happy Endings is a show about relationships: the show starts off with Dave (Zachary Knighton) getting left at the altar. Although this seems like a similar pattern, the girl, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), actually ends up coming back to the group of friends, but the couple breaks up. From that point on, the show takes a combination of How I Met Your Mother, Friends, and Scrubs. It’s also a single camera show, so you don’t have to worry about any of that stage setup and laugh track crap.

 

The Walking Dead

Sunday October 16th, 9:00 AMC

I’m not usually one to read comics or graphic novels, but when my boss handed me The Walking Dead and told me it would blow my mind, I decided to give it a shot. About two hours later, I was hooked. A month after that, The Walking Dead premiered on AMC, and it blew my mind. The Walking Dead paired the most visual show on television with the most intense show on television. There is a level of suspense that is really unmatched, and the characters transition from paper to screen is pretty flawless. If you liked the first season, get excited for the second; there are great things in store. If you haven’t seen the first, you still have a month to watch it (it’s only 6 episodes, so you really have no excuses).

 

Boardwalk Empire

Sunday September 25th, 9:00 HBO

There was a brief time when I only knew Steve Buscemi for his cameo roles in Adam Sandler movies. Then I got a little older and saw movies like Fargo, Resevoir Dogs, and The Big Lebowski and realized he was pretty legit. Up until Boardwalk Empire, Buscemi had always been an ensemble kind of guy. He really shines in this lead role, and has a great cast behind him. Boardwalk Empire did a great job combining the era piece that Mad Men defined with the intensity of a mob show like The Sopranos (the creator of Boardwalk Empire was a writer/producer for The Sopranos). The depiction of the 1920s is also slightly more appealing than NYC in the 1960s. If you enjoyed the world of Mad Men but couldn’t get on board with the slow pace, you’d probably be a fan of Boardwalk Empire. I also really enjoyed the teaser for the second season.



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