How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 7:00): Definitely an improvement over the premiere, although Barney's delusion about his father's identity was a bit much, even for Barney.
Chuck (NBC, 7:00): Did we really need Jeffster back? Really?
The Event (NBC, 8:00): Although I'm still not feeling connected to any of the characters outside of Sean (Jason Ritter) -- and even that is tenuous at best -- the fact that the show is already starting to dole out a few answers in its second episode is refreshing.
Castle (ABC, 9:00): I always enjoy episodes where Castle finds joy in the off-beat cases that drive the cops crazy, and this dead psychic storyline was no exception.
Hawaii 5-0 (CBS, 9:00): I know I'd listed this as one of the shows I wasn't going to try, but I heard too many people say positive things about it, so I gave it a whirl. I found the pilot to be entertaining enough, so it's tentatively on my viewing schedule for now. Two episodes in and I'm constantly amazed that Scott Caan's character is actually the one trying to get everyone to be nice and play by the rules.
TUESDAY, SEPT 28
No Ordinary Family (ABC, 7:00): I enjoyed this new super-hero drama overall; I'm hoping in subsequent episodes that the family drama that permeated the pilot is ratcheted down a notch or two. Or three. Or twenty.
Glee (Fox, 7:00): Has there ever been a show so consistently inconsistent? I loved the spotlight on Brittany S. Pears, who has long been my 2nd favorite character on the show, but outside of her scenes, I had a hard time making it through this episode. Shue's behavior was horribly inappropriate and idiotic, and so far this season Rachel's egocentric nature has gone from mildly entertaining to unbelievably insufferable and annoying. They need to tone both of those characters down and fast, or else they're going to start hemorrhaging viewers.
Raising Hope (Fox, 8:00): I seriously love this show so much, I can't even express it properly. All I can say is that I'm vastly relieved that it's doing well in the ratings so far, and that if you're not watching it you're missing out.
Running Wilde (Fox, 8:30): Two episodes in and I'm still enjoying this show -- no, it's no Arrested Development, but I do think it has potential. It's ratings aren't stellar, but neither are they dismal, so maybe it will get a chance to develop. Not holding my breath, though.
Parenthood (NBC, 9:00): A much more tolerable episode than last week, although that's damning with faint praise. I was glad Crosby finally stood up for himself.
Sons of Anarchy (FX, 9:00): Sorry to say, I'm not enjoying this season so far; as much as I love Paula Malcomson, I am bored to tears by the whole Irish plotline. Here's hoping that this week's episode featuring the return of Agent Stahl will be more engaging.
WEDNESDAY SEPT 29
The Middle (ABC, 7:00): Another marked improvement over a less than stellar premiere. I'm enjoying the show exploring the ramifications of Sue actually being a member of something.
Survivor (CBS, 7:00): Was sad to see the young'uns escape tribal council -- I was looking forward to seeing more fireworks.
Modern Family (ABC, 8:00): Lots of nice gags in the ep, particularly those revolving around the "ghost."
Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30): This is one of those episodes where Jules' craziness crossed the line from entertaining to annoying. Still a good episode on the whole, but I would have been happier with less maternal clinginess.
Top Chef: Just Desserts (Bravo, 9:00): Oh, Seth, you just won't learn, will you? *sigh*
Terriers (FX, 9:00): I'll say one thing about this show; so far it's done a great job of keeping me on my toes. The highlight of the episode was Hank's sister.
Ultimate Fighter: GSP-Koscheck (Spike, 9:00): Another episode without full-blown annoyance at Koschek -- sure it can't last much longer. I haven't been impressed with any of the fights so far, but I hope that changes soon.
THURSDAY, SEPT 30
Community (NBC, 7:00): Lots of great moments in this episode, but my favorite was probably the knocking out of the guard.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 7:00): On the downside, no Shamy this episode. On the upside, although the plot largely revolved around a robot, it wasn't engaged in improper activities with Wolowitz.
30 Rock (NBC, 7:30): Tracy Jordan in The Cash Cab was probably the funniest thing I saw all week; just some brilliant comedy there.
Fringe (Fox, 8:00): As much as I enjoyed the look at the alternate universe last week, I was more than happy to have our Walter back front and center.
Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 8:00): Hoping that this puts an end to the "Derek driving dangerously" plotline.
The Apprentice (NBC, 9:00): Still waffling on this show a bit, but right now I think I'm probably in until crazy-emotional-problem-guy finally has his complete and total mental breakdown and goes gibbering naked into the night.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX, 9:00): Highlight of the episode for me had to be Mac's refusal to let Dennis off the hook for his "implication" plan.
The League (FX, 9:30): Had a hard time making it through this episode due to Andre's stupid continual accidental racism -- so, so painful to behold.
FRIDAY, OCT 1
Batman: The Brave & the Bold (Cartoon Network, 6:00): Good to see The Outsiders in their actual costumes in the cold open; even better to see Kobra trying to start the Kali Yuga. This show caters to hard to my inner geek. Speaking of which . . .
Smallville (CW, 7:00): I haven't watched Smallville regularly for years and years, although I have been tempted in the past year or two to catch up on the DVDs. Still, I've avoided the temptation to start watching it again until now. What has changed my mind? The fact that my favorite comic blogger Chris Sims and one of his fellow Comics Alliance writers have started a weekly column called "Smallvillains" where they plan to review the last season of the show despite the fact that neither of them have watched more than an episode or two of the previous 9 seasons. After reading their first review, I was intrigued enough to add Smallville to my DVR so I could make sure I was getting the full effect for the second review. I think they're enjoying the show a bit more than I am, but I have to say that I too am susceptible to the geek joy that comes from seeing The Suicide Squad, Checkmate, and Hawkman come to life on the small screen -- although I would have been much happier if they hadn't made Deadshot into a reject from a cyberpunk western.
The Good Guys (Fox, 8:00): I liked the fact that this episode had a subplot that was mostly independent of Jack and Dan's misadventures -- was nice to see the ladies get a chance to shine for once.
SUNDAY, OCT 3
The Cleveland Show (Fox, 7:30): The whole "live episode" gag fell flat early on, and never improved. The show has been more miss than hit so far this season.
Family Guy (Fox, 8:00): A more entertaining episode than the season premiere, but barely -- outside of the demonstration of Brian's contrarian nature, not a lot stood out as memorable.
Rubicon (AMC, 8:00): Only two episodes left in the season, and there's no telling how much of the central mystery will be resolved by the end, or if the show will be picked up for another season, but things are definitely moving forward full steam now. This has gone from a show of mild interest to a can't-miss for me.
American Dad (Fox, 8:30): While the other two McFarlane productions have been letting me down, American Dad was firing on all cylinders in its premiere -- it's come a long way from it's mediocre first season.
Mad Men (AMC, 9:00): It's been a while since the show has prompted me to perform my "Don't do it, Don, don't do it!" mantra, but it was back in spades here -- and, sadly, Don was just as unswayed by my appeals as he always has been. Meanwhile, Roger has become a pathetic shadow of his former self, which makes me sad -- not so much that I feel sorry for the philandering racist, but that I miss his old energy and wit.
Venture Bros. (Cartoon Network, 10:30): Dear Venture Bros. writers: less Sgt. Hatred, more Monarch, please. Also, please don't ever stop making this show because it is practically the greatest thing ever. Sincerely, Todd.