Tag Archives: Veronica Mars

2014-2015 In Review: Cancellations, Renewals, and Surprises

2014-2015 has been a year of change. In October, I moved to a nearby town with another of my sisters, and both of us being TV fans, we synced our to-watch lists. So far, we watch upwards of 75% of the same shows, and we tried out many of the same new shows. The sheer volume of what we have left to watch is boggling. I have more than 900 episodes on my to-watch list. So it’s not surprising I haven’t devoted time to blogging about TV – I spend too much time watching it!

Fall 2014 brought a bumper crop of new shows to broadcast networks, many of which I tried and many of which were canceled.

 

ABC

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Forever – this show will be greatly missed. I’ve never seen such unanimous disappointment over the cancellation of a new show. At least things wrapped up fairly well in the last episode.

Selfie – Karen Gillan made this a guaranteed watch for me. The humor was probably a bit too niche to garner needed ratings, but I loved the My Fair Lady/Pygmalion parallels.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

Galavant – a fun, crazy musical medieval comedy. It was a big surprise to everyone that this was renewed, but I’m glad it was, especially since season one ended on a cliffhanger. It seems like ABC is going with a lot of shorter season shows to fill in gaps and provide more original content over the year.

Agent Carter – another “gap” show that was easily one of my favorites this year. Can’t wait for more of Peggy and Jarvis!

Other notes:

Agents of SHIELD followed up its amazing end of season one with an uneven season two, though the unevenness was between episodes that were amazing and some that were merely good. No matter – I’ll be watching it until the end because I love these characters. Castle is showing its age, but still tells a decent story each week. I fell behind on Once Upon a Time, so I still have half this season to watch.

 

CBS

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Battle Creek – I probably wouldn’t have tried this if my sister hadn’t been watching, and I ended up dropping it after a few episodes. It was too similar to other crime shows and the team didn’t gel. Five years ago, I probably would have kept watching.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

Scorpion – we watched the first few episodes and loved this, but with the busyness of all the returning and new shows and moving, we fell behind on watching and because CBS hates Hulu, we weren’t able to catch up easily and let it go. We’ll be watching the rest of season one this summer.

The Odd Couple – Matthew Perry was the main draw for watching this, but I preferred his characters on Friends and Go On. The humor is too forced for me to really enjoy it, but I’ll probably keep watching, especially since I have only a handful of returning comedies to watch next fall.

Other notes:

The Hulu-lessness of CBS made on-demand the best option for catching up, but wait too long and the episodes were gone from there too. So I have quite a few episodes of NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles (which has had a rash of terrible episodes lately – get new writers!), and Elementary to watch. I watched Person of Interest by myself, and I’m enjoying the more serialized nature it has taken. I hope that the 13-episode renewal doesn’t signal a final season. The Big Bang Theory has been its usually excellent self, which may be why The Odd Couple failed to shine when paired with it.

 

FOX

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Backstrom – this one I watched because of Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson. I’ll watch the final 4 episodes, but I think the main character was too unlikable for this show to catch on. We almost stopped watching several times. But Needlemeyer is awesome.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

The Last Man on Earth – I tried this one because of the weird premise, and the main actor is pretty funny. But a couple episodes in, it was getting pretty skeezy. I might try an episode or two more to see if it improves.

Other notes:

Fox has burned me way too many times with shows, so I’m always wary to try their new ones. Empire was buzzy, and I might have tried it out because of Taraji since I liked her on Person of Interest, but the premise didn’t appeal to me. Gotham looked too dark, and while I have enjoyed the recent Batman movies, I’m not invested enough in the characters to be overly interested in their origin stories. Gracepoint (the American remake of Broadchurch, which I love) didn’t get great ratings so I expected its outcome. I thought of watching, but I couldn’t get past David Tennant’s American accent. It was just too weird. The Mindy Project’s cancellation was a shock, less so Hulu’s pickup of the show. We fell behind on Sleepy Hollow and only watched one episode this season of New Girl, but plan to catch up on both this summer.

 

NBC

New shows I tried that were canceled:

A to Z – cute premise, loved that it had the Mother from How I Met Your Mother, but Abbi seemed to always want to watch something else, so we fell behind but will watch the rest of the show later.

Marry Me – a watered-down Happy Endings that was still decent. Liked the main couple (which was a surprise since I only knew the guy as the sleazy PI Vinnie Van Lowe from Veronica Mars) but the supporting characters weren’t as great. Still, was sad to see it go. (Can we get Happy Endings back instead? Please?)

New shows I tried that were renewed:

None.

Other notes:

NBC has gone from being one of my most-watched networks to least-watched. I only have Grimm to watch as a returning show next year, and that’s only if I catch up on it during the summer (wasn’t a fan of what they did to Nick at the end of last season, so have only watched one episode so far this past year). We did start watching Parks and Recreation recently (which ended this season), and after a rocky first season, it has grown to be one of my favorite comedies as we start season 4. Where are your shows like this, NBC?

 

The CW

New shows I tried that were canceled:

None.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

The Flash – a great reminder of how FUN superhero stories can be. As an Arrow spinoff I was guaranteed to watch this, and I liked the characters in the planted pilot.

Jane the Virgin – this sounded like the stupidest show ever, until I watched the promo and loved it! Based on the over-the-top soap-opera style of telenovelas, this show knows its plotlines are ridiculous and embraces that fact fully. It balances that with grounded characters with whom you can both laugh and cry.

iZombie – I usually dislike anything zombie-related, but definitely wanted to try this new show by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. It’s more zombie-lite, with characters affected able to pass as human as long as they have a steady supply of brains. Said brains give the zombies who eat them personality traits of the person who used to own them as well as vision-like bits of memory that pop up when triggered. The result is a darkly hilarious show with a case-of-the week format, voiceovers by the main character, and a strong overarching mystery (much like Veronica Mars).

Other notes:

The CW is the network I watch the most, which is surprising since I didn’t start watching it until Nikita’s debut, what, six years ago? I’ve seen at least one episode of every scripted show airing on the CW this year, with the exception of the DOA The Messengers (with the entire fall lineup renewed and iZombie getting the plum post-Flash spot, the terrible ratings the premiere got only sealed the deal). While Hart of Dixie failed to impress (me, Abbi watched every episode), The 100 was too gruesome, and Reign was mostly dropped because of time, all the other shows keep me watching regularly. I’m caught up on all of those except for Supernatural, which sits on season five.

 

What canceled and renewed new shows did you check out last year?

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May Madness: Veronica Mars vs. House, Golden Girls vs. The Office

For our second set of matchups for round two, Veronica Mars faces House and the Golden Girls battle The Office!

These round two polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 2.2

  • House (56%, 23 Votes)
  • Veronica Mars (46%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 2.2

  • Golden Girls (79%, 27 Votes)
  • The Office (US) (21%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll! Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

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May Madness: The Office vs. 2 Broke Girls, Glee vs. Veronica Mars

Next up in our May Madness tournament, recent classic The Office faces popular 2 Broke Girls, and musical soap Glee goes up against hard-boiled teen detective Veronica Mars, whose Kickstarter-funded movie releases on DVD today! (Just $9.99 as of this writing!)

These polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round!

May Madness - Comedy, Round 1.3

  • The Office (US) (57%, 17 Votes)
  • 2 Broke Girls (43%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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May Madness - Drama, Round 1.3

  • Veronica Mars (74%, 23 Votes)
  • Glee (26%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Which of these four shows do you think will make it to the finals? Leave a comment and let me know, and don’t forget to check out all of the ongoing polls on our main tournament page!

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May Madness 2014

At last, it is time for the 64 TV shows YOU chose to battle it out for the best TV show of all time! Over the next few weeks, shows will face each other in 72-hour single elimination matchups! Everyone who responded to my question about whether to have comedies and dramas mixed throughout the tournament preferred to have the genres battle it out separately and the top comedy and top drama face each other in the final match, so that’s what we will do!

This post will be your go-to reference for current and upcoming matches, so be sure to bookmark it and check back daily! I will add the links as the posts go up. Or, subscribe to our RSS feed to get the latest posts!

 

TOURNAMENT FINAL

Castle vs. M*A*S*H

 

DRAMA FINAL

Castle vs. Beauty and the Beast – Winner: Castle!

COMEDY FINAL

M*A*S*H vs. Friends – Winner: M*A*S*H

Round four begins with only eight shows remaining! Each of these polls will be open 72 hours.

DRAMA – ROUND FOUR MATCHUPS

White Collar vs. Castle – Winner: Castle!

Beauty and the Beast vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Winner: Beauty and the Beast!

COMEDY – ROUND FOUR MATCHUPS

I Love Lucy vs. M*A*S*H – Winner: M*A*S*H!

Friends vs. Will & Grace – Winner: Friends!

And now we’re starting round three, as the remaining 16 shows face off! The lists will be completed as the round one matchups finish, and links to each new poll will be added after they go live! Each of the round three posts will contain two matchups: one drama battle and one comedy battle. All polls will be open 72 hours.

DRAMA – ROUND THREE MATCHUPS

White Collar vs. House – Winner: White Collar!

Castle vs. The X-Files – Winner: Castle!

Beauty and the Beast vs. Once Upon a Time – Winner: Beauty and the Beast!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Supernatural – Winner: Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

 

COMEDY – ROUND THREE MATCHUPS

M*A*S*H vs. Golden Girls – Winner: M*A*S*H!

The Andy Griffith Show vs. I Love Lucy – Winner: I Love Lucy!

The Mindy Project vs. Friends – Winner: Friends!

Will & Grace vs. The Dick Van Dyke Show – Winner: Will & Grace!

 

Here are the round two matchups!

DRAMA – ROUND TWO MATCHUPS

White Collar vs. Leverage – Winner: White Collar!

Veronica Mars vs. House – Winner: House!

Castle vs. Doctor Who – Winner:  Castle!

ER vs. The X-Files – Winner: The X-Files!

Beauty and the Beast vs. NCIS – Winner: Beauty and the Beast!

Once Upon a Time vs. Agents of SHIELD – Winner: Once Upon a Time!

Criminal Minds vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Winner: Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Supernatural vs. Sherlock – Winner: Supernatural!

 

COMEDY – ROUND TWO MATCHUPS

Scrubs vs. M*A*S*H – Winner: M*A*S*H!

The Office vs. Golden Girls – Winner: Golden Girls!

The Andy Griffith Show vs. Get Smart – Winner: The Andy Griffith Show!

That 70s Show vs. I Love Lucy – Winner: I Love Lucy!

Suburgatory vs. The Mindy Project – Winner: The Mindy Project!

The Cosby Show vs. Friends – Winner: Friends!

Will & Grace vs. Hogan’s Heroes – Winner: Will & Grace!

The Dick Van Dyke Show vs. Gilligan’s Island – Winner: The Dick Van Dyke Show!

 

These will be the matchups for round one. This list was randomly generated, and each of the round one posts will contain two matchups: one comedy battle and one drama battle. I may post several times in a day during this first round so that this bracket won’t go too far into June, but all polls will be open 72 hours. If any of the choices below seem impossible, remember, your decisions will only get more difficult as the tournament progresses! Have fun!

 

COMEDY – ROUND ONE MATCHUPS

Scrubs vs. Raising Hope – Winner: Scrubs!

How I Met Your Mother vs. M*A*S*H – Winner: M*A*S*H!

The Office (US) vs. 2 Broke Girls – Winner: The Office!

Golden Girls vs. New Girl – Winner: Golden Girls!

Modern Family vs. The Andy Griffith Show – Winner: The Andy Griffith Show!

Get Smart vs. The Crazy Ones – Winner: Get Smart!

That 70s Show vs. The Big Bang Theory – Winner: That 70s Show!

I Love Lucy vs. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Winner: I Love Lucy!

30 Rock vs. Suburgatory – Winner: Suburgatory!

The Goldbergs vs. The Mindy Project – Winner: The Mindy Project!

The Cosby Show vs. Parks and Recreation – Winner: The Cosby Show!

Friends vs. The Middle – Winner: Friends!

Will & Grace vs. Seinfeld – Winner: Will & Grace!

Community vs. Hogan’s Heroes – Winner: Hogan’s Heroes!

Enlisted vs. The Dick Van Dyke Show – Winner: The Dick Van Dyke Show!

Last Man Standing vs. Gilligan’s Island – Winner: Gilligan’s Island!

 

DRAMA – ROUND ONE MATCHUPS

Dexter vs. White Collar – Winner: White Collar!

Angel vs. Leverage – Winner: Leverage!

Glee vs. Veronica Mars – Winner: Veronica Mars!

Game of Thrones vs. House – Winner: House!

Gilmore Girls vs. Castle – Winner: Castle!

Magnum, PI vs. Doctor Who – Winner: Doctor Who!

Moonlight vs. ER – Winner: ER!

The X-Files vs. Suits – Winner: The X-Files!

The Vampire Diaries vs. Beauty and the Beast – Winner: Beauty and the Beast!

NCIS vs. Charmed – Winner: NCIS!

Arrow vs. Once Upon a Time – Winner: Once Upon a Time!

Agents of SHIELD vs. JAG – Winner: Agents of SHIELD!

Criminal Minds vs. Dollhouse – Winner: Criminal Minds!

Dark Angel vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Winner: Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Supernatural vs. Firefly – Winner: Supernatural!

Bones vs. Sherlock – Winner: Sherlock!

 

Which round one loss are you most disappointed by? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Monday Madness: Favorite Hero/Villain Duo

This Monday Madness, vote for your favorite hero/villain duos! The hero of any TV show, whether comic-book-based, sitcom, or procedural drama, always faces opposition in the pursuit of his/her goals. Often, that opposition comes from the people around our hero. But sometimes, one opposing person stands out from the crowd. They may be a twisted version of our hero, or just amazing at being evil. But you can be sure that an epic battle (of wits, weapons, or fisticuffs) is about to begin!

The pairs below are some of the more popular hero/villain duos, along with several nominated by readers of this blog. Which are your favorites? Go forth and vote!

Also, this poll is not as limited as previous ones – feel free to include older shows and villains who aren’t around for very long – just be sure to nominate ones that make an impression!

The winners of last week’s poll are here.

This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 5 of your favorite TV hero/villain duos. Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will win!

I had a hard time coming up with duos for this list, and I know there are many more epic heroes and villains out there! As always, you can cast write-in ballots by leaving a comment, and if I receive several nominations, I may add them to the poll! Want more of a say in what makes it onto the poll each week? Be sure to follow me on Twitter, since I usually ask for nominations for the next Monday Madness the weekend before the new poll. Stay tuned – I have something special in mind for the rest of April and May!

Without further ado, here’s the poll for this week’s Monday Madness! Voting ends around 12AM April 7th.

Which is your favorite TV hero/villain duo? (Choose up to 5!)

  • Elena Gilbert vs. Katherine Pierce (The Vampire Diaries) (30%, 38 Votes)
  • Sherlock Holmes vs. Jim Moriarty (Sherlock) (26%, 32 Votes)
  • The Doctor vs. the Master (Doctor Who) (23%, 29 Votes)
  • Emma Swan vs. Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time) (20%, 25 Votes)
  • Steve McGarrett vs. Wo Fat (Hawaii Five-O) (16%, 20 Votes)
  • Nick Burkhardt vs. Adalind Schade (Grimm) (13%, 16 Votes)
  • Sheldon Cooper vs. Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory) (12%, 15 Votes)
  • Dr. Horrible vs. Captain Hammer (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) (10%, 12 Votes)
  • Col. Robert Hogan vs. Col. Wilhelm Klink (Hogan's Heroes) (10%, 12 Votes)
  • Will Schuester vs. Sue Sylvester (Glee) (9%, 11 Votes)
  • Temperance Brennan vs. Christopher Pelant (Bones) (9%, 11 Votes)
  • Richard Castle vs. 3XK (Castle) (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Merlin vs. Morgana (Merlin) (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Patrick Jane vs. Red John (The Mentalist) (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Agent Phil Coulson vs. the Clairvoyant (Agents of SHIELD) (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Luke Danes vs. Taylor Doose (Gilmore Girls) (7%, 9 Votes)
  • Robin Hood vs. the Sheriff of Nottingham (BBC Robin Hood) (7%, 9 Votes)
  • Chuck Bartowski vs. Daniel Shaw (Chuck) (7%, 9 Votes)
  • Buffy Summers vs. Glory (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) (6%, 8 Votes)
  • Nikita vs. Amanda (Nikita) (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Harold Finch vs. Root (Person of Interest) (5%, 6 Votes)
  • Veronica Mars vs. Sheriff Lamb (Veronica Mars) (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Sydney Bristow vs. Arvin Sloane (Alias) (4%, 5 Votes)
  • John Bates vs. Thomas Barrow (Downton Abbey) (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Annie Walker vs. Henry Wilcox (Covert Affairs) (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Alice vs. Jafar (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland) (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Agent G. Callen vs. Marcel Janvier (NCIS: Los Angeles) (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Jane Rizzoli vs. Charles Hoyt (Rizzoli & Isles) (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Claire vs. Sylar (Heroes) (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Michael Westen vs. Anson Fullerton (Burn Notice) (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Dr. Lee Rosen vs. Stanton Parrish (Alphas) (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Tessa Altman vs. Dalia Royce (Suburgatory) (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Dr. Gregory House vs. Michael Tritter (House) (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Ryan Hardy vs. Joe Carroll (The Following) (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Vince Farraday vs. Peter Fleming (The Cape) (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jessica Pearson vs. Daniel Hardman (Suits) (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 125

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Look Who’s Back – Veronica Mars Movie

Yes, Veronica Mars is back! As one of the Kickstarter backers, I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve watched the trailer, but I’ve tried to avoid some of the rumors swirling around this sure-to-be-epic movie, as I want to be surprised!

Also, I’m back! I’ve been without a computer for more than half a year, and the one post I managed to scrape together on my Kindle Fire was torturous. But yesterday while I was home sick in bed, my tax refund came in, and I promptly scoured the internet for the best President’s Day deals on laptops. Best Buy enticed me with a great deal on a new HP (I was looking at refurbished/used ones) that I could pick up in-store that day. I ordered it, took medicine, and fell back asleep, only to wake up to hear I’d been laid off from my office job.

But my loss is your gain! This site was born from unemployment and TV binge-watching, so when better to return? I’m sure I can find an acceptable job application/TV episode/blog post ratio!

So what shows are tickling your ears and dancing before your eyes lately? Leave a comment and let me know! I’ve finally started making some headway on Supernatural (now that I’m sadly not blogging about every episode) and am partway through season 3!

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TNT Orders Legends and The Last Ship to Series, Fox Picks Up Eight Shows, Including Enlisted

TV news for next season is starting to heat up, and I’m back to blogging about it as I try to make sense of what’s going on, share the joy of new projects seeing the light of day, and rant about pilots not picked up.

TNT ordered 10 episodes of two new series I’ve been excited about for a while, thanks to one key role and a decent premise. Adam Baldwin’s The Last Ship features a previously-isolated crew racing to find a cure for a global pandemic. Sean Bean’s Legends has the CIA’s top chameleon operative suffering a break with reality amid his many covers.

I watched both trailers for the new shows (which the above loglines are based on), and both seem slightly different from their original premises. I’m not sure if it’s that, or the fact that my TV watching time has been drastically cut, but I’m less excited about these projects than I was initially. Both are going into my “wait and see the reviews/ratings” box for now, and I imagine they’ll stay there for a while. Now that Leverage is over, the only veteran show I’m watching on TNT is last year’s Perception, which was unique and well done enough to stay on my “to watch” list. (I should really make these into real lists and share them – perhaps after upfronts?)

Fox has ordered 4 dramas and 4 comedies (to add to the already-picked-up Dads, which got expanded from 6 to 13 episodes), quite a lot for a channel that doesn’t program anything from 10-11.

Out of the eight, I’m most excited about Enlisted, a military comedy starring Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, and Parker Young (who play three brothers). Stults won me over completely in The Finder and I also enjoyed his reoccurring role on Ben & Kate, so I’d be at least previewing almost any new show he would be cast in. I’m sad to see that Young will be leaving Suburgatory, since I love his character on that show, but I’m glad he’ll have more of a starring role in this project. Lowell I know mainly as Piz from Veronica Mars, so I’ll have to get a new opinion of his acting now that he won’t be getting in the way of one of my favorite TV couples.

For the other comedies, Us & Them seems the one I’m most likely to watch, with Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel returning to TV and a fun premise: a long-distance relationship with family and friends butting in. Brooklyn Nine-Nine puts a comedy spin on a cop show, and Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni. Dads may also warrant a preview, as Seth Green (Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays one of the two guys whose fathers move in with them.

I’m disappointed Delirium didn’t get picked up to series. While the sci-fi premise was a bit hokey (a procedure to remove love?), it reminded me of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee’s novel Forbidden. And I enjoy Emma Roberts’ acting.

I doubt I will watch any of Fox’s new dramas. I may check out Almost Human (an android/human buddy cop show) if the trailer leans more toward sci-fi than cop drama. Rake has Greg Kinnear, but I’m not piqued by a law drama take on House. The story of Sleepy Hollow never interested me, and Gang Related just seems like another cop show with a conflicted loyalties twist (and medical drama with a conflicted loyalties twist worked out so well for The Mob Doctor).

Do you plan to watch any of these new shows?

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Eight TV Fandoms I Embraced in 2012

2012 was a great year for me in regard to uncovering awesome TV shows. It may even top 2011, when I got pulled into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Bones, Warehouse 13, Eureka, and Veronica Mars, not to mention enjoyed great new fall shows like Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Suburgatory, and Person of Interest.

My top eight new shows for 2012 are also a mix of brand new and new-to-me shows. Like with the list above, this year wasn’t always my first exposure to the shows in question, but 2012 was the year they hooked me. I’m listing the shows in roughly chronological order of getting sucked in.

The Finder

This short-lived Fox drama (so many awesome shows can say the same thing) caught my attention as a companion show to Bones – not quite a proper spinoff as none of the main characters from Bones joined the new show. But with a planted pilot, same showrunner, and guest appearances by Bones cast, the tie was definitely there. Geoff Stults (as Walter) and Michael Clarke Duncan (as Leo) hit it out of the park on day one, but the ratings didn’t match the show’s awesomeness. Fox also aired the episodes out of order, threw in a month-long hiatus in March, and moved the show to the Friday death slot – starting Easter weekend!

From the beginning, the show felt like it should have been airing on USA Network – it had the same breezy, pop-culture-riddled sensibilities as Psych, and would have been a perfect fit for their “Characters Welcome” brand. But in the end, the cancellation of the show was moot, as Michael Clarke Duncan, who as Leo was the heart of the show, passed away over the summer.

I’m still waiting for the DVD set to become available, but at least The Finder introduced me to the amazingness of actor Geoff Stults, who I’m currently enjoying as a reoccurring cast member on Ben and Kate. Sadly, that show also airs on Fox, and I’ve learned not to get attached to anything airing on that network now.

True Blood

Buffy and Being Human showed me that shows about vampires are cool. So to feed my bloodlust, I decided to try out this buzzy HBO show, not really expecting to like it – keeping things PG-13 is more my style, and I’m not a fan of the deep south. But checking out episode one led swiftly to two, and three, as each twisty cliffhanger glamoured me into watching more. Short season meant catching up in time for season 5, and while this show is fairly low on my list of vampire TV shows, it’s addicting enough that I’ll keep coming back.

Happy Endings

There’s a dearth of good comedy over summers, so I decided to give this recommended show a try in late August, and quickly grew to love the quirky group.

The Vampire Diaries

After catching up on True Blood, I decided to try out the last major vampire show currently airing that I hadn’t seen. Plus, I was looking at writing a book with a high school setting and vampires trying to control their urges, and I wanted to make sure it was different enough from this show. The pilot bored me, but I heard later that the rest of the show was a vast improvement, so I dove in during September, and caught up on all three seasons within 3 weeks, just in time for the season 4 premiere.

Like True Blood, the fast-paced storylines made the show insanely addictive, but in this case, the characters and relationships became an even bigger draw. Damon’s struggle with what sort of person to become, Elena’s compassion without weakness, Stefan’s dual nature, Caroline’s ditziness turned to strength, Alaric’s unlikely allies becoming the family he always wanted, and more.

Elementary

No, it’s not Sherlock, but it doesn’t have to be – I love both shows, and Jonny Lee Miller makes an amazing Holmes. Making Watson female, setting the show in NYC, and coming up with new stories instead of revamping the classics all help differentiate this show. And with us getting only 4 1/2 hours of Sherlock every 18 months or so, there’s plenty of room for a fun, quirky drama like this. I enjoy the recovering addict twist, and Joan Watson’s slower progression to teaming up with her client.

Arrow

Aside from Alphas, TV has been sorely missing a good superhero show, and in the wake of The Avengers’ popularity, the Batman trilogy’s gritty conclusion, and America’s obsession with bow-toting heroes, Arrow is exactly what was wanted. While there are still a few rough edges on this new drama (dialogue could use some help), great ratings will give it time to truly soar.

Doctor Who

I always knew I would eventually watch this show. I purchased digital editions of series 1 and 3 back in 2010, and watched a few episodes here and there, but didn’t get hooked. I watched a couple more earlier this year, and in November started liking the show more and more. In December, I started marathoning through Doctor Who in earnest, as most shows were going on hiatus and I had more time. I rewatched season 1 with my sister (and liked it a whole lot more the second time) around Christmas, and caught up with the whole show (excluding classic Who) a few days after the New Year.

Torchwood

I bought the first two series of Torchwood in 2010 also, and despite some misgivings about the show’s adult content, I liked the character of Jack Harkness from Doctor Who enough to give the show a try (and keep all the crossovers in their proper places). As a result of watching the two together, it’s hard to separate Torchwood as a distinct show in my mind. It’s the only show on this list I’m not current with, as I still have 6 episodes left of the Miracle Day mini-series. It’s definitely a more serious show (during various episodes I found myself longing for the more lighthearted Who), morality is a bit grayer, and quite often there isn’t a happy ending. But it definitely grows on you, and there are quite a few exceptional episodes.

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Monday Madness: Favorite Christmas Episode

It’s hard to believe Christmas will be here in about a week! One of my favorite parts of the season are the awesome holiday episodes shows put out, and now it’s your turn to vote for your favorites! I purposely saved this poll for right before Christmas so I could add in some of 2012’s holiday episodes.

Fans have used Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, forums, Reddit, Pinterest, blogs, and chatboxes to get the word out about past polls. Our toolbar at the bottom of the page has lots of quick links to help you share this post, or you can mouse over the image above!

I know I’m missing some of your favorite Christmas episodes, so feel free to nominate more episodes on our Facebook page, tweeting me at @waterfallbooks, or by leaving a comment below. Please include both the show and episode name, and yes, you can nominate this year’s holiday episodes! (Be sure to stick with live-action, scripted shows, though it’s fine if just this one episode has some animation, like with a certain Community episode.) Please only nominate Christmas episodes that are part of a regular show, not one-off specials like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or movie-related specials like “Shrek the Halls.”

Without further ado, vote for up to fifteen of the episodes below! Poll will close Sunday night, December 23rd, giving you one week to spread the word!

What's your favorite Christmas episode? (Choose up to 15!)

  • Leverage - The Ho Ho Ho Job (56%, 154 Votes)
  • Supernatural - A Very Supernatural Christmas (28%, 76 Votes)
  • Doctor Who - The Christmas Invasion (16%, 43 Votes)
  • Doctor Who - Voyage of the Damned (13%, 35 Votes)
  • Doctor Who - A Christmas Carol (13%, 35 Votes)
  • Doctor Who - The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (12%, 34 Votes)
  • The Big Bang Theory - The Bath Gift Item Hypothesis (11%, 31 Votes)
  • Psych - Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy (9%, 26 Votes)
  • Bones - The Man in the Fallout Shelter (9%, 24 Votes)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Amends (9%, 24 Votes)
  • How I Met Your Mother - How Lily Stole Christmas (8%, 23 Votes)
  • The Big Bang Theory - The Santa Simulation (8%, 22 Votes)
  • Castle - Secret Santa (8%, 21 Votes)
  • NCIS - Faith (7%, 20 Votes)
  • NCIS - Newborn King (7%, 19 Votes)
  • Bones - The Santa in the Slush (7%, 19 Votes)
  • Friends - The One With the Holiday Armadillo (7%, 18 Votes)
  • NCIS - Silent Night (6%, 17 Votes)
  • Psych - Christmas Joy (6%, 17 Votes)
  • How I Met Your Mother - Symphony of Illumination (6%, 16 Votes)
  • The Vampire Diaries - O Come, All Ye Faithful (5%, 15 Votes)
  • Community - Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas (5%, 14 Votes)
  • New Girl - Santa (5%, 14 Votes)
  • Psych - The Polarizing Express (5%, 14 Votes)
  • Community - Regional Holiday Music (5%, 13 Votes)
  • Community - Comparative Religion (5%, 13 Votes)
  • Eureka - O Little Town (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Warehouse 13 - Secret Santa (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Eureka - Do You See What I See (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Warehouse 13 - The Greatest Gift (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Arrow - Year's End (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Chuck - Chuck vs Santa Claus (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Veronica Mars - An Echolls Family Christmas (4%, 10 Votes)
  • House - It's a Wonderful Lie (4%, 10 Votes)
  • The OC - The Best Chrismukkah Ever (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Glee - A Very Glee Christmas (3%, 9 Votes)
  • The X-Files - How the Ghosts Stole Christmas (3%, 8 Votes)
  • M*A*S*H - Death Takes a Holiday (3%, 8 Votes)
  • The West Wing - In Excelsis Deo (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Seinfeld - Festivus (2%, 5 Votes)
  • The Office - Dwight Christmas (2%, 5 Votes)
  • The Office - A Benihana Christmas (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Go On - The World Ain't Over 'Til It's Over (1%, 4 Votes)
  • The Office - Christmas Wishes (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Monk - Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa (1%, 4 Votes)
  • The Mindy Project - Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Suburgatory - Krampus (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Smallville - Lexmas (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Monk - Mr. Monk and the Miracle (1%, 3 Votes)
  • The Neighbors - Merry Crap-mas (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Guys With Kids - Christmas (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 276

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TV Duos Bracket – Round Two, Day 21

As we wrap up our third week of competition, law enforcement-forensic duos square off as Booth and Brennan of Bones match wits with Rizzoli and Isles, while The Doctor and Donna from Doctor Who face Logan and Veronica Mars.

Our second matchup of round two just finished – be sure to check out the results and all our current matchups here! The winning duos will advance to the next round.

Reminder: While there are romantic pairs in this bracket, that’s only one possible aspect of a duo’s relationship. Duos have fun together, work well together, and/or have hilarious interactions. Simply put, they spark.

You can find a full list of upcoming TV duos matchups here (edited to show all our round one eliminations!). Round two matchups are in burgundy. Each of the round two matchups will be open for 72 hours (3 days), so spread the word quickly so your favorite pairs will make it into the next round! Fans have used Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, forums, Reddit, blogs, and chatboxes to get the word out about past polls. Our toolbar at the bottom of the page has lots of quick links to help you share this post, or you can mouse over the image above!

Which is your favorite TV duo? Round 2.9

  • Rizzoli and Isles - Rizzoli & Isles (61%, 256 Votes)
  • Booth and Brennan - Bones (39%, 164 Votes)

Total Voters: 420

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Which is your favorite TV duo? Round 2.10

  • The Doctor and Donna - Doctor Who (80%, 299 Votes)
  • Veronica and Logan - Veronica Mars (21%, 77 Votes)

Total Voters: 375

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TV Duos Bracket – Round One, Day 13

Today we enter the last quarter of round one! Casey and Morgan from Chuck face The Doctor and Donna from Doctor Who (she’s the companion most voted for in our duo-off), and Veronica Mars and Logan battle newbies Wes and Travis from Common Law!

Our day 10 matchups just ended – be sure to check out the results and all our current matchups here! The winning duos will advance to the next round (which will launch in four days!).

Reminder: While there are romantic pairs in this bracket, that’s only one possible aspect of a duo’s relationship. Duos have fun together, work well together, and/or have hilarious interactions. Simply put, they spark.

You can find a full list of upcoming TV duos matchups here (edited to show half of our round one eliminations!). Round one matchups are in teal. Each of the round one matchups will be open for 72 hours (3 days), so spread the word quickly so your favorite pairs will make it into the next round! Fans have used Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, forums, Reddit, blogs, and chatboxes to get the word out about past polls. Our toolbar at the bottom of the page has lots of quick links to help you share this post!

Which is your favorite TV duo? Round 1.25

  • The Doctor and Donna - Doctor Who (81%, 170 Votes)
  • Casey and Morgan - Chuck (19%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 210

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Which is your favorite TV duo? Round 1.26

  • Veronica and Logan - Veronica Mars (65%, 72 Votes)
  • Wes and Travis - Common Law (35%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 111

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TV Olympics: Favorite Hero/Villain Performance

In this penultimate round of the TV Olympics, we’re looking at actors who have excelled at playing both heroes and villains. Two distinct roles in two different shows were nominated, and now, based on those two performances, it’s time for you to judge which actor embraced their good guy and bad guy sides best.

I know there could have been other roles nominated for these actors, but I went with your suggestions – Nathan Fillion was nominated for Firefly, not Castle, and Jensen Ackles had more votes for Dark Angel than Smallville. There’s still room to nominate additional actors who have played both heroes and villains, but both roles must be on different TV shows (no movies), and the actor should be a main cast member in at least one of those shows.

Tomorrow, the final mini-poll event, cast-performed songs (nominate away, but avoid all-musical shows), will launch, and a week from then we will tally the medals and see who won the 2012 TV Olympics! The current top shows only have 6-8 medals so this is still very much any show’s game!

This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 3 options. Please spread the word so your favorites will win medals, and be sure to vote in all our current Olympic polls!

What's your favorite hero/villain performance by the same actor on different shows? (Choose up to 3!)

  • Timothy Omundson - Carlton Lassiter (hero) on Psych, Phil Constantino (villain) on Jericho (45%, 878 Votes)
  • Jensen Ackles – Dean Winchester (hero) on Supernatural, Ben/X5-493 (villain) on Dark Angel (37%, 716 Votes)
  • Nathan Fillion - Malcolm Reynolds (hero) on Firefly, Caleb (villain) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (13%, 263 Votes)
  • Christian Kane - Eliot Spencer (hero) on Leverage, Lindsey McDonald (villain) on Angel (12%, 240 Votes)
  • Tim DeKay - Peter Burke (hero) on White Collar, Kieran Ryker (villain) on Chuck (12%, 225 Votes)
  • Leonard Nimoy - Spock (hero) on Star Trek, William Bell (villain) on Fringe (8%, 155 Votes)
  • Tiffani Thiessen - Elizabeth Burke (hero) on White Collar, Valerie Malone (villain) on Beverly Hills, 90210 (5%, 90 Votes)
  • Ross McCall – Joe Liebgott (hero) on Band of Brothers, Matthew Keller (villain) on White Collar (3%, 64 Votes)
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy Summers (hero) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Siobhan Martin (villain) on Ringer (3%, 60 Votes)
  • Gina Torres - Zoe Washburne (hero) on Firefly, Jasmine (villain) on Angel (3%, 55 Votes)
  • Michael Emerson - Harold Finch (hero) on Person of Interest, Ben Linus (villain) on Lost (2%, 44 Votes)
  • Morena Baccarin - Inara Serra (hero) on Firefly, Anna (villain) on V (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Enrico Colantoni - Keith Mars (hero) on Veronica Mars, Elias (villain) on Person of Interest (1%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,951

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TV Olympics: Favorite Mother/Son Duos

For this round of our TV Olympics (only 4 more rounds left after today), we’re looking at mother/son duos!

This poll is for actual mothers (not mother-figures), and since the relationship between mom and son is a key part of the poll, they need to have appeared in a number of episodes together, and infant sons are excluded. If you know of any duos you believe should be in the poll, leave their names and the show in a comment!

Poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 3 of your favorite mother/son duos. Remember to keep checking the main event page for all the current polls and results!

What's your favorite mother/son duo? (Choose up to 3!)

  • Martha and Castle - Castle (61%, 99 Votes)
  • Emma and Henry - Once Upon a Time (30%, 48 Votes)
  • Madeline and Michael - Burn Notice (23%, 37 Votes)
  • Clair and Theo - The Cosby Show (14%, 23 Votes)
  • Virginia and Jimmy - Raising Hope (12%, 19 Votes)
  • Mary and Chuck - Chuck (11%, 18 Votes)
  • Martha and Clark - Smallville (11%, 18 Votes)
  • Jane and Pete - Warehouse 13 (7%, 11 Votes)
  • Allison and Kevin - Eureka (7%, 11 Votes)
  • Gemma and Jax - Sons of Anarchy (6%, 9 Votes)
  • Alicia and Wallace - Veronica Mars (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Rose and Jack - Kings (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 161

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TV Olympics: Favorite Dad/Daughter Duo

For this round of our TV Olympics (can you believe we only have 5 more rounds left? ), we’re looking at dad/daughter duos!

This poll is for actual fathers (not father-figures), and since the relationship between dad and daughter is a key part of the poll, they need to have appeared in a number of episodes together, and infant daughters are excluded. If you know of any duos you believe should be in the poll, leave their names and the show in a comment!

Poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 3 of your favorite dad/daughter duos. Remember to keep checking the main event page for all the current polls and results!

What's your favorite dad/daughter duo? (Choose up to 3!)

  • Castle and Alexis - Castle (74%, 205 Votes)
  • Eli and Ziva - NCIS (21%, 59 Votes)
  • Max and Temperance - Bones (17%, 48 Votes)
  • Danny and Grace - Hawaii Five-O (12%, 34 Votes)
  • Keith and Veronica - Veronica Mars (12%, 33 Votes)
  • Carter and Zoe - Eureka (11%, 31 Votes)
  • George and Tessa - Suburgatory (9%, 25 Votes)
  • Jay and Claire - Modern Family (5%, 14 Votes)
  • Phil and Haley - Modern Family (5%, 14 Votes)
  • Frank and Laverne - Laverne & Shirley (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Casey and Alex - Chuck (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Walt and Cady - Longmire (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Jack and Sydney - Alias (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Andrew and Juliet - Ringer (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Will and Joan - Joan of Arcadia (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Silas and Michelle - Kings (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 278

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TV Olympics: Most Annoying Teenage Character

I almost didn’t make this one of the mini-polls for this event, because how do I score this? Should I award negative medals for the characters that win? Award the bottom three?

In the end, I decided to award the top three, as usual. Why give an award for a negative attribute? Because most of the time, these characters are the one or two flies in the ointment of an otherwise awesome show. They seem all the more annoying because the rest of the characters are so great. Diehard fans of a show tend to be the most annoyed by these characters, as well, and to know how annoying a character is (and therefore vote for him/her), you most likely have to be already watching the show.

But I know there are tons of annoying teens who aren’t on this list yet, because there were only a few nominations in this category, and there are tons of teen-dominated shows I don’t watch. So come on, Glee fans and CW watchers – let me know which ones I missed!

Poll will be open for one week, and you can vote for up to 3 annoying teens.

Who is the most annoying teenage character? (Choose up to 3!)

  • Connor - Angel (32%, 29 Votes)
  • Dawn - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (32%, 29 Votes)
  • Harmony - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (27%, 25 Votes)
  • Elena - The Vampire Diaries (23%, 21 Votes)
  • Dalia - Suburgatory (18%, 16 Votes)
  • Caroline - The Vampire Diaries (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Kim - 24 (15%, 14 Votes)
  • Juliet - Ringer (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Cassidy "Beaver" - Veronica Mars (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Tyler - V (7%, 6 Votes)
  • Jackie - Veronica Mars (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Cassidy - Nash Bridges (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Dana - Homeland (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 91

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