Fall TV Preview: No apologies

By RYAN STEWART  |  September 14, 2010

Also on Fox, and also arriving with high expectations, is RUNNING WILDE (September 21 at 9:30 pm), a new show that's an unofficial Arrested Development reunion of sorts. Like AD, it's created by Mitchell Hurwitz, and it once again features Will Arnett as a self-absorbed, puerile, clueless rich guy (not to be confused with GOB, the self-absorbed, puerile, clueless rich guy he played on Arrested Development). Keri Russell plays his childhood sweetheart; David Cross is her boyfriend. Sounds good, no? Then why did the pilot need to be reworked after an underwhelming response from critics? | VERDICT: WATCH IT, BUT BE PATIENT

There's more new stuff on Tuesdays: ABC's NO ORDINARY FAMILY (September 28 at 8 pm) is a show about normal people who discover they have superpowers after their plane crashes; difficulty adjusting to said powers must surely ensue. ABC's DETROIT 1-8-7 (September 21 at 10 pm) was conceived as a mockumentary police procedural, but that angle has been dropped. Both shows may be worth a look on the strength of their leads: No Ordinary Family has Michael Chiklis (The Shield); Detroit 1-8-7 stars Michael Imperioli (Christopher on The Sopranos). | VERDICT: DVR THEM

In NBC's UNDERCOVERS (September 22 at 8 pm), from JJ Abrams, two good-looking spies go on adventures together. But with Chuck and Covert Affairs — two other shows about good-looking spies and their adventures already out there, are we reaching espionage overload? If you're a fan of the genre and/or Abrams, you're probably already excited, but for the rest of us, it's wait and see. | VERDICT: DVR IT

What I said about Glee goes, like, quadruple for ABC's MODERN FAMILY (September 22 at 8:30 pm). The first season was fun, but not as great as the world thought it was. Still better than most. | VERDICT: WATCH IT FOR THE FIRST COUPLE OF WEEKS, AT LEAST

FX's TERRIERS (September 8 at 10 pm) is the latest vehicle for Donal Logue, who plays an ex-cop turned unorthodox private eye. It's created by Shawn Ryan, the man responsible for FX classic The Shield. The first episode, which aired last week, suggested this will be an ambitious show with the right mix of intensity and light humor. | VERDICT: WATCH IT

I cannot in good conscience recommend either of the new comedies — NBC's Outsourced and CBS's $#@! My Dad Says — on Thursday nights. (Come back, Parks & Recreation!) But you should be watching NBC's COMMUNITY (September 23 at 8 pm), which is funnier than its new, more popular competition, CBS's Big Bang Theory (moving from Monday). It's irreverent and inventive, and it uses its postmodern cultural references in a way that goes beyond reaching for a self-congratulatory "Hey, I recognize that!" from its audience. Plus, Betty White will guest-star in the season premiere. | VERDICT: WATCH IT

None of the new or returning shows on these nights seems worth fussing over. Instead, I recommend spending time with the spring shows you missed the first time around. The most recent seasons of Treme, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, and Party Down will all be coming to DVD in the not-so-distant future — if they're not already on Hulu or On Demand. Get watching.

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