Watch out! The fall premieres are flooding in tonight. Let’s look at them network-by-network.

CBS:

“Survivor: Samoa,” the show’s 19th season, premieres at 8 P.M. As far as I can tell, there are no locals competing this time around, so there’s no one to instantly root for going into this season. Which is kind of a shame since it’s hard to tell everyone apart, or really get a sense of who is tolerable and who is a total jackass until a few episodes in. Not that I really care; I can’t for the life of me even remember where the last season took place, let alone who won. Proof this show is way past its prime?

Fox:

I’m not a regular watcher of “Bones,” but I’ve seen a few episodes, and I can certainly understand why it’s still around, despite not being that original a show. It’s just that I’ve got room for only so many procedurals and/or dramas featuring a male and female investigating duo, so it remains un-TiVo’ed…

Unlike “Fringe,” which also falls into that male and female team genre; I watched it all last season, but have to admit, I don’t have a real clear idea what the hell was going on. Big conspiracies and an alternative universe seem to be the show’s overarching “mythology,” while the episode-by-episode stuff are your basic freak-of-the-week “X-Files” stories. Yes, “The X-Files.” A lot of people seem to defend “Fringe” by saying it’s not really anything like “The X-Files,” but that’s bull. It is like “The X-Files.” A LOT. (And “Warehouse 13” is just like “Fringe.” Co-ed team of investigators? Crazy curly-haired guy with all the answers and a female “lab” partner? A vast conspiracy that makes no sense? COME ON!) (“Bones” premieres at 8 P.M., “Fringe” at 9 P.M.)

NBC:

It’s all comedy on Thursdays now, (unless you don’t count “The Jay Leno Show” as comedy. Which I don’t). First up is a show that may have the stupidest title of any show this season. Yes, even stupider than “The Beautiful Life: TBL.” It’s “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday.” The only accurate words in that title are “Night,” “Update,” and “Thursday.” HERE’S a place where an acronym could have been utilized. “SNL Thursday Update” maybe? ANYWAY, the show ran a few times last season, back when there was an election going on, but I think the time for this has passed. “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” have political humor covered. Quite well. 8 P.M.

It’s followed by the season premiere of “Parks & Recreation” which they promise will be better this season than it was last season. Not even Amy Poehler could rise about the drab material back then. “The Office” follows at 9 P.M. which I continue to love for many reasons, not the least of which is because they have proven it is possible to remain funny after having two lead characters get together romantically and successfully. (Don’t screw with that, you hear me, “Office” writers??)

The only new show of the night follows “The Office” at 9:30 P.M. It’s called “Community” and it stars Joel McHale from “The Soup.” The “community” of the title refers to a community college attended by McHale’s character, a disbarred lawyer, and the rest of the ensemble cast. Chevy Chase is part of that ensemble, and that gave me pause when I first learned it. I can think of fewer people in showbiz who are more unlikable, and I was afraid that inherent unlikability would put a major damper on the show. So, imagine my surprise when I actually laughed more than once at Chase’s performance in the pilot. Of course, two of those laughs came from moments involving no dialogue, but still. As long as he remains strictly a supporting cast member, he shouldn’t be detriment to a show that is, from what I’ve seen so far, quite funny.

F/X:

Finally, “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” premieres at 10 P.M. I don’t watch it. I tried, but didn’t find it funny. And I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who want to tell me how wrong about that I am. Bring it on!

Following “It’s…” at 10:30 P.M. is a sort of secret preview of the animated spy spoof “Archer,” which was supposed to get its premiere tonight, but has since been delayed until next year. So, they’re gonna air the premiere episode without telling anyone about it in an attempt to gauge people’s interest. How…clever?


the author

Rain Jokinen watches a lot of television and movies and then writes things about them on the Internet. She's a San Francisco native, and yeah, she'll rub that fact in your face any chance she gets.

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  • Greg Dewar

    Fringe is a great show, but they kept stopping the first season and having these long gaps, which made it harder to follow the overarching plotline and connect the dots between ZDT, Dr. Bell, Dr, Bishop, and Olivia’s role as one of the “recruits”.

    But it also shows how unlike Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams knows how to make a product FOX can understand. While it has a big long story, you can watch one and enjoy it if you’ve never seen it before, they got a low-cost blonde woman they can put in all the ads, and they moved the production to Vancouver (despite ALLL those tax breaks in NYC) to cut costs.