The 5 Best New Shows on TV Right Now

The fall 2010 TV lineup has been pretty underwhelming for the most part, with the networks foisting brain-dead shows upon us like $h*! My Dad Says and Outsourced. But there are a few gems worth watching.  And not surprisingly,  they’re all on cable or non-U.S. networks.

Here are the five best new(ish) shows on TV right now, according to me:

The Walking Dead

A cinema-quality zombie apocalypse show based on an acclaimed comic book series? Can I possibly put more awesome into that sentence?  AMC’s The Walking Dead is a horror/drama that chronicles the day-to-day lives of a small group of survivors in Atlanta.  I’m not typically a fan of the zombie genre but this show has managed to change my mind.  For a TV show, it has “holy shit” levels of gore and violence, but for me it’s the striking visuals, character development, and intense cliffhangers that make this a can’t-miss show.

Sherlock

Sherlock is BBC’s re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century.  The character’s names and personalities haven’t changed, nor have the familiar settings, but the new Sherlock is high-tech and action-packed with great direction and an excellent cast.  Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as Holmes, who is incisive and eccentric as ever.  So far there are only three 90-minute episodes, with more planned for 2011.

Lost Girl

Bo is a beautiful and mysterious woman…with a habit of leaving a trail of dead bodies behind her.  Turns out she’s actually a succubus, a fae who feeds on sexual energy to survive, and must learn to cope with her terrible secret.  After using her powers to rescue a young thief girl named Kenzi, she’s soon caught up in a war between light fae and dark fae and yearns to discover her origins.  I know–the premise seems ridiculous, and it kind of is (lol Canada?), but Lost Girl manages to entertain in spite of how silly it sounds.  The characters are interesting enough and the dialog is hip and witty.  And the sexy cast isn’t hard on the eyes, either.  If you’re looking for a decent new sci-fi show and you’re tired of vampires, give Lost Girl a chance.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

I’ve been a big David Cross fan since the late 90′s HBO sketch comedy Mr. Show and enjoyed most of his later shows and movies.  As creator, writer, and star, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is as David Cross as it gets.  The title says most things you need to know about this show:  Todd Margaret is incapable of making good decisions.  As a lowly office temp who finagles his way into a top sales position in London, he’s an uncultured, socially awkward compulsive liar surrounded by unstable people and situations that just go from bad to worse–with riotous results.  The show is on IFC, so it doesn’t hold much back.

Haven

Haven is a supernatural drama set in the small town of Haven, Maine, where FBI agent Audrey Parker arrives to investigate a routine murder case.  But the town and its people hold many secrets, and Audrey’s own mysterious past is inexplicably connected.

Let’s be honest. Most shows on SyFy suck.  Haven probably won’t change your mind about that, but it has enough cool things going for it to keep me interested:  1) The show is loosely based on a novella by Stephen King; 2) The dreary, rainy small coastal New England town setting; 3) Great chemistry between the lead characters; 4) Enough mystery and intrigue to keep you guessing.  I’m not fully caught up on Season 1 yet, which just finished its run in October, but I was happy to hear that Haven has already been renewed for a second season.  Haven isn’t perfect, though.  It has a lot of potential, and I hope to see it bloom from a decent show into a great one.

What are you watching these days?

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