I promise to keep updating this as I catch more and more of the new shows premiering this fall.
Shows that are worth watching:
FlashForward - It's got a very "Lost" feeling - especially since it starts its season with the main character waking up from the scene of a crash and getting his bearings while people scream - though it's not as well-directed (it's still capably directed, but without the top-of-the-line direction that every "Lost" episode has thanks to Jack Bender and Stephen Williams). There's a lot of energy and momentum right off the bat, though, and while the dialogue of the pilot had some ups and downs (you only need to say "it looks like this thing is global!" once for the viewer to grasp the concept, guys), it seemed impossible to finish the episode and not say "I've gotta see where this is going." Plus, the best cast on TV: Joseph Fiennes (you might remember him as Shakespeare in Shakespeare In Love), John Cho (Harold of Harold and Kumar), Jack Davenport (Commodore Norrington from Pirates Of The Carribbean), Peyton List (Jane from "Mad Men"), Lee Thompson Young (Derek on "Scrubs"), Barry Shabaka Henley (that guy who plays the police chief in every movie or TV show ever made) and, weirdly, Seth MacFarlane (the creator and voices of "Family Guy"). Plus, two "Lost" actors: Sonya Walger (Penny) and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) - who wasn't even in the pilot! Just unbelievable.
The Sports Guy has been debating the best movies of the aughts (as have I), and he mentioned that "the greatest movies of this decade... were on television." And that's true - that's where the real quality is now. In the last decade, we've had The Sopranos, The Wire, Lost, The West Wing, Mad Men. This show is another one of those shows where you can't believe how much quality is on television.
I think it'll end up somewhere between "Lost" and "Jericho" in terms of quality.
Weird thing: it reminded me a lot of Left Behind: The Movie. Main character is an FBI agent, freak worldwide occurrence, he's put in charge of investigating it, people start seeking him out, it makes him re-think his marriage, etc., etc. Also, some questionable lighting choices and exposition-heavy (alright, exposition-crazy) writing in both.
Glee - Believe the hype. Well, not all of it, but it's definitely worth watching, especially for the seemlessly integrated, stylish music numbers, and the dynamic performance by Matthew Morrison (who also turns out to be the best singer in the bunch, unless they're over-dubbing him). The show's settling into a rhythm as it goes along, which is always nice to see.
Community - Clearly a solid show, though it's off to a slightly uneven start, but the cast here is very, very good, and they'll find their rhythm as it goes. Plus, it seems like NBC is really throwing their weight behind it, so it shouldn't disappear five episodes in or anything like that. Figure the show to hit its stride coming back in after the Christmas break; the writing has potential, and it'll catch up to the actors soon enough.
Go ahead and skip:
Modern Family - There's some good stuff here, but it's not consistently funny enough to sit through. Ty Burrell is just killing, though. That guy needs to be in more stuff.
CougarTown - The first act had serious potential - it had the comfortable rhythm of a show like "Weeds" or "Entourage," and it's well-directed. But the writing was awful. Awful, awful, awful.
Accidentally On Purpose - I've seen the ads. I've seen enough.