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CW For the Soul: TV Shows to Look out For

CW For the Soul: TV Shows to Look out For

There’s a lot going on this 2010-2011 TV season, and while it’s definitely not all good news, there is plenty to keep anyone entertained. Only a few weeks in and we’re already dealing with rape, suicide, HIV, homophobia, and- oh wait, that’s only on 90210. 

There’s a lot going on this 2010-2011 TV season, and while it’s definitely not all good news, there is plenty to keep anyone entertained. Only a few weeks in and we’re already dealing with rape, suicide, HIV, homophobia, and- oh wait, that’s only on 90210.  That doesn’t even include the alien wormholes, vampire doppelgangers, Ukranian sex trade conspiracies, and backstabbing cheerleaders. Needless to say, with the intensity already reaching a boiling point, it’s more than intriguing to see where this season will take us next. 

Well, it won’t be taking Lone Star anywhere, as the FOX series about a con man with two secret lives was one of the first to be cancelled, and was closely followed by the Jimmy Smits headed Outlaw. The ABC Family summer series Huge, starring Hairspray’s Nikki Blonsky and David Hasselhoff’s daughter Hayley,also got the axe recently.

NBC’s new spy series Undercovers is currently teetering between life and death, but a decision has yet to be made. Surely more budding series will be hitting the cutting room floor, so now is the time to show your support for your favorite programs. As a self proclaimed TV junkie, this is a particularly trying time for me, as my favorite shows this year happen to not be any of the top five most watched new shows according to Entertainment Weekly. Still, it’s too early to fret, so even if you haven’t had time to catch up on the latest in TV entertainment, grab a remote and begin a rerun scavenger hunt. There’s too much you’re missing out on. Beware, spoilers lie ahead!

90210 wins the “We Just Went There” award for drama this year. It’s only a mere five episodes in and already everyone’s worlds have been shaken. Fan favorite Naomi (the brilliant AnnaLynne McCord) is wrapped up in a heartbreaking storyline about the aftermath of her rape. High school heartthrob Teddy (Trevor Donovan) is struggling with his sexuality after waking up next to openly gay student Ian (Kyle Rubiako), and the tension even turns violent. Teddy’s use of an anti-gay slur was a shocking surprise, but 90210 appears to know what it’s doing with this plot line. Let’s hope it follows through on this in a positive way, rather than reprising the blink-and-she’s-straight-again moment Adriana (Jessica Lowndes) had in season two. It seems impossible that this season could pack in any more drama, but with around 17 episodes left, there’s undoubtedly more to come. 

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The CW, a network I’m personally hugely fond of, is definitely feeling the girl power this year. Its reboot of Nikita is a success in both content and ratings, and lead Maggie Q, though not exactly a rainbow of emotion, makes one kick ass heroine. Co-star Lyndsy Fonseca, who can also be found not only as Nikita’s undercover sidekick Alex, but as the bored, couch-ridden daughter on How I Met Your Mother, is a newcomer to be aware of. Yes, Nikita may not be the most original show around, but with two engaging leads and swift pacing, it’s certainly something to look forward to on a Thursday.

Another Thursday program that’s bringing the goods -- and some awesome superhuman female leads -- is The Vampire Diaries. This season, TVD has kicked it up a notch with the arrival of ancient beyond evil vamp Katherine as well as the you’ll-never-see-it-coming vampirization of one of the show’s regulars. Sure, a werewolf subplot has given way to some shirtless dudes, but the shows best moments come from the likes of Nina Dobrev, doubling as both the innocent Elena and satanic Katherine; Candice Accola, who plays Elena’s BFF Caroline, easily one of the show’s most interesting characters; and Katerina Graham who plays Bonnie, a vampire-hating witch with a pyro side.

Last but not least on the CW is Hellcats, which stars former Disney Channel regulars Ashley Tisdale and Aly Michalka as cheerleaders on a struggling team. Hellcats - essentially Bring It On: TV Show Edition - is certainly not intellectually stimulating, but it’s definitely worthy of its time slot. 

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Sadly, some of the shows I had the highest hopes for have so far disappointed. The Event, the supposed new Lost with an awesomely mysterious ad campaign, has proved baffling, hard-to-follow, and rather spastic in its balancing of several main characters. Then again, these are the factors that made Lost an uber-hit, so perhaps it’s just me who’s missing out on the fun here. However, ER’s Laura Innes is a stand-out as a supernatural prisoner who knows something everyone else doesn’t. In addition, the show is still so annoyingly cryptic that I find myself still tuning in, although that might have something to do with co-star Sarah Roemer.

NBC’s No Ordinary Family is also suffering a lag due to the complex character setup necessary to get out of the way before the series can really progress. With great actors and an original story, however, I’m almost certain that No Ordinary Family will take off around midseason. After all, heaven forbid there be a Julie Benz deficiency on television. 

As for some of the rest? Glee’s still going strong in both the ratings and the charts, Modern Family continues to be a hit, Hawaii Five-0’s pulling ahead as the newcomer to be aware of, Project Runway is bringing the tears this year, and Saturday Night Live put itself on the right path recently by having the hilarious Jane Lynch guest star. So whether it’s laughs, action, vampires, or good, old-fashioned drama, never fear; you’re sure to find what you’re looking for this television season. So whether you’re like me and nearly all of it happens to be on the CW or soapy dramas are just not your cup of tea, grab a remote and getting going. Channel surfing’s as intense a sport as any!

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