How are you surviving TV premiere week? Bleary eyes, lots of coffee, lots of inward squees and groans?
We pick up where we left off last week’s Falling into This Season’s TV Show Premieres, Part 1. Did your own speculation bear fruit? Are you generally disappointed, or excited to see the second episode of the shows you watched last week?
But wait. Before all that, how about what is premiering this week? We’ve got anticipatory excitement about Castle, How I Met Your Mother, The Good Wife, Nikita, Gossip Girl, and The Mentalist.
Castle (Monday, Sep. 19, 10pm, ABC)
Castle fans can finally stop holding their breath. Last season’s big finale—Beckett’s been shot! Castle (Nathan Fillion) finally confesses he loves her!—left us cliffhanging, but tonight’s premiere should reveal our favorite cop & crime writer duo’s fate. Will Beckett (Stana Katic) live? (We’re guessing that’s a big fat yes.) Ah, but will she have heard Rick’s declaration of love? (That one’s a toss-up.) Regardless, we know it won’t be smooth sailing for this ship. Remember Beckett’s boyfriend? Sexy and skilled Dr. Josh’s healing hands will no doubt be called upon to work some magic. But our suave hero surely has some tricks of his own up his sleeve. Unfortunately, the new chief of police Victoria “Iron” Gates (played by Penny Jerald Johnson) seems to be immune to Castle’s charms. We’ll have to see if she’ll also crack down on last season’s sizzling background bombshell, the surprise-they’re-a-couple reveal of Lanie (Tamala Jones) and Esposito (Jon Huertas). These two were hot, hot, hot! If they split due to fraternization regulations, it’d be a real crime. —Tara Gelsomino
The Good Wife (Sunday, Sept.25,CBS, 9pm)
Mega congrats to Julianna Margulies: another Emmy for female lead in a dramatic series. My local paper said it was so well-deserved that “you can now call her ’The Great Wife.’"
Call me a cynic—even though I watched Alicia (Margulies) and Will (Josh Charles) go through the door of the presidential suite (at a whopping almost $8K cost—thank goodness for AmEx!), I don’t think they’re going to emerge well loved up. Something will go wrong: a call from Alicia’s brother, a crisis at the office, Eli with an urgent difficulty. You name it. And I’ve never really felt chemistry between them, or at least not enough. Maybe some gorgeous fellow will walk through the doors of the law firm and sweep Alicia off her feet. Do I think that Peter (Chris Noth), the estranged ex, is still in the running? Doubt it, and it’s boring to go in that direction anyhow. As for Eli...he’s comic relief and I like him, but his romantic outcomes don’t interest me that much.
No, I want to know what will happen with Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). I know a lot of people are waiting for her friendship with Cary (Matt Czuchry) to slide into something deeper, but has anyone noticed the chemistry between her and Will? She’s one worth watching, particularly since her encounters in the past have included both men and women. I don’t want to label what she’s looking for, but it does seem like Kalinda craves friendship and is loyal on a very special level. —Janet Webb
Gossip Girl (Monday, Sept. 26, 8 pm, CW)
So, here’s how we left things. Ambitious aristobrat Blair (Leighton Meester), having ensnared herself a prince, set off for a summer in Europe with her fiancé, much to Dan’s (Penn Badgley) not-so-secret sadness—oh, and Blair’s twisted soul mate, Chuck (Ed Westwick), wasn’t exactly a fan of that development, either. Meanwhile, Serena (Blake Lively) headed off to California to be leggy and limpidly annoying, doubtless to also break hearts and take names all the while; and in most-boring-couple-in-the-world news, Nate (Chace Crawford) and Raina (Tika Sumpter) finally called it quits due to, one supposes, lack of interest on anyone’s part. And now, with the last-minute revelations of disturbed Cousin Charlie (Kaylee DeFer) really being a con-girl named Ivy; the diabolical publishing deal struck by departing troublemaker Vanessa (Jessica Szohr); and a POSITIVE HOME PREGNANCY TEST found in the trash at Blair and Serena’s, there will doubtless be much to XOXO about on the Upper East Side in this, the show’s fifth season. And with any luck? Dan and Blair. Dan and Blair! —Rachel Hyland
How I Met Your Mother (Monday, Sept. 19, 8 p.m., CBS)
Ted (Josh Radnor) is still on the hunt for “the mother,” obviously, and Lilypad (Alyson Hannigan) and her Marshmallow (Jason Segel) are, after a season of trying, finally pregnant, but what about Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders)? The last couple minutes of the season finale revealed—not all that surprisingly—that Barney will be the groom in the mysterious wedding that was teased for all of last season and likely will be teased throughout the new season as well. The bride, however, has yet to be determined. Will the position be filled by new flame Nora (Nazanin Boniadi)?... Or Robin, who doesn’t seem to be completely over Barney after all and just might spend some time this season pining for him for once? (!!!) Can’t wait to find out. (Team Barney/Robin all the way!) —Heather Waters, redline_
The Mentalist (Thursday, Sept. 22, 10 pm, CBS)
With poor Agent Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) having discovered that her fiancé, the charming and personable FBI agent Craig O’Loughlin (Eric Winter), was actually a minion of serial killer Red John, and with both of those murderous gentlemen now apparently dead—the former at the hands of the kickass Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), the latter at the hands of the titular mentalist his own self, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker)—one has to wonder what can come next for the CBI’s premiere investigative team. Will Jane be tried for murder? And even if not, why would he even remain part of the CBI now that his object in doing so (revenge on the monster who butchered his family) has finally been accomplished? Could it be for the love of Lisbon that we all know he feels, so very deeply in his tortured soul? And with Van Pelt suddenly single once more, could this finally be Rigsby’s (Owain Yeoman) chance to make up for their nonsensical breakup—which was one that only ever made sense in a plot-furthering kind of way? Meanwhile, was that really Red John that lay dead on the floor of that Mall, or merely a clever decoy? If the episode titles already announced are any indication (“Scarlet Ribbon,” “Little Red Book,” “Pretty Red Balloon”), it does seem as though Bradley Whitford wasn’t the ultimate evil in the Mentalist-verse, after all. It did seem just a little bit too easy, didn’t it? Oh, and what of the coiled-snake-hypnotic handsomeness of the redoubtable Agent Cho (Tim Kang)? Will we ever see that girlfriend of his again? Learn more of his dark past? And will they continue to make him wear short-sleeved business shirts that he somehow makes look kind of hot, in defiance of all known logic? Can’t wait to find out! —Rachel Hyland
Nikita (Friday, Sept. 23, 8 pm, CW)
After close to a whole season of ostentatiously hating each other, super spies Nikita (Maggie Q) and Michael (Shane West) surreptitiously rekindled a romance left shattered in the wake of sundry evils perpetrated by the sinister organization for which Michael still ostensibly worked—and which Nikita has pledged to bring down. Elsewhere, new recruit Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca)—who is not only a double agent planted into Division by Nikita but also a lost princess, of course—was previously devoted to her civilian neighbor Nathan (Thad Luckinbill), but unfortunately the young man had to leave town suddenly after shooting one of Alex’s colleagues dead (don’t you hate when that happens?). Now, with allegiances tested, secrets revealed, and turbulent pasts revisited—plus, a very real chemistry between Nikita and Division top op Owen (Devon Sawa), and doubtless a new love on the horizon for the insanely beautiful Alex—there can only be one certainty regarding Season 2: sardonic computer whiz Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) is going to be awesome as a renegade! (And, hopefully, will get himself some geek lovin’, too.) —Rachel Hyland