Fall TV Preview not as grim as expected

Josh Baumbach and Josh Baumbach

This fall TV lineup has been an eventful one, full of both disappointments and pleasant surprises. If you were unfortunate enough to think that “The Playboy Club” or “Charlie’s Angels” would be great shows, let me show you what you should be watching to help you recover from those abominations.

“American Horror Story” – FX, Wednesdays at 10 PM.  “AMH” had the second best debut ever on FX, and rightfully so.  Equal parts horror and erotica, mixed with murder mystery and a sprinkling of teenage angst makes “AMH” intriguing for almost everyone.  Created by “Nip/Tuck” and “Glee” creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck, and starring Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton, “AMH” focuses on  a psychiatrist(McDermott) and his wife( Britton) who moved with their daughter to a new house to get a fresh start after a miscarriage and affair threatened to end their marriage.  But the house has a haunted history that is being revealed with each episode.

“Last Man Standing” – ABC, Tuesdays at 8 PM.  Tim Allen makes his return to TV 12 years after the success of “Home Improvement.”       Even if you aren’t a Tim Allen fan, this show is not about grunting and self-mutilation, but about a man struggling to keep his masculinity in a house full of women.  Allen is a marketing director for an outdoor sporting goods store, and lives with his wife and 3 daughters.  There are the usual father-daughter spats that are found in other sitcoms, but they seem fresh in “LSM.”

“New Girl” – FOX, Tuesdays at 9 PM.  Zooey Deschenel brings her quirky but cute brand of humor to this comedy sitcom focusing on a newly single girl (Deschenel) who moves in with 3 guys after seeing they needed a roommate.  While the show focuses on Deschenel, the supporting cast is starting to flesh out more as the season goes on.  “New Girl” was the first new show this season to be picked up for an entire season, and only after 2 episodes aired.

“Person Of Interest” – CBS, Thursdays at 9 PM.  Created by “The Dark Knight” scribe Jonathan Nolan, produced by J.J. Abrams (“LOST,” ”Star Trek”), and lead by the star-studded cast of Jim Caviezel (“Passion Of The Christ”), Michael Emerson (“LOST”), and Taraji P. Henson (“The Karate Kid”), “Person Of Interest” has one hell of a pedigree behind it.  “POI” focuses on an ex-CIA officer (Caviezel) and billionaire software engineer (Emerson) who use a government tracking surveillance system to catch crimes before they happen.  It’s refreshing to watch a show prevent a crime rather than the dozens of other crime dramas that solve the crimes.

“Terra Nova” – FOX, Mondays at 8 PM.  A Steven Spielberg produced action-drama about a colony of time travelers who were sent back to prehistoric times to get a fresh start from the dystopian world they live in.  With dinosaurs mixed with unanswered questions, it’s like “Jurassic Park” meets “LOST.”  Jason O’Mara (“Life On Mars”) and Stephen Lang (“Avatar”) star in this big-budget adventure show.