The AfterEllen Guide to Fall TV 2014

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The fall television season is upon us, which means lots of couch time and live tweeting. Fall is when the networks roll out their biggest and best new shows, along with new seasons of our favorite mainstays. As premium cable did before them, Netflix and Amazon Prime are changing the game when it comes to way we watch shows. With so many excellent programs to choose from, and only so much space in viewers’ schedules and DVRs, content matters. AfterEllen has put together a list of fall shows to check out this year. These shows either feature queer characters, actors or simply material that may appeal to our readers. So grab a pumpkin spice latte and start working on the “you” shaped indentation in the couch.

Dancing With the Stars
September 15 on ABC
Starring: Janel Parrish

Why We’ll Be Watching: When Mona Vanderwaal was murdered by A on the summer season finale of Pretty Little Liars, we clutched our chests and shook our fists in the air lamenting the fact that Janel Parrish’s character would no longer be gracing our screens. Then we got a piece of great news! Not only would Mona return in flashback form, but Janel would be a contestant on this season’s Dancing with the Stars. She and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy have an excellent chance to win the mirrorball trophy if they keep up with stellar dances like their opening foxtrot.

 

Manhattan
Ongoing on WGN (but you can watch past episodes on Hulu)
Starring: Rachel Brosnahan

Why We’ll Be Watching: Rachel Brosnahan first caught our attention when she played queer former prostitute and political pawn, Rachel on the Netflix hit, House of Cards. In Manhattan, which tells the story of the men and women involved in developing the nuclear bomb for the Manhattan Project, Brosnahan plays Abby, a young mother and wife to one of the lead physicists. Abby is miserable on the New Mexico Army base and finds herself befriending (and bedding) fellow Army wife, Elodie. The season is nearing a close, but now would be a great time to catch up and get hooked on this period drama chock full of science, intrigue and of course, lady kisses.

Red Band Society
September 17 on Fox
Starring: Octavia Spencer, a bunch of adorable teenage moppets

Why We’ll Be Watching: Oscar winner Octavia Spencer leads this ensemble about the lives of the teenagers and staff of a pediatric ward in Los Angeles. The show is narrated by Charlie, a tween in a coma, but who is aware of his surroundings and the trials and tribulations of the other kids on the ward. Long story short, this one is bound to be a tearjerker. Be on the lookout for Wilson Cruz, as well as Andrea Parker (the dearly departed Jessica DiLaurentis on PLL) who will play a recurring role as the lesbian mom of the rebellious cheerleader in need of a new heart, Kara.

 

The Good Wife
September 21 on CBS
Starring: Julianna Margulies, Archie Panjabi, Christine Baranski

Why We’ll Be Watching: Fresh off her Emmy win, Julianna Margulies is back as the dynamic attorney, Alicia Florrick. Last season was arguably The Good Wife’s finest, in particular how the characters dealt with the death of Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Last season was rather light on our favorite bisexual investigator Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), so here’s hoping she gets more screentime. There’s a blink and you’ll miss it shot of Kalinda and Det. Jenna smooching on the sidewalk. Does than mean Kalinda and Cary are on the outs? What’s really getting us excited about this season though is the possibility that Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and her amazing power suits, may be teaming up with Florrick Agos.

Gotham
September 22 on Fox
Starring: Ben Mackenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Victoria Cartagena

Why We’ll Be Watching: This new gritty drama focuses on life before Bruce Wayne was actually Batman. In Gotham, Bruce is just a little boy who has just lost his parents to a violent robbery. The show follows cop James Gordon (Ben Mackenzie), the man who would one day be Commissioner, as he tries to defeat the villains of Gotham. Since this takes place decades before the rise of Batman, the villains are still quite young and trying to maneuver their ways through the crooked streets of Gotham as well. One to watch is Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney. Lesbian Detective Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) also appears as a member of the main cast. Crossing our fingers that she gets a potential love interest this season.

 

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