The AfterEllen.com Huddle: The Verdict is in on Fall TV

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Now that the fall television is in full swing, what shows have earned a season pass, and which ones are you simply passing on?

Elaine Atwell: I am OBSESSED with How to Get Away With Murder. Like, to the point where I have considered watching it without my girlfriend and then just pretending to watch it for the first time when she gets home. (Not that I would ever do that, honey.) The acting is impeccable, the storylines are popcorn munching treats, and the camera takes a very clinical POV towards it subjects, inviting some really deep critical analysis. Also, Viola Davis. Just, come the fuck ON.

On the flipside of that coin, I have pretty much given up on New Girl. I stuck with this show through a lot, and I may be the only person in the world who was glad when Coach came back, but this season is making me cringe. Just this week, they had a B story about Schmidt’s outrage that CeCe would get a breast reduction, and a C story about the point at which men become entitled to sex after doing handyman favors for girls. Gross.

Bridget McManus: I’m obsessed with Homeland, I hate-watch The Affair and I have bowed out of watching New Girl after being a past superfan. This is the first season of Grey’s Anatomy that I refuse to watch. I jumped ship along with Dr. Cristina Yang.

Emily McGaughy: To say I’m obsessed with How to Get Away with Murder would be a gross understatement. I’m having a real conflict – between my desire to know what will happen at the end of the season and my genuine concern with how I’ll spend Thursday nights after the season’s end. It’s similar to how I feel when I finish a season of OITNB, but my obsession with this show and Viola Davis‘s impeccable combination of bad-assness and beauty might be even greater than our favorite summer Netflix release. It’s one of the very few shows that my wife and I equally enjoy. She works most Thursday nights and I always call her to give her the obligatory “45 minute warning”meaning if you don’t come home before the show starts, I’m watching it without you, sorry I’m not sorry. I typically watch all my shows via DVR, but there’s something about HTGAWM that makes me want to watch it at the same time as the rest of the world.  I’m also loving season 2 of The Goldbergs, because Wendi McLendon-Covey.

Ali Davis: I’m way behind on my fall TV. I’m still on season 2 of Scandal, for chrissakes. I make time for The Rachel Maddow Show every day because they’re still doing some of the best, most important reporting and commentary out there, and I make time for Key & Peele because hilarious. The fact that gay lady writer and (OITNB actress) Rebecca Drysdale is on the writing staff is extra-nice icing on the cake.

But what I’ve actually been obsessing over this fall is old episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati. The writing is hilarious, and now that I’m seeing it as an adult, I’m realizing how brilliant some of the acting is. I’m also realizing that both Jan Smithers and Loni Anderson played different but vital roles in turning me queer.

So, yeah, a pretty poor showing for new fall shows getting onto my radar. Eboni had 100% success on getting me belatedly addicted to Scandal. Somebody else take a swing.

Valerie Anne: I dropped Chicago Fire like a sack of potatoes after the first episode this season, and I don’t have to tell you why. I think that’s the only veteran show I’ve ditched so far. I love The Flash, and think it’s an excellent addition to my growing collection of superhero/vigilante shows. The new comedies this season were pretty “meh” overall, with one notable exception: Bad Judge. Kate Walsh is a gem in the show, and it sucks that it’s slotted at the same time as Scandal, because I’m almost positive that’s the only reason it didn’t do well in the ratings and is now a dead show walking.

Speaking of Shonda, I wasn’t sure how I’d like How To Get Away With Murder since I love Grey’s but I hate Scandal, and I don’t usually love lawyer shows but I’m into mystery/crime shows. I was pleasantly surprised to find I actually love it a lot. All the other shows I picked up this season are still on probation, with Forever getting bonus points and a get-out-of-jail free card for having Hilarie Burton as a sexy dominatrix in this week’s episode.

Dorothy Snarker: I’ve given Jane the Virgin and Marry Me both a season pass on my DVR. In a few short weeks they’ve managed to shine with sharp writing and good chemistry. Both shows also happen to have lesbian characters with active sex lives, which is always a plus.

Jane the Virgin is sweet and funny and smart and all the adjectives that make you happy. Marry Me is zany and just strange enough to keep things interesting.

As for returning shows Sleepy Hollow continues to delight, while American Horror Story: Freak Show is b-o-r-i-n-g this season. This is what happens when Ryan Murphy makes boys drive the narrativeagain.

Trish Bendix: I dropped Chicago Fire and found that I haven’t missed it at all, which solidifies that Shawson was the best part of that show, the “Sha” being a vital part of that twosome.

My new fall obsession is The Affair. It can be a little slow and convoluted at times, but the two very different perspectives on the same events and the mystery surrounding Cole’s death has got me DVRing the shit out of this show. I love a series that can make me switch alliances and question characters’ motivations and loyalties without frustrating and alienating me. So far so good, although I always daydream about how it could have been even better if the affair was between two women.

Eboni Rafus: I had the same concerns about How to Get Away with Murder as Valerie had, but for opposite reasons. I really, really, really dislike Grey’s Anatomy (Sorry Calzona fans) but love Scandal, so although I am a big fan of Viola Davis, I was worried that I would be disappointed. I should have had more faith in Peter Norwalk and Shonda Rhimes. It’s so good! It’s like a sexy noir thriller with genuine hilarious moments sprinkled in. Also, Aja Naomi King is my new TV crush. (Just kidding. I’ll always love you Kerry!)

I’m also enjoying Marry Me. My roommate hates the show and rants all the way through it, but it hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for Casey Wilson‘s comedic genius. (I mean she was the best part of Happy Endings, am I right?) Consequently, I’ve started watching About a Boy, which is both funny and sweet.

It pains me to say this, because I know and love some of the writers on the show, but I’m not in love with Red Band Society. I want to love it. I do. It has a great concept. I’m starting to really like Dash as a character. And well…Octavia Spencer. But it can be a tad bit too cheesy-and that’s coming from someone whose fave show of all time is Dawson’s Creek so that’s saying something. The mean-girl cheerleader stereotype is played out and annoying. And Charlie’s voiceover is killing me slowly. The show does has it’s moments, such as the homage to the Breakfast Club in last week’s episode, but I’m not sure it’s enough to win me over.

Finally, I have to say that the second most anticipated show  of the season for me is State of Affairs, premiering on Monday the 17th. Alfre Woodard as the President? Hells yeah, I’m watching that!

Sarah Terez Strosenblum: I’m holding out for Girls and Madmen. Until then, Gilmore Girls on Netflix on in the background AT ALL TIMES.

Dana Piccoli: A show that I really enjoy that I never hear anyone talk about is Resurrection. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for stories about people returning from the dead, or maybe it’s because it’s one of the only shows my wife likes to watch with me. For the first time, I am really liking American Horror Story this season. Many of the characters are quite likeable, which is something that doesn’t happen too often with AHS. I also really loved Transparent. I did give up on Chicago Fire and Homeland this season, and let me tell you, Scandal is getting my goat. I dislike Fitz so much, that I essentially just spend an hour hurling obscenities at him.

Chelsea Steiner: By far the best thing on TV this fall was FXX’s Every Simpsons Ever marathon. I spent pretty much every spare moment I had that week parked in front of the TV reliving my childhood. I also DVR’d a bunch of favorite episodes, despite having many of them on DVD, because I am a nonsense person.

Dara Nai: I gave up on New Girl a while ago. While it used to be revolve around Jess, the show’s namesake, it now feels like some sort of showcase for Jake Johnson, who I don’t find funny at all. It’s almost as if his agent called the producers and complained that audiences were loving Schmidt and Cece too much. As for the rest of the characters, I just have no interest in watching idiot manchildren talking about their balls.

I’m still hanging in there with Scandal even though it makes no damn sense that someone as kick-ass as Olivia Pope would be so fatally attracted to that creepy, no-charisma-having, stalker, Fitz Grant. I seriously hate him.

Erica Feliciano: My top three new favorite shows this season are Marry Me, How to Get Away With Murder, and Jane the Virgin. They’re the only shows that keep me entertained with each new episode. And the fact that Marry Me is created by David Caspe, who’s a Chicagoan, and stars his wife, Casey Wilson, just makes me happy. I love their sense humor. It’s not like other comedies on TV today. But, these shows are just holding me over until the new season of Orphan Black is back on television. It’s the one show I would give anything to be a staff writer on.

What shows are you trading out for others this season?

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