Totally Terrific Tele

When I'm not spilling my guts on xoJane, I'm an actual, proper, actual TV Editor. Which makes me uniquely qualified to tell you what you should be watching this autumn...
Publish date:
October 18, 2012
girls, lena dunham, tv recaps, tv guide, autumn 2012 tv

When I’m not busy spilling my guts to you xoJane readers about deeply personal experiences, I go about life in my daily guise as a TV Editor.

Simply, I write about tele, which is just as well really, because I watch a shit-load of it.

So, I’ve decided to compile for you this list of must-see new TV shows coming to your telebox soon. Feast your eyes my friends, for this is top TV.

GirlsMonday 22 October Sky Atlantic @ 10pm

I watched this ten-part HBO drama in two days flat. I literally watched an episode, made some tea, watched another one, peed, then watched, smoked and watched some more. When I wasn’t watching it, I was thinking about it. Plus I now have a man-size crush on pretty much all of the characters.

Girls was written, produced, directed by and also stars the teetering-on-the edge-of-megastardom, Lena Dunham. She plays the shows main character, Hannah Horvath; a wannabe writer trying to find her dream job and comfortable place in the world.

It’s also exec produced by Judd Apatow, and as a result, Girls really reminds me of his early work, Freaks and Geeks. I can only describe Girls as the anti-Sex and The City. There really never has been a show like this before.

It’s a 30min slice of drama that’s also really freaking funny, based around four very different 20-something girlfriends living in Brooklyn.

The writing and acting is whip-smart, with moments of pure brilliance and sex scenes which will make your back teeth squeak they’re so painfully cringey.

It’s totally unpredictable, clever and if I can call a TV show articulate, then damn it I will, because it is.

If you don’t identify with the girls' situations (abortion, drugs, odd boyfriends), you’re likely to be wishing you’d lived them (clearly not the abortion).

Give it two episodes, and I guarantee you’ll be utterly sucked in and all consumed with everything Girls.

ScandalThursday 25 October More4 @ 9pm

This one’s definitely geared towards the ladies. Scandal is a super slick drama, following Olivia Pope, (played by the impossibly beautiful Kerry Washington) and Associates.

They’re a crisis management team, doing literally whatever they have to, to make their usually very high profile clients problems disappear. Pope was also a former aid to the US President, and they still manage to cross each others paths (and lips) regularly.

Created by the woman behind Grey’s Anatomy (I fricking love Grey’s SO much), Shonda Rhimes, this show has fantastic pedigree.

The second series is currently airing Stateside right now, so once you’ve done the first series, you can get your hands on the next one, if you’re au fais with the not-at-all legal ways of downloading online.

American Horror Story: AsylumTuesday 30 October FX @ 10pm

This isn’t strictly a new show as the mind-blowing first season aired last year, but as that series ended, so did all of the plot lines.

If you’ve not seen AHS before, it’s a regular glossy Yank drama injected with truly shocking horror. I’m not really selling it am I? But believe, it’s utterly compelling and worth watching.

The creator of AHS, Ryan Murphy (the man behind Glee – DO NOT hold that against him, for this couldn’t be further away from that painful twee karaoke) has taken the concept of adding horror to regular TV drama.

He’s changed the era from the first series, yet most of the cast remain, however all in new roles. The new season is set in 1964 in the deeply macabre Briarcliff insane asylum, run by the Catholic Church. Terrifying already.

Sporting an incredible cast including Jessica Lange, Joseph Fiennes, Chloe Sevigny and Zachary Quinto, this will scare the bejesus out of you. Expect Nazi’s, serial killers, nuns (who quite frankly scare the crap of me – must be cause I’m Jewish?), mutants, and aliens. That’s just for starters.

NashvilleMore4 Autumn/Winter 2012

Set in the world of country music, this is a warm and soapy drama you can sink in to. We follow country music legend Rayna James (played by the really likeable Connie Britton from American Horror Story and Friday Night Lights) whose long career is stalling.

Her producers suggest a cure for her career halt; a joint tour with country’s latest starlet Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame).

So you’ve got the experienced grand dame of music paired with a bitchy tweeny modern strumpet, looking to hog the limelight. And you know what? It’s great.

It’s guilty pleasure TV at its best. Watching Nashville is like crawling under one of those giant slankets: warm and enveloping. It’s not ground breaking, but it is utterly absorbing and a fabulous way to lose yourself.

The FollowingSky Atlantic Early 2013

FBI come cop shows are ten-a-penny. But if you dissect them, there are actually very few good ones, until now.

Kevin Bacon is the hardened, damaged ex-FBI bloke, forced out of retirement to catch an escaped serial killer he put away years ago, who now that’s he’s free, is binging on murder.

Plus, the dastardly killer, Joe Carroll has amassed a fanclub who attempt to emulate his work. There’s a lot of death coming our way.

The Following has touches of Homeland about it, in that you don’t know where the next twist is coming from and it’s a really clever watch. Plus Kevin Bacon is excellent, so kudos to him for making the move to tele.

It’s also got great writing credits too: its exec producers are Kevin Williamson (Scream and Dawson’s Creek!) and Marcos Siega (Dexter, True Blood). Don’t miss it.

And that’s your roundup of forthcoming awesomeness you should definitely Sky+. If you’ve not seen the first season of American Horror Story, rectify that now and get thee down to Amazon. Though don’t watch it alone. Really, don’t. @danigraph.