Best of Fall Television

Summer vacation’s over. The kids are back in school and need you to drive ‘em around to their various and sundry activities which wind up sucking up a ton of your family’s free weekend time. So what about you? Don’t you get to start off fresh and with a chance to get excited about something new, even if you’re not the one who’s getting a new lunchbox, magic markers which smell like fruit (and haven’t yet run dry) and back-to-school clothes?

 

What you can treat yourself to? How about a fresh slate of fall TV shows to amuse you and take your mind off the fact that you have to have bring your 10-year-old to a hockey game by 5:30 a.m. and that you forgot Open House night?

 

Here are a few of the new/returning fall TV shows for which I’m going to program my DVR to record, because parents deserve something new to watch after all the afterschool activities are done for the day.

 

(Includes recaps of previous seasons, so if you're not all caught up, this could have some spoilers)

 

SUNDAY

 

The Good Wife - CBS, 9 p.m., Premieres Sept. 25.

When we last left the much put-upon Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), she’d just kicked her husband Peter (Chris Noth) out of the family’s apartment after he’d staged his political comeback and won his old job as the state’s attorney, in spite of a prior sex scandal and his stint in prison for public corruption. Alicia, who had been considering buying a house in the ‘burbs again and rebuilding her life with the father of her two kids, had everything explode in her face again when she learned that during his pre-jail days, Peter slept with a woman with whom Alicia now works closely.

 

Liberated from the burden of Peter’s scandal, which weighed heavily upon her, she finally spent the night with her old college flame Will Gardner (Josh Charles), also part owner of the law firm where she works. The Good Wife finally got her chance to enjoy her freedom so now what will the third season bring? We’ll see, particularly when former House star Lisa Edelstein starts her gig as Will’s former gal pal.

 

Desperate Housewives - ABC, 9 p.m., Sept. 25

This show hasn’t been its sterling season one/season two version of itself for some time, when it offered sharply incisive commentary on life in the American suburbs. In its eighth, final season, we’ll see the ladies of Wisteria Lane focusing on trying to hide the fact that Carlos killed Gaby’s abusive stepfather and harkening back to Mary Alice’s suicide which opened the show in its very first episode.

 

Homeland - Showtime, 10 p.m., Oct. 2

This new drama has a very intriguing premise: A CIA agent (Claire Danes) suspects that a Marine sergeant who’d been held as a Prisoner of War in Iraq for eight years, has become an enemy agent.