Fangirl Thursday: Returning Favorites

It’s September, and you know what that means: pumpkin-spiced everything, football, and TV season premieres! And while I love a good pumpkin spice latte and my Buffalo Bills, my favorite thing about this month is all of the new TV that comes our way.

Sometime next week, I plan on breaking down my fall viewing schedule and discussing what shows we’re all watching this year. (Until then, I highly recommend taking a closer look at what new shows you might check out with Heather’s helpful guide.) Today, however, I want to focus on the premieres we’ve been counting down to since May, the beginnings of brand new seasons for our favorite TV shows.

There’s always that one season premiere you’re looking forward to slightly (or not-so-slightly) more than any other. Whether it’s because the season finale set some great things in motion, the show’s been surrounded by cool casting buzz, or your appetite has been whetted by exciting spoilers, we all have to admit that there’s one show whose premiere we wrote in slightly bigger letters on our September calendars.

For me, it’s The Mindy Project.

Confession time: “Danny and Mindy” is my most re-watched episode of Summer 2014. It’s not just because it’s an ode to one of my favorite film genres. And it’s not just because one of my favorite TV couples of the last year got together at the end of it. It’s because it’s so confident. That finale had such a clear voice, and it was a reflection of the way the show as a whole found its voice in its second season—and its voice is so clearly that of Mindy Kaling, a writer I love with the same fervor others in my generation have for Tina Fey. Kaling is still so proud of “Danny and Mindy;” you can tell in every interview she’s given since it aired. And that pride in an episode I love so much has me hopeful that this coming season will have that same clear vision and voice.

Another confession: If you asked me last year which premiere I was most looking forward to, I would have said New Girl, and anyone who follows this blog knows how that worked out in the end. I got burned by that hopebig time. But getting burned doesn’t mean you stop believing that shows can come back from a strong finale with an even stronger follow-up season. And what’s left me feeling the most hopeful about The Mindy Project is the way the writers and the cast are talking about Mindy and Danny’s relationship.

Mindy Kaling wants Mindy and Danny to be the next Lucy and Ricky. I want that, too; I want that so badly. I want to see the crazy, silly, awkward situations they’ll get into together. Together. I don’t want angst for the sake of angst or breakups or false starts or overused tropes. I want the rarest of things on television: a real exploration of a relationship instead of contrived drama. I want what happens after the credits roll in the romantic comedy, and I love that we’ll be getting that this season. There’s still so much comedy and character growth to be explored from two very different people making a relationship work with each other. My generation needs its own Lucy and Ricky, and I think Mindy and Danny could be exactly that—with their own little twist, of course.

If you know anything about my taste in TV, you know that I love the story that develops after “Will they?/Won’t they?” becomes “They did—now what?” (See Ben and Leslie, Castle and Beckett, and Snow and Charming for examples.) It’s why the returning show right below The Mindy Project on my excitement list is Once Upon a Time. I want to see Emma and Hook navigate a romantic relationship, and I also want to see Emma really develop her relationship with her parents after discovering how much they meant to her in the season finale.

I like shows that aren’t afraid to say that stable relationships don’t have to be boring, so I’m ready for the exploration of the comedy that can be found as Mindy and Danny explore what it means to be in a relationship with each other. Both characters have been developed so well as individuals that I can only imagine how much fun it will be to watch them continue to develop together.

The Mindy Project is a show that knows what it wants to be, and that lines up perfectly with what I want to watch as a fan. And if this sneak peek is any indication of what’s to come, I know I’ll be spending this season laughing a lot.

Which returning TV show’s premiere are you most excited to watch?

18 thoughts on “Fangirl Thursday: Returning Favorites

  1. I feel like Mindy and Sleepy Hollow are my two big fall returns (although I’m also super excited for Bones, since last season went out on such a high note). I NEED MINDY AND DANNY KISSES. And Ichabod Crane’s left eyebrow.

  2. I have too many answers to this question. I’m just really excited to have regular TV back.

    I think I’m gonna do my top 2 for comedy and top 3 for drama to attempt to figure out what I’m most excited to have back.

    First up in comedy, I couldn’t agree more about The Mindy Project. I am so ready to see why Mindy Kahling takes us this year because I’m confident she has a vision for these characters and who they’ll be together.

    The other comedy I’m most looking forward to is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Since we don’t have Parks back until next year, this is the next best thing for me. I love all the characters so much and I just get so much joy out of watching them no matter what they are doing.

    In the world of dramas, the show I’m most excited for is Sleepy Hollow. It’s been off the air for SO long and I have not been waiting patiently for its return. I want to see how they resolve all the events from the finale but I also just want to be back in that world with Abbie and Ichabod again. My summer has been lacking in intense friendships like theirs and I miss it.

    Next up in dramas is Once Upon A Time. I want to see a happy Emma. I want to see her with her parents and Henry and Hook and for her to make new friendships and be secure in the fact that she is loved.

    Finally, I am both excited and sad for Parenthood. I want to watch the Bravermans again and have my weekly cry over them but I’m not ready for the final season of this show.

    • I am getting way too much joy out of how much trouble you had narrowing this down because I had a lot of trouble picking just one to write about (as you can see by me throwing in things about OUAT, too).

      I totally agree that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the next best thing to having Parks back. I hate that it got moved to such an inconvenient time slot, but I know that no matter when I watch it, it will leave me smiling.

      I have no idea how Sleepy Hollow fans have waited this long, and I cannot wait to see your patience rewarded! And you know how I feel about happy Emma. Just the thought of it is making me all emotional, and I love it. Plus, I am currently obsessing over the idea of her and Elsa bonding and becoming friends. They both need to know they’re not alone in their struggles with their magic and their tendency towards isolation (first forced upon them and then chosen because they didn’t know it could be any other way).

      And I am here for hugs whenever you need it as Parenthood comes to an end. ❤

  3. First, I don’t watch The Mindy Project and I’ve never given Mindy Kaling much thought in my T.V. schematic. However based on the outpouring of excitement from you and other NGN crew I watched the finale with much delight and surprise. So it’s on my check in list this season soley on the strength of that episode. I love what you said about a new generation’s Lucy and Ricky. Because as I was reading I thought it’s been a long time since there has been a sitcom couple like Jamie and Paul in Mad About You. And I think you’re right that Mindy Project has that potential.

    That said I am torn about my pick. I would have to select a one two punch of The Good Wife and Castle. The Good Wife because after a season that so brilliantly turned everything I knew about the show on its ear. They also managed to leave me with anticipation for what’s next. It will be hard to match the emotional weight of season five but from the 20 second tease I am completely obsessed with what they are not telling us.

    I am eager for Castle because I am curious where this pivot will take our main character Castle. I am among those who feels like Beckett mythology has dominated the shows evolution since season 4 at the sacrifice of Rick and to make justified room for the evolution of their relationship which I think has been great and for the deeply talented cast that surrounds them. That said I have been wanting to see those other pieces of Castle beyond the bookends of playboy jackass and loyal optimist. I have great hope for this new direction in a 7th season. I think it opens the storytelling up to evolve Castle and Beckett’s relationship. With the great trust I have in Amman and Marlowes commitment to this couple I am hopeful for a return to the balance that season 3 had in terms of learning about these two people. And as someone who never expected a wedding I can forgive the clunky manner they left us with at the end of season 6. Because if for no other reason it gave us that great bench scene. This duo is all in and forever. So I got what the wedding was suppose to give us in my mind. And I look forward to a wedding that reflects them and not the planning of a traditional couple. Because these two are anything but that.

    P.S. according to my mini me’s calendar the two most anticipated shows are Once Upon A Time and Castle. No contest.

    • It makes me happy to know that my enthusiasm for The Mindy Project was contagious and that you enjoyed the finale enough to give this season’s premiere a shot. I love that you brought up Mad About You because that was the first “grownup show” I was allowed to watch with my parents, so that relationship will always be a special one for me. I hope that Mindy and Danny can be like Jaime and Paul.

      Your reasoning behind your two picks is perfect. Like you, I’m fascinated by what we don’t know about The Good Wife. They told us so much in that short promo that I can only imagine what they’re going to do to surprise us. Because if last season taught me anything, it’s that nothing can surprise me like The Good Wife.

      And after a summer spent working through my feelings about that Castle finale, I’ve decided to be optimistic (which I’m sure surprises no one) about what it will bring about this season. I’m also very much looking forward to what this means for Castle as a character because I want more. I want more development for him and more dramatic work for Nathan Fillion. I also want to see if my prediction about who caused the car wreck is correct!

      P.S. Your mini me has excellent taste, but you of course already know this. 😉

  4. I think you know there is only one answer from me for this one, which of course is Once Upon a Time. Its really the only show I am counting down the days for. I am obviously really looking forward to team Emma/Hook. I obviously want them to be happy romantically, but I love them equally as a supportive team fighting danger and just dealing with their ridiculous lives. I am also looking forward to more Rumple. As I have been watching 3A over I realized how much I missed him having something to do in 3B. I am less excited about the whole Robin/Regina storyline, but I am hoping the writers are able to do something interesting and unexpected with it. I never know what those crazy writers have up their sleeves and I usually enjoy the surprise.

    • Your excitement over Once Upon a Time always feeds mine, so this comment made me smile. I’m with you on wanting more Rumple. But I always want more Robert Carlyle. I’m hopeful that Elsa’s arrival and the spoilers we’ve gotten about his confrontations with Hook mean there will be plenty of meaty storylines for him to work with.

      And you know I feel the same way about Emma and Hook. I loved watching them work together in 3B because they make such great partners, and I can’t wait to see that continue. They do make quite the team. 😉

  5. This year I’m waiting for a lot of new shows, The Flash, Gotham, Selfie and A to Z, also someone told me that Jane the Virgin is quite funny so I’ll give it a chance.
    And I’m waiting impatiently especially for Arrow this year, I’m a big, big, hardcore Olicity fan and my heart skips a bit everytime I think about their journey this year.
    Then of course, New Girl is on the list. Critics have said that the season premiere is hilarious so I hope in a great funny season.
    Late to the party, I watched The Originals only this summer. I needed a tv show to fill my summer hiatus, gave it a chance, and I was stunned. Of course it’s a CW teen drama but it’s well done and I can’t wait for season 2.
    The last but not least is The 100. I was so sceptic about this show before watching it and I was so wrong. It has an interesting story, fantastic special effects and the characters are all so well developped, it’s impossible not to love them.

    • Those seem like great choices for new shows! I’ll be watching Selfie, too. 🙂

      I don’t watch Arrow, but I know enough from various corners of the Internet to be very happy for those of you who love “Olicity.” And I’m hopeful that critics are right about S4 of New Girl because I want that show to go back to being one of my TV happy places.

  6. I’m with you 100%. There are probably quite a few shows that I’m looking forward to having back, but the ones that I’m really excited about are Mindy and Once. Mindy has a real opportunity this season to do something difficult and be better than all those shows that lost their steam when the couple got together. I really hope she pulls it off. I think maybe she can do it. (I hope that New Girl is better than it was, but I can’t say I’m excited for it’s return. I certainly don’t trust critics finding it hilarious. I hope it finds it’s way again, but at this point I’m not sure it will win me over).
    Once is my 40th birthday present! I have every confidence that it will continue to be excellent. I want all the things from that, which is what it always gives me. I have seen only minimal spoilerage but with that show you never know what’s coming anyway. It always exceeds my expectations.

    • I had a feeling we’d have the same top two shows. 😉

      I agree with you about New Girl. I’m trying to be optimistic, but for once that’s actually not working for me. If nothing else, I’m happy I decided to review/recap Mindy this season instead.

      And what a nice present for your birthday! I’m also very hopeful that the things I’m looking for this season will happen (especially because the finale gave me so much of what I wanted as an Emma fan), and I’m ready for all the unexpected moments, too!

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  8. I’m really excited to eventually get caught up with TMP and be able to talk with you about it! As soon as I finish up Rookie Blue, of which I have about 6 episodes left in the series, I’m putting TMP at the top of my catch-up list!

    For me, a lot of the shows I watched last year ended their seasons in ways I was not a fan of, so as much as I’m happy we’re going to have our fall tv schedule back, I don’t really have one premiere that I’m incredibly excited to watch. I feel like a lot of my regular shows will have to deal with the events of their finale well in their first episode this season for me to feel more excited to watch them.

    I suppose I would have to say Sleepy Hollow is one I’m most interested in seeing, though I still have to watch the final two episodes of their first season (oops, this is what happens when you watch a FOX show and you get behind because it’s difficult to find FOX shows streaming online lol). Sleepy Hollow is a show I really enjoyed last season and I have been loving the way they’re handling the relationships between all the characters, especially Abbie and Ichabod’s friendship. I also really enjoy how they deal with the balance of suspension of disbelief and the realistic elements of their world, it’s been quite a fun show to watch.

    In terms of other shows, while I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m excited for Castle or Elementary, I am very interested in seeing where they take the plots they have set up in their finales. Both were somewhat depressing but I think both have a great potential for character growth so I am looking forward to seeing what they do. (Unfortunately, Elementary isn’t back until October 30th so I have a long time to wait.)

    • I am so happy you’re working on catching up on TMP because I can’t wait to talk about all of it with you! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying it. 🙂

      I hope the season premieres you’ll be watching are all excellent and help you get excited about the shows you watch again because I know how frustrating that can be. And I can’t believe how long they’re making all of you Elementary fans wait for the premiere!

  9. Pingback: TV Time: The Mindy Project 3.01 | Nerdy Girl Notes

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