Here are the new shows that I've fallen in love with this season, and refuse to miss out on week-after-week:
1. ABC's "Modern Family"
Family comedies are rarely funny if the families aren't completely deranged (i.e. "Arrested Development"). But these three normal families manage to inject enough humor into everyday activities to make over-the-top attributes (like say being a Never-Nude) completely unnecessary. Kids are funny. Old people are funny. Gay people have always been funny (and fashionable--it's like a rule). Put them all together in one series and you have a night of laughs.
2. FOX's "Glee"
I love music. And I love music-als. So "Glee" is right up my alley. But I have to be honest, if there wasn't singing involved, I don't think I'd be as in love with this series as I am. It's funny and the characters of Coach Sylvester and Rachel add to that humor, but the real show-stopper is definitely the perfectly-pitched performances and how the accentuate the plotlines.
3. NBC's "Parks and Recreation"
I admit that I didn't like the first episode, but I hung in there because I also didn't like the first few episodes of "The Office" or "Arrested Development," and they eventually became some of my favorite shows. So I was glad that this series found its stride and Leslie Knope became a character I could depend on to not only teach me a lesson about small town life, but make me giggle about it all in the span of 30 minutes. With characters like the moronic Andy, the perverted Tom, the stone-faced Ron, the angsty April, and the voices of reason Ann and Mark, it has one of the best casts on TV.
4. NBC's "Mercy"
I wasn't expecting to like any of the new medical shows, since the networks were pretty much bombarding us with them due to the cancellation of "ER." But I was sincerely shocked by how much more enjoyable it is to watch the life of shell-shocked war vet Nurse Veronica than it is to watch the whiny Dr. Meredith Grey on "Grey's Anatomy." She's funny, she's flawed, she's fearless. She's a heroine you can actually respect, even in spite of her alcoholism and infidelity. Throw in a snippy gay buddy and a smokin' hot, Jersey-accent-afflicted ex-husband, and you'll have loads of laughs and drama to enjoy.
5. Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva"
I didn't think I would like this series because it's about a blonde model who dies and accidentally reawakens into a plumper lawyer's body. It was like, "Boo hoo! Now you're fat!" and I have to watch you complain about it for an entire season. But it turns out it's actually fun to watch her suffer, and to repeatedly see notion that it isn't easier to be smart and wide. It's almost therapeutic. The show also does a great job of revealing something new about who Jane used to be, which is what "Samantha, Who?" failed to do without beating you over the head with it. Plus, Brooke Elliott manages to be both bubbly and endearing, relating to the everywoman. Oh and I mustn't forget to mention the adorable Grayson (Jackson Hurst), who would make me defy God any day (just joking).