Weekends This Fall: Your 2013 TV Preview

MasterChef Junior

Is there anything on TV worth staying at home for? It’s not too late to find out!

The major TV networks have mostly given up on the concept of original television during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Fridays have gotten a lot more interesting this year, however. Three new shows will make their debuts on the night, with several old favorites moving right next to them. Its one of the most unique nights of the week, with a wide variety of different reality shows, sitcoms, and dramas.

A hit show hasn’t aired regularly on Saturday nights in decades. That won’t change this year, as NBC and CBS have set the night aside for repeats, ABC and FOX broadcast sporting events, and a movie occasionally airs on The CW.

Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that many of cable TV’s biggest hits air on Sundays, the five major networks assume that football is the only thing that audiences want to watch on that night. A notable exception to this is ABC, who is unfortunately sticking its weakest new show in the time slot that made Desperate Housewives a hit.



FOX’s MasterChef Junior

Vs. CBS’ Undercover Boss, NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s Last Man Standing and The Neighbors, and The CW’s The Carrie Diaries

In this MasterChef spin-off, talented kids ranging in age from eight- to 13-years-old prepare meals that are judged (not as harshly as the adtuls in MasterChef) by Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich.

If you're a fan of the original or cooking shows in general, you'll probably enjoy this. The challenges are a little more basic (creating the thickest whipped cream, for example), and emphasis is placed on the future aspirations of the contestants rather than arguments and egos. The ratings are decent, so a second season is likely.

Watch it if you liked: Top Chef or American Juniors

9:30PM EST

FOX’s Enlisted

Vs. ABC’s Shark Tank, CBS’ Hawaii 5-O, NBC’s Grimm, and The CW’s America’s Next Top Model

In this half-hour sitcom, a Sergeant (Geoff Stults) is unhappy to learn that his new assignment is leading a troop of underachieving recruits that includes his two brothers (Chris Lowell, Parker Young). Expect quirky personalities and typical workplace comedy in a rather unique place.

FOX had originally scheduled this to premiere this fall, but recently announced that it will debut 10 January, instead. Critics have taken this as a sign that the series will be short-lived, but this fresh take on a vintage concept has a chance of making it if it's promoted properly. Don’t be surprised if this is moved to Tuesdays to replace the failing Dads.

Watch it if you liked: Gomer Pyle, USMC or Go On.


NBC’s Dracula

Vs. CBS’ Blue Bloods, ABC’s 20/20, and local news affiliates.

In this drama loosely based on the infamous Bram Stoker tale (airing 25 October), Dracula (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) feasts on the wealthy wicked by posing as an American inventor in 1800’s England. Out for revenge against those who turned him into a monster, he finds an unlikely ally in vampire-hunter Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann).

Don’t expect moments of comedy (like its lead-in Grimm has) or Twilight-inspired romance, because this count is literally a lady-killer. Extremely violent and brimming with “adult situations”, its preview is one of the most-watched on YouTube. Critics have accused it of being ridiculous and dull, so viewer interest might eventually recede.

Watch it if you liked: The Borgias or Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


ABC’s Betrayal

Vs. CBS’ The Mentalist, NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and local news affiliates.

A defense lawyer (Stuart Townsend) and a photographer (Hannah Ware) strike up an affair. Soon afterwards, he faces off against her prosecutor husband in court during a high-profile murder trial.

Critics have deemed it stupid and boring. Viewers have responded to its icky concept with poor ratings; leaving speculation that ABC will quickly cancel and replace it. The remaining episodes will probably be burned off this summer.

Watch it if you liked: Mistresses or The Good Wife.





Joshua Ray Walker Is 'Glad You Made It'

Texas' Joshua Ray Walker creates songs on Glad You Made It that could have been on a rural roadhouse jukebox back in the 1950s. Their quotidian concerns sound as true now as they would have back then.


100 gecs Remix Debut with Help From Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX and More

100 gecs' follow up their debut with a "remix album" stuffed with features, remixes, covers, and a couple of new recordings. But don't worry, it's just as blissfully difficult as their debut.


What 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Taught Me About Unlearning Toxic Masculinity

When I first came out as trans, I desperately wanted acceptance and validation into the "male gender", and espoused negative beliefs toward my femininity. Avatar: The Last Airbender helped me transcend that.


Rock 'n' Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.


Creative Disruption in 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Portrait of a Lady on Fire yearns to burn tyrannical gendered tradition to ash and remake it into something collaborative and egalitarian.


Fave Five: The Naked and Famous

Following two members leaving the group in 2018, synthpop mavens the Naked and Famous are down to a duo for the first time ever and discuss the records they turned to help make their aptly-named fourth record, Recover.

Evan Sawdey

Fleetwood Dissects the European Mindset in His Moody, Disturbing Thriller, 'A Young Fair God'

Hugh Fleetwood's difficult though absorbing A Young Fair God offers readers a look into the age-old world views that have established and perpetuated cultural rank and the social attitudes that continue to divide us wherever we may reside in the world.


Art Feynman Creates Refreshing Worldbeat Pop on 'Half Price at 3:30'

On Half Price at 3:30, Art Feynman again proves himself adept at building colorful worlds from unexpected and well-placed aural flourishes.


The Beths Are Sharp As Ever on 'Jump Rope Gazers'

New Zealand power-poppers the Beths return with a sophomore album that makes even the most senior indie-rock acts feel rudimentary by comparison.


Jessie Ware Returns to Form on 'What's Your Pleasure'

On What's Your Pleasure, Jessie Ware returns to where it all began, the dance floor.


The Jayhawks Offer Us Some 'XOXO'

The Jayhawks offer 12-plus songs on XOXO to help listeners who may be alone and scared by reminding us that we are all alone together.


Steve McDonald Remembers the Earliest Days of Redd Kross

Steve McDonald talks about the year that produced the first Redd Kross EP, an early eighth-grade graduation show with a then-unknown Black Flag, and a punk scene that welcomed and defined him.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.