NOTE: While we will be talking about the upcoming seasons of shows, this post will NOT contain spoilers of the upcoming season. I am firmly against spoilers of any kind, as I believe it ruins the fun and unexpected nature of watching a show. (I don't even watch the commercials on TV for the episode coming up next.) HOWEVER, this post WILL spoil last season. Many of the shows had big cliff hangers at the end of last season, so I will be bringing you up to speed on where we left off and why we're excited for next season. This post is intended to refresh your memory of where we left off, not to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet. So if you don't watch any of these shows or are currently watching any of the shows below on DVD for the first time and haven't fully caught up, please do not read that section, as I don't want to spoil it for you.
The Office is probably the show that we are most excited about this season. While most will agree last season wasn't the best (although I still don't think it was as horrible as many make it out to be), thing's are really looking up for this season. While it is sadly true that Kelly, Ryan, and Toby will no longer be regular characters on the show, the good news is that neither will Robert California. The best news is that Greg Daniels, who created the American version of The Office and served as showrunner for the first 5 seasons, will be returning to the show as showrunner for this upcoming 9th and final season. Many have claimed that since he left the show after season 5 (and was taken over by Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby), the show hasn't had the same tone as it used to. With Paul off to create the potential Dwight spin-off The Farm (which will have it's pilot episode double as an upcoming episode of The Office), Greg Daniels is coming back. If anyone can bring The Office back to its former glory, its Greg Daniels. And since they've established up front that it will the be final season of the show, they will be able to make every episode count and give the show a proper finale. Greg has vowed to bring the focus of the show back to Jim and Pam (and not as much on Andy and Erin, or Robert and Nelly) and I think that's certainly a good thing. Also, plotwise, the show ended with some great cliffhangers. (Again, spoiler alert if you didn't watch last season). Former Dunder Mifflin CFO and fan favorite character David Wallace is returning to the The Office as the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin and has reinstated Andy as manager. Robert thankfully exits the show, and all is right with the world. More interestingly, is the Dwangela story. Earlier in the season, Angela gave birth to a baby boy, but Dwight couldn't help but notice that the baby looked very Schrute-like. And as he put it "Either someone taught Mose sex, or that baby is mine!" After dropping the storyline for most of the season, I was thrilled to see it return in the exciting season finale, as Dwight got a DNA test to see if he was the father once and for all. While anxiously waiting for the results, Dwight and (married) Angela start making out in the waiting room. Feels like classic Office already! (The Office returns tomorrow night, Thursday Sept. 20 at 9:00ET on NBC.)
Parks and Recreation is another NBC comedy that should have a very exciting new season. Last season, Leslie Knope ran for city council, and in a nail-biting season finale, she won the position. However, her boyfriend/campaign manager Ben was offered a job running a congressional campaign out in Washington DC. Reluctantly, Leslie told him to follow his dream, and go out to Washington, even though that meant they would live thousands of miles apart. So how will this new season work? How can the show be called Parks and Recreation when the main characters don't even work in the Parks and Recreation department anymore? And how will Leslie and Ben's relationship last with her in Pawnee and him in DC? Also, are Tom and Ann really back together? What will happen! (Parks & Recreation returns tomorrow night, Thursday Sept. 20 at 9:30ET on NBC.)
Modern Family generally doesn't have much of an ongoing plot. Aside from a few multi-episode stories (such as Claire running for town council), you can pretty much watch any episode out of order and completely understand what's going on. Therefore, the show hasn't really had many big cliff-hangers in the past. Well that certainly changed with last season's finale! After a whole season about Cam and Mitch trying to adopt another baby, Cam and Mitch give up on trying for a baby, just as Gloria discovers that she's pregnant! This should certainly shake up the show! 60-year-old-something Jay is going to be a new father again! Manny is going to have a younger sibling! And how will Cam and Mitch react to the news after a frustrating year of failing to have another baby? And just how crazy will pregnant Gloria be? Oh yeah, and Haley is going to college. Season 4 of Modern Family will certainly be different than it was before! (Modern Family returns next Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9:00ET on ABC.)
How I Met Your Mother may or may not be having it's final season. That's currently in negotiation. But regardless, this season is sure to be legen (wait for it...). Last season ended with Barney getting engaged to Quinn the stripper, only for it to be revealed that he eventually gets married to Robin at the infamous wedding where Ted meets "the mother". Meanwhile, Ted rides off into the sunset with ex-girlfriend and runaway bride Victoria (from way back in season 1). So how does Ted get from driving off with Victoria to meeting the mother? And how does newly engaged Barney end up with Robin? And how will Lily and Marshall continue to hang out with the gang when they have their new baby to raise? The show was originally supposed to end after this upcoming 8th season, but due to the popularity of the show CBS wants it to continue to season 9. But now, it's looking like Season 8 might indeed be the last. As much as I enjoy the show, I kind of hope it does end this season, just we can finally meet the mother! DARY! (How I Met Your Mother returns this Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:00ET on CBS.)