School'ed: The 2010 Fall TV Line-Up

10/12/2010 04:21 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

By now, you've gotten into the fall swing of things with your new television shows lined up, and your DVR's programmed to bring in the best of the tube. And even after all the preparation you did and all the hype you endured this summer, The Event just isn't satisfying you. Nor is the Hawaii Five-0 reboot. But maybe Outlaw will -- oh, wait, it's on the chopping block as we speak.

What happened? Last fall, I was excited for a line-up of new shows to add to my old favorites and this season I only have one that made the cut: Terriers on FX, but I'm still iffy as to if it is a really well-conceived neo-noir show or if I just like the San Diego-Ocean Beach backdrop for the two gumshoes.

So what happened? In my opinion, spring beat fall to the punch. Earlier this year, not only were some of the best new shows released, but some of the best shows all year aired. HBO brought us Treme, as well as the smartly-crafted and oh-so-timely How To Make It In America. FX blazed new trails with original comedies like Archer and Louie, then poured us a bottle of fine Kentucky action with Justified. Do we really need a new platter of shows this fall when these ones already took the cake six months ago?

And far as old favorites went, well, they just got better. Last year, I made some predictions as to the new shows to keep an eye on, that some were a little more put-together at that time than others, but with a little dedication, they could be great. I wish I had put money down, because my theory proved true: Community went from good to great, Parks and Recreations surpassed The Office, Modern Family became Modern Family, and Bored To Death finally found its footing as a installation-comedy and as a half-hour mystery.

Top it all off with fantastic seasons of old favorites like Mad Men (this time you may earn your Emmy, Draper & Co.) and you have enough television to keep track of for a while. Perhaps the networks felt the same way and just didn't put the blood, sweat, and tears into making the next great series. For the most part, the market is already flooded with fairly young and successful shows.

Who have been the biggest offenders? Let's see: Boardwalk Empire is set to be the next Sopranos, but they are letting their biggest asset sit on the sidelines: Michael Kenneth Williams, better known as Omar Little from The Wire, is the show's best actor with the least amount of screen time. Running Wilde was created by the same gang who brought you Arrested Development, and despite the team's credentials, this is not anything close to the Bluth clan. Laura Linney's self-centered character in The Big C has yet to win me over, and I think she never will. Sorry, Laura! And as for Outsourced... holy cow! Get it? Holy. Cow. It's 'cause they're in India! Hil-AR-ious... right... ?

With all this in-mind, TV watchers, I implore you to do something slightly unorthodox. Go back to the old-school shows and continue to stick with them, but at the same time, take this opportunity to catch up on the ones you missed in the past year or two. Find a way to get up-to-date with Fringe -- the best mythology show on television with a Walter character, Breaking Bad -- the best show currently on television with a Walter character, and Friday Night Lights -- the best show you haven't been watching for four seasons that doesn't have a Walter character, if you have something against characters being named Walter.

All right, you've spent too much time reading. Make up with your DVD player, start seeing a Netflix account, or stay in for a night with OnDemand because there are no if's, and's, or but's about it: You got some homework to do.