Public Service Announcement 9 of 2012: Grimm, Friday Night Lights, Secret Circle, Ringer, Parenthood, The Mentalist

Looks like the hiatus is properly over because this coming week is crazy busy on the TV front.

Monday (13th) at 8pm on Watch brings us the UK debut of Grimm, a dark fairytale-inspired series (but not that one) about a young (quite good-looking, in case you’re wondering) man, who discovers he’s a descendant of those Grimms and has to protect humanity from the supernatural nasties that are apparently everywhere.  It’s from the makers of Angel, and the pilot is a clever, enjoyable riff on the Red Riding Hood legend: cute, downbeat, and a little bit, um, grim, but in a good way.  Advance word from unpopcult’s US sources (*waves at e*) is that it’s worth sticking with so I will be taking that advice.  I might also write about it occasionally, we’ll see.

Moving away from the supernatural to a different kind of magical, 8pm on Sky Atlantic meanwhile sees the start of something marvellous: season 1 of the frankly magnificent Friday Night Lights.  We won’t be reviewing it as FNL season 1 and 2 have already been shown (and shunted about the schedules) on ITV4 when I think only Jed and I watched them.  This is verging on criminal.  I cannot over-state how absolutely astoundingly good this programme is and what a crying shame it is that it doesn’t get more UK attention.  Whether you care about American football or not (and I don’t) doesn’t matter a jot, either: with a brilliant cast led by unpopcult favourites Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, FNL is a wonderfully warm, realistic and beautiful portrait of a marriage, a town and a school in the heart of Texas, and it’s hands-down one of the best things you’ll see on TV this year.  Or any year for that matter.  I’m hoping that enough people will watch it to encourage Sky Atlantic to buy seasons 3, 4 and 5 which haven’t been shown in the UK ever, and if you’re one of those people, feel free to comment on this thread and tell us how you get on.  Eric and Tami Taylor 4EVA!

Ok, that’s my cheerleading done, let’s move onto Wednesday then, when 8pm on Living means the return of the decidedly less impressive Secret Circle after its mid-season break.  Secret Circle started in a CW-tastically entertaining fashion then unfortunately lost its way when it killed off a main character, turned another one into a whiny jerk, and brought in a third one who’s an ass.  Big mistake, Circle.  The second half of the season is make or break time as its renewal or otherwise is still far from decided, but I’m sticking with it (and my weekly reviews) for now.

And no, we’re not done yet.  Stay with me, now.  Thursday brings with it the return of both Ringer (s1 part 2) and Parenthood (s2), at 8pm on Sky Living and 10pm on 5* respectively.  One of these shows is fabulously, awesomely silly and has Buffy The Vampire Slayer posing as her evil twin, while the other one is a fantastically funny and warm family drama from FNL genius Jason Katims.  But there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure here at unpopcult so we’ll be watching them both avidly.

And finally – for now, anyway, but Jed will be along in the next few days to fill you in on yet more tempting tv – set your DVRs for 9pm on Friday as The Mentalist is back on Channel 5 after its Celebrity Big Brother-related break.  Jane, I love you.  Rigsby, stay away from Van Pelt.  Cho and Lisbon, keep it cool.  And Van Pelt: go away.  Far, far away.  Please.