The Official Warming Glow Fall TV Preview Drinking Game

In case you missed the ads plastered all over this webpage yesterday, last night was the season premiere of “Sons of Anarchy,” effectively beginning the Fall 2011 TV season. Old favorites will return, and as much as I’m looking forward to “Community” and “Parks and Recreation,” I also love September and October because of the new shows that hit the air.

On the next few pages, you’ll see a list of new shows, what they’re about, whether they’re for you, and to make things a little more interesting, drinking game suggestions. Because how else are you supposed to sit through an entire episode of “Whitney”? So here we go, and if all the shows look like dog poop, at least we’ve got three episodes of “Archer” to look forward to.

“Ringer” (CW, September 13, 9 p.m.)

Plot: Bridget (Sarah Michelle Gellar) goes on the run after witnessing a murder, taking on the identity of her identical twin sister — only to find out her sibling’s life is just as messed as up hers.

Is It for You? Does the name “Miss Kitty Fantastico” mean anything to you? If not, then you’re not the intended target audience for “Ringer.” No, not stay-at-home lesbians (although…), but rather fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I can’t think of another show as dependent on a pre-existing fan base as CW/”Ringer” is with Sarah Michelle Gellar/”Buffy” fans. The pilot’s been getting decent buzz, and it may be worth checking out, if only because it’s not a show about emasculated males, a trope you’ll soon become familiar with.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot for every review of “Ringer” that mentions “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

“H8R” (CW, September 14, 8 p.m.)

Plot: Host Mario Lopez invites Snooki, Kim Kardashian, and other pseudo-celebrities/reasons why ppl h8 USA 2 make their case 2 their H8Rs on y they should b <3.

Is It for You? If you’re not totally convinced that Barry Bonds is a cheater and justice obstructer and all-around dick, and you feel ESPN’s “Bonds on Bonds” didn’t show the real Home Run King, and you think there’s a side of Mr. Bonds we haven’t seen before, then you should watch “H8R.”

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time one of the celebrities says the word “jealous.”

“Up All Night” (NBC, September 14, 10 p.m.)

Plot: A couple has a baby, and they struggle to juggle the newborn with their old lives.

Is It for You? “Up All Night” has one heck of a cast. Will Arnett and Christina Applegate are the headliners, but Maya Rudolph and, um, Nick Cannon are there, too. The show was also created by Emily Spivey, whose background includes writing gigs for “Parks and Recreation” and “King of the Hill,” so that gives you the hope that it’ll be better than its dirty diapers premise. But is it for you? If you’ll watch anything with any “Arrested Development” alumni, like I will (I’ve even seen Let’s Go to Prison…more than once), then yes to “Up All Night.”

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time poop is used as a joke. Not a poop joke, but actual poop.

“Free Agents” (NBC, September 14, 10:30 p.m.)

Plot: Two public relations executive have relations of their own, but decide (and presumably fail) to keep up a professional relationship in the office.

Is It for You? It doesn’t really matter, because as likeable as Hank Azaria (“The Simpsons”), Anthony Head (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), and Joe Lo Truglio (“The State”) are, “Free Agents” is likely to be one of the first new shows canceled this fall. It’s a remake of a British comedy about PR executives looking for love, going against both “Survivor” and “The X-Factor.” I’d rather put my money on the Panthers winning the Super Bowl this season than on season two of “Free Agents.”

[Editor’s Note: I’ve seen the pilot, and I thought it was pretty damn good. So don’t listen to Josh. No one should EVER put money on the Panthers winning the Super Bowl.]

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot for yourself when you think of the millions Azaria has made as the voice of Moe.

“2 Broke Girls” (CBS, September 19, 9:30 p.m.)

Plot: Two twentysomething waitresses (Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs) work together at a restaurant in Brooklyn, hoping to save enough money to open up a cupcake shop.

Is It for You? The prospect of watching Kat Dennings for 22 minutes every week is intriguing, and it’s likely that many “How I Met Your Mother” fans will give it a shot when the show moves to its normal 8:30 p.m. slot, but the words “twentysomething,” “Brooklyn,” and “cupcake shop” together are about as worrisome as the fact that “2 Broke Girls” was co-created by Whitney Cummings. Plus, Behrs’s character is a former socialite who has to work as a waitress because her father was indicted in a Ponzi scheme. The year 2008 would have LOVED “2 Broke Girls.” Still: Kat Dennings.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time the word “hipster” is uttered.

“The Playboy Club” (NBC, September 19, 10 p.m.)

Plot: A look at the original Playboy Club in Chicago, set in the 1960s.

Is It for You? I keep trying to make excuses for “Playboy Club” because I like Amber Heard, but every potential argument has a quick dead end. It could be sexy…but it’s on primetime TV. It could be an interesting history lesson…but “Mad Men” already owns the same era. It could be about the inner workings of a glorified sex club…but there’s a crime subplot thrown in there. “The Playboy Club” seems to be throwing a slew of metaphorical genres in the air, and hoping at least one demographic bothers to catch one.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a drink for every instance of casual sexism. Casual racism? Finish your beer.

“New Girl” (Fox, September 20, 9 p.m.)

Plot: Zooey Deschanel moves in with three guys, who all find her unattractive for some reason, so they help her with her dating life. Justin Long eventually comes along, too, and to quote Matt, “Justin Long blows.”

Is It for You? Look at your iTunes and combine the following: versions of “You Really Got a Hold of Me,” Mamas and Papas tracks that aren’t “California Dreamin’,” and songs with “kiss” in the title. If the number is less than 600, then you might find “New Girl” a bit too precious. My tolerance for Zooey Deschanel is higher than most (I’ve seen She & Him in concert more than once), and I found the first episode quirky and exactly what you’d expect from a show starring the woman married to the lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie. Things could go from adorable to annoying really quick, but for now, Zooey deserves credit for her better-than-expected comedic timing. [Note: the pilot is presently available as a free download on iTunes.]

Drinking Game Idea: Drink every time your girlfriend says she likes one of Zooey’s dresses.

“The X Factor” (Fox, September 21, 8 p.m.)

Plot: Singers, either solo or in a group (that’s pretty much the difference between “X Factor” and “American Idol”), perform in front of Simon Cowell & Co., hoping to impress the cranky English man enough that he doesn’t unleash one of his trademark put-downs.

Is It for You? Thing is, in the past few years of “American Idol,” Cowell’s shtick — and tepid sexual tension with Paula Abdul, who joins him on “X Factor” — had gotten really stale, which is one of the reasons he departed. He no longer struck fear in the hearts of wanna-be Whitneys, and because of how well last season did without him and with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, it proves the success of “Idol” wasn’t because of Cowell. If any of that sentence meant anything to you, then you’ll love “The X Factor.” L.A. Reid fans, too.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot for every “X Factor” U.K. winner you haven’t heard of. If you find yourself having an in-depth discussion of the merits of “American Idol” versus “The X Factor,” chug a carton of bleach. [Legal disclaimer: do not drink bleach.]

“Charlie’s Angels” (ABC, September 22, 8 p.m.)

Plot: Three women (Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor, and Annie Ilonzeh) fight crime with guidance from a non-Bill Murray Bosley (played by Omar Little’s partner Renaldo) and Charlie.

Is It for You? Here is what the most famous Angel, Farah Fawcett, said about the original show: “When the show was number three, I figured it was our acting. When it got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra.” “Charlie’s Angels” was never a good TV show, because girls kicking ass is only interesting when there’s an interesting plot (see: “Alias,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” etc.). Will “Charlie’s Angels” be watchable? Yes, because it’s eye candy. Will it be good? No.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a drink every time one of the Angels has to be in a bikini/her underwear/soaking wet clothes for a “mission.” Take shot every time one of the Angels says, “Oh, Charlie/Bosley.”

“Person of Interest” (CBS, September 22, 9 p.m.)

Plot: Ex-CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel) teams up with billionaire genius Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) to solve crimes before they happen.

Is It for You? If you’re a fan of any of the following, it’s worth watching the pilot for “Person of Interest”: The Prestige, The Dark Knight, “Lost,” “Fringe,” and Jesus Christ. The Jonathan Nolan-created, J.J. Abrams co-produced CBS procedural stars Emerson and Caviezel, and that’s one heck of a mixed message of a sentence. The good: Ben Linus, Batman, the Son of God. The bad: CBS procedural, not to mention the show’s “Early Edition” by way of Minority Report plot. Still worth a try, based on pedigree alone.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time someone either takes off or puts on sunglasses.

“Whitney” (NBC, September 22, 9:30 p.m.)

Plot: It doesn’t matter.

Is It for You? NO.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time a sex joke falls flat (for instance, after being told it’s healthy for couples to have sex four or five times a week, Whitney responds, “Five times a week? Who has time for that?”), and our apologies if you’re wasted within five minutes.

“Prime Suspect” (NBC, September 22, 10 p.m.)

Plot: Based on the U.K. series of the same name, “Prime Suspect” replaces Helen Mirren and Scotland Yard with Maria Bello and the New York Police Department. The show’s plot — about a female cop trying to make it in a man’s world — remains the same.

Is It for You? The original three-hour miniseries with Mirren is FANTASTIC (it was listed as one of the best TV shows of all time by Time) and incredibly compact, but the remake is going to be 22 episodes, because it’s on American TV, and composed largely of standalone episodes, because it’s on American TV. (She also won’t be a chain-smoker anymore, because it’s on American TV.) If “Prime Suspect” resembles the original, in that it does what “The Killing” never did, it would be low-rated and people like us would love it; but it’s likely to go the procedural route to receive boffo ratings and little critical love. At least we’ll always have A History of Violence.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time you see Bello’s sweet hat. [Editor’s note: Bello wears the hat through most of every episode. Do not listen to Josh.]

“A Gifted Man” (CBS, September 23, 8 p.m.)

Plot: It’s science vs. religion when A-hole neurosurgeon Patrick Wilson sees the ghost of his dead ex-wife, and rather than flipping the f**k out, like any non-TV character would do, he instead follows her advice and helps run the free clinic she directed. Plus: Margo Martindale plays his assistant. Mags Bennett!

Is It for You? They should have just called it “Touched By an Angel…Again,” but CBS had bigger plans: they’re already thinking ahead to the inevitable “2 Broke Girls”/”How to Be a Gentleman”/”A Gifted Man” crossover episode, where gender roles are thrown into question and dead Brooklyn-dwelling wives learn to act more like their husbands, thanks to Johnny Drama. And “Ghost Whisperer” Jennifer Love Hewitt is there, too, and she brings Matt Dillon with her, and they reenact the scene from “Wild Things” with Kat Dennings, while Patrick Wilson continues to stare off into the distance.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time Patrick Wilson stares wistfully off in the distance.

“Pan Am” (ABC, September 25, 10 p.m.)

Plot: “Passion, jealousy, and espionage. They do it all — and they do it at 30,000 feet.” It’s about the pilots and flight attendants who worked for Pan Am during the Jet Age, before the company ceased to exist and people hated to fly.

Is It for You? “Pan Am” appears to be the lighthearted opposite of “Mad Men,” which is good; there’s nothing wrong with TV escapism, if that’s your thing, particularly when it’s paired with bubbly music and beautiful people — as long as the ENTIRE episode remains lighthearted. There’s an espionage plot that sneaks into the pilot that could be troubling, and the entire episode’s also really busy without a strong focus on the show’s supposed main character, played by Christina Ricci. “Pan Am” deserves a few episodes to see if it can find its footing, but please, no season one of “Mad Men” winking nods to “look at the pregnant woman smoking!”

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time a character on the show says something like, “Pan Am will never go out of business!”

“Terra Nova” (Fox, September 26, 8 p.m.)

Plot: It’s the year 2149, and Earth is totally f**ked. Scientists develop a time machine, so thousands of people, including the Shannon family (led by Jason O’Mara and Shelley Conn), can go back in time — to when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

Is It for You? God I hope so. The word “dinosaurs” should make anyone tune in for at least the pilot, but it’s tough not to be at least a little worried that the characters on “Terra Nova” will be little more than mouthpieces to spew out dialogue like, “You’re supposed to be a solider!” It also looks like there’s going to be more than one Cute Kid, and one’s already too many. Plus, the show was originally supposed to air in Winter 2010, suggesting a rocky start. My advice: less father-son-“You just don’t get it, do you?” problems, and more dinosaurs eating people. Who wouldn’t watch that every week?

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot for every flesh-eating dinosaur seen in the pilot, and if the number’s less than three, think twice before tuning in the following week.

“Suburgatory” (ABC, September 28, 8:30 p.m.)

Plot: George (Jeremy Sisto) finds a box of condoms on his 16-year-old daughter’s (Jane Levy, from “Shameless”) nightstand, so he decides to move them out of New York City to the suburbs (…), where they meet some mighty desperate housewives.

Is It for You? “Suburgatory” stars Sisto (“Six Feet Under”), Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Ana Gasteyer (“SNL”), Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”), and Chris Parnell (“Archer”), and it’s created by Emily Kapnek, a consulting producer for “Parks and Recreation” who also wrote “Ron & Tammy: Part Two.” That’s a stellar group of people, and here’s hoping “Suburgatory,” which has been getting good-to-very good buzz, changes its name and is somehow better than its Stepford Wives-like premise. If you wish Nancy Botwin was still dealing in Agrestic, then you’ll probably enjoy “Suburgatory.”

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time the show resembles Mean Girls or Easy A.

“How to Be a Gentleman” (NBC, September 29, 8:30 p.m.)

Plot: 21st Century “Odd Couple,” with David Hornsby as Felix and Johnny Drama as Oscar.

Is It for You? If you’re one of the 13 million people who makes “The Big Bang Theory” a bigger hit than “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” combined, then you’ll love the slob-like tendencies of personal trainer Kevin Dillon. The only reason “How to Be a Gentleman” could be worthwhile is everyone in the cast except Dillon, including Hornsby (Rickety Cricket), Rhys Darby (Murray on “Flight of the Conchords”), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe on “24”), and of course, Dave Foley. You’ll also love “Gentleman” if you think the funniest part of any “How I Met Your Mother” episode is Barney’s Bro Code, because it’s pretty much the same thing. [See also: this scathing rundown of the show.]

Drinking Game Idea: Drink every time you wish Dave Foley was still on “The Kids in the Hall.” Drink every time you realize Kevin Dillon looks nothing like anyone who runs a gym. Basically, just never stop drinking.

“Homeland” (Showtime, October 2, 10 p.m.)

Plot: A Marine Sergeant (Damien Lewis from “Band of Brothers”) returns home from the Middle East a hero — to everyone except Claire Danes, that is, who believes he’s plotting to attack America.

Is It for You? Do you wish “My So-Called Life” had less moping and Jordan Catalano and more political deceit and Prince Farid Bin Abbud? If so, then you’ll love “Homeland.” Otherwise, maybe not. The plot sounds interesting, but only for a single season, and considering Showtime’s habit of extending shows way past their should-be finales (“Dexter,” “Weeds.” etc.), “Homeland” might get real old real fast.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time a plot feels like it was discarded from “24.”

“American Horror Story” (FX, October 5, 10 p.m.)

Plot: Mrs. Coach (Connie Britton) and Dylan McDermott move into a haunted house… in Los Angeles.

Is It for You? FX was wise to schedule “American Horror Story,” created by Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (“Glee”), in October, implementing the same strategy that vaulted “The Walking Dead” to record-setting ratings (October=SCARY). Promos for the show have been creepy, and all indications make it seem like the show won’t hold back on the gore. If the phrase “S&M-clad ghosts” appeals to you (and it should), then “American Horror Story” could be an instant TV horror classic, joining the ranks of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The X-Files,” and…that’s about it. Sorry, Crypt Keeper.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time the show uses a shock cut. Take a drink if you don’t know what a shock cut is.

“Enlightened” (HBO, October 10, 9:30 p.m.)

Plot: Laura Dern! (Or, about a self-destructive woman who begins enlightening her life, with some help from Mos Def and Luke Wilson.)

Is It for You? Laura Dern! (Or, if you’re not already sick of pay-cable comedies about dysfunctional, strong women, i.e. “Weeds” and “The United States of Tara” and “The Big C,” etc., then “Enlightened,” created by School of Rock screenwriter Mike White, is for you.)

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot for every day that goes by without Laura Dern! starring in a David Lynch film.

“Last Man Standing” (ABC, October 11, 8 p.m.)

Plot: To quote Wikipedia, “Comedy about a man who lives in a world dominated by women.” In other words, “Last Man Standing” is fill-in-the-blank TV. (See also: “Man Up!” on ABC.)

Is It for You? A “comedy about a man who lives in a world dominated by women.” That’s the most generic-sounding premise for a show ever, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. Because I’m guessing all it took was this:

ABC Executive #1: “We need a famous male star, someone who we’ll pay $225,000 per episode.”

ABC Executive #2: “What about that guy who made funny noises for us in the 1990s?”

ABC Executive #1: “Dave Coulier?”

ABC Executive #2: “No, the other white guy.”

ABC Executive #1: “Tim Allen?”

ABC Executive #2: “Yeah, that’s the one. Let’s put him into a sitcom, preferably one with a pun for a title, and have it be about how men are all like this…

/flushes toilet placed in the meeting room

“…and women are like this.”

/closes toilet lid in the meeting room

*Laugh track inexplicably plays, followed by a distracting wipe to another scene*

Drinking Game Idea: Pour out a 40 for Jonathan Taylor Thomas, wherever he is.

“Grimm” (NBC, October 21, 9 p.m.)

Plot: Dave Giuntoli plays Nick Burkhardt, a detective who discovers he descends from the Grimm family line, meaning he has to protect the world from evil fairy tale characters.

Is It for You? For the past two years, “Dateline NBC” has aired on Friday nights at 9 p.m., the timeslot that now belongs to “Grimm.” Before that, it was “America’s Toughest Jobs,” “Crusoe,” and “Lipstick Jungle.” Friday at 9 p.m. is where TV goes to die, and with a few notable exceptions (“Friday Night Lights” and “Fringe”), it’s where networks put their worst programming. With all apologies to the show’s co-creator David Greenwalt, who also co-helmed “Angel,” “Grimm” looks like another forgettable entry in the current “public domain, so why not?” dark fairy tale craze. (See also: ABC’s execrable “Once Upon a Time,” set in Storybrooke, Maine. Seriously.)

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time of the seven dwarves is revealed.

“Beavis and Butt-Head” (MTV, October 27, 10 p.m.)

Plot: Do I really have to explain? (But now with cracks about “Jersey Shore”!)

Is It for You? You already know the answer to this, so I’m just going to mention my favorite B&B moment: the boys are watching the music video for Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair,” and one of them said, “These guys just aren’t trying very hard.”

Drinking Game: Drink every time Beavis or Butt-head comments on MTV’s lack of playing music videos.

“Allen Gregory” (Fox, October 30, 8:30 p.m.)

Plot: An intelligent seven-year-old boy (voiced by Jonah Hill, who also co-created the show) is made to attend regular ol’ public school by his two gay dads.

Is It For You? Over the weekend, I was watching the Celebrity Jeopardy “SNL” skit with Jimmy Fallon as French Stewart, and I wondered what had happened with the former-Harry Solomon. Turns out, he’s voicing Allen’s father on this show. Good for him. Anyways, if this show dies, that means another Seth MacFarlane production will rise from its ashes. (The showrunner for “Allen” is a former-“Family Guy” executive producer David A. Goodman, but don’t worry, he also wrote “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,” arguably the best episode of “Futurama.”) That’s reason enough.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time you think of “Napoleon Dynamite,” coming to Fox this winter.

“Hell on Wheels” (AMC, November 6, 10 p.m.)

Plot: Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) hates Union soldiers, as Confederates often do, because they killed his wife. So he heads west across America to avenge her death, towards the Transcontinental Railroad and the towns and work camps that would pop up near it.

Is It for You? Yes. Any time AMC debuts a new show, you should watch AT LEAST the first five episodes before deciding whether it’s worth continuing on. (That’s approximately how long I lasted before giving up on “Rubicon” and right around the time “The Killing” began spinning in place).

Drinking Game Idea: Take a drink every time someone says, “Injun.” Drink every time “Yankee” is used as an epithet. Drink every time someone says “Negro.” This show’s going to be awesome.

“I Hate My Teenage Daughter” (Fox, November 23, 9:30 p.m.)

Plot: I mean, really?

Is It for You? Don’t let the quality cast, including Jaime Pressly (“My Name is Earl”), Katie Finneran (“Wonderfalls”), and Chad Coleman (Cutty from “The Wire”!), distract you from the fact that “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” is called “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.” I know a show can be better than its title, like “Cougar Town,” but “Teenage Daughter” has Cutty making a Tiger Woods joke, on top of a premise about two moms trying to impress their brat daughters. “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” actually sounds worse than its title implies.

Drinking Game Idea: Take a shot every time you see an awkwardly-placed promo for this show on Fox during NFL games in November.