“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.