The fall season is still young but not so young that winners and losers aren't already sorting themselves out. The new shows (in bold below) have been a very disappointing crop from my point of view, but fortunately some veterans have been on fire.
1. Once Upon a Time (ABC Sundays) [last week: 1]
Last time, I wrote: "I really like this new storyline with Peter Pan as the archvillain(?). He's powerful, clever, and exudes malevolence." That's all true still. The actor who plays Pan has an appropriately androgynous look, and Pan has been written to tempt/induce/exploit his adversaries. Last week's episode had a hilarious scene with Regina Mills and Mr. Gold -- the two characters whose actors are clearly having too much fun playing their roles. Lana Parilla (Regina) oozes snarky evilness, and her explanation to Gold about why she had left the others was spot on: "I've spent a week with the Charmings."
2. Scandal (ABC Thursdays) [last week: 2]
Ooh, a new mini-arc mystery . . . did Fitz kill Olivia's mom by shooting down her plane, and if so, was it all orchestrated by Daddy Dearest? As long as "Scandal" stays away from the Olivia-Fitz forbidden love storyline, I love it.
3. Survivor: Blood vs. Water (CBS Wednesdays) [last week: 3]
Last time, I wrote: "Blindsides, strategic playing, and no Colton. What could be better?" With the survivors being thinned out with elimination votes, there's more time to be spent on the remaining players, which is good, as it allows more development of gameplay storylines. Tyson is one of my favorite players as a narrator, which is funny since I couldn't stand him the first season I saw him. More Tyson confessionals = good.
4. Hawaii 5-O (CBS Fridays) [last week: 4]
So . . . when is Kono (Grace Park) going to get back to Hawaii? I'm kind of surprised that the producers whacked McGarrett's Navy buddy/possible romantic rival so quickly; I was really expecting some kind of blow up as they fought over Catherine.
5. Grimm (NBC Fridays) [last week: 7]
"Grimm" is back, yeah for Portland exposure! It's still not as good as "Once Upon a Time," but season 3 is off to a promising start. Zombie Nick Burkhardt was kind of interesting -- sort of like a deranged version of Arnold Schwarzeneggar's Terminator in the bar scene near the beginning of "T2." It's a shame Nick got cured so quickly.
6. Person of Interest (CBS Tuesdays) [last week: 10]
This has been getting good. I like the development of an antagonistic group to sustain a longer arc, and the addition of Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi) to the team has been a delight. She's like a female Reese, but in a way that's almost a wink-wink to the audience as a subtle parody.
7. Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (ABC Tuesdays) [last week: 5]
It's still okay but my mind often wanders while watching. Not a good sign.
8. White Collar (USA Tuesdays) [last week: 9]
The formula appears to be wearing old at this point. Con artist Neal Caffrey appears to have rubbed off in a bad way on his FBI handlers, as a number of them are concealing things from one another or otherwise breaking rules/laws. Except for the upright secondary character, the inaptly named Clinton Jones.
9. The Blacklist (NBC Mondays) [last week: 8]
Like "SHIELD," I often find that I'm not paying attention, and I don't care enough to rewind.
10. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC Thursdays) [last week: 6]
Falling fast. It's boring and lacks most of the charm of its parent show.
(missing the cut) Shark Tank (ABC Fridays), The Voice (NBC Mondays/Tuesdays), Covert Affairs (USA).
Cut: Sleepy Hollow (Fox Mondays), Revolution (NBC Wednesdays), Hostages (CBS Mondays), Castle (ABC Mondays).
"Castle" joins the list of shows consigned to the heap. I really liked it when it first debuted, but it's gotten tiresome.