Boardwalk Empire: Sunday September 8th at 9 p.m. on HBO
Nucky ended last season at the top of his game professionally but at a lower point personally. The stagnant stretch of episodes in the middle of last season all coalesced perfectly in the finale with a number of gratifying payoffs including the return of Al Capone, Gyp Rosetti meeting the violent end he deserved, and Margaret’s decision to finally leave Nucky and return to humbler beginnings. Not to mention Richard Harrow turning into Rambo in his episode stealing scene of destruction. With newcomers Jeffery Wright and Ron Livingston setting up stakes in AC, season four looks to continue the stretch of excellent episodes from last season and hit the ground running, continuing Nucky’s rise from part-time politician to full-time gangster.
How I Met Your Mother: Monday September 23 at 8 p.m. on CBS
We finally saw her! It happened! I know it happened because I saw it with my own eyes. And Bob Saget’s voice confirmed it. Unless it was another mis-direction of course…no…no How I Met Your Mother never does those… Anyway, 99% sure that was actually the mother we saw buying a train ticket in the 8th season finale. Let’s hope that show runners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas use this final season to introduce The Mother instead of saving her actual introduction for the last minute of the last episode. I just can’t see that being gratifying. They’ve said this entire season will play out over the course of Robin and Barney’s legendary (I’m too tired of the joke to do it here) wedding weekend extravaganza, so let’s hope she’s somehow part of the action, whether through flash forwards or flash sideways (it went great for Lost!) so she’s a fully formed character. That would be a fitting ending… or Marshall’s final slap of Barney, that’d be good too.
Parks and Recreation: Thursday September 26 at 8 p.m. on NBC
The sixth season kicks off with a trip to London for the citizens of Pawnee. When we last left the Parks Department, Ron F’ing Swanson was headed for fatherhood, April was headed to veterinary school, Ann Perkins and Chris Traegar were making babies, and Leslie and Ben had tied the knot. It’s amazing the show has lasted this long and with the mid-season departures of Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, expect some big shake ups this year. Lil’ Sebastian returning from the dead!? Tom Haverford taking over for Crazy Ira and the Douche?! Donna and Gerry getting together!?! Who knows! (Hopefully none of that) but, we can at least hope for a Ron and Tammy III: Things get Tammier.
The Walking Dead: Sunday October 19 at 9 p.m. on AMC
The ratings juggernaut returns with the Governor still on the loose… for some reason, Team Rick bringing everyone back from the fully functional safe town of Woodbury to the cold, dark, scary prison… for some reason, and Daryl wearing his poncho… because it’s badass! New show runner Scott Dimple, who wrote the best episode from last season “Clear”, brings a new vision to the show and will hopefully give the audience a little more character depth and a little less Rick’s ghost wife. Either way… brains, machetes, and zombie hordes! The Walking Dead is back!