Well folks, we are three weeks deep into the new fall television season and making those all too important decisions as to which new shows are deserving of our very valuable time and DVR space. Thankfully, there’s also OnDemand and digital streaming options so that if we want to watch new episodes of Scandal (ABC), Gracepoint (FOX), and Reign (CW) we can. It’s only a matter of when.
So my take on this Fall’s new offerings range from “hell yeah that was beautiful, perfect wonderfulness and I want it in my life every single week into forever” or “what moron thought this was an actual good idea.”
The Flash (CW) Wed 8PM EST – Honestly, until Tuesday night’s series premiere, I found myself pretty underwhelmed by a lot of the new fall shows. Then Barry Allen (aka The Flash) came careening into my TV world and I fell hard. This was everything that a pilot should be. I won’t spoil it because I want you go watch. Likeable lead and strong supporting cast. Light and fun, while not skimping on the action. The show sucked me in where most of the other pilots over the past three weeks have failed to truly grab me. WATCH IT! My rating: 5 out of 5
Gracepoint (FOX) Thurs 9PM EST – Okay, this one’s a bit of a cheat. If you watched BBC’s original version of the limited series murder mystery, Broadchurch, then you already know pretty much how this one will go for the first seven episodes or so. Producers have promised that things are different in the American version and the resolution will give us a different guilty party. I say even if you’ve watched the amazing original, still give this one a shot. It’s a great story and David Tennant is back in the role he originated in Broadchurch and joining him this time around is Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn. If you like a good murder mystery, this one is for you. My rating: 4.9 out 5
Gotham (FOX) Mon 8PM EST – Sooooo, we’re three episodes into this Dark Knight-free “prequel”. Is it the best thing I’ve ever seen? Not quite, but there is so much potential there. There seems to be a lot of world building and establishing characters as good cop Jim Gordon strives to fight for justice in a city overrun with murder, shady dealings, and corrupt cops. Young Bruce Wayne fights to make sense of losing his parents. Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney merely wants to usurp power and takeover Gotham’s underworld. Newcomers Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle) and Robin Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot) both manage to steal every scene they’re in. Gotham has loads of potential and lots of story to tell before Bruce Wayne can grow up to don his cowl. Here’s hoping that FOX will give this one a few seasons or five so that we can see the becoming of villains we all know and love. Definitely Watch This One! My rating: 4.3 out of 5
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) Tues 9PM EST – What can I say about this one? It’s holds true to mothership, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Procedural. Scott Bakula with a taste of the bayou thrown in. Crime happens. The team solves it in 60 minutes and they go have a beer. If you like the first two in the franchise then you’ll love this one as well. CCH Pounder (The Shield & Sons of Anarchy) and Lucas Black (42 & The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift) also star. My rating: 4.0 out of 5
black-ish (ABC) Wed 9:30PM EST – Disclosure time. I, like everyone else on the planet hated this title, but then it just didn’t matter because this show had me rolling. Are they subverting or upholding stereotypes here…sometimes it feels like a bit of both. Really what does it mean to be black? Who can answer that? Anthony Anderson’s Dre certainly attempts to in the pilot episode. The comedy follows a middle class, suburban family where Andre Jr. would rather play field hockey over basketball (which he and Dre both kind of suck at btw). Andre Jr. wants to have a Bar Mitzvah, so Dre ends up throwing him a Bro Mitzvah. Another show with great potential if it finds ways to subvert stereotypes without being cheesy. I’ve tuned in for the past three weeks and the show is pretty funny. Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends) also star. My rating: 4.3 out of 5
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) Thurs 10PM EST – Capping off Thursday night’s twisty adventures in Shondaland, Murder takes us away from scandal-ridden DC and disaster-plagued Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Instead, we’re back in school with badass attorney, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and she’s teaching us…How to get away with murder (lord that title is long). Actually she’s teaching her law students the finer points of defense law. She’s also using her students’ eager to please young minds and energy to help with her own clients’ defense. This isn’t a straightforward procedural though, folks. Nope there is a flashforward twist and hopefully Annalise’s students were listening very closely in class. Check this one out for sure. My rating: 4.9 out of 5
Scorpion (CBS) Sun 8PM EST – An interesting new procedural following a group of geniuses helping the government fight the bad guys. This reminded me of Numb3rs. They’re a bit socially awkward and say what the mean when they probably shouldn’t. Robert Patrick plays the group’s FBI handler, while Katharine McPhee’s Paige is a waitress turned consultant for the ragtag group of geniuses. They help her better communicate with her 9-year-old son and she helps them understand the world beyond computers, numbers, logistics and wiring. My rating: 4.0 out of 5
The Not Bad
Red Band Society (FOX) Wed 9PM EST – Think Glee meets Grey’s Anatomy except cut out the singing and chronic bedhopping. This dramedy follows a group of teens who live (being treated) at Ocean Park Hospital. They are in the throes of first love and confronting their own mortality. One narrates it all from his coma bed. The mean girl cheerleader could use a new ticker. I’m not sure how dark this one is willing to go, but I guess we’ll see. My rating: 3.2 out of 5
Madam Secretary (CBS) Sun 8PM EST – A good companion for Sunday night’s The Good Wife. This one follows newly appointed Secretary of State, Elizabeth McCord as she navigates the world of politics and various crisis affecting the White House. This one also has potential. I need it to do more showing than telling and trusting their audience to recognize that the storyline is similar to what happened in Benghazi or with whistleblower, Edward Snowden, rather having Elizabeth say the words. Along with the show’s week-to-week efforts in crisis management there seems to be an overarching conspiracy that will likely be playing out over the rest of the season. My Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Forever (ABC) Tues 10PM EST – Interesting premise. The Coroner who has lived for over 200 years. He helps solve crimes with the police when he’s not searching for a way that will help find a death that will actually stick. Wish it had a better timeslot, but here’s hoping it doesn’t succumb to the same fate of almost all other shows that ABC has tried to launch Tuesday nights at 10PM. My rating: 3.5 out of 5
A to Z (NBC) Thurs 9:30PM EST – I wrestled with myself with this one. It has strong HIMYM vibes and we all remembered what a hot mess ending that had. That being said, Cristin Milloti was fantastic as the Mother. This show is a romantic comedy that tells you from the start that Andrew and Zelda date for eight months, three weeks, five days and one hour. The first episode was pretty funny and worth checking out the next few episodes to see where it’s going. At this point, I’ve only seen the pilot but of all the new romantic comedies I enjoyed this one the most. Ben Feldman (Mad Men) also stars. My rating: 3.3 out of 5
Selfie (ABC) Tues 8PM EST – I’d go back in time and skip the pilot if I could. Another case of trying way too hard. John Cho’s character Henry comes across as completely unsympathetic and cold and Karen Gillan’s Eliza is beyond vain and unlikable. Fast forward to episode two. The second episode actually let itself be funny. Social media and self-image took a backseat for actual story and character development on both sides. My rating 3.0 out of 5
Stalker (CBS) Wed 10PM EST – Dark and creepy drama. This one is definitely not one of the critical darlings of the season. I’ve heard it called exploitive and a how to manual for wanna be stalkers, but I didn’t see anything different from what’s been airing for years on Criminal Minds and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Looks to be another CBS procedural where Maggie Q’s Lt. Beth Davis heads up the LAPD Threat Assessment Unit. They hunt down stalkers and kidnappers. Did I mention it’s dark and creepy and that Dylan McDermott is back on TV as well as new TAU team member? Both McDermott and Q’s characters seem to have something dark and twisty in their respective pasts. The show is the perfect companion for Criminal Minds. My rating: 3.7 out of 5
Manhattan Love Story Sun 8PM EST – Need to watch at least one more episode of this romantic comedy before I can say for sure. I didn’t hate it isn’t exactly a recommendation, but it hasn’t fallen into the pit of unwatchable hot mess yet. The pilot was a cliché filled and mostly unfunny. The second episode was much improved and made me laugh. Was it perfect? Not even close. Are the voiceovers a tad much? More than a tad. Wayyyy more. Is the lead guy (character not actor) a douche? Yup. I love the lead actress, though. Will check this one out again next week and call it from there. My rating: Undecided
The Not Even Worthy of Hate-Watching
The Mysteries of Laura (NBC) Wed 8PM EST – A case of trying way too hard. I really tried to like this one. I wanted to love it so badly. I knew it wasn’t love at first sight or even mild like from the pilot alone, but there was Debra Messing and Josh Lucas (because Sweet Home Alabama, people!!!). I forced myself to give it another chance, but on night three I made it about halfway before I had to give it up. Sorry, Debs and Joshie. How did it go wrong you ask? This felt like a show stuck in the 90s and Messing was doing a bad Columbo impression. It was too much and trying way too hard. The dialogue is clunky and much of the action had me rolling my eyes. This was meant for someone, but not me. NBC just ordered additional scripts so there’s an audience out there…somewhere. My rating: 1.5 out of 5
Bad Judge (NBC) Thurs 9PM EST – No, thank you. I’m sorry, Kate Walsh. Love you, though. My rating: 1.5 out of 5
Utopia (FOX) Fri 8PM EST – NO. Emphatic and brain cell killing NO!! My rating: -5 out of 5
Still to Come:
Marry Me (NBC) Tues 9PM EST – Romantic comedy airs October 14th.
Constantine (NBC) Fri 10PM EST – Based on DC Comics Hellblazer series, this show premieres October 24th after cult favorite NBC’s Grimm. This series is another that I am looking forward to seeing. The Flash has set the bar high with my expectations. Only time and another few weeks will tell.
Jane the Virgin (CW) Mon 9PM EST – Based on Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, the title is unfortunate, but it’s the story. Besides, the title gets you talking and curious, does it not? I’m hearing amazing things about this Gina Rodriguez vehicle. The pilot premieres on Monday, October 13th. I will absolutely be checking this out just to see what parts of the storyline was transplanted into this Americanized version. From the trailers, yes it is a drama, but it looks like they take more of a comedic approach which as farcical as being accidentally artificially inseminated sounds is probably a very good idea.
So those were my first impressions of our latest Fall television shows. What do you think? Any instant favorites or shows that show potential for you? Any shows that you’re willing to give another shot? Which new shows make you want to throw the lamp at your television screen (don’t do that). Hit the comments below and tell me your thoughts.