Category: TV


As I mentioned, there are enough new shows this fall I found interesting that I separated them into two posts. Here are those for CBS, FOX, and a new addition to my recommendations: the CW.

FOX

Enlisted

Three brothers work on a military base. The oldest is a natural-born leader who made a mistake that lands him leading the platoon, and the younger two are recently-enlisted members of the same platoon. The two younger brothers and pretty much everyone else in the platoon are misfits and constantly frustrate the oldest brother.
Will I watch it? I’d be interested to know whether they will eventually leave the base and actually do some real combat, but it might be funnier just to leave them there. It looks like something I might watch every once in a while. Premieres November 8th at 9:30/8:30c.

Almost Human

What: Karl Urban (Éomer in LotR and McCoy in Stark Trek) stars as John Kennex, a cop in 2048. He awakes from a 17-month coma following an attack on the police department. He is paired with a android, as all cops are, but isn’t happy about it. This android, however, was designed with a greater emotional capacity than most, and had been previously decommissioned because of it.

Will I watch it? Remember how I said I wasn’t a big fan of cop shows? Well, like Fringe, this one has a secret ingredient: it’s in the future, and one of them is a robot! Okay, two secret ingredients. And, like Fringe, J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman have their paws all over it. That’s three secret ingredients! And did I mention Éomer? Rohiriiiiiim! Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until November 4th (8/7c, occupying the slot Bones is in for the next few months).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

What: Andy Sandberg gets his own TV show. Oops, never mind, the British beat us to it by a year. Also, the captain from Last Resort is… again the captain, but not of a submarine. It’s yet another cop show! A funny one, though, and five guesses as to which one plays the funny guy and which one plays the serious one.

Will I watch it? Fresh from my soreness of Last Resort being cancelled, the obvious thing to do is cling to whatever show resurrects its stellar cast, but no, I must resist. I’ve never put a comedy series on my must-watch-every-episode list, though I’m sure if I sit down for a rare episode, I won’t be able to help but be entertained. Premieres September 17th at 8:30/7:30c.

Sleepy Hollow

What: The man who killed (possibly even created) the Headless Horseman wakes up 250 years later (right ’bout now) and finds the world on the edge of Apocalypse. But there’s another twist! The Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. How do you like them apples?

Will I watch it? It actually looks pretty durn cool. Doesn’t have any cast or crew I immediately recognize, but I’ll certainly catch the pilot and see what there is to see. Premieres September 16th at 9/8c.

CBS

Hostages

An FBI agent and his associates hold the family of a surgeon hostage the day before she is supposed to operate on the president. They tell her she needs to make a “mistake” that kills the president or they’ll kill her family. Oh, and the dude is NOT Clive Owen, it turns out.

Will I watch it? Sound more like a movie premise than a TV series, so I’m skeptical of its longevity. Though, to be fair, I said the same thing about the aforementioned Prison Break, and it still delivered after the first season. But really, though, I totally thought that was Clive Owen. Premieres September 23rd at 10/9c.

The Crazy Ones

What: Robin Williams. Sarah the Vampire Slayer Michelle Gellar. Kelly Clarkson appears to be in the pilot, though I don’t know what she looks like and it could be an actress pretending to be her. It’s about a father-and-daughter team heading an ad agency that is not the one in Mad Men. Like Mad Men, it focuses on a different ad campaign for a different company each (or close to each) episode, the pilot focusing on making an ad for McDonald’s.

Will I watch it? Probably not, but it was worth a mention. Because Buffy. Premieres September 26th at 9/8c.

CW

The Tomorrow People

A guy who thought his father left when he was young finds out that nope! Dad had superpowers, and now so does he. As with any good story about people with superpowers, someone wants to capture or kill them, and Jacob from Lost is up to the job.

Will I watch it? But really, now, why is everyone so young in CW shows?? Can their 15-35-year-old demographic not identify with anyone older than themselves? Premieres October 9th at 9/8c.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s TV Hunting, and as mentioned, due to the large crop of new shows premiering in the spring, I’ll be returning with another post in December!

TV Hunting 2013 – ABC and NBC

Time for another wave of new shows. However, this year I’m splitting it into two posts: one for ABC and NBC, the other for CBS, FOX, and CW. The main reason is that the first two are bringing a metric butt-ton of new shows to the table, both in the fall and the coming spring (the spring ones won’t be covered in these posts, but will get a post or two of their own this winter. Some already have previews on their respective networks’ sites, if you want to catch them there). I picked out the ones I think might be interesting and summarize them below.

So grab your popcorn! Actually, wait, ’cause it’ll be another month or so before the first of them start. Popcorn has a shelf life of about an hour and a half.

ABC

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What: Picking up shortly after The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s job has just gotten more complicated due to their business being less covert, what with the whole “people with superpowers” business being on the public’s mind all of a sudden. Agent Phil Coulson mysteriously reappears, and it looks to be more complicated than a retcon, as Marvel plans to incorporate the show into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (meaning upcoming movies will influence the story, and vice versa).

Will I watch it? They showed the whole first episode at Comic Con and everybody loved it, but let’s face it: that’s beside the point. I’ve pretty much had it on my calendar since it was announced, so expect me on my sofa on September 24th (8/7c).

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

What: A spinoff to Once Upon a Time about Alice, a girl who took a trip to Wonderland and fell in love with a genie, but when she came back and wouldn’t stop talking about it, was committed to a mental institution. The institution tells her they can give her a lobotomy to help her forget what they believe is a delusion.

Will I watch it? An avid fan of the “parent” series, Once Upon a Time (not to mention its spiritual ancestor, Lost), it’d have to be very different and very bad to convince me not to stick around for a few episodes, and likely a whole season. It looks good and has good people behind it, and with only small ties to the main Once Upon a Time storyline (they’ve only gone to Wonderland in two episodes so far, and not likely to return since only one of the three characters that spent much time there isn’t dead), it has plenty of room to grow into its own thing. The trailer depicts it as a very different type of storytelling, as well. Premieres October 10th (8/7c).

The Goldbergs

What: The 80s as told through a fairly-typical family. The youngest son films it on a VHS tape camera.

Will I watch it? I only barely missed the ’80s, so a lot of the things they do, chiefly filming with a VHS tape camera, resonates with me somehow. It looks to be a show that, while a comedy, broaches some fairly serious subjects, like the grandpa who is getting senile but not terribly happy about it. I’ll catch the pilot and see how much nostalgia I have to fight to stop. Premieres September 24th (9/8c).

Back in the Game

What: A recently-divorced Mom decides to make a baseball team for all the loser kids that didn’t make the real team.

Will I watch it? Eh, I might catch the pilot. Looks funny enough to give it a try. Premieres September 25th (8:30/7:30c).

NBC

The Blacklist

What: A very wanted criminal walks into a police department claiming to have a list of names of the most-wanted criminals still at large that he’s cultivated over 20 years. Always one step ahead of his “captors,” he plays mind games with them, while allowing them to capture some, though each time getting something in return.

Will I watch it? Yes. It’s one of those high-concept-but-sort-of-not-really shows like Prison Break (okay, not as high concept as Prison Break, but hey, it went for 4 seasons) that I fall for from the get-go. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about the female lead, but even a single episode is usually too early to judge those things. Hopefully she proves interesting, or it might turn out like another NBC series I stopped watching due to a shallow main character. Premieres September 23 (9/8c).

Dracula

What: King Henry from the Tudors (or the baby daddy from August Rush, if that’s how you recognize him) shows up in Victorian England posing as an American entrepreneur, but is actually bent on revenge for those who turned him immortal over a century before.

Will I watch it? Probably won’t be my thing, but it’s certainly going to be someone’s thing. Probably the least traditional rendition of Dracula I’ve seen, which is good. Jonathan Rhys Meyers has proven he can carry a lead roll as an unlikeable character. Premieres October 25 (10/9c).

Ironside

What: The toughest cop in New York… is in a wheelchair. It gives him “a different perspective” on things.

Will I watch it? Oh, you know me and cop shows. Actually, you probably don’t, because I never talk about them. Well, that’s because I pretty much stay away. CSI, detective shows, cop dramas; not my thing. Fringe was kind of an exception, but that was a CSI show like The X-Files was a buddy cop drama. Premieres October 2 (10/9c).

The Michael J. Fox Show

What: But wait, didn’t he come down with Parkinson’s? Yep, and it’s stage front in his self-titled show, where he plays a character named Michael Henry. In the show, his character starts back at his old job as a news anchor, living with and overcoming Parkinson’s in both his professional and personal lives.

Will I watch it? Well… you know, I’m not sure. There’s no skirting of the obvious: the show embraces his Parkinson’s without shame, and that’s kind of cool. And look, there’s Marie from Breaking Bad. It could easily be a show I catch now and then without a problem. Premieres September 26 at 9/8c with a 1-hour episode, but normally will be a half-hour show at 9:30/8:30c.

Hope you find something you like! If not, stay tuned for a writeup of the offerings from CBS, FOX, and CW.

TV Hunting Again

I love me some television almost as much as I love placing somewhat-unacceptable pronouns in sentences. Last year, I wrote a preview of upcoming network TV shows that I thought looked intriguing and made wagers on how good I thought they’d be. In hindsight, I guessed some of them would be better than they were (Terra Nova), some were a much different kind of show than I had hoped (Person of Interest), and some, which I thought might “not be my thing,” ended up knocking my socks off and becoming my favorite new show (Revenge).

So here’s a list of shows I think are worth at least watching the pilot episode with my likely-wrong guess as to how much I’ll like them.

666 Park Avenue

What: A creepy apartment owner played by Terry O’Quinn hires a young couple as the apartment managers. The building has supernatural occurances in a very Stephen King kind of way.

Why: John Locke. However, I’m not sure I’ve ever liked anything that smelled of horror. Also, they used the word “seductive” too many times in the preview, which is almost as much as a turnoff as calling something “sexy.” Premieres Sept 30th at 10/9c (right after Revenge returns).

Revolution

What:Electricity stops working (power lines, batteries, everything). 15 years later, one of the only people who might know why it happened is killed, and his daughter has to save her brother.

Why: Unlike the other shows here, this one has already premiered, so I have something to go off of. While the pilot didn’t focus on the characters as much as I’d hoped, not every pilot can be Mad Men. Everyone is certainly believable, and pretty much everything plot-wise which I thought could be a flaw could also be explained later on. With J.J. Abrams involved, I’m in no rush to assume we’ll figure out what’s going on for at least two seasons. Also, please forgive certain science gaffs like planes falling straight downward and all the guns being muskets. Watch the pilot here and the second episode here.

Last Resort

What: The crew of a nuclear submarine is given orders through abnormal channels to strike Pakistan. When they refuse, they’re attacked by another sub. They take refuge on an island and from there must defend themselves while trying to clear their names.

Why: OMGOMGOMG I am so excited about this one. You can watch the pilot online before it premieres on TV, but I am refusing. There’s nothing like watching the pilot live (also, it’s in glorious HD on TV, so online video on my Internet connection isn’t even comparable). I’ve also come to feel that ABC delivers great TV like no one else. Lost and FlashForward were great, but more recently, shows like Revenge and Once Upon a Time show that it’s a network dedicated to some good television. Premieres Thursday, Sept 27th at 8/7c.

Vegas

What: Dennis Quaid stars as an old-timey reluctant sherriff in old-timey 1960’s Las Vegas. He faces off with a mobster for the future of the town.

Why: What? A show by CBS I’m looking forward to?! This is news. I have seriously not liked a single show this sorry excuse for a network has made since they cancelled Jericho (twice). I even gave them a chance with Unforgettable last season, and they cancelled that one, too! In any case, this one looks like a period piece with some spunk, and Dennis Quaid looks like the man to carry the show. Also, it has the dad from Terra Nova, may it rest in peace. Premieres Tuesday, Sept 25 (tonight) at 10/9c.

Elementary

What: Just when you thought the world had been Sherlock’d to death already, CBS is going to throw its name into the bowl and try a modern rendition. This time, Watson is a girl, which neither Wired Magazine nor I think is a bad idea as long as they don’t end up in a relationship (the writers have already said they won’t, so breathe easy). It’s set in Manhattan, but Holmes is still British.

Why: Wait, another CBS show that actually looks promising? What is happening to my worldview? It’s as if my preconceptions about corporations based on very incomplete data are not entirely accurate! Premieres Thursday, September 27th at 10/9c.

Not at the top of my list, but might be your thing…

The Neighbors

A 1/2-hour comedy about a family who finds out their neighbors are aliens. Seems legit. Premieres Wednesday, September 26th (tomorrow) at 9:30/8:30c.

Made in Jersey

A girl from New Jersey becomes a detective. As much as I yawn at seeing another show about police work set in New York, the actors/acting seems pretty great from the preview, so I figure it can’t hurt to watch the pilot. Premieres Friday, Sept 28th at 9/8c.

The Mob Doctor

A doctor is indebted to the mob. Premiered last week, so you can see the first two episodes at the link above. Mondays at 9/8c.

Ben and Kate

A loving, but irresponsible brother moves in with his sister. Premieres Tuesday, September 25th (tonight) at 8:30/7:30c.

And in case you were watching last season…

Revenge – Best new show of last season, in my opinion. Super intense and sucks you in from the first episode. Returns Sunday, September 30th at 9/8c.

Once Upon a Time – All the fairy tale characters enriched by being brought to our world. This season looks to change things around a little bit. Returns Sunday, September 30th at 8/7c.

Grimm – Two guys investigate supernatural stuff, but it’s completely different than that one show. Returns Friday, September 28th at 9/8c.

TV Hunting Season: Part 1

It’s that time of year again. The rednecks get out their .22 hunting rifles to hunt for deer (okay, they actually don’t start until late October or early November) while I get out my semi-automatic 1.2″ television remote to hunt for TV shows.

I did a bad job of keeping up with the new shows last year, but this year, I’m going all-out with at least 12 pilots on my to-do list. While I don’t have a cable or satellite subscription to fill out my fall repertoire, there are a number of network TV shows I’m excited for, and they start THIS WEEK! I’ll cover the first six now, and the rest closer to when they premiere.

In order of premieres date, here are the pilots I’ll be watching this fall.

Unforgettable

What it’s about
A woman has the ability to remember virtually every second of her life – except the day her sister was murdered. She’s recruited by her ex-boyfriend into the NYPD homicide unit to help solve crimes, and perhaps one day find out who murdered her sister.

Why I want to watch it
I don’t know if I’ll stick with it, but I’ll give the pilot a shot. It also looks like it might be something I could catch an episode of now and then without missing much. Oh yeah, and it has Michael Gaston from Jericho. That might not be that great of a reason, but when you’re in one of the greatest television shows ever created, you end up making some crazy fans… like me.

It premieres tomorrow, September 20th at 9pm Central.

Revenge

What it’s about
A woman moves to the Hamptons bent on – you guessed it: REVENGE!

Why I want to watch it
This doesn’t look like it’ll be my thing, but man, have you seen how peeved this girl looks? I want to watch it for the same reason people watch horror movies: to be afraid. The difference is that this time, the hot blond girl is the one who wants to kill everyone.

It premieres Wednesday, September 20th at 9pm Central.

Person of Interest

What it’s about
After 9/11, a brilliant software engineer is hired to make a system which can use the huge amounts of surveillance data from cameras, phone calls, emails, etc. to predict who will be involved in violent crimes or even downright terrorism. He is joined by an ex-CIA agent who is presumed dead (not sure why, but I assume we’ll find out) to find the people before they’re too late.

Why I want to watch it
NOW we’re talking. Jonathan Nolan and J.J. Abrams, both of whom turn everything they touch to gold (The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Memento, Star Trek, Lost, and Fringe to name a few) are executive producers. Michael Emerson,who played Ben Linus, the character everybody loved to hate on Lost, will star as the aforementioned the software engineer. Such a meeting of greatness does not even have the ability to be bad. Oh yeah, and this little tidbit:

“According to CBS, Person of Interest received the highest test ratings of any drama pilot in 15 years.”

Holy crap.

It premieres Thursday, September 22nd at 8pm Central.

A Gifted Man

What it’s about
A successful doctor starts receiving visits from his deceased ex-wife. While he normally treats wealthy patients at his up-scale clinic, his ex-wife urges him to start working at a free clinic she operated while she was alive. His sister, who’s more comfortable with the supernatural, approves of the situation.

Why I want to watch it
It’s that vague, “little bit of sci-fi/fantasy” that draws me in. The actors look like they can put forth an engaging performance, and I’m a sucker for redemption stories. I only have two concerns. First, can this can go several seasons? I probably ask because I tend to watch shows like Person of Interest, where the mystery is readily apparent. I’ll certainly give it an episode or two to give me reason to believe. Second, where’s the conflict? His wife wants him to help with this free clinic, but what about once he gets past that? His sister is completely on board with this for crying out loud! Someone’s gotta tug him the other way!

Premieres Friday, September 23rd at 7pm Central.

Pan Am

What it’s about
The show follows the lives of three pilots and three flight attendants working for Pan Am Airlines during the 1960s.

Why I want to watch it
I admit: I only want to watch it because it appears to take cues from Mad Men, which is just oh-so-good. Unlike Mad Men, however, I don’t have to have cable/satellite or catch up on four seasons to get to the current episode.

Premieres Sunday, September 25th at 9pm.

Terra Nova

What it’s about
100 years from now, the Earth is overcrowded, polluted, and stripped of its resources. Several “pilgrimages” of people are sent back 85 million years to restart human civilization, and by golly, do it right this time! Once they get there, however, they have to deal with dinosaurs, less technology than they’re used to, and a splinter colony that separated from the main group.

Why I want to watch it
Just watch the preview. Hollywood-grade visual effects? Dinosaurs? Steven Spielberg involved? Triple check. Oh, and the fact that it’s already been greenlit for a full season? I’m more excited about this than any other show this fall. Catches? Besides the obvious science problem (if you send one team back, it will change history, so how can you keep sending more back if the future is prevented?), I don’t see anything to ward me off yet. I applaud Fox for doing something really risky and probably expensive.

It premieres Monday, September 26th at 7pm (2-hour premiere).