Here we go! Week one! Monday! September 21st! New and returning!
Gotham — Fox — I really wanted to like this series last year, if only because it was so cool visually, but things simply did not work out for us. As much as I appreciated the inspired casting of a dude with a bonafide bird beak for a nose (the great Robin Taylor) as The Penguin, the casting of Benjamin “The Bland” McKenzie as anything is never a strong point for any series, and the story seemed unable to get its footing; it never stopped feeling like a pilot, even 5-6 episodes in. Did it get any better? Should I revisit? Let me know if I blew it throwing this one on the discard pile?
The Big Bang Theory — CBS — Every year I say the same thing about this one, and I will never stop until someone pays attention: laugh tracks have no place in modern television. They’re lazy, distracting, and stupid. HOWEVER, this series does now have a really rad LEGO set, which: props.
The Voice — NBC — This is some kind of show about singing, yet, befuddlingly, it appears to star Adam Levine. Explain that one to me.
Life in Pieces – CBS (new!) — Sit-com alert! Ordinarily, that’s an instant veto from me, with very, very rare exception, but this one is getting that exception, at least for a few episodes, and I’ll tell you why. Two words: Dianne Wiest. WAIT! Four words and an ampersand: Dianne Wiest & Thomas Sadoski (from The Newsroom and my dreams). As for the story, it’s apparently structured with four vignettes an episode, each one telling a separate story about a set of characters from the same family. That works out to about 5.5 minutes per story, which doesn’t leave much time for character or story development, especially if things don’t overlap the way they do in, say, Modern Family. And if things DO overlap the way they do in, say, Modern Family, then how is this not just, say, Modern Family? But it could work, and it would be interesting if it did. Also: Dianne Wiest is one of the funniest women around. AND Thomas Sadoski appears to have given up shaving, which I am all for. We’ll see how this goes.
Minority Report – Fox (new!) – Everybody, surely, has seen the film or read the P.K. Dick story by now, so theoretically we all know about the precogs and the thought police. This series is supposedly a sequel, with the precog squad disbanded and the cops left having to investigate crimes using only their — gasp! — wits. And, like, clues and shit. Hey, you know what that sounds like? Every other detective show ever! Why is this called “Minority Report”? Oh, I see, because one of the precogs is all grown up and still having visions of future murders. He teams up with a detective and then . . . we’re back to arresting people before they’ve actually committed any crimes? Is that the . . . but isn’t that bad? Didn’t we already decide that was ba . . . oh forget it. What else is on at 9pm?
Scorpion – CBS – Okay, so, Minority Report it is. (Note: I really wanted to like this show last year, but it’s too heavy on the sugar and too light on the tech, and that just doesn’t keep me going anymore these days. This is the kind of show I have a feeling I’m going to suck down the second I get the flu, though, so I’ll skip the vaccine this year and see what happens.)
NCIS: Los Angeles – CBS – THIS IS STILL ON. <– That’s not a question. It’s a statement of abject horror.
Blindspot – NBC (new!) – I want to be intrigued by this show, which sounds like a cross between Memento and Prison Break, but the promos are making me pretty nervous. The story is about a young (gorgeous, skinny, white: surprise!) woman who is found naked in a duffel bag in Times Square, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She’s covered in head-to-toe fresh tattoos, all of which are apparently clues to various crimes. That sounds kind of okay story-wise, though any time an FBI agent ends up teaming up with someone who is clearly not also an FBI agent to solve crimes, my suspension-of-disbelief capacity alarm goes off. My real concern, though, is this: a woman’s body is literally a prop in this series. A woman’s naked, gorgeous, skinny, white (surprise!) body. It’s possible this is something that’s going to be explored in some way, and that optimism is one reason why I’m going to give it a shot. But, on the other hand, this is network television, so I recognize that optimism is probably delusional. In any case, it can’t be any worse than NCIS: Los Angeles, right? Wait, RIGHT?
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