Fall TV Week 1, Monday: Let the DVR Games Begin!

Here we go!  Week one!  Monday! September 21st! New and returning!  

8pm
gothamGotham — 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?

legobbtThe 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.

8:30pm

lifeinpiecesLife 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.

9pm

minorityreportMinority 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?

scorpionScorpion – 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.)

10pm

Castle – ABC – I am about 300 seasons behind on this series and have no hope of ever catching up. Sorry, Nathan Fillion‘s nose.

NCIS: Los Angeles – CBS – THIS IS STILL ON. <– That’s not a question. It’s a statement of abject horror.

blindspotBlindspot – 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?

COMMENTS, YO. I like you guys!

10 Responses to “Fall TV Week 1, Monday: Let the DVR Games Begin!”

  1. Wendy Says:

    You are totally saving my big butt. Hubby just implored me to find a show for us to watch this season and I simply can’t be bothered to figure out which one. So I shall let you figure it out for me. People helping people!

  2. briantoohey Says:

    Ok, so here’s my negatory input on what seems to be an incredibly mediocre fall line-up:

    Gotham: I enjoyed it all last season in a very lukewarm way. Will probably continue with it, though I wouldn’t try to sell it to anyone else, particularly anyone that already gave it a shot. Agree with you on Bland McKenzie.

    Life in Pieces: I will be checking this one out.

    Minority Report: I know one of the actors in it, and I like Meagan Good, but this looks pretty generic and forgettable to me. I may give it an episode or two. I’m tired of networks creating “brands” that are high enough quality to attract audiences and stay on the air for years, but that don’t actually do anything besides exist. I want actual stories, and ones that go somewhere. I’m much more forgiving of a show that tries to do something and takes chances, than something that is basically an empty product for mass viewership to fill an hour of prime time while they sell more products during breaks. Oh, and I’m already tired of them making films into TV shows. If I give my viewership to only one TV-show-from-a-movie this season, it will likely be Limitless. I can see that doing a lot more with its universe in terms of serial storytelling, while not being beholden to Minority Report-level budget expectations or prohibitive costs.

    Blindspot: Ugh, no. Another show with a main character cloaked in the high-concept mysteries of their full-body tattoos? Barf. This show just feels so conceived by studio execs and empty marketing.

    Scorpion: Gave up on it after 2-3 episodes last season. No plans on going back.

    The BIg Bang Theory & Castle: Plan on checking them out from the beginning some day. They’re too far in to start now.

    NCIS: Last time I looked, I didn’t have an AARP card, so no.

    Stuff I actually will check out premiering this week:

    Project Greenlight: so it’s actually 2 episodes in now, but I haven’t seen them yet. Looking forward to them.

    Limitless: the other film-to-movie premiering on network TV this week.

    Scream Queens: I will probably check it out. On a side note, man do I wish how American Horror Story was ever even as close to as good as their posters and marketing campaigns. I don’t expect to stick with it

    Moonbeam City: it premiered last week on Comedy Central. I will probably give it a look, but I’ve heard only lukewarm things about it. It’s an animated show with a very 90s vibe to it.

    The Player: I doubt I’ll stick with it, but I’ll give it a look to see how Wesley Snipes is doing after getting out of prison.

    Stuff I’m enjoying that’s currently airing and I would recommend:

    Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
    Married (FX)
    Masters of Sex (SHOW) (well, I haven’t started in on this season yet, but it’s currently airing and I’ve enjoyed the previous seasons, and plan to get to it soon)
    And by that token, I still need to get to the newest seasons of both Orphan Black and Orange is the New Black.

    Stuff I’m looking forward to that’s further out:

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
    The Last Man on Earth (FOX)
    The Leftovers (HBO)
    Homeland (SHOW)
    The Affair (SHOW)
    The Walking Dead (AMC)
    Fargo (FX)
    iZombie (CW)
    The Blacklist (NBC)
    Supermansion (Crackle)
    Red Oaks (Amazon)
    The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)
    Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix)
    Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Starz)

    There are several network shows I may give an episode or two, but there are almost no new network shows this season that I’m actually excited about.

    • megwood Says:

      Oh man, Project Greenlight — I had to turn it off when Matt Damon told the only black person in the room that “diversity” is about the casting of the film, not the selection of the director. I love Matt Damon in movies, but in real life, he’s like the biggest sanctimonious jackass around. Bigger, even, than Ben Affleck, which is hard to do. I don’t think I can hang out with those guys.

      I’m enjoying Fear the Walking Dead, though it’s awfully predictable. I got excited this week, though, by the flashing light in the building outside the safe zone. Let’s go out there, you guys! I’m getting bored in here!

  3. RogerBW Says:

    Gotham: liked the first half of series 1, didn’t like the second half after the Christmas break. Many people thought it was amazing.

    Minority Report: might give it a try but it’s an awful lot like The Adventures Of Mr. Superabilities And Detective Ladyskeptic. (So was Forever, though, and I enjoyed that.)

    Blindspot: yeah, I felt the same way you did about that.

    Everything else on the Monday list is a great big meh.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    (Liz) Tried to comment yesterday, but didn’t work. I really liked GOTHAM last year. Almost didn’t watch it, but hubby prevailed. I also kind of liked McKenzie. Donal Logue was so “over the top” (I still liked him) that he and McKenzie made a good team. And it wa such a good continuing bit about what a “tight ass” Jim Gordon was.

    I liked all the characters, especially David Mazous (Bruce Wayne) who I hadn’t expected to like. He and Sean Pertwee (Alfred – son of Jon Pertwee, an early “Dr. Who”) also made a good team.

    R.L. Taylor (Penguin) was GREAT. He was on WALKING DEAD a couple of seasons ago, and got slaughtered at Terminus the first ep. of this past season. (Blonde hair – didn’t recognize him.)

    Am really liking FEAR THE WALKNG DEAD, and can’t wait for FARGO. On a different note, I’m taping THE MUPPETS tonight!

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, MEG! We’re relying n you.

  5. Kim Says:

    Hey Meg…we don’t watch many series, but we did watch the premier of BigBang which I thought was really underwhelming, and didn’t cover any new ground that I could determine. I also watched Scorpions which, by the end of last season, had gotten pretty ridiculous but I thought I’d give it a chance. If the first episode is any indicator this one has jumped the proverbial shark. “Oh no, 10 million people are in danger….we’ll try far-fetched idea A! FAIL! Far-fetched idea B..FAIL! far-far-fetched idea C..Success! OH NO..two of our team are going to die anyway..WAIT, we’ll try this…Hooray!” All layered over with ridiculous interpersonal relationship scenarios. OY. I give up.

    Waiting for the NCIS premier tomorrow night…I love Mark Harmon no matter how long he’s on TV. At least this one stays away from motorcycles and shark-infested swimming pools.

    • RogerBW Says:

      Kim, apart from the ten million people, isn’t that the plot of most of the later episodes of House? (Yeah, I know, lots of shows do it, but some make it more obvious.)

      • Kim Says:

        Roger…Never watched House, finding the main character obnoxious, self-centered and generally offensive. Sorry! I don’t have a basis for comparison. 🙂

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