With only a week to go until it is officially September, it is about that time again to sit down and consider what new television shows are deserving of your attention. Or at least it is if you are like me. Admittedly, most people have better things to do with their time but let me analyzing the new run of television shows so that you don’t have to and can spend all that extra time having picnics or playing volleyball, or whatever people do outside these days. Unfortunately, there are a lot of new shows and not all of them are worthy of your time, so I’m only going to be commenting on the ones, good or bad, that caught my attention.
Chicago Fire wasn’t brilliant but it was good and it was consistent with that quality. Honestly, the main reason I started watching was because of Jesse Spenser but the show’s cast was endearing. It appears Dick Wolf is set on creating another Law and Oder type franchise with this police centred spin-off. I’ll be watching because I think Chicago Fire set up Hank Voight fantastically, and it has the first of four Lost actors appearing in this article, Tania Raymonde.
NBC are attempting to latch on to the vampire craze a couple years late but it appears that the vampire show they’ve picked up will be aesthetically different from shows such as HBO’s True Blood or The CW’s The Vampire Diaries. Unlike its modern kin, this show is more classically inspired, drawing from Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name and is set in the Victorian period. Yet it promises gothic horror that the recent 666 Park Avenue failed to deliver, along with all the lust, violence and political intrigue that goes with it. Worth a look.
The Michael J Fox Show
Also on NBC, is Michael J Fox’s return to television. Following his retirement from Spin City, he has only made guest appearances on shows such as Scrubs and Rescue Me. However, in this comedy, Fox will step back into a lead role for a show that will loosely draw from his own struggles with Parkinson Disease. Breaking Bad’s Betsy Brant will play his wife and while this show will likely be funny, there is every chance it will be heart wrenching too. If you don’t mind laughing and crying in the space of twenty minutes, check this out.
About a Boy
Another NBC comedy, although one that doesn’t make quite the same impression. The film was alright, with Hugh Grant playing pretty much the same character he always plays in a romcom, and although it is was probably the first time most people saw Nicholas Hoult on screen, Hoult has done better things since. And none of those actors have any role in this TV series. I don’t see much need to rehash the film in a prolonged TV series. Thank goodness it is only a mid-season replacement.
The Crazy Ones
Over on CBS, we are going to get the craziest comedy pairing in a long time. Robin Williams will team with Sarah Michelle Gellar as a father and daughter who work at an advertising agency. I’m on the fence about this one. Robin Williams will most certainly be good, but I have less confidence in Gellar’s comedy chops. This will likely be one of the more ‘wait and see’ prospects for next month.
Josh Holloway graces our television screens again in his first main series role since Lost. The premise of the show is something from the mind of Hideo Kojima; an intelligence operative is equipped with a microchip in his mind allowing him access information systems. So it’s like Person of Interest if the machine was in Reese’s head and Finch was a pretty, secret service agent. Sign me up.
Competing with Holloway on Fox is fellow Lost actor Terry O’Quinn. Unlike Holloway, O’Quinn has attempted other TV shows, such as his recurring role on Hawaii Five-0 and most recently 666 Park Avenue. This show about the L.A.P.D. elite task force couldn’t be further from his last TV role, which may help to wash the taste of cancellation from his palette. Gang Related looks cool and has some potential but it will have to work hard to compete with all the other police procedural shows out there that don’t have to focus entirely on gang warfare.
Bringing up Fox’s comedy front line is another competitor for strangest comedy pairing. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has brought together Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher and Terry Crews. Crews is hilarious and Braugher is very intense but the only film I’ve seen Samberg in is Hot Rod. Apparently he was in Friends with Benefits (the movie, not the short lived TV show) as well, but I don’t remember him. I think this will be his first time in a main role on a television series. Crews and Braugher have lured me in, but I’ll be keeping an eye on Samberg.
Us and Them
Otherwise known as the American remake of Gavin & Stacy. A lot of people have been complaining about this but I found John Ritter and Alexis Bledel to be engaging and charming leads. From the trailer alone they appear to have chemistry and it got a couple of laughs from me. Eh, we will have to wait and see but I’m optimistic.
The CW has no comedies. Maybe it thinks young people don’t like to laugh or perhaps the studio is finally embracing its cult TV show status. This remake of a 70’s UK series by the same name would suggest the latter. Think Heroes but aimed at a slightly younger target demographic. The acting in the trailer didn’t do the show any favours, although I did spot Peyton List. Clearly, she shouldn’t have divorced Roger Sterling. Our fourth Lost actor appears in the form of Mark Pellegrino as the man hunting the ‘homo superior’, although his talents are being wasted on this.
Without any big name actors, the main draw of Reign appears to be that the historical intrigue, which is odd for The CW. Taking on the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, and channelling the likes of Game of Thrones and The Tudors, this appears to the The CW’s stab at something more intelligent than their youth orientated cult shows. Maybe worth a look to see if it succeeds or fails.
I’m unsure if ABC’s new show about a boy who wakes up from being dead is intentionally trying to rip off the recent French television show about resurrected people, Les Revenants, but it certainly feels similar. From the trailer, I’m not sure it will work. It doesn’t seem to have that spark that Les Revenants has. If it does succeed it will be on the acting strength of Omar Epps and Kurtwood Smith, not the premise.
Speaking of spark, ABC’s newest drama is about an affair between a woman and a man who turns out the opposing lawyer in murder trial her fiancé is working. Normally, adultery like this is a sub-plot, so it is interesting that this series will attempt to deal with this kind of relationship and what draws people to it. The trailer was a bit cheesy though, with all the finishing of each other’s sentences and her almost cheating on her other half because he was too busy for coffee. Past that, my main problem is whether this can survive past one season. Realistically, how long can one guy be oblivious to his fiancée sexing it up with a rival lawyer?
If you thought Betrayal sounded strung out, Mixology follows ten different people over the course of one single night. That single night will last the entire season. Presumably, each episode will cover one character’s individual story, with clips of what’s to come from the rest of the ensemble. I can’t hate on it too much though because I did get a few laughs from the trailer. Mostly though, I only found myself caring about one or two characters and like Betrayal, I’m left questioning the longevity of such a show.
With that I think I have covered all the major, noteworthy shows that will be hitting the networks within the 2013/14 calendar. Haven’t I? I feel like I’m missing something. Something big and potentially amazing…