Things are already wrapping up for their fall finales but everything is finally basically out so here’s where I’m at. *New shows indicated.
This show isn’t necessarily all that good but it has avoided must of the unbearable personal stories or soapy drama that made the others of this ilk unwatchable, and you know so far they succeed on their missions in an uplifting way.
- 8pm – The Middle/Fresh off the Boat (ABC) / Lethal Weapon (Fox)
- 9pm – This is Us (NBC) / Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
- 10pm – Kevin (Probably) Saves the World* (ABC)
Some good classics are still hitting the queue, though I am almost over This Is Us unless they find a way to make anyone else as interesting as Randall and his family’s stories. I am thoroughly enjoying the oddball Jason Ritter series where he’s trying to balance family and his new secret missions with his invisible to others new cohort.
I dropped this show mid-way through last season but am glad to say I listened to critics and got back on board.
- 8pm – Gotham (Fox) / Superstore/The Good Place (NBC) / The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
- 9pm – Will & Grace*/Great News (NBC) / Mom/Life in Pieces (CBS)
I am mostly waiting for Gotham to be canceled and I am not sure how into Great News or Life in Pieces but some good comedies are still hitting Thursday night including the funny familiar though uneven Will & Grace.
- 8pm – Ghosted* (Fox)
- 10pm – Madam Secretary (CBS)
I’m enjoying the buddy paranormal fighting comedy and the Secretary still gives me hope for politics where most things turn out ok.
And because no one lives on network alone, some cable shows that are in the queue: Better Things (Fx), Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBCA), Full Frontal (TBS), Good Behavior (TNT), Ink Master: Angels* (Spike), You’re the Worst (FXX), Z Nation (Syfy)
And I still haven’t watched this season yet but they’re backing up: The Long Road Home* (NGC), Mr. Robot (USA), Project Runway (Life), Queen Sugar (OWN), Top of the Lake (Sun)
The fall season doesn’t have quite the weight it once did but the shows are coming back. So here’s a look at some of the things that I’m looking forward to.
- Better Things (FX, 9/14) – This Pamela Adlon series was the half hour show that I most looked forward to in what I sort of think of as the Louie vein of comedy.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 9/25) – I’m always happy to see what the gang is getting up to.
- Bojack Horseman (Net, 9/8) – It’s odd but it’s good on so many layers.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9/26) – Since the original they’ve really found a way to bring out great qualities in each character and pairings.
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBCA, 10/14) – This was such an wacky series but I was won over by the conspiracies and time travel and the relationships that formed.
- Elementary (CBS, 10/2) – Still invested in the pair of crime fighters if not always the crime and whatever the overarching drama is.
- Fresh Off the Boat (ABC, 10/3) – The backdrop of immigrant family in the 90s adds a nice layer to the family hijinks.
- Good Behavior (TNT, 10/15) – Intrigued to see what our con woman and hit man get up to this season.
- The Good Place (NBC, 9/20) – This was a great intro last season and I’m excited to see where Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, and the gang take us this season.
- Lethal Weapon (Fox, 9/26) – Light and fluffy this new duo of Riggs and Murtaugh have a good groove.
- Madam Secretary (CBS, 10/8) – This is my hopeful political show where just enough magically gets resolved that I can ignore the real world for a bit.
- The Middle (ABC, 10/3) – This show has done a surprisingly good job of keeping the family comedic beats as the kids age.
- Mom (CBS, 11/2) – Allison Janney, Ana Faris, and their mostly recovering cohorts bring it in a great balance of real and unreal ways.
- Mr Robot (USA, 10/11) – Also a little uneven but the wins on this show are strong enough for me to dive back in.
- New Girl (Fox, 9/20) – One more season before the roomies and romances take their full stride into the tv afterlife.
- Queen Sugar (OWN, 10/3) – This is my first Oprah drama and I like the way the location is as much of a character as the fragmented family of sugar farmers.
- Speechless (ABC, 9/27) – I actually dropped this show last season but after hearing continued good things went back and picked it up and was rewarded enough to season pass it.
- Stranger Things (Net, 10/27) – I wasn’t as enamored of this show as everyone else, maybe much due to my Winona disdain, but it’s definitely a fun bingeable what I’ll call summer show.
- Superstore (NBC, 9/28) – The characters in this show have developed enough to make me keep tuning back into this work place comedy.
- This is Us (NBC, 9/26) – This one is on everyone’s radar, and while I find it a bit uneven the drama on here fills my missing sort of Parenthood slot.
- Transparent (Am, 9/22) – I’ve binged this since finally getting onboard with Prime and as reported it’s well worth a watch for the Pfefferman drama.
- Will & Grace (NBC, 9/28) – I guess I’m calling this returning, and while I’m actually curious to see how it goes I remember the early series less dramatic moments fondly enough that I can’t imaging not sticking with it.
- You’re the Worst (Fxx, 9/6) – I really enjoy the risks this show takes in regard to characters and storytelling and will keep tuning back in.
With a few others that I’ll check back in on: Gotham (Fox, 9/21), Life in Pieces (CBS, 11/2), Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC, 9/20), Search Party (TBS, 11/19), Z Nation (Syfy, 9/29)
Note: Premiere dates subject to change always check your local listings.
I wrapped up Ozark on Netflix which I really enjoyed, and glad to hear it’s coming back for another season. Still plugging away on The Wire and Deadwood and my gym going has lapsed a bit but still working on streaming comedies there with Catastrophe, Grace & Frankie, Bored to Death, Kimmy Schmidt, and just taking a peek at I Love Dick.
- AHS: Cult (Fx) Season Premiere, Tuesday, 10pm – I’ve been off of these for a while but they’re bringing yet another slant.
- You’re the Worst (Fxx) Season Premiere, Wednesday, 10pm – One of the comedies I most look forward to as these messes of people bring their weird slant.
- Bojack Horseman (Net) Season Premiere, Friday – The whole family is officially hooked on this and their binges will be rewarded with new episodes, I actually need to remember where last season left off.
- Greenhouse Academy (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – A sci fi teen drama adapted from an Israeli tv series set at a boarding school with evil plots to be thwarted.
- One Mississippi (Am) Season Premiere, Friday – Was just talking to a friend about how this show seemed a bit under the radar but might my favorite of the recently binged comedies after I upped to Prime.
- Con Man (Syfy) Series Premiere, Saturday, 10pm – Good buzz coming off of previous releases, Alan Tudyk stars as a former sci fi star hitting the convention circuit, note all eps air back to back.
- The Orville (Fox) Series Premiere, Sunday, 9pm – Seth MacFarlane stars in this future space ship exploration dramedy, I’m picturing Galaxy Quest but think I’ll be disappointed.
- Top of the Lake (Sund) Season Premiere, Sunday, 9pm – Looking forward to seeing Elizabeth Moss as this really interesting Jane Campion detective series finally returns (note for me this is showing up as “Top of the Lake: China Girl” not “Top of the Lake” so check your season pass).
- The Deuce (HBO) Series Premiere, Sunday, 10pm – Getting great reviews this series follows the legalization and rise of the porn industry with some credentials like Maggie Gyyllenhaal to give it some cred.
The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.
There’s always room for tinkering but as it stands here’s what I’ve got on the plan, or at least the TiVo queue.
- 8pm – Gotham (Fox)
- 10pm – Timeless (NBC)
Wacky time travel is the new addition to this timeslot, it’s a rompy fun show and we seem to get a new historical event each week plus of course some sort of overarching conspiracy. And I’m hanging in with this slant on the Batman world with the characters and cases still providing enough interest.
- 8pm – The Middle (ABC) / Brooklyn Nine-Nine/New Girl (Fox)
- 9pm – Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) / No Tomorrow (CW) / This is Us (NBC)
- 10pm – SHIELD (ABC)
New additions this this night include two hours that have been engaging so far. One a ridiculous rom-com where they keep playing with whether the dude is crazy (he is predicting the apocalypse, but you know citing science) and whether crazy matters if he’s good in the meantime. And the second the natural family drama fill in for Parenthood which so far has some members of the family more well-rounded than others but it’s keeping me in. And sticking with some of the amusing and riding out the ups and downs of the Marvel tv incarnation.
- 8pm – Lethal Weapon (Fox)
As long as you don’t pretend it’s a remake the new buddy cop drama is fun. Note I almost stuck with Speechless, the kid in the wheelchair and his aide are great but the show doesn’t end up bringing enough comedy for me.
- 8pm – The Big Bang Theory (CBS) / Superstore/The Good Place (NBC)
- 9pm – Pitch (Fox) / Mom/Life in Pieces (CBS)
New additions here are the afterlife mix up which I find amusing with the plot so far moving quickly into new territory each week and the girl baseball player which isn’t revolutionary but so far I find the main characters engaging. I did watch one episode of The Great Outdoors and will check out another but don’t imagine sticking around. And I am holding on to some other amusements.
- 9pm – Madam Secretary (CBS)
- 10pm – Elementary (CBS)
Neither of these are the most amazing for me but I like enough about them and the roles that they play in my schedule so am going to stick them out.
And lest we forget about other random cable channels that I tend to watch less on schedule: Atlanta (FX), Better Things (Fx), Queen Sugar (OWN), Younger (TVL), You’re the Worst (Fxx), and Z Nation (Syfy). I was also intrigued enough by the first Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBCA) to take it for another spin, though it is admittedly so odd I don’t know whether that’s going to be enough or too much.
Plus there’s still midseason! What’s in your schedule?
This year fall sort of snuck up on me but as usual as much as it’s upon us it’s a slow roll. A few of the shows that I’ve got on season pass ready to return:
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 9/19) – This show might not be revolutionary but still makes me laugh enough to look forward to it for the fun mix of personalities.
- The Blacklist (NBC, 9/22) – I would be happy never to see Elizabeth again and Red may not be enough to keep me tuning in for another season but my interest is still greater than my annoyance, for now at least.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9/20) – Another one I find funny, the characters have all grown in nice ways and create interesting complementary relationships.
- Elementary (CBS, 10/2) – I found I was paying less attention to this last year but still like the main characters enough, and enjoy having a good procedural to be available so for now I’ll tune in for more than Joan’s outfit.
- Empire (Fox, 9/21) – There was a bit of a sophomore slump on this one but I love a good fast moving soapy show and the musical accompaniment adds a nice touch.
- Fresh Off the Boat (ABC, 10/11) – The mix of cultures and generations in our 80s era setting are well explored with a nice ensemble of well-drawn characters.
- Gotham (Fox, 9/19) – I never love this reinvention of the early years of the dawn of Batman as much as I want to but I find that I always enjoy the villains and the complexity of the ‘good’ guys more than I think I’m going to.
- Life in Pieces (CBS, 10/27) – I spent every episode last season deciding whether I was going to keep watching this show but I made it through the year so we’ll see if this extended family laugher keeps me laughing.
- Madam Secretary (CBS, 10/2) – I am keeping this show in the lineup as basically a poor man’s The Good Wife but this politics meets family show will do for now.
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9/20) – Repeat Gotham description here.
- The Middle (ABC, 10/11) – This comedy has help up to the test of time and continues to bring amusement even as college is taking them away.
- Mom (CBS, 10/27) – This show has grown into a nice comedy while still keeping the drama of the darker moments of their lives.
- New Girl (Fox, 9/20) – Repeat The Big Bang Theory description here.
- Superstore (NBC, 9/22) – There was enough intriguing and amusing in this workplace comedy to keep me coming back.
And of course a few cable fare: Longmire (Net, 9/23), Project Runway (Life, 9/15), Rectify (Sund, 10/26). The Walking Dead (AMC, 10/23), Younger (TVL, 9/28), You’re the Worst (Fxx, 8/31), Z Nation (Syfy, 9/16)
Though as I read my reccos I realized most aren’t that strong, here’s hoping the new crop of shows offers some new faves. Stay tuned for my look at what I’m looking forward to.
Though I actually enjoyed it I am thankful to be done with the Olympics and back to some of my backlog. I did the math of wrapping my rewatch of Gilmore Girls before the new ones at Thanksgiving and I’ve actually got some work to do.
- US Open Tennis (ESPN/2) Starting Monday at 10am – Let’s start another fortnight of tennis.
- You’re the Worst (Fxx) Season Premiere, Wednesday, 10pm – This is one of my fave shows, they do a nice job with being real and wrong and still funny.
- Soul Mates (Seeso) Series Premiere, Thursday – Yet another thing to keep track of Seeso is a paid streaming series that is bringing things like this latest comedy from a couple of Australian trend obsessed hipsters.
- Narcos (Net) Season Premiere, Friday – I made my way through the whole first season but am not going back in
- Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse (Am) Series Premiere, Friday – Emeril and his chef friends try stuff out.
- Chef’s Table (Net) Season Premiere, Friday – More cooking.
- Sunset PPL (NBC) Saturday, 1:37am – It’s unclear whether this is supposed to be a pilot but there’s nothing on the agenda after this airing of ‘the trials and tribulations of a group of millennial friends.’
- ABC Fall Preview Special (ABC) Sunday, 8pm – I guess we’re heading into fall.
The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.
I tend to internally mock critics who say they can’t narrow it down to 10, but seriously too much out there, it’s impossible. I kept it to ten but I did cop out this year and put them in alphabetical order. My caveats as usual, these probably aren’t the best shows out but ones that I personally enjoyed, and I can’t completely rate on just an individual season. Also my usual clarification that I don’t get high end cable so those shows might be on my to do list but they won’t be here, plus shows that I’m behind on like Mad Men and Rectify (which I love).
- The 100 (CW) – The dynamics amongst all the factions in this post-apocalyptic world have increased in quantity and in stakes and it’s moved beyond the pretty young things CW slant, though certainly maintained the pretty people.
- The Americans (Fx) – Spy mom and dad and great spy wigs sure keep getting in and mostly out of fixes, and the relationships with others keep getting more complicated, what are the chances that bringing in spy kids will go smoothly?
- The Good Wife (CBS) – I didn’t love running for office Alicia but starting over yet again Alicia brought yet another new spin on this rich cast of characters that just keeps me entertained with the cases and the personal lives where there’s not always a real right.
- Humans (AMC) – Lots of riffs out there on the androids taking over but this truly human look at a group of unanticipated aware and feeling synths and their interactions with each other, the humans around them, society as a whole and of course some ‘evil’ corporation kept me all in.
- Jessica Jones (Net) – A new crop of great series on Netflix but this less Marvel-ish Marvel is the one that truly made me want to binge as I enjoyed the tough damaged lead and her fight against uber creepy villian with the help and hindrance of some good supports.
- Justified (Fx) – The last season brought back much of what I loved about the series, Raylan was someone we all fell in love with as he fought the good fight in sometimes the wrong ways to hunt down folks as only a Marshall near his own Harlan, Kentucky hometown can do.
- Mr. Robot (USA) – This is the show that put USA on the map this year and it was quite a big swing, the lead Rami Malek really should get much of the credit for carrying this peculiar character in a psychotic split between computer hacking, and well hacking, tempted to go back and watch again.
- Orphan Black (BBCA) – This admittedly wasn’t my favorite season of this show but I love it so much even a dip in the distractions to the clone club from the boy clones couldn’t dampen my love for the performances of Tatiana Maslany and her band of supporters.
- UnREAL (Life) – My fave new campy show this look behind the scenes of a Bacheloresque show had so many layers as we follow Producer Rachel trying to come back from her own personal drama while the manipulations on and off camera reach new highs, or should I say lows, and I’m not a Bachelor watcher.
- You’re the Worst (Fxx) – The first season of this show won me over with a new twist on the rom com by playing into and out of the stereotypes as the characters were all a mess, and the second season delved into Gretchen’s mess/depression in a way that was able to include some truly funny moments in what was a dramatic and sensitive, amazing work by Aya Cash.
My honorable mentions were giving me too much stress so I’ve even eliminated those. What were some of your favorites from last year?
It’s that time of year again. And while the new shows trickle in here’s a look at some of the returning fall shows I’m excited about.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 9/21) – This show has done a pretty good job of keeping things going and evolving with the genius misfits and their pals.
- The Blacklist (NBC, 10/1) – It’s still only worth it for James Spader but we’ll see whether Liz on the run works.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9/27) – They’ve gotten a good rhythm with Samberg’s foolishness and fleshing out the other characters, makes me laugh.
- Elementary (CBS, 11/5) – My current fave standard procedural, I enjoy the reinvention of the modern day crime fighting duo and think some of the less successful asides are wrapped.
- Empire (Fox, 9/23) – The funnest reentry into last season’s schedule the campy family and music drama is irresistible.
- Fargo (Fx, 10/12) – Last season’s odd crime ensemble captured the spirit of the flick but brought out a new slant, and this season attempts to do the same in a new tale.
- Fresh Off the Boat (ABC, 9/22) – This immigrant family embracing suburbia in the ’90s has enough anticipated humor and enough unanticipated that it was refreshing.
- The Good Wife (CBS, 10/4) – They haven’t all been home runs but they’ve managed to reinvent this show in a compelling way after so many seasons, excited to see the latest not so good Alicia.
- iZombie (CW, 10/6) – This show is less zombie more of a Veronica Mars-esque girl getting in over her head detective show and she happens to eat brains which give her a little dead person insight.
- The League/You’re the Worst (Fxx, 9/9) – Worst was a fave from last season which grew into more than just a coupe of snarky people, but the ensemble remains snarky with another season of people who actually are the worst in fantasy football and in life.
- Longmire (Net, 9/10) – Glad this show got picked up on Netflix and happy to spend another season with the laconic lawman and the latest troubles.
- The Royals (E!, 11/15) – Season one of a look behind the scenes of a fake royal family was fantastically trashy and fun, can’t wait to see what comes of them next season.
- The Walking Dead/Z Nation (AMC, 10/11; Syfy, 9/11) – I enjoy a little post apocalypse world and these two shows give a totally different tone of voice.
A few other items that I’ll check back in on and see whether I want to keep them in the queue: Bones (Fox, 10/1), Gotham (Fox, 9/21), Grimm (NBC, 10/30), The Last Man on Earth (Fox, 9/27), Madam Secretary (CBS, 10/4), The Middle (ABC, 9/23), The Mindy Project (Hulu), Mom (CBS, 11/5), SHIELD (ABC, 9/29), Sleepy Hollow (Fox. 10/1), Undateable (NBC, 10/9)
So post Labor Day is officially Fall in my book if not in everyone’s. And to reward me is the return of one of my fave new comedies from last year You’re the Worst which pairs well with off color in a slightly different way The League. As an added bonus the resurrection of Longmire, to see if everyone is still alive. And if you like some zombie action but prefer it a little lighter than Walking Dead you really should check out Z Nation.
- Monday – Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Season Premiere (VH1, 8pm), CBS Fall Preview (CBS, 8:30pm), The Civil War, Series Premiere (PBS, 9pm), Rusted Development, Season Premieres (Disc, 10pm), Ladies of London, Season Premiere (Bravo, 10pm)
- Tuesday – The Awesomes, Season Premiere (Hulu), A Season with Notre Dame Football, Series Premiere (Show, 10pm)
- Wednesday – My Big Fat Fabulous Life/Suddenly Royal, Season Premiere (TLC, 9/10pm), The League/You’re the Worst, Season Premieres (Fxx, 10/10:30pm)
- Thursday – Longmire, Season Premiere (Netflix), How It’s Made, Season Premiere (Sci, 9pm)
- Friday – Think It Up (Various, 8pm), Bering Seas Gold, Season Premiere, Season Premiere (Disc, 9pm), Tyler Perry’s for Better or Worse, Season Premiere (OWN, 9pm), 20/20, Season Premiere (ABC, 10pm), Z Nation/Continuum, Season Premiere (Syfy, 10/11pm)
- Saturday – US Open, Women’s Finals Sat, Men’s Finals Sun (ESPN, 12/1pm)
- Sunday – Miss America (ABC, 9pm), House of DVF, Season Premiere (E!, 9pm), Sister Wives, Season Premiere (TLC, 9pm), Project Greenlight/Doll & Em, Season Premieres (HBO, 10/10:30pm)
The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.
We’ve said goodbye to 2014 and when I think of how we spent it, it mostly with some television. The critics have posted their top picks so take a look and see what they think. Stay tuned for more top picks including my top tv.
- The Affair (Show) – MRo, GG
- The Americans (Fx) – JP, MR, MRo, TG, AS, HS, MZS, DF, AFI
- Broad City (Com) – JP
- Cosmos (Fox) – MZS
- Downton Abbey (PBS) – GG
- Enlisted (Fox) – MR
- Fargo (Fx) – JP, MRo, TG, AS, HS, EW, DF, AFI
- Game of Thrones (HBO) – MRo, TG, HS, EW, DF, AFI, GG
- Girls (HBO) – GG
- The Good Wife (CBS) – JP, MRo, HS, EW, GG
- Hannibal (NBC) – AS, EW, MZS, DF
- Happy Valley (Net/BBC) – MR
- High Maintenance (JP)
- The Honorable Woman (Sund) – TG
- House of Cards (Net) – GG
- How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) – AFI
- Inside Amy Schumer (Com) – EW
- Jane the Virgin (CW) – MR, MRo, AFI, GG
- The Knick (Cin) – AFI
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – JP, MZS, DF
- The Leftovers (HBO) – AS
- Louie (FX) – JP, TG, EW
- Mad Men (AMC) – TG, AS, EW, MZS, DF, AFI
- The Missing (Starz) – MZS
- The Normal Heart (HBO) – MRo
- Olive Kitteridge (HBO) – MRo, HS, MZS
- Orange Is the New Black (Net) – JP, MR, TG, AS, HS, DF, AFI, GG
- Penny Dreadful (Show) – MR
- Private Violence (HBO) – MZS
- Please Like Me (Piv) – EW
- Rectify (Sund) – MR, AS, EW, DF
- Review (Com) – MR, AS, DF
- The Roosevelts (PBS) – MRo, HS, MZS
- Shameless (Show) – DF
- Silicon Valley (HBO) – JP, HS, AFI, GG
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC) – MRo
- Transparent (Am) – JP, MR, MRo, TG, AS, HS, EW, AFI, GG
- True Detective (HBO) – TG, AS, MZS
- The Walking Dead (AMC) – TG, HS
- You’re the Worst (Fx) – MR
AFI, AS – Alan Sepinwall for HitFix, MR – Maureen Ryan for Huffington Post, MRo – Matt Roush for TV Guide, TG – Tim Goodman for The Hollywood Reporter, JP – James Poniewozik for Time, HS – Hank Stuever for The Washington Post, EW – Entertainment Weekly, MZS – Matt Zoller Seitz for Vulture, DF – Daniel Fienberg for HitFix, GG – Golden Globe Awards
And for a roundup of more lists check out: News for TV Majors