Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New television season is a mixed bag

The new television season isn’t exactly going well.

Two shows have already been yanked (ABC’s Lucky 7 and CBS’ We Are Men, respectively) and only one new show (FOX’s Sleepy Hollow) has received any sort of sustained love.

I think most people agree that the new season looked like it was going to be pretty bad when the shows were announced in the fall. Once the shows hit the airwaves, though, things only got worse.

A few weeks in to the new season, there are a few highlights (and lowlights).

The Good

Sleepy Hollow: I wasn’t sure I was going to like this show. I like programs with a lot of mythology, but the networks tend to shy away from them because the audience fades over time. What FOX is doing right is making this a limited run show and not padding it out to 22 episodes. Both leads are charismatic and entertaining. That being said, if Sleepy Hollow isn’t careful, they could implode upon themselves under the weight of their own mythology.

Back In the Game: I know some people don’t like this, but this is one of the few new comedies this season that doesn’t make me want to wretch. James Caan and Maggie Lawson are a winning combination – and I think the show has a chance to grow into itself if the ratings hold up. The humor isn’t for everybody, but I have laughed out loud a couple of times.

Once Upon a Time: After a sophomore slump, ABC’s magical drama came back with a bang and immediately fixed a couple of season two mistakes. Unfortunately, the second episode was a little slower than the first episode. Still, Charming’s possible death (no one believes he’s actually going to die) and Emma’s realistic anger at her parents for putting her in a magical wardrobe and abandoning her (reflected in her own guilt over abandoning Henry) mean this season could finally tackle some of the issues fans have been interested in from the beginning.

Too Soon to Tell
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: How ABC and Joss Whedon managed to screw up a show that
should have been a home run out of the gate is beyond me. The biggest problem, though, is the casting. While Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen are solid actors – the rest of the cast is bland pretty girls and boys that have absolutely no charisma. I expected more from Whedon, quite frankly. While ABC isn't declaring this a disaster (yet) it looks like some alarms are starting to be raised.

Super Fun Night: I know a lot of people don’t like her humor, but I like Rebel Wilson. After only one episode, I can’t say whether I will like the show or not – but I find Wilson to be likeable and engaging.

The Millers: I like the cast – and the first episode had a few good moments – but it could go low brow in future installments and lose my interest pretty quickly.

The Black-List: This has been doing OK – but that’s nothing to crow about. James Spader is a charismatic performer, but this show isn’t exactly inspiring.

The Bad
The Michael J. Fox Show: I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like a bad person laughing at Fox’s real life malady. While the show had some funny moments in regards to the news media and how they would play a “feel good story” like Fox’s character – but if the show wants to be ground-breaking they’re not going far enough. It’s just weak.

The Crazy Ones: Robin Williams is funny – sometimes and tiresome the rest of the time. Sarah Michelle Gellar is never endearing and often forced. What had a chance to be a winning combination is just painful to watch at this point.

Sean Saves the World: This is pretty much one cliché after the other.
Hostages: I like the idea of limited run series – essentially expanded miniseries experiences – but is so erratic and unfocused that it’s not a good test project. The cast is great in this – the writing is not.

Betrayal: The talent isn’t very good, the script is pretty bad and the melodrama is over the top. Who thought this was a good idea?

Lucky 7: This never had a chance, which begs the question: Who greenlit this?

What do you think? Have you been surprised by anything this fall?


Blogger krazyrabbit said...

I'm not surprised by how bad this season is, but am very disappointed by Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The show seems to be written for children, which would be OK if it was running on Saturday morning. I was expecting something along the lines of Buffy or Firefly, and the show seems to have been targeted to Whedon's fans. The characters are flat and boring and the plots are shallow so far. I will keep watching hoping for major improvements.

October 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM 

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