This Monday Madness, vote for your favorite brother/sister duos! While many shows include 3, 4, or more siblings, this poll only focuses on a brother/sister pair – there may be other siblings, but only if they are less of a focus. (I may do a families poll in the future to cover families with multiple siblings like the Bluths.) As in the previous polls, I only included more recent shows, and included both half- and step-siblings, as well as adopted siblings (but not siblings-in-law).
I also did not include siblings when one of them is only in a handful of episodes. My general rule of thumb was going with siblings who had both been in at least 1/3 of the episodes. Be sure to keep that in mind with any nominations!
This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 5 of your favorite TV brother/sister duos. Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will win!
I had a hard time coming up with duos for this list, so I know there are brother/sister pairs I left out! As always, you can cast write-in ballots by leaving a comment, and if I receive several nominations, I may add them to the poll! Want more of a say in what makes it onto the poll each week? Be sure to follow me on Twitter, since I usually ask for nominations for the next Monday Madness the weekend before the new poll.
Without further ado, here’s the poll for this week’s Monday Madness! Voting ends around 12AM March 31st.
Which is your favorite TV brother/sister duo? (Choose up to 5!)
Roman and Sophia (Star-Crossed) (31%, 874 Votes)
Elena and Jeremy Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries) (17%, 468 Votes)
Oliver and Thea Queen (Arrow) (10%, 269 Votes)
Annie and Dixon Wilson (90210) (9%, 244 Votes)
Ross and Monica Gellar (Friends) (8%, 211 Votes)
Simon and River Tam (Firefly) (6%, 162 Votes)
Sookie and Jason Stackhouse (True Blood) (4%, 121 Votes)
Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett (Modern Family) (3%, 91 Votes)
Dan and Jenny Humphrey (Gossip Girl) (3%, 85 Votes)
Chuck and Ellie Bartowski (Chuck) (3%, 78 Votes)
Casey and Rusty Cartwright (Greek) (2%, 54 Votes)
Frankie and Jane Rizzoli (Rizzoli and Isles) (1%, 40 Votes)
Lindsay and Sam Weir (Freaks and Geeks) (1%, 26 Votes)
Amber and Drew Holt (Parenthood) (1%, 22 Votes)
Ryan and Lisa Shay (Suburgatory) (1%, 17 Votes)
Daphne and J.J. Powell (No Ordinary Family) (0%, 12 Votes)
I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for sci-fi shows (and movies and books) about people who look human but really aren’t, and all the twists and turns that can bring to the story. So it was pretty much a given that I’d been at least checking out this show. But even with that anticipation, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the pilot episode of Star-Crossed was.
We open on the day the aliens invade. Only from their point of view, they’re Atrian refugees who crash-landed on Earth after their planet was destroyed. Adorably cute little alien boy Roman runs away from the fighting caused by this misunderstanding, and hides out in a nearby shed, where he discovered by adorably cute little human girl Emery (played by Ben & Kate’s Maggie Elizabeth Jones). She brings him a blanket and cold spaghetti, and he in turn tries to protect her when police dogs sniff out his location the following day, and is shot (and she believes killed) for his efforts.
Fast forward 10 years, and Emery is about to go back to school after 4 years battling an autoimmune disease, though not without stopping for a quick chat with her still-ill hospital buddy, Julia. I like how this background puts Emery out of sync with the “normal” teenagers she meets at high school. I wish we’d gotten a better look at her relationship with her friend Lukas, who at this point is little more than token platonic African-American school tour guide. He was helping with the hospital club table – is that how Emery knows him?
Emery’s first day back is also the first day for seven Atrian teenagers to start attending a human high school as the initial attempt at integration. Of course, Roman and Emery eventually reunite, and there are sparks, but the sci-fi elements are just as intriguing and perhaps even more so. The armed guards and curfews of the Sector (the government internment facility where the Atrians are forced to live) contrast strongly with the exotic bazaar-like vibe inside.
I expected Roman to be more open-minded toward humans than the rest of his species, but instead his father and sister have that role. In Roman’s experience, only one human has been kind to him – Emery – and his reactions to others are filled with hilarious sarcasm, which was easily one of my favorite parts of the episode.
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the Atrians. I enjoyed the reveal that Roman’s two hearts was what saved him from dying as a child (are we sure they aren’t refugees from Gallifrey?). And the cost of what Roman did for Julia puts an interesting twist on sharing technology. I’m also curious to see what effect the ending scuffle in the Sector will have on the rest of the series.
Aside from Hannibal, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and the CW have made their decisions about which shows are returning next season. How did I do this year on picking which new shows to watch?
Canceled: 666 Park Avenue, The Family Tools, How to Live with Your Parents, Last Resort, Malibu Country, Red Widow, Zero Hour
Renewed: The Neighbors
I watched more of ABC’s pilots than I typically would for a network since their media site allowed me to preview several shows weeks or even months before they aired. I didn’t like 666 Park Avenue. I thought The Family Tools and How to Live with Your Parents were decent, but by the time they finally started airing I didn’t have time to watch. I loved the pilot of Last Resort, but subsequent episodes lacked the same polish, so I bailed after episode 3, always saying I’d get back to the show, but never actually doing so. The Neighbors was far better than I was expecting, and I watched through the mid-season break, and plan to catch up this summer.
Canceled: Golden Boy, Made in Jersey, Partners, Vegas
I watched not a single full episode of any of the canceled shows, and I loved Elementary right from the start, and it remains one of my favorite new shows.
Canceled: Ben & Kate, The Mob Doctor
Renewed: The Following, The Mindy Project
I watched the two new comedies on Fox with a nervous eye toward the ratings. While Ben & Kate was cute, The Mindy Project was far more funny. The drama premises interested me not at all.
Canceled: 1600 Penn, Animal Practice, Deception, Do No Harm, Go On, Guys With Kids, The New Normal
Renewed: Chicago Fire, Revolution
I passed on all of NBC’s new dramas, though I did give Revolution two episodes to convince me it was must-see-TV (it failed to), but I was far more willing to try out comedies. The New Normal proved its awfulness in one episode, and I moderately enjoyed Animal Practice while it lasted. I enjoyed 1600 Penn, Go On, and Guys With Kids, but fell multiple episodes behind with each of them quite frequently.
Canceled: Cult, Emily Owens, MD
Renewed: Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Carrie Diaries
I was going to give Cult a chance because of Matt Davis, but the previews turned me off, and I never planned to watch Emily Owens. Arrow is tied with Elementary for my favorite new drama of the year, and I enjoyed Beauty and the Beast but fell behind because of my new job. Initially I didn’t like the idea of The Carrie Diaries at all, but cute promos and a Doctor Who alum has pushed the show into “maybe I’ll check it out someday” territory.
TV news for next season is starting to heat up, and I’m back to blogging about it as I try to make sense of what’s going on, share the joy of new projects seeing the light of day, and rant about pilots not picked up.
TNT ordered 10 episodes of two new series I’ve been excited about for a while, thanks to one key role and a decent premise. Adam Baldwin’s The Last Ship features a previously-isolated crew racing to find a cure for a global pandemic. Sean Bean’s Legends has the CIA’s top chameleon operative suffering a break with reality amid his many covers.
I watched both trailers for the new shows (which the above loglines are based on), and both seem slightly different from their original premises. I’m not sure if it’s that, or the fact that my TV watching time has been drastically cut, but I’m less excited about these projects than I was initially. Both are going into my “wait and see the reviews/ratings” box for now, and I imagine they’ll stay there for a while. Now that Leverage is over, the only veteran show I’m watching on TNT is last year’s Perception, which was unique and well done enough to stay on my “to watch” list. (I should really make these into real lists and share them – perhaps after upfronts?)
Fox has ordered 4 dramas and 4 comedies (to add to the already-picked-up Dads, which got expanded from 6 to 13 episodes), quite a lot for a channel that doesn’t program anything from 10-11.
Out of the eight, I’m most excited about Enlisted, a military comedy starring Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, and Parker Young (who play three brothers). Stults won me over completely in The Finder and I also enjoyed his reoccurring role on Ben & Kate, so I’d be at least previewing almost any new show he would be cast in. I’m sad to see that Young will be leaving Suburgatory, since I love his character on that show, but I’m glad he’ll have more of a starring role in this project. Lowell I know mainly as Piz from Veronica Mars, so I’ll have to get a new opinion of his acting now that he won’t be getting in the way of one of my favorite TV couples.
For the other comedies, Us & Them seems the one I’m most likely to watch, with Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel returning to TV and a fun premise: a long-distance relationship with family and friends butting in. Brooklyn Nine-Nine puts a comedy spin on a cop show, and Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni. Dads may also warrant a preview, as Seth Green (Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays one of the two guys whose fathers move in with them.
I’m disappointed Delirium didn’t get picked up to series. While the sci-fi premise was a bit hokey (a procedure to remove love?), it reminded me of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee’s novel Forbidden. And I enjoy Emma Roberts’ acting.
I doubt I will watch any of Fox’s new dramas. I may check out Almost Human (an android/human buddy cop show) if the trailer leans more toward sci-fi than cop drama. Rake has Greg Kinnear, but I’m not piqued by a law drama take on House. The story of Sleepy Hollow never interested me, and Gang Related just seems like another cop show with a conflicted loyalties twist (and medical drama with a conflicted loyalties twist worked out so well for The Mob Doctor).
I’ve been very bad about posting updates this month (still luxuriating in the aftermath of my Doctor Who marathon), but here’s some TV news from the month of January!
Doctor Who alum Alex Kingston (River Song) will appear on multiple episodes of Arrow as Laurel Lance’s mother, Dinah. Fans of the Green Arrow comic books know she’s the original Black Canary, so it’s possible she and Oliver Queen may come to blows. Might she also share a scene with fellow Who alum John Barrowman?
Series 7 of Doctor Who resumes March 30th on both BBC1 and BBC America. I’m so glad they’re not making us wait for the episodes after they air in Great Britain!
Bones secured an early renewal for another season, and showrunner Hart Hanson has a pilot order with CBS for an additional show. Unfortunately, the premise doesn’t interest me in the least, but he did amazing with The Finder, so who knows?
Speaking of The Finder, its lead actor Geoff Stults has been reoccurring on Ben and Kate, but FOX has pulled that from the schedule. At least he showed up in the last-episode-before-likely-cancellation-burnoff, though it was in a manner that indicated he won’t return. I really hope Stults finds an awesome pilot this season, though I’m thinking he might want to avoid FOX. I know I’ve become a bit wary of any shows airing on that network. If bubble show The Mindy Project doesn’t make it, I’ll only have two returning shows to watch on FOX this fall: Bones and New Girl.
Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 has also been pulled from the schedule, effectively canceling the show, and instead viewers will get a double dose of bubble show Happy Endings. I still don’t know why ABC, FOX, and NBC all scheduled a comedy block for Tuesdays at 9, but clearly, ABC lost that battle. A pity, since I enjoy both shows, but the writing’s been on the wall for a while.
Another blow was the cancellation of Syfy’s Alphas, particularly galling since season two ended with a cliffhanger. One of the best-acted shows around, its powers-with-limitations approach worked very well. I’ll be keeping an eye out for these actors in the future (especially Ryan Cartwright, who led me to the show from Bones). Poor Summer Glau, even reoccurring on a show still brings the curse.
Broadcast networks have ordered a flurry of pilots, but since most of what we know about them is a paragraph description, it’s hard to tell which ones I’ll be checking out if they make it to series. The CW is giving The Selection another go after sending the first pilot back for retooling, and The Vampire Diaries may be getting a spinoff – The Originals (featuring Klaus, Elijah, and Haley from TVD). FOX is looking at Delirium, based on a YA trilogy about a world where love has been eradicated by a special procedure people get at age 18.
Arrow’s Huntress, Jessica De Gouw, has been cast opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in NBC’s Dracula.
2012 was a great year for me in regard to uncovering awesome TV shows. It may even top 2011, when I got pulled into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Bones, Warehouse 13, Eureka, and Veronica Mars, not to mention enjoyed great new fall shows like Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Suburgatory, and Person of Interest.
My top eight new shows for 2012 are also a mix of brand new and new-to-me shows. Like with the list above, this year wasn’t always my first exposure to the shows in question, but 2012 was the year they hooked me. I’m listing the shows in roughly chronological order of getting sucked in.
This short-lived Fox drama (so many awesome shows can say the same thing) caught my attention as a companion show to Bones – not quite a proper spinoff as none of the main characters from Bones joined the new show. But with a planted pilot, same showrunner, and guest appearances by Bones cast, the tie was definitely there. Geoff Stults (as Walter) and Michael Clarke Duncan (as Leo) hit it out of the park on day one, but the ratings didn’t match the show’s awesomeness. Fox also aired the episodes out of order, threw in a month-long hiatus in March, and moved the show to the Friday death slot – starting Easter weekend!
From the beginning, the show felt like it should have been airing on USA Network – it had the same breezy, pop-culture-riddled sensibilities as Psych, and would have been a perfect fit for their “Characters Welcome” brand. But in the end, the cancellation of the show was moot, as Michael Clarke Duncan, who as Leo was the heart of the show, passed away over the summer.
I’m still waiting for the DVD set to become available, but at least The Finder introduced me to the amazingness of actor Geoff Stults, who I’m currently enjoying as a reoccurring cast member on Ben and Kate. Sadly, that show also airs on Fox, and I’ve learned not to get attached to anything airing on that network now.
Buffy and Being Human showed me that shows about vampires are cool. So to feed my bloodlust, I decided to try out this buzzy HBO show, not really expecting to like it – keeping things PG-13 is more my style, and I’m not a fan of the deep south. But checking out episode one led swiftly to two, and three, as each twisty cliffhanger glamoured me into watching more. Short season meant catching up in time for season 5, and while this show is fairly low on my list of vampire TV shows, it’s addicting enough that I’ll keep coming back.
There’s a dearth of good comedy over summers, so I decided to give this recommended show a try in late August, and quickly grew to love the quirky group.
The Vampire Diaries
After catching up on True Blood, I decided to try out the last major vampire show currently airing that I hadn’t seen. Plus, I was looking at writing a book with a high school setting and vampires trying to control their urges, and I wanted to make sure it was different enough from this show. The pilot bored me, but I heard later that the rest of the show was a vast improvement, so I dove in during September, and caught up on all three seasons within 3 weeks, just in time for the season 4 premiere.
Like True Blood, the fast-paced storylines made the show insanely addictive, but in this case, the characters and relationships became an even bigger draw. Damon’s struggle with what sort of person to become, Elena’s compassion without weakness, Stefan’s dual nature, Caroline’s ditziness turned to strength, Alaric’s unlikely allies becoming the family he always wanted, and more.
No, it’s not Sherlock, but it doesn’t have to be – I love both shows, and Jonny Lee Miller makes an amazing Holmes. Making Watson female, setting the show in NYC, and coming up with new stories instead of revamping the classics all help differentiate this show. And with us getting only 4 1/2 hours of Sherlock every 18 months or so, there’s plenty of room for a fun, quirky drama like this. I enjoy the recovering addict twist, and Joan Watson’s slower progression to teaming up with her client.
Aside from Alphas, TV has been sorely missing a good superhero show, and in the wake of The Avengers’ popularity, the Batman trilogy’s gritty conclusion, and America’s obsession with bow-toting heroes, Arrow is exactly what was wanted. While there are still a few rough edges on this new drama (dialogue could use some help), great ratings will give it time to truly soar.
I always knew I would eventually watch this show. I purchased digital editions of series 1 and 3 back in 2010, and watched a few episodes here and there, but didn’t get hooked. I watched a couple more earlier this year, and in November started liking the show more and more. In December, I started marathoning through Doctor Who in earnest, as most shows were going on hiatus and I had more time. I rewatched season 1 with my sister (and liked it a whole lot more the second time) around Christmas, and caught up with the whole show (excluding classic Who) a few days after the New Year.
I bought the first two series of Torchwood in 2010 also, and despite some misgivings about the show’s adult content, I liked the character of Jack Harkness from Doctor Who enough to give the show a try (and keep all the crossovers in their proper places). As a result of watching the two together, it’s hard to separate Torchwood as a distinct show in my mind. It’s the only show on this list I’m not current with, as I still have 6 episodes left of the Miracle Day mini-series. It’s definitely a more serious show (during various episodes I found myself longing for the more lighthearted Who), morality is a bit grayer, and quite often there isn’t a happy ending. But it definitely grows on you, and there are quite a few exceptional episodes.
The news that USA Network canceled both freshman Common Law and sophomore Fairly Legal shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since several actors from the shows moved on to other things after the network let their contract options expire. Since I don’t watch either show, the news doesn’t bother me. I just hope USA finds some great shows to replace them. USA also chose not to put up a second season of limited-series show Political Animals.
No word yet on the fate of Necessary Roughness, but apparently Burn Notice is very close to a seventh season renewal. Season 6 resumes November 8 with a two-hour episode. Also, production has started on new series Graceland.
Fox recently reduced the 13-episode order for midseason comedy The Goodwin Games to 7. The network says the reduction is due to scheduling, not the show’s quality. It will likely air after Ben and Kate finishes its 19-episode season.
Lots of TV news today! After airing only two episodes, Arrow has been picked up for a full season (additional “back nine” episodes ordered). Fellow CW newbies Beauty and the Beast and Emily Owens, MD have been given three additional script orders.
Fox has given two additional episode orders to both New Girl and Raising Hope, bringing their totals to 24. This could be a likely indication that Ben and Kate, which has a shortened full season order of 19 episodes, could be replaced by fellow sibling comedy The Goodwin Games at midseason (probably late winter or spring).
In cable news, Homeland has been renewed for a third season, and BBC America’s Copper has been picked up for season two. Titus Welliver has dropped out of the TNT pilot The Last Ship, and Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) has been tapped to replace him. Baldwin will play second-in-command to Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy). The Last Ship features the crew of a naval destroyer after most of the earth’s population has been destroyed by a global catastrophe.
Just about all of broadcast TV’s new fall shows have aired at least two episodes now, so I think it’s time for a look at which ones soared, which ones got off to a rough start, and which ones nosedived. I’m dividing this list up into several groups so you can get an idea of what my preferences and interest levels were going in.
Shows I Haven’t Seen and Never Plan To:
Out of the 20 new shows that have debuted so far, the list of those I haven’t seen is pretty small: 7. I hate country music, so Nashville was out. The rest (Made In Jersey, The Mob Doctor, Partners, Emily Owens MD, Chicago Fire, and Vegas) I wasn’t interested in for one reason or another. One is already canceled, two more aren’t far behind, and none of the seven shows has been a breakout hit. I feel pretty happy with my choice not to watch them, and expect maybe 1-2 to reach a second season (not holding my breath, though).
Shows I Never Planned to Watch but Did See the Pilot:
For two shows, I checked out the pilots knowing I’d never commit to watching the show. It was easy to tell from the previews that 666 Park Avenue wasn’t my type of show, but I had a chance to watch the pilot early as a TV blogger, so I tried it out. It seemed well done, but I didn’t enjoy it. The New Normal I watched out of a morbid curiosity to see how awful it would be, and aside from one or two heartfelt moments, it was utterly terrible. I didn’t laugh once.
Comedies I Thought Would Be Awful but Didn’t Mind:
Another show I got a chance to watch early was The Neighbors, which wasn’t as terrible as the previews made it out to be. I’ve seen the first two episodes, and might watch more if I’m caught up on most of my other shows and in the mood for a comedy. Guys With Kids I didn’t intend to see, by my siblings said it was pretty good, so I watched a few episodes. Both shows are more family-oriented comedies, which usually bore me, and I don’t really laugh during them, but I like having extra comedy shows to watch on dreary days.
Comedies I Like but Wouldn’t Cry Over Their Cancellation:
Every new comedy not in the above lists fits in this section. Many of them are great, but I haven’t gotten attached to any comedies so far this season. That’s probably a good thing, as Animal Practice has already been canceled. Go On is probably the best of the lot, and I expect it will return for a second season, but The Mindy Project (my pilot review here) and Ben and Kate (pilot review here) are far from out of danger despite their full-season orders. These shows are heartwarming and humorous, but they’re not laugh out loud funny. Plus, none of the characters grip me in that “I would hate to see them go” way. It could come with time, and I’ll keep watching these shows until they get terrible or get canceled.
Dramas That Didn’t Wow Me In Their First Two Episodes:
Revolution was hyped to be awesome, Beauty and the Beast was critiqued to be terrible. I was disappointed by Revolution’s pilot, but enough was done right that I gave the show another episode. When Miles was still the only character I enjoyed watching, and the rest of the show failed to interest me, I decided to stop watching. It’s too bad, because from the premise it seemed like exactly the type of show I would enjoy.
I just watched the second episode of Beauty and the Beast, and really noticed the terrible, terrible dialogue people were complaining about in the pilot (my review of it here). I so want to love this show, but the writers are making it very hard. I’m still not sure if I’ll watch a third episode. I want it to pull a Vampire Diaries and start getting really good after a few episodes, but I don’t know if there is enough backstory for the mythology of the show to grow. Also, in the second episode, several procedural issues bugged me (Don’t uniforms clear buildings? Are detectives allowed to be present during the autopsy of someone they killed?), and Cat had a sister appear out of nowhere. The first episode got good ratings for the CW, but the second quickly dropped, so it might not get time to improve. Might be better to replace it with the midseason Cult, to bring over Matt Davis (Alaric) fans from The Vampire Diaries. (I know I had no plans to watch the show, but after marathoning through The Vampire Diaries, Matt Davis has become one of my favorite actors, so I definitely plan to give Cult a few episodes to impress me.)
As I was writing this, I kept thinking, I wonder what Revolution and Beauty and the Beast would have been like with Joss Whedon in charge? Can’t wait for S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Dramas I Love:
The three drama shows I was most looking forward to turned out to be the ones I loved most this season. My favorite pilot episode, Last Resort (my review here), hasn’t quite lived up to its potential in subsequent episodes, but it still keeps me glued to the screen almost every minute. Its low ratings don’t signal much hope for renewal, but ABC shows regularly do poorly in that timeslot. ABC did order 2 more scripts for the show, so it’s unlikely to get pulled from the schedule immediately (I was starting to worry about that), but that may be just to give the show some sort of resolution. All the same, I’ve tried to temper my attachment to the show and just enjoy it while it lasts.
Elementary (my review of the pilot here) has been just as awesome as I hoped. I’ve been completely won over to the idea of a female Watson, and it’s been nice watching their friendship slowly grow over the past few episodes. Both annoy each other like crazy, yet their respect and admiration for each other is beginning to build. The cases seem to have an extra twist compared to most crime drama shows, which fits well with the need to bring in a consultant. I’m really sorry for the people who have a hard time understanding Jonny Lee Miller’s brisk British accent, but I feel the speed helps convey Sherlock’s fast mental process. Oh, and the opening credits are amazing:
Last but not least, Arrow has been amazing so far. While the pilot (my review here) had a good deal of the plot revealed in preview clips and therefore wasn’t quite as engaging, the second episode (my review here) had everything I was looking for: great action sequences, insightful character moments, and hints at series-long mythology-building. The second episode got the exact same excellent rating as the first (double that of typical CW “steady performers”), so I’m looking forward to this show being around for a while.
Three great dramas. Three good comedies. That’s my haul from broadcast TV’s new fall shows, and I managed to find a show I liked on every single network. I think 3, maybe 4, will stick around for a second season.
Fox has picked up two new comedies for full seasons! Both The Mindy Project and Ben & Kate got additional episode orders, joining Go On, The New Normal, and Revolution as the first new shows to get full seasons. I still need to watch the second episodes of the two Fox shows, but I enjoyed both pilots.
Thanks to sneak peaks and early releases, the fall broadcast TV season is well underway, even if most shows don’t premiere until next week (or later). Into the bunch are thrown 21 new scripted shows – which of these do you intend to check out?
Please vote in the poll for all the shows for which you plan to see (or have already seen) the pilot episode. Then leave a comment and let me know which shows you’re most excited about!
IMDb presents a list of their picks for the top ten new shows – and I agree with just about the entire thing! Each show has a photo and a brief description, followed by thoughts from the site’s editors. I enjoy that they push past all of the hype and nitpicking to give an honest look at how well the pilot episodes work and where they see shows going from there, both good and bad.
#1 Last Resort
My favorite of the pilots I’ve seen so far (admittedly mostly comedy). Great suspense, great characters, awesome possibilities for future stories. I just hope it’s not handicapped by a competitive time slot. Full pilot review here.
Dark Knight, archery division. While I haven’t seen the pilot yet, IMDb puts Stephen Amell’s acting somewhere between Tom Welling’s Superman and Christian Bale’s Batman, which is good enough for me! An awesome superhero show for the fall is needed after enjoying superhero movies and Alphas all summer.
#3 The Mindy Project
This was a “see if the pilot’s any good” show for me, but since episode one had an unexpected quirky rom-com charm, I plan to stick around for several more episodes. Pairing this with New Girl is brilliant. Here’s my review of the first episode.
One of the few shows I disagree with on this list, mostly since I hate country music and don’t usually like shows that run solely on relational drama (give me murders, spies, bombs, crimes, aliens, cool powers, and other worlds for my drama fix). But if it’s your cup of tea, enjoy away!
The third in my trifecta of most-anticipated new dramas this fall (for the others, see #1 and 2 above). I have a feeling the pilot will be a bit spoiled by the promos, so I’m more looking forward to the second episode. And since Sherlock is already reimagining the traditional Holmes stories, I’m glad this show will focus on new stories. Update: my review of the pilot is here.
I don’t follow many cable shows unless they air on USA, Syfy, or TNT, so I had no idea this cool-looking spy drama from Cinemax even existed. If the pilot shows up online I may have to try it out.
#8 Go On
The pilot was great, the second episode a little less so, but I’m definitely giving this show a few more episodes to find its stride. I think the main thing is that the characters don’t feel like family yet, but that usually requires several episodes for most shows. I just hope the writers will be able to find the right balance between humor and pathos as most of the characters deal with pretty significant losses.
One of the other exceptions I’d take off this list – not that it isn’t well made, it’s just not a show I care to watch. I don’t watch many historical shows, unless they’re set in a time and place I love (looking at my list of tags, that’s pretty much medieval England, but there are others). Las Vegas doesn’t interest me at all. Neither does the 60s. I don’t really care about the conflict between a sheriff and a mob boss, and the main cast doesn’t feature any actors of whom I’m a huge fan. So even though I have no other broadcast shows to watch at 10pm on Tuesdays, I won’t be watching (at least this sounds better than Unforgettable, though).
This, along with Beauty and the Beast, was in my second tier of new dramas to try out, so my anticipation level wasn’t as high, but I was still hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t. While the pilot had some great moments, very little about it pushes me to watch the next episode. Since it conflicts with Castle, I’ll probably save it to watch online, but I have a feeling this is one of those shows that’ll get put off until I’m so far behind I stop watching. I do plan to watch at least the second episode, to see if it gets better.
For pics, plot descriptions, and IMDb editors’ thoughts on these 10 shows, visit the link below.
The passing of Michael Clarke Duncan put to rest my last hopes for The Finder somehow making it back on the air (the show wouldn’t be the same without Leo!), but I’m glad to see star Geoff Stults returning to TV. Not only will he play a reoccurring role on Ben and Kate, he’s developing his own multi-camera comedy.
With Mercedes Masöhn cast in ABC’s 666 Park Avenue, the other remaining cast member from The Finder who needs a show is Maddie Hasson, who played Willa. She did recently appear on a episode of Grimm, as a teenage coyotl who’s also the daughter of one of Hank’s good friends.
Fox has put a few of its new fall premieres online early, including sibling comedy Ben and Kate (which you can watch now on Hulu and starting September 25, on Tuesdays at 8:30). Irresponsible Ben Fox has a habit of crashing into his uptight younger sister’s life at the most inopportune moments, but he genuinely loves her and her five-year-old daughter, Maddie. His latest visit brings upheaval to both siblings’ love lives.
Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson do a good job at playing the brother-sister duo, and it’s a nice change having the zany brother be older instead of younger. There’s some room for growth for their relationship to really zing, though, especially since Fox has another sibling comedy coming mid-season, The Goodwin Games. Daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) is a bit underused in this episode, but her presence and the show’s dynamics give off a bit of a Bent vibe, though Ben and Kate isn’t as snappy or as risque as the ill-fated NBC show.
Rounding out the cast are Ben’s friend Tommy (Echo Kellum) and Kate’s friend and coworker BJ (Lucy Punch). Tommy doesn’t get much screen time in this episode, but he seems a likeable enough character. BJ initially turned me off a bit, but I think it was mostly because her abrasive personality and accent reminded me of The Office’s Nellie (Catherine Tate). Also, the only thing I’d seen Lucy Punch on before was Ella Enchanted, where she plays an evil stepsister (which probably didn’t help my opinion). I think I’ll warm up to BJ, and when a show leans on the heartwarming side, it’s good to have a character or two who bucks the status quo.
The humor in the pilot was more of the smiling type instead of laugh out loud, but the show feels genuine and organic. I definitely plan to stick around for a few more episodes. Since Fox is the only broadcast network with an 8PM comedy block, there’s a good chance this show will get ignored by most people who don’t watch its lead-in, Raising Hope (which is a pretty compatible show to pair it with). At least the premiere will be sandwiched between two new episodes of New Girl, but most viewers will typically be watching NCIS, Hart of Dixie, The Voice, or Dancing with the Stars results during that hour. Ben and Kate will have to keep improving to survive, but it’s off to a solid start.
Kelly’s storyline on The Office will get a chance to wrap up, as Mindy Kaling will be in two episodes of the upcoming season of the show. Kaling currently has her hands full writing, directing, and starring in her Fox comedy, The Mindy Project, which will premier online 4 weeks before its TV debut (another new Fox comedy, Ben & Kate, will do the same). The pilots of the two shows will be available to stream on Facebook, Fox.com, Hulu, Xfinity, Yahoo.com, AOL.com, and more.