Our Save One Show poll this year had nearly 3000 voters over a singular week! Each of the 14 shows below received at least 100 votes (voters could choose up to 5 shows they wanted to save), with the top show receiving almost 1600! Here are the results:
#14 – The Neighbors, with 104 votes!
#13 – Intelligence, with 123 votes!
#12 – Revolution, with 126 votes!
#11 – Enlisted, with 138 votes!
#10 – The Crazy Ones, with 140 votes!
#9 – Dracula, with 171 votes!
#8 – The Mentalist, with 178 votes!
#7 – Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, with 190 votes!
Update: this poll is now closed. You can vote for this week’s poll here, or click the image under “Weekly Poll” in the upper left sidebar. You can also see the results post here.
It’s that time of year, when TV fans wait with bated breath to see if their favorite shows will be back next year or will suffer the horrors of cancellation!
But if you had the opportunity and could save one show, which one would it be? For the purposes of this poll, I used TV By the Numbers Renew/Cancel Index. Every live-action scripted broadcast show that they rate as on the bubble or lower, and has not yet been officially canceled or renewed, I included in the poll below.
The site will update their predictions on Tuesday, so I had to base this on last week’s results. Also, if a show is canceled or renewed while this poll is active, I will remove the option for that show. Since you can choose up to 5 shows to save in the poll, you can vote for one on every network or mix it up!
The winner of last week’s poll were the sisters of Charmed! Second place went to Buffy and Dawn (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), followed by a tie for third place between Mary, Edith, and Sybil (Downton Abbey) and Abby and Jenny (Sleepy Hollow). Fifth place was a tie between Beth and Maggie (The Walking Dead) and Mary, Lucy, and Ruthie (7th Heaven).
This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 5 of your favorite TV shows. Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will win!
Without further ado, here’s the poll for this week’s Monday Madness! Voting ends around 12AM March 24th.
Which 2013-2014 broadcast show would you save? (Choose up to 5!)
Beauty and the Beast (The CW) (54%, 1,597 Votes)
Almost Human (Fox) (21%, 612 Votes)
Community (NBC) (20%, 595 Votes)
Hannibal (NBC) (13%, 380 Votes)
Star-Crossed (The CW) (8%, 250 Votes)
The Tomorrow People (The CW) (8%, 235 Votes)
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) (6%, 190 Votes)
The schedules are out, the promos are released – now it’s time for me to figure out what I want to watch, what I have time to watch, what I won’t miss, and which new shows I’ll give a chance to wow me. As always, shows that aren’t live-action and scripted are ignored by this site.
New shows are in bold.
Watching: Once Upon a Time
Not watching: Revenge, Betrayal, The Good Wife, The Mentalist
Only one new show is debuting on Sundays, Betrayal, and while the promo was good, the subject matter is meh in my mind.
Watching: Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Almost Human, Beauty and the Beast
Checking out: We Are Men, Intelligence , Sleepy Hollow
Not watching: 2 Broke Girls, Mom, Hostages, Blacklist, Hart of Dixie
Almost Human’s promo was so excellent, it got bumped right to the watching list. Of course, if it stinks, it’ll get bumped right back down. While Hostages and Blacklist had good promos, they’re just not something I’m interested in watching. Mom looks awful. Sleepy Hollow looks far better than I expected, so I’ll probably watch the pilot out of curiosity’s sake, but I doubt I’ll keep watching due to time constraints. Other than HIMYM, the returning shows that are on Mondays are the ones I fell most behind on (thinking about it now, why Castle and Bones got the short end of the stick was because we usually had a friend over on Tuesdays to watch previous seasons of HIMYM, so I didn’t have time to catch up).
Watching: Marvel’s Agents of Shield, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project
Checking out: The Originals
Not watching: The Goldbergs, The Trophy Wife, Lucky 7, Dads, Chicago Fire, Supernatural
The only reason Supernatural is on the not watching list is because I haven’t caught up yet, and since I’m still on season one, I doubt I’ll catch up this summer. I was going to watch Dads because of Seth Green, but the promo was so awful I don’t even plan to watch the pilot (besides, it’s in a horrible time slot so I doubt it will last). I’m behind on The Vampire Diaries, so my “checking out” of The Originals may only consist of watching the planted pilot (not a huge fan of the original siblings or Haley). Agents of Shield went on my to-watch list as soon as it was announced, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the promo for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Unless the first few episodes strike a very different tone, it’ll probably stay on my watch list.
Checking out: The Tomorrow People
Not watching: The Middle, Back in the Game, Modern Family, Super Fun Night, Nashville, Criminal Minds, CSI, Revolution, Law & Order: SVU, Ironside
Wednesdays are once again my least-watched weekday. Aside from the Amell cousins’ projects, I’m passing on the entire night. Back in the Game and Super Fun Night look awful. Ironside looks excellent, but I watch so many other excellent crime dramas that new ones need a fun sci-fi twist (like Almost Human) or to cast one of my favorite actors.
Watching: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, The Big Bang Theory, The Crazy Ones, Elementary, The Vampire Diaries
Checking out: Reign
Not watching: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, Glee, Parks and Recreation, Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, The Michael J. Fox Show, Parenthood
It used to be that I mainly watched NBC comedies; now I’m just waiting for Community to come back. CBS’s The Crazy Ones pairs Mork and Buffy, which pushed it onto my short list, and the behind-the-scenes promo was as hilarious as most regular trailers. Wonderland’s preview is amazing, and Reign has an interesting premise and enough actors I know for me to give it a try.
Watching: The Neighbors, Bones (once it moves), Enlisted, Grimm
Checking out: Dracula
Not watching: Last Man Standing, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Raising Hope, The Carrie Diaries
Enlisted was one of my most anticipated series contenders thanks to a great cast, and the promo shows that it’ll be funny as well. I probably won’t watch Dracula, but I do want to see where they’re going with the story, so I should preview the pilot.
That gives me 22 shows that I plan to watch (8 comedies and 14 dramas for 18 hours total) and 7 that I want to check out (1 comedy and 6 dramas for 6.5 hours total).
What shows are you watching next fall? Vote below and spread the word!
What broadcast shows do you plan to watch during fall 2013?
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.
Which TV show has the best flashbacks? That’s the question you get to answer in this week’s poll! Flashbacks add depth to current storylines and allow us to understand characters’ motivations, and range from heartrending to hilarious.
You can nominate shows missing from the poll below, but be sure the show has a significant amount of flashbacks to be included. The show should have a minimum of two episodes with a large portion of the episode as flashback, preferably more, and they should have some impact on the story/characters (a brief explanation would be appreciated!). I’ve added some flashback explanations to a few of the shows in the poll, but they are to jog your memory, not represent every flashback in the show. (One more note – I’ve put Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel as one option since their flashbacks revolve around the same characters for the most part.)
Fans have used Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, forums, Reddit, Pinterest, blogs, and chatboxes to get the word out about past polls. Our toolbar at the bottom of the page has lots of quick links to help you share this post, or you can mouse over the image above!
Our next poll will be favorite Christmas episodes! Feel free to nominate episodes on our Facebook page, tweeting me at @waterfallbooks, or by leaving a comment below. Please include both the show and episode name, and yes, you can nominate this year’s holiday episodes!
Without further ado, choose up to ten of the shows below, but be sure to vote based on how awesome the flashbacks are! Poll will close Friday night, December 15th, giving you about a week and a half to spread the word!
Which TV show has the best flashbacks? (Choose up to 10!)
Once Upon a Time (Fairy Tale Land) (29%, 121 Votes)
Leverage (recreated past stories) (25%, 105 Votes)
How I Met Your Mother (Robin Sparkles, hippie Barney, college Ted, Marshall, and Lily) (24%, 102 Votes)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (pasts of Darla, Angel, Drusilla, and Spike) (22%, 91 Votes)
Supernatural (19%, 78 Votes)
The Vampire Diaries (pasts of Damon, Stefan, Katherine, and Klaus) (17%, 71 Votes)
Psych (17%, 70 Votes)
Lost (13%, 53 Votes)
Friends (11%, 48 Votes)
Arrow (scenes on the island) (10%, 43 Votes)
Person of Interest (10%, 42 Votes)
NCIS (Gibbs' and Tony's pasts) (9%, 39 Votes)
White Collar (8%, 32 Votes)
Criminal Minds (6%, 27 Votes)
True Blood (5%, 22 Votes)
Pushing Daisies (5%, 20 Votes)
Nikita (3%, 14 Votes)
Highlander (3%, 13 Votes)
Being Human (BBC) (3%, 11 Votes)
Revolution (2%, 9 Votes)
Being Human (Syfy) (2%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 421
Update – here are some pics I’ve edited to promote the poll! Now you have additional images you can pin on Pinterest, or you can share them on Tumblr, Facebook, and more! I’m working on getting more for the other shows, but you can help out by creating your own!
NBC has finally revealed when Community will return – February 7! What I hate about this announcement is that the show will be going back to competing directly with ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory in the Thursdays at 8 time slot, as well as American Idol and the CW’s highest-rated drama, The Vampire Diaries.
The Thursday night comedy lineup for NBC will then be: Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, and new show 1600 Penn (30 Rock will have ended and Up All Night will be on hiatus). No word on when midseason comedy Save Me will make an appearance.
Other midseason NBC news:
New drama Deception (formerly Infamous) will take Revolution’s plum Mondays at 10 slot in January while the futuristic drama goes on hiatus. It will air after The Biggest Loser (Revolution and The Voice will return in late March).
Smash will start its second season on Tuesday, February 5th at 10 after Parenthood wraps up its season in January. This move actually makes me more likely to watch the show, as I usually don’t have any broadcast shows to watch in that time slot. I liked some things about the show during its first season, but hated others. The music, however, kept me watching.
Okay, when I was making the photo collage for this week’s poll (favorite scary show), I had no idea the random freaky-looking Supernatural image I grabbed would turn out to be from the very episode I ended up watching the same evening! And it was one of Supernatural’s more creepy episodes, which made me regret deciding to watch it so late at night. Ah, well, onto the review!
I bookended watching the episode with two other shows I’m having a hard time getting into (but people/buzz keep telling me I should like), Doctor Who and Arrested Development. I figured perhaps an iffy episode of Doctor Who would make Supernatural seem better by comparison, but I happened to watch one of the most heartfelt episodes – at least so far – of the British show (“Father’s Day”). So it didn’t do Supernatural any favors, but I still thought “Asylum” was pretty decent.
It’s a fairly simple “evil spirits, find the body, salt and burn” episode, set in a creepy asylum. Far too much of the episode seemed to be characters wandering around the place, waiting for ghosts to pop out of any corner (or having them dart around behind the characters’ backs). Both the two cops that visit the place at the beginning of the episode and the two teens caught inside with the brothers later on seemed pretty cardboard – though I did like that the girlfriend knew how to use a shotgun.
As usual, this show rests on the relationship between Dean and Sam, and I am seeing signs of improvement in that area. The scene where Dean pretends to be an annoying reporter, and Sam makes him leave so he can bond with the cop and get answers was humorous. I also liked that Dean knew not to give the spirit-addled Sam a loaded gun – no tearful “I knew you wouldn’t shoot me” moments here.
The good son/rebel son dynamic is getting a bit old, though. As is the tug-of-war between looking for their father and hunting creatures (especially since creatures always win). At least there seems to be some movement on the father end (now that we know he’s just avoiding them) with the phone call at the end of the episode.
Watching this right after an episode of Doctor Who really helped me see the parallels between the two shows and why I’m having trouble getting hooked on both of them. Both have two characters traveling around in a specific vehicle putting their lives in danger saving people from otherworldly attacks. Doctor Who has more reoccurring characters so far, though Supernatural will eventually have more. The visual effects are better on Supernatural, but the storylines are more varied on Doctor Who. I like Dean and Sam better (though only marginally) than the ninth Doctor and Rose, but I know the British dynamic will change in later seasons, while I’m “stuck” with Dean and Sam for the duration of the American show.
My favorite shows, however, tend to have five or more main characters and be set in the same location. Everything from Community to Buffy to How I Met Your Mother to NCIS to The Vampire Diaries fits that mold. Maybe that’s why I never really got into Tru Calling (not enough main characters) or Revolution (characters scattered and on the move).
Anyhow, this was a decent episode of Supernatural, one of the better ones I’ve seen so far. I just hope it doesn’t give me nightmares (remember to not watch future episodes late in the evening!).
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.
This isn’t going to be a full review – just some initial impressions and comments on one of the most anticipated premieres of the fall season – Arrow!
For starters, if the numbers hold, this is going to be the CW’s most watched airing of any show, on any night, in nearly three years, best rated telecast of any CW show in 2 years, and most watched premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009. It even gave Supernatural a ratings boost for its second episode (ratings tend to go down after a series/season premiere, with Arrow as a lead-in, Supernatural actually went up two tenths!). Update: the numbers did hold – 1.3 18-49 rating, 4.14 million viewers.
My expectations were high for this show. I enjoyed the pilot, but I wasn’t blown away. It’s partly because so much of the plot had been revealed in promos and sneak peeks. I’d seen most of the kidnapping scene (though I thought it was pretty neat that they’d hidden the fact that his friend Tommy, played by Colin Donnell, had been taken with him), and heard rumors about who was behind it. Similarly, Oliver Queen’s skills as Arrow and the plan to take down a corrupt businessman had been fully revealed by previews for the show.
I wasn’t expecting Tommy to be dating Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) – but I felt like I should have seen that coming. I wasn’t expecting Oliver’s father to sacrifice himself for his son in such a violent way. I wasn’t expecting Tommy to figure out things so quickly.
I liked the dynamic between Oliver and his new “bodyguard,” John Diggle (David Ramsey). One of my favorite scenes of the pilot was Oliver jumping out of the moving car and Dig being flummoxed at where he went. Oliver’s sister Thea (Willa Holland) being into drugs seemed a little cliché, but I think the show can do interesting things with it, especially with Oliver having to keep up his playboy persona – he can’t set a good example for little sis even though he wants to. I wish Quentin Lance (Laurel’s father and a police detective) got a little more screen time – Paul Blackthorne seems to fit the role very well.
In some comments on other sites, I’ve read some complaints that there isn’t much chemistry between Oliver and Laurel, but after seeing joint interviews with Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, I think that will be quickly remedied in future episodes.
Out of the drama pilots I’ve seen this fall, I rank Arrow third – not quite as good as Elementary, but far better than Revolution.
NBC has given three of its freshman shows a full season pick-up (which usually involves expanding their initial 13-episode order to a full 22): Revolution, Go On, and The New Normal. Revolution and Go On are the network’s highest-rated scripted shows so far this season (out of all their scripted shows, not just new ones), while The New Normal has ridden Go On’s coattails for ratings on par with The Office’s current (and final) season.
I’ve sampled all three shows, but Go On is the only one I’m still watching (Revolution’s pilot was interesting enough for me to give the show another chance by watching the second episode, but The New Normal’s pilot was so awful I barely finished it).
The news doesn’t bode well for NBC’s other new comedies, Animal Practice and Guys With Kids – I’m watching both still, but I wouldn’t really mind if either are canceled. NBC has 3 comedies officially on tap for midseason – Save Me, 1600 Penn, and Next Caller, plus the likely Dwight-from-The-Office spinoff The Farm. With 30 Rock, Up All Night, and Community all only having 13-episode renewals, only one out of the 5 (these three, plus Animal Practice and Guys with Kids) will likely get nine more episodes. I’m REALLY hoping that show is Community. I’m also hoping Community will switch places and get one of the Wednesday slots before it comes back. (If so, I think it should be paired with fellow single-camera comedy Animal Practice, while both multi-camera shows – Guys With Kids and Whitney – air on Friday.)
As far as dramas go, with not really liking Revolution, the only current NBC drama I watch is Grimm. For midseason, I’m still not sure if I’ll return to Smash, and the new dramas set to debut then don’t really interest me.
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.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’ve been rooting for Last Resort since pilot season. The premise was intriguing – a US sub disobeys orders to fire nuclear missiles and sets up its own government on a small tropical island – but the cast really got my attention. I especially looked forward to seeing Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse) and Autumn Reeser (No Ordinary Family) back on my TV screen.
An excellent promo only whet my appetite, so when ABC offered an online pilot preview, I dived right in. And was blown away.
Two reasons I enjoyed it much more than the other new high-concept ensemble drama I plan to watch (Revolution): it had many twists and turns the promo didn’t give away, and more potential/untold history with the characters.
The action starts immediately with the sub picking up a group of Navy SEALs (one of whom is badly injured) in hostile territory. There’s a bit of a breather then, where you get a glimpse at how the crew interacts – the mutual respect between Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and his XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman), the difficulties Lieutenant Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts) faces as the daughter of an admiral, and some tension between the COB Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick) and the other officers, as well as between the SEALs and the officers.
But just as the crew is celebrating crossing the equator, the ominous message comes in from a secondary command post (in Antarctica!): the Colorado is ordered to fire nuclear missiles at Pakistan. Chaplin and Kendal follow procedure until the last step, when they both acknowledge that something doesn’t feel right. The secondary post is only supposed to be used when Washington is under attack or similar circumstances, but according to D.C. television stations, everything’s fine. Chaplin calls in and asks to speak with someone whose authority he recognizes, or at least to receive the command via normal channels before he wipes out millions of people in a country the US isn’t even at war with.
He gets a call back and is relieved of his command. He passes the phone to Kendal, now acting captain, who also asks that the order come through normal channels. Shortly afterwards, an incoming missile is detected, and the sub dives, but is still hit and damaged before it crashes to the bottom of the ocean. There are several casualties, including one of the SEALs.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, Kylie Sinclair (Autumn Reeser) shares techy details about the Colorado as she romances a senator’s aide, trying to get her device (which cloaks the Colorado’s unique signature) onto other subs with his senator’s help (all the geek-speak reminded me of Autumn’s role on No Ordinary Family, but Kylie acts more confidant and sexy than Katie did). A cryptic text sends her rushing to confront Admiral Shepard with what she figured out – the missile that hit the Colorado wasn’t from Pakistan, like the media claims. It was from another US submarine. “You killed your own daughter,” she accuses, but his shocked reaction convinces her he has no idea what’s really going on. Also, uniformed officers show up at the door of Kendal’s wife, Christine (played by Jessy Schram – Once Upon a Time’s Cinderella).
Chaplin, with Kendal’s support and despite open defiance from the COB and others, comes up with a plan. With some of their command equipment damaged, they head to a small nearly island with a NATO station and take it over. There they find out that the attack was from a US sub, and that someone else followed orders and fired nukes into Pakistan. Chaplin calls Admiral Shepard and gives the phone to Grace so she can assure her father that she’s alive, and Kendal is able to call his wife.
One of the SEALs, James King (Daniel Lissing), connects with island barkeep Tani Tumrenjack (Dichen Lachman, who gets little screen time in this episode, but I hope that will change!) as he requests storage for his fallen comrade’s body and alcohol to drink his sorrow away. He’s soon challenged by the self-proclaimed “mayor” of the island, Julian Serrat (Michael Sahr Ngaujah) and his goons. After stating in detail how he will kill each one of them if they don’t quit keeping him from his drink, they leave (don’t mess with Navy SEALs!). However, they only retreat to take a more aggressive approach toward these unwelcome “tourists,” later kidnapping two members of the crew.
Since now the US knows the Colorado survived (thanks to the phone calls and a betrayal from the COB and several crew who aligned with him – Lt. Shepard was forced to shoot one of them before he executed Kendal), two bombers head toward the island. Knowing they’ll bomb the island even if the sub dives to avoid the attack, Chaplin issues an ultimatum – turn them back or he fires a nuke at Washington. They retreat at the last minute, and the nuke lands in the Atlantic. Chaplin declares a 200-mile no man’s land around the island, and threatens to nuke anyone who breaches it.
And the final twist? The injured SEAL ranting about how they had the wrong intel, that they killed the wrong people, and the one at the bar, sobbing at the attack footage and saying all this is his fault. The latter scene had added shock because of how unflappable King had been until that moment.
It’s hard to think of something I didn’t like about this pilot episode. The action kept things moving, the actors fit their roles, for all the drama there were moments with the right touch of humor, and the whole episode felt as polished as a summer blockbuster.
But unlike most summer blockbusters (no matter how many unwanted sequels get made), what hit me most was the potential for future storytelling in these characters. You don’t get to spend much time with most of them, but just about every character leaves you wanting to know more about their story.
Since the initial setting is a Navy sub, it did have a bit of an NCIS feel, especially those episodes that have taken place on a ship/sub. Caplin reminded me a little of Battlestar Galactica’s Adama – protective, but not afraid to be ruthless.
If Last Resort keeps up this quality, I will be watching every episode of the show. It has a rough time slot at 8PM on Thursday, especially against The Big Bang Theory, The X Factor, 30 Rock, and The Vampire Diaries. ABC hasn’t had a new show succeed in that time slot since Ugly Betty. But Last Resort has the mettle to stick around, so I hope viewers will give it a chance. You’ll be glad you did.
Now that all of the broadcast networks have revealed their fall schedules, as well as trailers or clips of new shows, it’s time to look at what I will be watching live, what I’ll have to catch online, and how many annoying half hour and hour “dead zones” I’ll have between good shows.
TVLine was nice enough to compile a grid chart of what’s airing when, which you can view at the link below (it will open in a new tab so you can follow along):
Thanks to 666 Park Street’s too-much-horror bent, Once Upon a Time remains my only show for Sundays, though if my Sunday evenings stay busy, I’ll be watching online anyway.
Monday has a lot of dead zones. Since I don’t get HD Fox coverage in my area (which makes the picture 2/3 of its normal size), I’ll watch Bones on Hulu and How I Met Your Mother live. But since I’m likely giving up 2 Broke Girls (since it’s become the ladies’ version of Two and a Half Men instead of a smart, funny comedy), I don’t have anything else I plan to watch until Castle at 10. Revolution looks good, but like Smash (which will be back in midseason), I’ll only watch it live if Castle is a repeat or ABC won’t come in.
Tuesday’s first two hours are packed for me. I’ll probably watch NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles live when I can, because if I have to watch a show online I prefer Hulu to CBS’s video player. But if they’re on repeats or I’m in the mood for comedy, I have choices: Ben & Kate on Fox at 8:30, New Girl on Fox or Go On on NBC at 9, and The Mindy Project on Fox (maybe) or Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 at 9:30. Nothing on at 10 that interests me, though I might watch the pilot of Vegas out of curiosity.
Wednesday just has two shows I plan to watch, and of course they conflict – Arrow at 8 and Suburgatory at 8:30. I might try out Animal Practice (at 8) if I’m watching Suburgatory live.
Even with Community’s move, Thursdays remain my busiest night. At 8, I have to choose between The Big Bang Theory and a half hour dead zone, or ABC’s Last Resort. At 9, Person of Interest and CW’s Beauty and the Beast will probably push The Office to online-only. My only conflict-free hour will be at 10, with CBS’s Elementary.
Friday, I will probably watch Community and Grimm (NBC, 8:30 and 9) live, and catch Nikita online.
All told, that’s 22-26 shows every week, out of which up to 12 are 1/2 hour comedies. Up to 20 hours total every week for broadcast shows, if I like all the new shows I’m trying out. Seems like a lot, but I guess not really for someone who runs a TV site. 🙂
NBC has unveiled its schedule for Fall 2012, and the most notable change is Community’s move to Fridays at 8:30. While Fridays are usually where shows go to die, quite a number of shows (usually niche genres) thrive there for years. While Community has a terrible lead-in (Whitney), at least it’s being put with Grimm, which has thrived in its Friday slot.
And with much less competition (no behemoth American Idol or The Big Bang Theory ratings to strive against), Community might do well enough for a back nine order and/or season 5 renewal. I’m not too unhappy since this means probably the only two shows I’ll watch live on NBC will be back to back.
Unfortunately, most of NBC’s schedule looks like a mess. Two new comedies I’m interested in watching (Go On, and to a lesser extent Animal Practice) are paired with comedies I plan to avoid at all costs (The New Normal, Guys With Kids). Thursday night’s all-veteran comedy lineup means I’ll probably just catch The Office online, and if Castle stays in the same slot, I’ll do the same with the new Revolution (which NBC does show a lot of faith in by putting after The Voice and holding Smash off till midseason).
Also on hold until midseason: Next Caller, 1600 Penn, Save Me, Do No Harm, Infamous, and Hannibal. But you can still get a sneak peak at many of these shows at the link below!