For new shows, I have to confess, I am shocked by the allure of Gotham. By all accounts on the show running spectrum, this show should die a quick and horrible death. While the Batman franchise can live large at any time, a story where Bruce Wayne is a kid means that the basic story arc is that the entire city has to go into the toilet so that Bruce Wayne needs to become Batman to save it. So, to prove that story arc possible, just about every season has to end with things getting just a bit worse. So I was fully ready to take a pass on Gotham, with the full expectation that it would die. But a friend at work said she had watched it and really enjoyed it, so I pulled it up on my DVR and gave it a go. The show is borderline awesome. It has a Gotham City feel to it from the get-go, with a look and feel to match. Jim Gordon is the main protagonist and just a detective, but the choice of Ben McKenzie as the actor is extremely compelling (I never watched Southland, nor O.C., but I’m curious how he was in them). He’s great here. The rest of the characters are a little cartoonish at times (not Batman 1966 cartoons, just a little overplayed, like most Batman villains). The first three episodes were pretty good, and while Jim gets dirty in the city, he also gets to make small differences, maybe take some of the edge off the city’s blade. It’s already picked up for a full season, as it should be. Long term, I don’t know, but I think Season 2 is relatively assured.
I’ve only watched Scorpion‘s first episode, and while the pacing was a little off, and the writing a bit clumsy in places, overall I’m in for the recording. Unfortunately, I think the show is too quirky to be sustainable. “Super nerds save the world” usually works better when the nerds are secondary, not primary characters, even if CSI and Numbers proved otherwise for a while. Nevertheless, I’ll give it a go for watching for now.
I saw the promos for Jane the Virgin. The premise is she’s saving herself for marriage, but add one mix-up at the hospital and she’s accidentally artificially inseminated. Let the storyline begin. Yawn. That’s good for about, oh, two episodes and then it just becomes single pregnant girl. Oh wait, she’s Latina. Maybe three episodes.
For returning shows, Mom blew me away last season for all of ten seconds in the restaurant, and then she went home to her family, and the show dropped 50 IQ points. Pass.
I don’t watch the zombie shows, and making it vampires instead doesn’t help, so I passed on The Originals both last year and this year. I didn’t realize anyone was watching it enough for a renewal, but there you go. Equally passing on 2 Broke Girls, Dancing with the Stars, and The Voice. The false drama of all three (!) makes them unwatchable for me.
The Big Bang Theory is one of my favorite shows, and I love that the premise of 4 guys and a girl has broadened out to 3.5 couples with another half on the way. The extra options for interactions, and the fantastic choices for actresses to play Bernadette and Amy, female nerds of a different feather to compliment the male versions, makes the other storylines regularly even funnier than the main lines. I was disappointed the first episode of the new season so quickly resolved Sheldon’s angst from the end of last season though, could have been good to let him stew awhile longer.
Sleepy Hollow just plain rocked last year. I could do without most of the characters other than Ichabod, but Tom Mason is phenomenal as the lead. His look, his mannerisms, it is easy to suspend disbelief most of the time. And they handle the flashbacks pretty well. The show went a little Supernatural-ish at the end of last season, where it had been light horror before, and not to the betterment of the show. I have recorded the first four episodes, and haven’t caught up yet, but I expect the series will continue for the whole season easily, with return to regular plot-of-the-week being main storyline by episode 5 or so.
I also make sure not to miss an episode of The Blacklist. I really wondered if the show would have legs last year with James Spader as the lead, and if you can forget any show where he looked like he should be hanging out with Andrew McCarthy, he’s really quite good as Reddington. More importantly, Megan Boone as agent Elizabeth Keen (technically she’s trained as a profiler, but that seemed to fall by the wayside by episode 2) is awesome. Good looking, compelling, the hot brainiac next door type. I vaguely remember her from the short-lived L&O: LA, but she was decent there too. Love the show, and the first couple of episodes of the year have been great to meet (spoiler alert! spoiler alert!) Reddington’s ex-wife. I found his return to working with them far too easy, and they shook up the people on the team a bit too, but basically the same show cuz you don’t fix what ain’t broken. It’ll be around full season easy.
My second favorite show on TV is Castle. I know I just lost all credibility, but I love the premise of a mystery writer who solves crimes without it being Angela Lansbury. Add the fact that Stana Katic is awesome as Beckett, and it is Must-Watch TV in my house. I’m going to go out on a limb, but it has a bit of an innocent-without-being-cozy feel to it, the same type of shows I grew up watching — Simon and Simon, Moonlighting, Magnum P.I. The various dark cop shows can keep their angst in dealing with corruption, noir plots, personal demons; Castle is all about the mystery of the week, wrapping it up in 44 minutes, with nary a need for a F bomb in sight. Episodes 1-2 of the new season deal with Castle’s disappearance at the end of last season, but by episode 4, Castle and Beckett are back in near-normal land, and I suspect that will continue until 75% of the way through the season. I’m sure the “big secret” will come out then, perhaps just in time for new nuptials?
I am not sure how NCIS: LA will fare this year. I watch Gibbs’ team on regular NCIS every week, even though it is beyond formulaic. But NCIS: LA has an extra vibe that both helps and hinders things — maybe it is the rogue nature of their operation, or the constant will they / won’t they / did they vibe for Kenzi and Deaks, or maybe even just the ridiculous over-acting by their bosses, but I feel like the suspension of disbelief gets harder every week. I’m in, but when I’ve hit this point with other shows, I started watching part of it in fast forward, and it wasn’t long before the networks cancelled them outright. If NCIS: Orleans cannibalizes the audience, I bet LA is toast.
There’s a new show starting in November called State of Affairs, which looks like a cross-between Madam Secretary and Homeland — a hot blonde CIA analyst who advises the President. I found HL hard to get into (the meds for her mental condition seemed way too cliché to hold my interest) and Madam Secretary is smarmy. I want to believe a storyline in the genre can work without degrading down to Covert Affairs level (although I do enjoy that show too), but Katherine Heigl plays the analyst? With a Southern belle accent? I’m passing long before I get to even see an episode, and betting on cancellation by Episode 4.
|Jane the Virgin||New||Zero||Cancel mid-season||Pending|
|State of Affairs||New||Zero||Cancel mid-season||Pending|
|The Originals||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|2 Broke Girls||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|The Voice||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|Dancing with the Stars||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|NCIS: LA||Returning||Moderate||Full season||Pending|
|Sleepy Hollow||Returning||High||Full season||Pending|
|The Big Bang Theory||Returning||High||Full season||Pending|
|The Blacklist||Returning||High||Full season||Pending|