I am a huge fan of serialized storytelling, so the fall premiere is like my fantasy sports league. I try out new players, fall back on old stalwarts, lament the loss of retired ones, and avoid others that I wouldn’t draft even if nothing else was available.
Sunday night of the new season is a perfect example for me. For returning shows, American Dad, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Boardwalk Empire, Bob’s Burgers, The Newsroom, and Family Guy were never on my schedule, but somebody’s watching them.
There are also the hugely popular The Walking Dead, Homeland, The Good Wife and CSI. I missed the initial bandwagons, although I did watch some of the early CSI, but I’ll catch up on them on Netflix sometime. So too for The Simpsons, it’s not on my recording schedule.
I used to record Once Upon A Time, but somewhere in Never Never Land last year, it became just Never Never and I lost interest. The Frozen storyline looks interesting this year, maybe somebody can let me know how it’s going. I record Revenge for my wife, and after it is over, she updates me in about 4 minutes on anything I care about. I can’t believe Charlotte is still alive. Seriously? I don’t even watch the show and I want to see if the fandom of wesleycrusherdiediedie are available for an online petition. I gave Resurrection a try last year, but it never gelled for me. I was incredibly surprised it was renewed.
Which leaves me open on Sunday night to new shows. The Affair on Showtime sounded promising — the story of an affair told from two very different points of view — but I don’t get the feed. The Comeback stars Lisa Kudrow. Outside of Friends, I find her almost unwatchable, so zero interest in this one, but the little I have seen is unfocused, going nowhere. I’m surprised Kirstie Alley wasn’t available for a couple of episodes to star and kill it.
When it comes to Madam Secretary, I thought the show was going to blow chunks. Tea Leoni was in the movie Deep Impact, where the asteroid had better emotional range than she did. Just about everything else I’ve seen her in, I’ve had to watch with almost gritted teeth. And yet I was incredibly surprised when I pulled up the first and second episodes. She is okay, not stellar, but easily pulls off the character. The problem is that the show seems to be trying to be The West Wing, International Edition, and there is a lot of walking and talking, and deep conversations about ethics and principles. Unfortunately, it continually comes across as “she was the brilliant analyst” and the rest of the characters are all lazy asses who just want to work in good jobs but have no idea what they are doing. I get that the writers are trying to show conflict between her and the staff, but they continually do it by demeaning everyone else to make Tea’s character look better. The West Wing did it too, no doubt about it, but they also showed the main characters struggling to understand things, to come up with options, to not always have the right answer until the last 7 minutes of the show, and sometimes, yes sometimes, to royally screw the pooch. Tea’s good, the show isn’t. I predicted cancellation after 4 episodes, but I think they may already be past that now!
Which just leaves Mulaney. The bar is pretty high for me, as I dislike almost all sitcoms. One of the few I can tolerate is The Big Bang Theory. But I’m eternally hopeful. Mulaney wasn’t the saviour I’d hoped for. Pitched as more “I Love Lucy” than “Louie”, there was no edge in the scenes I saw. SNL audiences may love him, I had to pass.
|Sunday||Boardwalk Empire||Returning||Zero||Cancel mid-season||Pending|
|The Newsroom||Returning||Zero||Cancel mid-season||Pending|
|The Comeback||New||Zero||Cancel mid-season||Pending|
|Bob’s Burgers||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|Family Guy||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|American Dad||Returning||Zero||Full season||Pending|
|Madam Secretary||New||Mild||Cancel mid-season||Pending|
|The Good Wife||Returning||Mild||Full season||Pending|
|The Walking Dead||Returning||Mild||Full season||Pending|
|Once Upon A Time||Returning||Mild||Full season||Pending|
|The Simpsons||Returning||Mild||Full season||Pending|
|The Affair||New||Moderate||Full season||Pending|