We’re well into November, so I figured now is as good a time as any to check-in on the TV season thus far. Let’s jump in!
I’m not sure if this is the case for a lot of people, but heading into this season, I was incredibly cautious about all the new shows. There were some that I was legitimately excited about/looking forward to, there were some that I knew I wanted to steer clear of, but there were A LOT that I wasn’t sure about. Trophy Wife was one of the shows that felt like it could have went either way for me. The more I watched it though, the more I fell in love with it. Misleading title aside (think along the lines of Cougar Town), the show is a different take of a “modern family” and the cast just have incredible chemistry and comedic timing (which includes the kids). I’m still not sure how I feel about The Crazy Ones, a pretty funny series especially when the cast gets to bounce off each other (which happens a lot), but there’s a little something missing for me. Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show have their funny moments, but there’s nothing big that ties me to them and makes me want to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the people working on both shows but I find myself watching it whenever, and not necessarily seeking it out to watch it. Must see TV they are not.
The shows which I was unsure of and subsequently dropped after watching a few episodes? Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Reign, Back In the Game, Super Fun Night. With Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, I was already disappointed that they had decided to make it an actual series and part of the primetime lineup, instead of their original plan to air it during flagship OUAT’s winter hiatus. As I watched the first two episodes, I just found myself incredibly bored and the CGI incredibly distracting. OUAT’s VFX were never great (pretty good though with the budget they’re working with), but because it’s used sparingly, I can deal with the occasional green screen scene. For Wonderland, it is seemingly all green screen special effects and thus incredibly distracting. I honestly had no intention on watching Reign in the first place, which in itself is surprisingly considering I usually love watching historical/period dramas. I think people labelling it as “Game of Thrones meets Gossip Girl” just completely turned me off. Then hearing a good number of critics/journalists actually liking it, I figured I should at least give it a try. After watching the pilot, I didn’t change my mind about it – I just didn’t like it. Back In the Game had a feeling that harkened back to older sitcoms, while trying its hardest to feel completely modern; therein lies the problem. While trying to be yet another take on the “modern family,” there was nothing that seemed fresh about it. As for Super Fun Night, I tried really hard to like it because of Rebel Wilson, but I didn’t find it funny at all.
One show that I was legitimately excited to watch this season was Dracula and unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations and I found it kind of boring. Then there’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Above almost all the other new shows, this one had the most buzz and anyone who is a fan of the Marvel universe was excited to see this one. The pilot episode was great, but after that, it took more than a few episodes before the show found its footing. I was more than happy to stick with it and see how they were going to develop it, despite some inconsistencies and blah moments, but I know a lot of people let it go as well. It’s not that it’s a bad show; I personally think we all may have had such high expectations for the show that when it didn’t deliver to those standards, we inevitably got disappointed. I was excited to watch The Tomorrow People because it’s another take on the humans with superpowers story we’ve heard/seen in various movies and TV shows before it, which ultimately could’ve proved to be too familiar. While not amazing (I’m still bothered by the fact that they made Robbie Amell’s Stephen a high school-er and the triangle set-up between him, Cara, and John), the show has still managed to make us care about these characters and what they’re doing. It helps that they gave backstories to Cara, John, and Russell so early (in episodes 3, 4, and 6, respectively).
But enough with the negatives. Let’s talk about the shows that I was excited to watch and then invariably impressed. Sleepy Hollow. Wow. Without a doubt one of the best new shows this season. It gave the original story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman a supernatural twist, but it also knows not to take itself too seriously by infusing some humourous moments. Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, as our two leads, have chemistry in spades, though contrary to popular opinion, I’d rather them stay platonic a la Sherlock and Holmes on Elementary. Also, the supporting cast in Orlando Jones and guest stars Lyndie Greenwood and John Noble just make the show work on so many levels. It might be a little bit early for me to say this but I love Almost Human. As of posting, the show had only aired 2 episodes, and I had already seen the pilot at SDCC. The pilot for me wasn’t perfect, but it set the ground work for the series. Episode 2 was pretty much what Fringe fans loved, but in a new show: drama, humour, heart, against a ridiculous backdrop (in this case – sexbots). Adding to the FOX love, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has delivered on the laughs every episode. With Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher fronting the show as the smart man-child detective and the serious Captain of the precinct, and the Park and Recreation guys in charge, it had to be funny. What made it great was that the entire supporting cast works so well, you’d have thought that they have all worked together prior to the show or that it wasn’t a freshman series at all.
I wanted to talk about returning shows mainly for one reason: Arrow. It’s first season was great, with establishing the characters, Oliver’s story from when he was on the island and how that affected him to become this vigilante/hero, and all the action. This season, DC has seemingly given the show and its writers an all-access pass to characters in the DC universe, and they are just running with it. Just when you think they can’t get any better, they do. Twists, revelations, further character development (hello, Thea Queen for being the most improved), wonderful guest stars. The writing is top notch and they are just firing on all cylinders.
Revenge got a lot of flack for its convoluted second season, but this season has been a return to form. Is it nearly as awesome as its first season? No, but they’ve done an admirable job in trying to make us forget the mess of last season. Flagship Once Upon A Time seems almost like a spin-off of its own show with the focus being primarily on the core characters and their journey through Neverland to save Henry. Another ABC show, Scandal, continues to be the epitome of CRAZY awesome storytelling. Sometimes I forget Shonda Rhimes is in charge of Scandal, because obviously she’s still attached to Grey’s Anatomy (which I stopped watching years ago). The Mindy Project is as funny as ever, and it’s been great to see Adam Pally (who’s practically playing a straight, only slightly more professional version of his Happy Endings‘ Max) join the cast.
How I Met Your Mother, now in its final season, has been hit and miss with this idea to make the season take place over the entire weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding. There’s been the usual HIMYM antics, which are still funny. However, the whole storyline with Marshall traveling with Sherri Sheppard’s character just didn’t do anything except keep Marshall away from the rest of the gang. The good part though? Getting to see more of The Mother.
What new shows have you gotten hooked on? What’s been surprisingly good or surprisingly disappointing? Which returning shows are still making your time worthwhile? Let me know in the comments!