Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fall TV 2014: My Picks

Ah, it's that time of year again. The temperatures are (finally) cooling off, kids are headed back to school, and a young-ish girl's mind turns to thoughts of the new Fall television season.

What? It's hormonal and all a perfectly normal part of development.

As usual there are a lot of new shows airing this Fall on the networks and I'm here to hopefully provide a little guidance as to what is looking good. Now, please bear in mind, I'm not one of those fancy paid tv critics who has access to advance pilots and press packets. Oh, no. Instead, my opinions are based solely on the descriptions I have read of the shows, who is starring in them, the "buzz" on the internet, and my gut. So basically, I am completely uninformed. Which in America makes me an expert!

And just so you know that I take this shit very seriously, here are my notes and viewing grid that I have compiled over the past few days:

The most impressive thing is actually that I have nice handwriting. 

So, here the 5 shows I am most looking forward to in the new Fall season (in no particular order):

Constantine: Friday nights at 10:00PM on NBC, premiere on 10/24 (oooh, right before Halloween!). 

From the NBC website: "Based on the wildly popular comic book series "Hellblazer" from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, "Criminal Minds") is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight - or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he's decided to abandon his campaign against evil until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent."

There has already been some controversy with the show, notably that the character isn't bisexual and doesn't smoke (since he is and does both in the comics), and some casting shake-ups, but the pilot has tested well with critics and the folks at Comic Con. Also, I really liked the movie (the one with the amazing Tilda Swinton and, oh yeah Keanu Reeves was in there too). This one just pushes all my fangirl buttons and I admit--I'm looking forward to it!

Sure, he's smoking hot...but he is supposed to be SMOKING.

Gotham: Monday nights at 8:00PM on FOX, premiere on 9/22. 

I'm not the only TV Slut excited about Gotham; Clovis has already laid claim to the recapping privileges. This shouldn't be a big surprise, he is a bit of a comic book nerd. That's right--this one is another comic book adaption, though it takes even more liberties than Constantine and The Flash (discussed below).

FOX says, "The good. The evil. The beginning. Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world's greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon's story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world's most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker? GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told."

I am intrigued by the premise, and hey, it's got Jada Pinkett Smith as a mob boss. Baller. 

The Flash: Tuesday nights at 8:00PM on The CW.

Yes, it's ANOTHER comic book adaption! It really pays to have a successful comic book series these days. Literally. Anyhoodle, The Flash is a spin-off from Arrow (which has become one of my favorite action dramas) so I have high hopes. It also stars the adorable Grant Gustin (who guest starred on Arrow last year and was also delightful as an evil gay rival glee-clubber on Glee). Rumor has it we can also expect lots of crossovers with Arrow including Felicity--who was set-up as a love interest for Barry last season. 

CW's official description: "Barry Allen is a brilliant, driven and endearingly geeky CSI investigator, whose determination to uncover the truth about his mother’s strange death leads him to follow up on every unexplained urban legend and scientific advancement that comes along. Barry’s latest obsession is a cutting edge particle accelerator, created by visionary physicist Harrison Wells and his S.T.A.R. Labs team. However, something goes horribly wrong during the public unveiling, and when the devastating explosion causes a freak storm, many lives are lost and Barry is struck by lightning. After nine months in a coma, Barry awakens to find his life has changed once again – the accident has given him the power of super speed, granting him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Barry has always had the heart of a hero and now he has the legs to match, but he quickly learns that being a superhero is not as easy as it seems -- and he can’t do it alone."

Jane the Virgin: Monday nights at 9:00PM on The CW, premiere on 10/13.

I know, I know, it's a terrible title. But this adaption of a Venezuelan telenovela has been getting a lot of positive buzz for months and the previews I've seen make it seem very Ugly Betty-esque. The description below doesn't really due the show any favors (it also sounds kind of terrible), but trust me on this one. It should be funny, entertaining, and seems like it has a good heart. 

The CW says: "When Jane Villanueva was a young girl, her grandmother, Alba, convinced her of two things: telenovelas are the highest form of entertainment, and women must protect their virginity at all costs. Now age 23, Jane is a driven young woman studying to become a teacher, nursing a dream to be a writer, and supporting herself with a job at a hot new Miami hotel. All of Jane’s meticulous life plans are turned upside down, however, when she sees her doctor for a routine check-up and is accidentally artificially inseminated with a specimen meant for the patient in the next room. Unbeknownst to her, the specimen belongs to Rafael, a reformed playboy and cancer survivor, who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works but also a former summer crush of hers. A few weeks later, the unsuspecting Jane is faced with the most important decisions of her life. Will she continue with the pregnancy? How can she explain the situation to her fiancĂ© and family? And what should she do about the wishes of the biological father, Rafael, and his scheming wife Petra?"

Oh, you cannot imagine how hard I would sue that doctor.

And....finally.....Z Nation: Friday nights at 10:00PM on SyFy, premiere on 9/12 (THIS FRIDAY!).

It's like The Walking Dead, except, you know, if things actually happened and people did more than just randomly walk around in the zombie-ridden world and then inexplicably decide to stand still for long periods of time without formulating any long term plans for their basic survival. Did I say that out loud? OH YES I DID. Basically, it will be The Walking Dead but not boring. At least, that's the hope!

From the SyFy website: "Z Nation starts three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country, a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America."

Z Nation also wins the "best tagline" contest this year.

Honorable mention for Gracepoint over on FOX, a remake of the astounding BBC series, Broadchurch.

Some random/interesting stats I pulled from my personalized tv viewing grid for the Fall:

--FOX and ABC are tied for the network I will watch most--I plan on viewing 8 shows on each network (including new and returning programs). 

--My busiest time slot is Tuesday between 9:00 and 10:00PM, there are 4 shows I want to watch! Agents of SHIELD, Supernatural, and New Girl/The Mindy Project. I think I am going to have to record SHIELD and the FOX comedies and then catch Supernatural on On Demand. Sorry, Jensen, but you know I still love you--though your show has been a bit long in the tooth for a while.

--There are 15 new shows I plan to give a try! But please bear in mind: even though I picked 15 new shows to watch, most of them won't make my cut after the first episode. And I will probably only choose about 3 to stick with through the entire season. 

And now it's your turn! Anything you are looking forward to seeing this Fall? If you need a good resource to plan your viewing schedule, check out TV Guide's website where they have a day-by-day viewing grid and a premiere calendar

Happy viewing!

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