We’re finally ready to start justifying the ‘TV’ part of Movies | TV | Comics …
Good TV is strangely hard to find. We’re living in the medium’s most productive period of all time – and yet that’s only allowed for more trash to slip through onto our screens. The industry is changing, and while audiences are now treated to better content than ever from their streaming and cable services, network TV continues to lag behind. It’s made the fall TV season more hit-and-miss than ever – and with so much choice on offer, you’ve got to be careful about which characters and stories you want to invest your precious time in. The struggle to find a new show is real my friends. Very real indeed.
Atlanta | FX
Key Players: Donald Glover, Keith Stanfield, Hiro Murai
This one’s a bit of a cheat as (a) it’s already started, and (b) everyone’s already watching it – but I couldn’t snub what looks to be the most well-rounded show of the year. Actor/rapper/writer/smol cinnamon roll Donald Glover has channeled all of his many talents to produce a refreshingly down-to-earth show that blends cutting social commentary with moments of pure hilarity. Three episodes into it’s freshman season and Atlanta is a roaring success – it almost justifies Troy’s departure from Community. Almost.
Air Date (US): 06/09
The Good Place | NBC
Key Players: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Michael Schur
Network TV hasn’t been this bereft of decent sitcoms since… ever? Brooklyn Nine-Nine remains one of the few gems in a line-up that only seems to get worse every year. B99‘s co-creator Michael Schur has teamed up with the ever-entertaining Kristen Bell to deliver a tongue-in-cheek sitcom about an immoral woman who is accidentally sent to heaven. It’ll be interesting to see how its barmy premise holds up in the long-term, but it appears to offer something The Big Bang Theory & co have been sorely missing: wit.
Air Date (US): 25/09
Luke Cage | Netflix
Key Players: Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Cheo Hodari Coker
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect much from Mike Colter when he was first cast as Luke Cage in Jessica Jones, but he blew me away. Now primed to lead his own Netflix series, Colter has the opportunity to take the character to new heights. With America still struggling with issues of race and inequality, now feels like the perfect time for Cage to enter the mainstream consciousness – ideally uniting fans of all creed & color. Netflix have yet to put a foot wrong with their Defenders shows. This could be their best effort yet.
Air Date (US): 30/09
Westworld | HBO
Key Players: Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
HBO needs a hit. Sure, they have Game Of Thrones, but after True Detective‘s sophomore slump & Vinyl‘s freshman flop, they were in a bit of a tight spot when it came to original drama. Enter Westworld, a dark & enigmatic sci-fi odyssey adapted from Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name. Production may have shut down midway through filming, but that seems to have played into the network’s hands, allowing showrunners Jonah Nolan & Lisa Joy to plot out several more (potential) seasons to come…
Air Date (US): 02/10
Dirk Gently’s Hollistic Detective Agency | BBC America
Key Players: Elijah Wood, Samuel Barnett, Max Landis
To call Max Landis ‘divisive’ would be a gross understatement. The opinionated scribe behind American Ultra, Chronicle & DC’s American Alien attracts all kinds of praise and hate every time he opens his mouth. That’s what’s made him so fascinating to me. He’s a guy whose work I tend to love or love to hate. Dirk Gently looks right in his quirky wheelhouse, and with Elijah Wood on board Landis certainly has my interest piqued. Whether he can impress the Douglas Adams faithful is another matter entirely…
Air Date (US): 22/10
The Best Of The Rest
This Is Us, NBC – This could be a schmaltzy family drama with very little longevity after its opening gimmick, but it’s drummed up a fair amount of buzz so far. The cast is very likeable | Airs: 20/09
Speechless, ABC – Just like anyone else who’s ever seen Good Will Hunting, I love Minnie Driver. This seems like a sweet family dramedy that probably would have worked better as a film | Airs: 21/09
Son Of Zorn, FOX – He-Man meets suburban life in a show that looks set to waste its wonderful part-animated premise with the same fish-out-of-water jokes we’ve seen a dozen times before | Airs: 25/09
Crisis In Six Scenes, Amazon – You’d have thought Woody Allen’s first foray into television would have been cause for more excitement, but the advertising for this has been dire | Airs: 30/09
Timeless, NBC – This looks really silly – and at the same time really fun. A show like this could actually have Lost-levels of potential… or the writers could swiftly run out of ideas | Airs: 03/10
You can find me talking nonsense in far fewer characters @mintsanity.