It’s that time again to see how Fall’s new shows measured up. October’s new shows fared better than September’s new shows overall (for more new September shows click here). While three of these shows are lacking that special something the shows that shine nearly make up for it, because they’re just that good. Read on to see where these shows stand. 😉
Premiered on October 1 on FOX Rating:
A cynical skeptic (Craig Robinson), and a genius “true believer” in the paranormal (Adam Scott), are recruited by a secret government agency to look into the rampant “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles — all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race.
Ghosted is essentially a buddy comedy with a supernatural/X-Files/Ghostbusters backdrop. It has so much potential, in terms of story, cast (Craig Robinson and Adam Scott) and the cast’s chemistry with each other. So why doesn’t it work? It’s still trying to figure that, and itself, out.
Basically, Ghosted doesn’t have a voice or direction yet. Every episode so far seems to have a different tone, and it’s not that you don’t know where this show is going, it just seems to be going nowhere. But because of the cast (everyone really does the best they can with the material given) and the basic premise (not so much the story of each episode) there is so much this show could be, that I hope it’s given the chance.
I really do think that Ghosted will eventually come into its own; it just isn’t there yet.
Ten Days In The Valley
Premiered on October 1 on ABC Rating:
Kyra Sedgwick stars as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted.
I’ll admit that I had high hopes for this show. Kyra Sedgwick is awesome and while the story isn’t the most original, the trailer made it look so entertaining that you just don’t care if it’s new or not. Unfortunately, the trailer is a lie.
I’m reminded of Project Runway, when a designer is told they need to work on “editing” themselves. I wish this show would edit itself because it’s so overworked that nothing works. There is too much going on, with an ever-changing angle and not one is all that interesting, yet alone entertaining. What’s more the characters are just blah. I’m all for flawed characters because they seem to be the richest, most dimensional and let’s face it – most realistic, characters on TV. But this show isn’t about flawed characters as much as it is flawed wrappers without anything human inside. You just don’t care, not about a distraught mom, a frantic father or a little girl whose fate is unknown, and that’s pretty bad.
I don’t understand how a show that tries too hard and has too much going on could be so underwhelming. But that’s the only thing Ten Days in the Valley seems to accomplish.
Wisdom of the Crowd
Premiered on October 1 on CBS Rating:
Inspired by the notion that a million minds are better than one, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeffrey Tanner develops “Sophe,” an online platform for publicly shared information he’s certain will find his daughter’s killer. To assist him, Tanner recruits Det. Tommy Cavanaugh, the original cop who investigated the murder, but was unceremoniously forced off the case. Working with them is Sara Morton, a brilliant engineer whose relationship with Tanner goes beyond the professional; Josh Novak, a talented, nerdy-cool head programmer; and Tariq Bakari, a tech genius and expert hacker with issues adhering to the rules. Concerned with Tanner’s obsession is his successful ex-wife, Congresswoman Alex Hale, with whom he shares an unbreakable bond over their shared grief. As Tanner taps into the “wisdom of the crowd,” his unexpected success fuels his determination to solve even more cases than just the one that’s personal to him.
The best show on this list is actually one of the best of fall. This show starts with a murder mystery of Jeffrey Tanner’s daughter. He is certain that the man convicted of her murder is innocent, and wants real justice for his daughter. Making this story more interesting is the conflict with his ex-wife (Monica Potter) who is certain that the man in jail is guilty and can’t bear reliving the whole thing again. This hovers in the background of every episode, which is more than all right, because it adds something new each time. A new piece of evidence, an interview with the man convicted, or notes of a conspiracy much larger than a simple murder.
Meanwhile, each episode focuses on a different case that Sohpe, their revolutionary online platform, helps solve. The most interesting character in this show is actually Sophe. The interactive platform that allows users to engage with each other, helping solve cases, locate suspects and rescue potential victims seems far-fetched and hard to pull off at best, but Wisdom doesn’t just pull it off, it makes it so believable you’ll forget you ever had doubts.
It’s a little science, a little sociology, a lot of statistics (Sophe uses complex algorithms to sort real tips from useless ones, as well probabilities with every aspect of each case, in real time) and of course computer tech. I was cautiously hopeful of what this show would be, and it is better than I ever imagined.
Wisdom of the Crowd delivers on everything it promised and more. It’s definitely something to see if you haven’t watched it already! 😉
Premiered on October 2 on CBS Rating:
Josh Roberts is a new divorcé and actor between projects who moves home to New York to regroup, living in an apartment sandwiched between his doting, meddlesome parents on one side and his brother, sister-in-law and their new baby on the other. Josh’s well-intentioned mom, Judy, is so excited to have her beloved son home after his 12 years in Los Angeles that she bribes their doorman, Nick, to secretly call her every time Josh comes up the elevator so she can greet him in the hallway. Also thrilled is Josh’s larger-than-life father, Harry, an attorney with no personal boundaries who’s eager to help Josh land his next starring role using his Hollywood “connections.” Teasing Josh about his return home are his competitive brother, Andrew, a successful surgeon who, unlike Josh, doesn’t have a problem saying “no” to their interfering parents; Andrew’s Harvard-educated pediatrician wife, Eve; and 12-year-old neighbor Ian from 5A, who hangs out in the lobby. As Josh’s family literally comes at him from both sides, he realizes he desperately needs to establish some ground rules, because his loving family is always going to be right there for him. Always.
9JKL has all of the ingredients of a wonderful comedy that seemed to follow in the footsteps of Everybody Loves Raymond. But the problem is that it’s just too familiar. Okay, that’s being kind, this sitcom is bland, boring, tired and obvious.
What I can’t understand with this show is: what happened? True, this kind of family sitcom has been done a lot, but other shows still find a way to come into their own, and they don’t take that long doing it. 9JKL has a phenomenal supporting cast that shine here (Matt Murray as the doorman, and Albert Tsai as a kid who hangs out in the lobby a lot and comments on Josh’s pathetic life); the problem is their short stints of screen time are the best in every episode. As for the rest of the cast full of wonderful actors who deserve another series, particularly the parents (Linda Lavin and Elliott Gould), I just feel sorry for them. They deserve something better than this.
When you can see everything that happens in an episode from a mile away, something has to change. I just hope 9JKL figures that out and changes before they get the ax. Because at this rate, cancellation is a sure thing.
Premiers on October 3 on ABC Rating:
Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years, he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century: Running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: An election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, Community) and friends, including Valentina (Glee’s Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.
I have decided that ABC is officially the sitcom network. It repeatedly puts out fresh sitcoms that start out strong and stay that way. Such is the case with ABC’s newest comedy, The Mayor. The Mayor is a show that has a confident swagger from the very first scene in the pilot, and hasn’t lost it. Brandon Micheal Hall stars as Courtney Rose, a smalltime rapper who runs for mayor of his small California hometown. What is done as a publicity stunt to launch his music career ends with him being his city’s chief executive officer. This show might not resonate as much as it does in today’s current political climate. The difference between Courtney Rose compared to our actual president is that he is likeable, charismatic, has the people’s best interests at heart, and really steps up once he is elected, even though he is absolutely clueless.
The Mayor has everything a sitcom needs to be a hit. It has good scripts with jokes that land exactly as they should. A strong lead and supporting cast (Nicole Brown as Rose’s mother and Lea Michele as Rose’s chief of staff) who all have really good chemistry with each other and an ease that the audience feels. It’s a show where you can sit back and enjoy without thinking about it. And it’s a show that once it’s over and you think about it, you realize how smart and brilliant it is as a commentary on our country’s political landscape right now. Who knew a show could do both?
The Mayor is definitely a show to watch this fall. Sit back and laugh, and then think about its meaning later for a dose of double satisfaction. 😉
A good roundup of shows. One more post of October’s new shows and then I’m done until 2018. Thank goodness! 😛