TV

Fall TV Week: TGI-Thursday

We have SuperGood Thursdays and TGIT? Okay, technically last night wasn’t Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT,” because Scandal won’t be back until 2017, but it was TGIT to me because NBC aired two fantastic comedies back to back, reviving just a little bit of the We Peacock Comedy block from the golden days. Regardless of what we’re calling it, it was a better night for TV than Wednesday.

Superstore, Thursdays at 8 on NBC
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I don’t personally know anyone who watches Superstore, which is a huge disappointment, because it is really great. It has a fantastic and real ensemble, hilarious one-liners, America Ferrara, and is a workplace comedy which is easily my favorite kind. I like that we can watch a group of people on strike an expression of discontentedness that will actually impact their lives, while they also drag down anti-rights bigots. Cast member Colton Dunn isn’t actually in a wheelchair, but this show feels important and representative, and it’s funny as hell.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays at 8 on ABC
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I watched 11 seasons of Grey’s in two months. But I didn’t spend those two months watching Alex Karev’s character development to have him go to JAIL. But to jail he went, and admittedly he deserved it because he fully busted DeLuca’s pretty face. And with a courtroom scene set for next episode, I’m still waiting for Shonda to crossover her shows (Karev’s lawyer could have been Annalise! Derek could have met with President Fitz instead of Obama!). Despite the light of my life Karev being put behind bars, this episode was also a strong opener, and I’m hoping the rest of the season focuses as much on Meredith and Alex’s friendship, which stands to be one of the best parts of this show since day one, and how it will turn into a romantic relationship, which stands to be the Grey’s dream I will not give up on. I’ll also be content with this season if it gives me more cute Kepner-Avery family moments. #JaprilTheMovie lives on.

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Can they air three episodes of this show every week? Even if it’s just for Janet’s fun facts, including how Christopher Columbus is in The Bad Place and “Fun Fact: Janet is me”? Kristen Bell is having the best time being a bad person in a good place, and I love how serialized this is becoming. Cliffhangers on a sitcom? Count me in. Now to help fellow bad person Jianyu, who I’m thrilled has finally spoken, because as we all know being a mute monk can only be funny for so long.

Pitch, Thursdays at 9 on FOX
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Pitch opens with messages from the two most powerful women in America- Hillary Rodham Clinton and… Ellen DeGeneres? Anyway, the question the show seems to want to answer is whether or not Ginny Baker will get added to that list. It might be too early to tell (how many times can Mark-Paul Gosselaar say “ass slapper” before everyone simultaneously unplugs their TV?) but with a MLB partnership this show feels realer than most. The flashbacks were a little much and I cringed at some dialogue- he said I’m an ass slapper!!- but because I’m a sucker, I also did things like get chills when Ginny sees her jersey for the first time. Plus, all those baseball-playing extras are attractive, and I can’t look at Ali Larter without thinking of Andy Bernard and Michael Scott, neither of which are bad things.

How To Get Away With Murder, Thursdays at 10 on ABC
Summer sucks when you’re terrified of being arrested as the accomplice to several murders, doesn’t it? It’s been a while since we last saw our murderous gang, and I had forgotten a good amount of details, but I have a feeling that this season will amp up the drama after the slightly confusing lull that was season 2. We were already hit with a good few mysteries: Who is Meggy, and why wasn’t I cast as Alfie Enoch’s girlfriend? Who is hanging up those “KILLER” posters of Annalise? When will Wes and Laurel hook up again? Who was that hit-man that my sister described as “an old Lin Manuel Miranda”? And oh yeah, #WhoWillDie? My odds are on Connor (he’s just too good for this world) though I kind of hope it’s Asher (sorry bro), but the stakes are high this year and I love it. Plus, our kids are real practicing lawyers now! Go get ’em, killers!

Still waiting for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Saturday Night Live to return (without Taran, tragically), but that’s my week. It’s been real!

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TV

Fall TV Week: Wednesday Horror Story

I don’t know if anyone has realized this, but there’s like, a lot of shows on TV right now. There’s not as much as Tuesday, but the 10 PM Wednesday block is stacked. Though, I now know I should have used my time turner to watch Designated Survivor live instead of My Roanoke Nightmare. American Horror Story: I Couldn’t Live-Tweet A Good Show.

Speechless, Wednesdays at 8:30 on ABC
It’s fun to see how many new “kooky white family” Pilots air each season. Imagine the pitch:

We need groundbreaking television! Guys… I think I have it. Please, tell us! So there’s this family right? Great. What Else. And they’re like, a super kooky white family. Brilliant. Keep Going. But here’s the twist. They’re getting a divorce/are superheroes/it’s the 80’s/they’re serial killers, etc. etc. etc.

You get it. Speechless sort of fits into the “kooky white family” trope, so it really wasn’t high on my list, but with all the early praise I had to tune in. And I’m glad I did, because unlike most kooky white family shows, it actually is groundbreaking. The DiMeo’s are tough but sweet, and I was genuinely stunned when I found out that Micah Fowler actually has cerebral palsy rather than just playing it. No offense Artie Abrams, but that’s a big deal. Speechless begs the age-old question: if you’re a family sitcom that’s not on Wednesdays on ABC, do you even try?

black-ish, Wednesdays at 9:30 on ABC
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The Johnson’s are the best, even despite the fact that this premiere was one long commercial for Disney World, planned for no reason other than the fact that the show airs on ABC (sidenote: nothing will beat the meta Full House Disney World special, where DJ imagines Steve as Aladdin, which is funny because he was the character’s voice actor). Regardless of the plot setup this episode had me laughing out loud, from Bow walking around with Mickey hands and feet eating a turkey leg to Charlie describing how he’s lived in the office for two months because his house is haunted. The family lesson about having fun together is cheesy as hell, but I still got a little choked up watching them enjoy the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle. C’mon, I’m not a robot.

American Horror Story: Roanoke, Wednesdays at 10 on FX
Womp. That’s how I feel about this season. I get that it’s a horror anthology show in it’s sixth season and you have to maintain some surprise and introduce new elements to keep the audience entertained. But repeating familiar plots has never hurt this show before (we’re all fine with having two Evan Peters ghosts roaming haunted buildings in LA), so changing the format this late in the game feels a little unnecessary. I’m assuming, and hoping, that there’s going to be a huge twist at the end that reveals My Roanoke Nightmare is Billie Dean Howard’s new TV show, or the talking heads are coverups for some horrifying conspiracy, or we find out it’s just a fever dream Matt Bomer is recounting to his therapist, Darren Criss. But for now, I don’t care about any of the characters because they all seemingly live to tell the tale. I’m not watching reruns of Discovery Channel’s A Haunting for a reason. Just give Lily Rabe more to do, and show me Evan Peters already. Also, I kind of miss the theme song.

Designated Survivor, Wednesdays at 10 on ABC
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I am EXCITED about this show. All caps excited. I was a little young to get into 24 when it was on, but there’s something in the air and I think it’s this show uniting America as one nation under President Kirkman. I typically don’t care about fictional politics unless they’re Selina Meyer’s on Veep, but I’ve been fully obsessed with the presidential hierarchy for years so I feel like they just made this show for me. There was so much going on but my early guess is that the army general wants to kill Kiefer Sutherland because his son has been illegally selling drugs to teenage terrorists and somehow Maggie Q is involved because she seemed pretty chill for someone who just witnessed her friends/family/husband (?) die. This show is going to get so juicy and I cannot wait.

Mr. Robot, Season Finale also at 10 on USA
Ugh, I love Mr. Robot. But not this episode. Rami Malek is fantastic, and he deserved that Emmy. But not for long, winding conversations with Tyrell Wellick, who I was thrilled was barely in the season because his storylines put me to sleep. Last season’s reveal of who Mr. Robot really was was shocking, and Elliott & Mr. Robot’s dynamic this season has been interesting, but it’s not the same. There were so many  questions that needed answering, so many things at risk, so many and now I’m just fully confused. Is Stage Two getting Elliott to fall in love with Tyrell? I didn’t even catch the end-credits scene because I was glad the episode was over, and while I’m intrigued for what the Trenton/Mobley/Leon story means, I also still have no idea what any of it means. And I’m going to forget everything by next year.

Thank God It’s Thursday.

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TV

Fall TV Week: Monday Night Lights

It’s happening. I’m finally truly happy. My crops have grown, I just got a raise, and Fall TV is back. Just when I thought I’d be stuck spending my nights watching The Man From UNCLE and every other movie on the Starz App forever, fall TV swoops in to save me. I’m #blessed!

I’ll spend my week trying to watch as much as possible while still maintaining some semblance of a life. Here’s what I watched and what I thought, because there just aren’t enough people sharing absolutely unnecessary feelings this week (looking @ u, Donald Trump Jr).

Dancing With The Stars, Mondays at 8 on ABC
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Technically this show started last week, and technically I’m only watching for my boo Ryan Lochte, but it counts. In the past I’ve really only ever watched DWTS when my Grandma was over or to see this absolutely amazing video of Corbin Bleu dancing to One Direction that basically sums up all of my interests. But I, along with the rest of America, am intrigued to see what kind of tantics (his words, not mine) Ryan Lochte gets into this year. And from almost getting attacked to bouncing around dressed as Kermit, he’s already delivered! Let’s be honest though- there’s only one way this show will end, and it’s with Laurie Hernandez gettin’ that gold mirror ball (?).

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Ooh boy, are we lucky to have three episodes of this show airing this week (two special airings last night, one at it’s regular time Thursday). This is the kind of show that has a concept that makes you wonder for a second how long it can last. But only a second, because then you remember it’s created by Michael Schur and starring the wonderful Kristen Bell and you’re like ohh, we’re fine! I already love this show, which probably had some of the best little gags and genuine moments since Michael Schur’s other masterpiece Parks & Recreation. I’m really invested in where this show goes next, especially whether or not it’s revealed that Bell’s terrible Eleanor is not really from Arizona, but is actually from Eagleton.

That’s about it since Jane The VirginSupergirl and Conviction don’t start until October, and I’m not watching Kevin Can Wait. So I guess I’ll just rewatch that Corbin Bleu clip a few more times and count the hours until the Brooklyn Nine-Nine squad is back on my television again.

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TV

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

With that I mean, obviously, the Fall television schedule. The leaves are changing, the temperature, and you’re sitting in a dark room watching every possible new pilot and deciding which you’ll actually stick with through the rest of the year. It’s the one time where there’s shows on TV with ridiculous concepts (see Selfie) and everything’s riding on a single Pilot episode. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

With that in mind, and the fact that so many of my old shows are gone (RIP, HIMYMParks and Recreation till the midseason, and I’m still not over The Office), I made it my mission to watch as many Pilots as I could. Here goes nothing!


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A to Z, NBC, Thursdays at 9:30pm; airs October 2

I’ve discussed how I feel about rom-coms before, so maybe the fact that A to Z was incredibly cheesy and romantic was what won me over. But I really liked this one. The characters are interesting; it’s the cliched “guy believes in fate, girl rejects it” tale at first, but our Andrew and Zelda, played by Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti, manage to evolve even a little bit over the course of the first 20 minutes. The premise, while it could get old after a while (can they have more than 26 episodes?), is at least a different spin on the typical dating comedies that have been overloading networks for the past few years. Coming back from her death as The Mother on HIMYM, I am really pulling for a good show for Milioti, and with the ultimate question of “what happens after they date for 8 months?” I’ll stick with this one for now. A to Z is, in a word, cute.


 

blackish-101Black-ish, ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30pm

I am an incredibly privileged person. As a straight, white, middle-class, girl I have seen people like me on TV for my entire life. It was never a question for me of, “why aren’t people like our family on TV?” because since the 90s network TV has been incredibly whitewashed. So I was really excited to see Anthony Anderson’s Black-ish on the ABC line up this year. And after watching, I really enjoyed it. It’s sad that a show like this has to be praised for being “different” in the year 2014, but it deserves the praise because it is different. Some people have found offense in the many stereotypical jokes, while others felt that it was a good representation of what it is like to live in a predominantly white society (a coworker of Anderson’s Andre asks him in a whisper “How would a black person say ‘good morning’?” prompting Andre to respond “Just like that.”) I thought Black-ish balanced social commentary well with comedy, and I look forward to seeing more of the Johnson family next week.


 

gotham Gotham, FOX, Mondays at 8pm

If there’s two things I love, it’s Batman and The OC. So when news first broke about FOX’s new show Gotham earlier this year, I was thrilled to see Ben McKenzie back on my TV and a new twist on the story we’re pretty much all familiar with at this point. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous considering the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (as most were) because how could they really tell this story in a way that might be more interesting? But so far, so good. The first episode of Gotham was a lot of setups and introductions, considering they have a lot of future villains and heroes to feature, but it was also incredibly entertaining (Jada Pinkett Smith is going to be the next big evil TV mastermind). In the end, it might be just another NYC cop show with a young Bruce Wayne running around and maybe McKenzie is just playing off his role as a cop in Southland and his role punching people in The OC but this is a show that lived up to it’s hype so far.


how-to-get-away-with-murder-posterHow to Get Away with Murder, ABC, Thursdays at 10pm

I’ve never watched a Shonda Rhimes show. I know. You hate me already. Scandal has been on my watchlist for probably two years now and my friends have been begging me to start Grey’s Anatomy for at least six, so I was determined to get started with How to Get Away with Murder, especially considering Aflie Enoch (aka Dean Thomas) was starring. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This show was awesome: a little cheesy, at-times unbelievable, and so full of plot twists it felt like it had been on for weeks. Viola Davis was fantastic as the tough-as-nails law professor who’s also having an affair and also may have killed her husband. The pilot read like a feature film, and I already have a list of guesses for what might happen in future episodes. If you watch just one show this season, it should probably be this one.

 


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Red Band Society, FOX, Wednesdays at 9pm

Red Band Society has already gotten a lot of heat from people who actually work in hospitals; the kids are given way too much freedom, their bedrooms and clothing are too casual, they’re all simply too strong and healthy for the majority of their screen time. And yeah, people who don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager with cancer may look at this show and think, “Hey! Those sick kids said the hospital is ‘like boarding school.’ Must not be that bad.” However, I also think that it’s important to get a look, even an exaggerated and airbrushed look, at kids who are experiencing real issues. My 15 year old sister tunes into this show, and just maybe it’ll spark an interest in helping kids like these extremely fictional characters. At the very least, it’s a primetime network show that screams “sick teenagers are people too!” It’s campy and not infinitely accurate, but I recommend it all the same.


I’ve barely scratched the surface of which new shows are actually worth watching, and I’m still waiting till October to start Marry Me (NBC), Mulaney (FOX), and The Flash (CW). But if you’ve watched any of the above shows, or recommend any I’ve missed, comment below!

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