Friday 09 Dec 2016

Fall TV 2013-1
Matt Seinberg

I not only love fall because of the cool, crisp weather, but that’s when the new TV season starts! There are always some must see new shows, and this year is no exception. The grading system will be Pass, Borderline or Fail. We’ll take a look at the new shows I’ve seen before by the night of the week.

Monday night has five new shows and I’ve seen four of them. CBS has three, with “We Are Men,” “Mom,” and “Hostages.” Fox has “Sleep Hollow,” and NBC has “The Blacklist.” The only one I haven’t seen yet is “We Are Men.”

Let’s start with “Mom,” starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney. This is the opposite of the new Fox show, “Dads,” which is on Tuesday nights. I give an immediate fail to “Dads” and will not even go back to it. “Dad’s” really sucks. “Mom” is a little bit better, but not much. There are too many clichés at play here and Allison Janney as a recovering alcoholic mother is not a role this former “West Wing” actor needs to play. “Mom” is a Fail.

“Hostages” stars Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette, with McDermott playing FBI agent Duncan Carlisle, and Collette is renowned thoracic surgeon Ellen Sanders. Their lives come together when President Paul Kincaid, portrayed by James Naughton, has surgery scheduled. Carlisle takes the Sanders family hostage and orders Ellen to kill the President during the operation. The tagline here is “Don’t trust anyone. Everyone has secrets.” I’ll give this a Pass for now, unless the conspiracy theory gets ridiculous.

“Sleepy Hollow” is a big PASS. Melissa and I loved it from the first episode, and any show that can bring the past back to life using the famous characters of Washington Irving is worth watching. Bringing together witches, demons and past lives can’t be easy, but creators have managed to balance the past and present stories very well.

James Spader plays the bad character, Raymond Reddington in “The Blacklist.” Superbly cast, this is an idea role for Spader. It’s quite the opposite of his crazy lawyer from “Boston Legal.” Megan Boone is FBI agent Elizabeth Keen, the only person the Reddington will cooperate with. They both have secrets, but Reddington knows all of them, while Keen doesn’t. I’ll give this show a Passing grade.

Tuesday night has ABC giving us a brand new line-up with four shows, “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” “The Goldberg’s,” “Trophy Wife” and “Lucky 7.” Fox has “Dad’s, (FAIL) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” I’ll give “Marvel’s Agents of SHEILD” a Pass, because I like anything science fiction related, Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson is a cool character who comes back from the dead, thinking he was on vacation in Tahiti.

“The Goldberg’s” is a HUGE FAIL. The yelling and screaming seems endless. Does any family really deal with each other that way? “Trophy Wife” is a pass only because star Malin Akerman is hot and adorable as the new wife to fiftyish Pete, Bradley Whitford; he’s also a “West Wing” alumnus. Can’t these West Wing actors find jobs in a good drama? I’ll go Borderline for now, hoping it will get better. “Lucky 7” is what could happen to you if you won a big lottery with co-workers. The drama that each character brings can only last so long. What would happen if that happened to you? I’ll go Borderline with this one.

Wednesday gives us three new shows. ABC has “Back in the Game” and “Super Fun Night.” NBC has a reboot of its former hit show, “Ironside.” I liked James Caan in “Vegas” and the original “Rollerball” and “The Godfather,” too. To see him playing a cranky old man living with his daughter and grandson is just sad, so this is a Fail. “SFN” and “Ironside” haven’t aired yet.

Thursday gives us six new shows. ABC has the “Once Upon a Time” spin-off “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” which has not aired, yet, CBS has “The Millers,” (has not aired yet) and the new Robin Williams sitcom, “The Crazy Ones.” Aptly titled, you never have any idea where Mr. Williams is going to lead us, and co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar too. I’ll give this a Pass for now. On NBC, both “Welcome to the Family” and “Sean Saves the World” have not aired yet. “The Michael J. Fox Show” is the return to a weekly sitcom for the star, and to me, it’s just plain said. Alex Keaton has gotten old, and contracted Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, that is pretty much the entire premise of the show, how the character is battling this debilitating disease, making fun it and going back to work as a local television news anchor. Sorry Michael, this is a Fail.

Friday night only brings two new shows, neither of which has yet aired. Fox has “Master Chef Junior” and NBC has “Dracula.” I for one can’t wait to see how nice Gordon Ramsay can be to children.

I’ll give updates on the show’s that haven’t aired yet as they show up, but I have few hopes for most of them.

Here’s a big shout out to returning favorite “Modern Family” which won a bunch of Emmy’s this year! It’s one of my favourite shows and fellow air check collector Dan O’Shannon is one of the Executive Producers. Hey Dan, do I get that autographed cast picture this year?

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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