Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 Fall TV Preview: ABC

Do you feel that bite in the air? Summer is going and Fall is returning and that can only mean that I am going to rapidly type up some hasty thoughts about this year's Fall TV lineup for the major broadcast networks.

I've been doing this since my blog began back in 2004--and I even forgot to commemorate my tenth year anniversary back on August 12, so very bad job by me. But I've realized that mistake now and have updated my header tag accordingly:
. . . but that is not why you  are here. You are here because I have actually  already started the posts for 2014 back at the start of the calendar year. Back when Dean guest blogged about the winter season shows worth caring about. And then Angie chimed in with her own thoughts on which returning post-Christmas shows you should continue watching.

But I'm here to talk about the NEW shows on broadcast. Are there any that are worth your time this year? Have you given up on mainstream TV as much as the major networks have? Is cable and Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime the only places to get quality entertainment beamed at you? Most critics have been saying yes for many years. And since I'm no professional, who am I to argue against people who are paid to watch TV for a living?


Let's get things started with ABC--because it comes first in alphabetical order!

Selfie (premiere Sept. 30): I want this show to be funny and watchable mostly because I really like Karen Gillan. She played my favorite Companion on Doctor Who (Amy Pond) and I really like her beautiful red hair. (I HOPE that is the most shallow and useless thing that I mention on this series of posts.) Also, Karen is Scottish and that is great as well. But she won't be using her natural accent in the show--which is strike 1.

She plays Eliza Dooley (get it?) who has lots (less than 300,000 is lots?) of social media followers and decided that she is shallow and needs to change herself into a more well rounded person (are you getting it?). So she hires John Cho--of Harold and Kumar & Star Trek fame--to help her remake herself (really, honestly . . . are you GETTING IT?)

Can't I just enjoy watching Karen Gillan again?!!!!

Sigh . . . probably NOT.

Manhattan Love Story (premiere Sept. 30): The conceit of this show is that you are experiencing the unfiltered thoughts of people as they go through their days and knowing what they know . . . but won't say. You remember the other times this premise was done with overwhelming success, right? [Really, please . . . click on the first link. And if you are too young to know what that is, click here. I find it unfathomable that it lasted for four years?]

But, more about Manhattan Love Story. It just seems very cliched and stereotypical. It's lazy writing hung on a tired concept.

What's next? Well, if you were a fan of Ringer from a few years ago. And if you thought The Fantastic Four was a better comic book movie than everyone says it is. And . . . . if you thought what the world needs now is some sort of mash up between Dexter and The Vampire Diaries, then this next show is maybe for you? Fair warning, though . . .  there may only be ONE of you out there.

Forever (premieres Sept. 22 AND Sept. 23): Taking the concept of inexplicable immortality to new heights, this new show will premiere on two back-to-back nights. Ioan Gruffudd brings his many vowels to ABC to depict a doctor with a secret. He.Can't.Die. Which makes him so dedicated to his craft, as he tries to figure out what makes him different.

Perhaps the best thing about this show will be the character of Abe, portrayed by Judd Hirsch. He looks exactly the same as he did when portraying Jeff Goldblum's dad in Independence Day waaay back in the 1990s. Same rumpled hair, graying beard, slouchy clothes. Maybe, HE'S the immortal one?

And I love that his character is only identified with one name. Its like ABC is saying: "Let's see . . . clothes, hair, yeah. We know exactly who this dude is. No one needs to think much about him. So he only needs one name."

And speaking of not putting lots of thought into things . . .

Now I'm going to back away from these shows very quickly and try to forget that they are there.

How to Get Away with Murder (premieres Sept. 25): seems like a much better show. It's certainly a much more familiar show, so that is probably a good thing.Viola Davis is a reliable actor and Shonda Rhimes knows how to put together a reliable show. So . . . I guess this is the Ole Reliable of this season for ABC. And why not? It's a crime procedural, involving murder, and lots of dialogue. Feels like Castle to me.

And that is ALL for new shows with a hard premiere date. Other new ABC shows such as American Crime, Astronaut Wives Club, MARVEL's Agent Carter, Secrets and Lies, and The Whispers are all Coming Soon. Maybe they will premiere after Christmas, when some of these shows have been dropped? Or maybe they just aren't ready yet. Without looking at them any further and going by title and image card alone, I might further investigate Astronaut Wives Club, MARVEL's Agent Carter (a definite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D spin-off that I would put on a very short leash), and Secrets and Lies 

(I have no evidence of this but the imagery of this just makes me hope it is atmospheric and weird like Twin Peaks. But that is probably only wishful thinking.)

As for returning shows that I am interested in . . .  there isn't much on ABC. I only regularly watch Castle and MARVEL's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But some people might want to see how new seasons of The Goldbergs or The Middle or Modern Family are progressing. Or--heaven forbid--you are still watching Grey's Anatomy. I know people that enjoy watching Revenge and Scandal so maybe you might want to check those out? But they aren't for me. And if you really are watching The Neighbors, I don't have much to say to you.

For further investigation on your own for all the shows I have mentioned and many others I completely ignored, you can visit the ABC Web page and click around on your own.

So, now  . . . talk back to me? Which shows are you interested in that ABC has to offer? Anything look good? What looks especially terrible? Leave a comment, why don'tcha?

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