What to watch: Fall TV (the pilots)

E-CardAs I’ve discussed here and here, I love television. A lot. Probably more than I should at my age. Or really, at any age. But also like I’ve mentioned before, there are worse things to which one can be addicted. Cocaine, for example. I’ve never tried it and don’t really intend to. But a glass (bottle) of wine and a fantastic new episode of Empire or Scandal is the equivalent of a good high in my world. Easily excited, this one.

Fall is undoubtedly one of my favorite times of year. First you have the typical white girl reasons why: pumpkin spice everything, boots, scarves, and clothes that actually cover up all your wobbly bits and transgressions. Second you have football, hockey, and playoff baseball. And last, but certainly not least, you have fall television. One must now specify FALL television, as TV programming (much like film releases) is now year-round. Summer TV has brought us plenty of goodies: Entourage, Ray Donovan, Mistresses, and so much more. But the golden eggs still lie in Fall.

This season also gives me anxiety. Because amongst all of my returning shows, I must make major decisions about what new ones to watch. By the time September and October actually get here, it’s usually easy to cross many off the list simply because I am exhausted by how much a network is trying to push a show (or four) down our collective throats. I almost dumped Blindspot for this very reason, but so glad I didn’t. This year there were many debuts that caught my eye. But  between an enormous amount of returning shows and the fact I can’t stop myself from starting new binges (Damages on Netflix and The Leftovers on HBO, currently), I didn’t try out very many this year. I don’t do many comedies, never have, so although Grandfathered and The Grinder made me go hmm originally, I haven’t watched them. Please, by all means, tell me if I should. So one-hour dramas are up to bat.

  1. Blood and OilBlood & Oil, ABC. From the release of the key art to the very first trailer, it was apparent this show was never meant to be an Emmy winner. Or so I hope? I’m going with no, it wasn’t. Very reminiscent of the new Dallas (which I tried to like and couldn’t), I thought I would at least give it a try. The pilot wasn’t what I expected based on the commercials (funny how that happens). It’s kinda like when you go for a piece of pink salt water taffy, you think it’s strawberry, right? But then you bite into it and it’s cinnamon. You don’t NOT like it, your taste buds just weren’t exactly prepared for it. That’s how I felt about Blood & Oil. The second episode is sitting on my DVR, I’m positive I’ll keep recording it (for Chace Crawford and Scott Michael Foster, if nothing else) but can’t promise I’ll watch it anytime soon. This would be a good rainy day binge.
  2. QuanticoQuantico, ABC. ABC has always had a solid Sunday night lineup, and they’re certainly counting on these two new shows to fill some big shoes. Where Blood & Oil left me decidedly undecided, there is absolutely, positively no doubt that Quantico is a new staple in the weekly must-watch list. The first episode is one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen. If Shonda Rhimes decided to make a show with the folks behind Homeland, I’m pretty sure you would get Quantico. I love a really twisty movie or show. I don’t always guess how it will turn out, but I of course love to try. And Quantico is perfect for that. (This is also what’s got me hooked on Damages and Leftovers, I MUST KNOW EVERYTHING).
  3. BlindspotBlindspot, NBC. As mentioned before, NBC went overkill on commercials and promotions for this show. It’s clearly in the vein of Blacklist (which I confess, I gave up last season, I got too far behind and so confused). Because of this, I almost passed it up. I watched the pilot at the last minute. And I loved it. I have equally large crushes on both the leads. And Jane’s HAIR! It’s fabulous!
  4. The Muppets, ABC. I didn’t have much of an opinion before this show aired and ended up setting it to record at the last minute (I think I was offered wine somewhere? There are select reasons for which I will actually leave my house). However, this show? Witty and adorable. If you were a fan of the Muppets at all growing up, give it a try. I’ve seen multiple articles about how it’s “not for kids.” I feel the same way about it as I do most PG-rated animated movies nowadays, it’s well-rounded and suitable for all. The adult humor will fly straight over young kids’ heads and they will still enjoy the colorful characters and traditional Muppet antics.
  5. Scream Queens, Fox. In full disclosure, I only watched the first half of the first season of Glee. It completely lost my interest after that and I truly do not feel like I missed out on anything. I have, however, seen every season of American Horror Story (Murder House and Coven are the best, Freak Show was terrible). Scream Queens is the perfect marriage of those two shows. But unfortunately, I only got through the first half of the premiere double feature…then promptly said nope, can’t do it, and deleted it. I get why the humor and the stingy one-liners are funny, I really do. The Nancy Meyers candle joke made me snort (“smells like creamy couches and menopause”). But all together, it was way over the top for me. Don’t hate me.

I am going to throw out an honorable mention to Bastard Executioner on FX. I don’t have FX with my current cable package so I attempted to watch it online, but a small screen does not do a show like this justice. I worship the ground Kurt Sutter walks on and I love a period piece, so I’m positive this will be a favorite, I just can’t do it on the computer. So I reserve full judgment for later. Please and thanks.

Believe it or not, that’s all I’ve tried. Crazy, I KNOW. What this post doesn’t take into account – but a future one will – is what I think of the returning shows. Stay tuned, readers. In the meantime, what have you watched that isn’t listed? Heroes Reborn, Limitless, Minority Report? Let me know your thoughts on my shows and others.

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