New Television Season Report Card

Okay. We’re two weeks into the new TV season and I’ve seen what they have to offer. Here are my thoughts.

The first notable change this season is that CBS actually has some shows that I watch. Keep in mind, this is the first time I’ve made it a point to watch anything on CBS since the ’80’s. I like ‘Mom’ on Monday nights. The comedy isn’t terribly fresh, which is typical of a Chuck Lorre show, but with two very likable stars (Janney, Faris) the show has a charm and sometimes catches you with big laugh when you least expect it. Another program I’m enjoying this season on CBS is ‘The Crazy Ones’. I had seen trailers for this show at the movie theater and it looked promising and I was right. Robin Williams is in true form in his first television role since Mork. Sarah Michelle Gellar also shows definite comedy chops playing the sensible daughter to Williams’ out there dad. I have to admit so far I’ve only seen the first episode as I missed last week’s installment, but for me to give this much praise to a pilot episode speaks volumes, I think.

ABC is also winning in my eyes with its Tuesday night shows. ‘The Goldbergs’ is at times uneven, but ultimately a very enjoyable show with a cast that seems to really work together and they create a sincere family vibe. I love the actress who plays the mother. I’m sorry, but I can never remember her name, but I remember her best as Clementine on ‘Reno 911’. She has always been so funny in whatever she’s put in and this show is no exception. She hits all the high notes of the TV mom. Her passive aggressive rage hidden behind that sugary sweet smile is classic. It’s also nice to see George Segal back and he is great as the eccentric grandpa. ‘Trophy Wife’ following is also a surprise  hit for me. I like the lead actress but I find that I’m really enjoying Marcia Gay Harden as well.  I was surprised to see her pop up as a regular on a sitcom as I remember her from movies and only guest starring roles on some dramatic shows. The show is funny but doesn’t try too hard to impress and in that it succeeds.

Wednesday nights still belong to ABC as far as I’m concerned. ‘The Middle’ is maintaining its charming humor and even with one of the kids heading off to college, they are still managing the family dysfunction as good as ever. This show has always been a consistent favorite of mine and continues to be. ‘Back In The Game’ did not impress me the first time out, but last week I felt myself warm to it a bit more. While not a new favorite, I guess I can hang on and see how it develops. Do I need to say anything about ‘Modern Family’ other than friggin’ brilliant? I love love love this show so much and it just gets better with every season. The season premiere episode alone proves it is the show to beat this season. ‘Super Fun Night’ premiered last week and while it was a bumpy introduction, I walked away liking it. Rebel Wilson has always made me laugh and this show seems to be a great showcase for her to truly shine. I have high hopes for this show, but I have a feeling it may have more of a cult following.

On Thursday night, ‘Parks And Recreation’ returns with another stellar season. I got into this show two season ago and I have really fallen in love with it. Amy Poehler has always been a favorite of mine and this show has placed her in the midst of a cast that adds to everything in every scene.

Now for the low points. ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ left me wondering what all the hype was about. I actually found it rather boring. I just can’t help but thinking about all the superheroes and supervillians running around in their world that we don’t see. How can these people be dealing with these issues on this level and not cross paths with even a third string bad guy? They make enough references to The Avengers and other Marvel characters, but it’s like watching a Disney show  but never seeing Mickey.

I haven’t really been able to get into ‘The  Michael J. Fox Show’. I don’t know why, but I just can’t really connect with it. I guess maybe because the premise is really so tired and worn out. Another family comedy. Great for them to deal with Parkinsons issue rather than avoid it, but that’s not quite enough to make this one stand out. Another disappointment was ‘Sean Saves The World’. I was looking forward to this one too but when I watched it, the humor was flat and I really checked out when they tried to save the thing with some poorly executed physical comedy.  It’s great a gay single dad has made it into the prime time line up, but hopefully next time they could also make him funny. It’s not my final judgment. I’ll give it a chance, but I gotta tell you, they better get their act together. Even Thomas Lennon, as Sean’s crazy boss, failed to impress.

I have just gone over the shows I’ve actually watched. I did not watch any shows on Fox or The CW, although I am aware of some of their ‘hits’. I avoid The CW because I really don’t care for shows based on young adult novels and so far that seems to be all they have to offer, and while the returning shows on Fox up holding up (The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, etc) This ‘Sleepy Hollow’ nonsense had me turning away when they made the  horseman one of the riders of the apocalypse and now they’re pulling American history into it and basically taking a huge B.M. all over it. For me, I think it’s disrespectful to take actual historic events and add some substory that makes it a part of their stupid story. Couldn’t they have created a fresh and original story for the show? I mean, really. What are these writers getting paid for anymore?

Okay Rant over. Bottom line, ABC is a good bet most nights of the week. I’m waiting on NBC to bring back Community (I heard they got renewed and it may be a weird show, but I like it.) in order to fill out their Thursday night line up, but whatever you choose to watch this season, enjoy and try to avoid the reality shows. Let’s do what we can to put an end to that.

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