This semester is probably the busiest three and half months of my entire life. I’m teaching two college classes, promoting Hunter’s Trail, editing my spring release Boundary Crossed, speed-writing a novella, attending two conventions, shepherding a nervous five-year-old through kindergarten, and attempting to civilize a two-year-old who has recently discovered the joys of smacking things. Normally I’d be leaning pretty heavy on my Support Husband right about now – but he’s teaching two classes too, and holding down a full-time job. So, yeah. We’re busy.
And yet…much as I’d like to pull the plug on the TV so it doesn’t distrract me from all that, I just don’t have it in me. I love new fall TV. I love it. I’ve been subscribed to Entertainment Weekly since I was fourteen years old, and each year the Fall TV Preview is my favorite issue. One year Husband and I almost got divorced* because he let our then-one-year-old happily shred it into bits before I’d gotten a chance to read it.
So yes, I’ve kept an eye on the new TV options, and while I’m a lot pickier than I used to be, there are still a number of shows I’m pretty stinkin’ excited about:
I mean…duh. I don’t even feel like I have to explain this.
2. The Flash
Arrow has gotten stronger and stronger over its three seasons, and one of the freshest and most fun storylines yet was the brief appearance of Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen. From the moment Oliver Queen intoned very seriously to Felicity, “The bartender will card him,” I knew this was gonna be a good time.
3. Agent Carter
Another no-brainer. I love the first Captain America movie, I love Peggy, I loved her short film, I love the actress, I love the team that’s doing Agents of SHIELD. Of course it’s possible that this could still go belly-up creatively, but Marvel’s been hitting them out of the park lately, so I’m not too worried.
4. The Mysteries of Laura
Not quite as certain about this one, but I think Debra Messing is fantastically talented, and she’s long been deserving of a mature follow-up project to Will and Grace (We won’t discuss Smash, shall we). And if you’ve readThe Big Keep, you already know I’m interested in the topic of how a woman can balance being a killer detective with being a decent mom.
Official premiere next week, streaming now
This new Showtime fare absolutely shouldn’t make my list. On paper, it’s basically the pay cable version of Unfaithful, and I’m sick to death of stories about the consequences of cheating on your spouse. Cheating leads to bad things – we get it. Yawn.
But I loved lead actress Ruth Wilson so muich in Luther that I decided to give the trailer a shot on sho.com…and to my surprise, I found myself watching it again…and again. I can’t remember the last time time a show looked so compelling that I had to go in for second and third helpings of the trailer. Okay, The Affair, you’ve got my attention. Let’s see what you do with it.
Loved the British original, love David Tennant, so I’m in. But Gracepoint needs to be more than good – it has to hit it out of the park in order to justify the British-to-American remake. Fingers crossed on this one.
Full disclosure: I’m worried about Gotham. I know it’s probably the buzziest new show of the fall, but I’m concerned that it’s going to be one of those uber-high-concept programs that collapses under its own weight by episode five. Besides which, I’m always wary about shows whose currency is absolute bleakness (Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy), and Gotham seems pointed in that direction – after all, we already know for a fact that everything the good guys do is more or less useless, and that all of Gordon’s efforts to improve the city will go nowhere. Still…it’s Gotham. Of course I’ll give it a chance.
8. A to Z
I don’t usually love this kind of romantic comedy paint-by-numbers stuff, but A to Z‘s producers made the wise decision to put the pilot up on Hulu early, and since lead actor Bed Feldman made a strong impression on me in this summer’s Catacombs horror flick As Above So Below, I decided to give it a try. And found myself enjoying it, despite the How I Met Your Mother ripoff-vibe. I’ll tune in for a few more episodes to see if A to Z gels into a solidly enjoyable ensemble show, or if it’s only interested in gooshy feelings.
And finally, here are the shows that will get one shot with me – I’ll DVR and watch the pilot even in this busy times, although if any of them grab me I’ll probably end up letting episodes stack up on my DVR until the semester’s over: Bad Judge, Jane the Virgin, How to Get Away With Murder, Forever (okay, I’ve actually seen this pilot, and I need one more week to decide), Madam Secretary, Marry Me, Scorpion (very skeptical here),Stalker, State of Affairs.
*Okay, we weren’t REALLY on the brink of divorce…THAT TIME.