It seems as though this has been one of the weaker seasons for fall premieres. That being said, I have probably watched more network TV pilots this season than I have in years before. For what it’s worth, here’s my take:
Sleepy Hollow (Fox)
The premise is fun but kind of a mess. Essentially, Ichabod Crane is working with George Washington to prevent the Apocalypse via the famed Four Horseman. One of these horsemen is beheaded by Crane during the Revolutionary War but for some reason they are both resurrected in present day. Crane then teams up with the local cop on many supernatural adventures. The acting is pretty solid but it’s a bit over the top for my liking. It seems to be doing fairly well in the ratings though.
The Blacklist (NBC)
I only made it through the pilot so I can’t say a whole lot other than it seemed to be exactly what I thought it was. Predictable plot, weak characters (save for Spader), and nothing really new. The show is a good example of the difference between what’s going on in network TV vs. cable. Cable dramas usually have a slow burn to them where we get a chance to get to know the characters and feel some sort of empathy for them while the plot unfolds before us. The pilot episode of the Blacklist had a kidnap plot resolved, a bomb defused, and finally a plot-twist at the end that would likely have been much more impactful had it happened several episodes down the road. Spader’s performance alone isn’t enough to keep me around to see what will happen next.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
I was interested to see how they would pull this off. I enjoyed Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson various appearances in the many Marvel films that have come out in recent years, but I’m not sure building an entire series around he and his character was a good idea. The show is kind of boring and lifeless. One thing this show should be is fun and I’m not sure how they messed that up. I will probably continue to watch as my almost 12-year old son is into the show but I’m not sure he’s really into it either. Fortunately, he just came upon Fringe on Netflix.
I’m not much for TV comedies (do love me some Community, though) and this is the only one that really piqued my interested. I have to say that I really enjoy it. The show comes from the mind of Michael Schur who is responsible for Parks & Rec and The Office (U.S.) when that show was in its early heyday. You can certainly see his fingerprints on the show as Andy Samberg’s Detective Jake Peralta shares quite a few traits with Michael Scott and Leslie Knope. That being said, the show may take a while to come into its own just as those did. Looks like the ratings are struggling so hopefully Fox will give it a chance.
Outside of the new shows, there’s not a whole lot going on in the TV world. My wife and I are watching Top Chef. Some of you might be watching The Walking Dead which is too bad because that show is awful. I’m basically just waiting for Justified to come back in January or February.