Well, this is the best time of year for TV fans, when the networks unveil their new lineups for the rest of us. Of course, only a small percentage of the shows will actually stick in this day and age, because networks no longer have the patience to nurture a show along to develop its audience.

Imagine if Seinfeld had debuted today—NBC would have deemed it “not spongeworthy.” These days, I don’t think all of NBC’s lineup combined equals the viewership of Seinfeld in its prime.

Anyway, odds are you’ll get hooked onto at least one show that will meet an early demise, while something you avoid will turn out to be a hit. So, what should you be watching? Here are my picks:

THE BEST
(in no particular order)
1. The Whole Truth (ABC). I was shocked that this was probably my favorite offering of all the Big 5 series. Even though I saw the unaired pilot with Joely Richardson in a role that’s been taken over by Maura Tierney, I found myself hooked into the story, which breaks down a trial from the POV of both the prosecutor (Tierney) and the defense attorney, played here by Rob Morrow. You genuinely don’t know if the guy is guilty or not, nor whether the jury will find him guilty or not. The producers do give you a definitive answer at the end. What could have been just another run-of-the-mill legal show is worth an hour of your time.

2. Boardwalk Empire (HBO). Probably the most anticipated new show of the season, it harkens back to HBO’s years of The Sopranos following a corrupt politician (Steve Buscemi) who runs Atlantic City in 1920, when Prohibition is declared. It’s a gritty show that weaves in real-life historical figures into the drama, with top-notch production values.

3. Terriers (FX). Thus far, my favorite new show of the season. Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James star as a couple of low-rent private eyes who get caught up in murder, corruption and other messes. Very much like Justified in its mix of drama and comedy, I’ve seen the first five episodes and can tell you it gets even better every week.

4. No Ordinary Family (ABC). Michael Chiklis continues to show his range as an actor, playing a Ward Cleaver-type patriarch to a family that suddenly finds itself endowed with superpowers—Chiklis has superstrength and invulnerability, his wife (Julie Benz) is a speedster, his daughter (Kay Panabaker) is a telepath, and his son (Jimmy Bennett) is a genius. Romany Malco steals a lot of scenes as Chiklis’ best friend and sort-of sidekick. Family isn’t nearly as dense as Heroes was, and gives off more of vibe like The Incredibles.

5. Lone Star (Fox). James Wolk plays a con man leading a double life, with two different women (Adrienne Palicki and Eloise Mumford), creating a series of long, complicated cons at the behest of his father (David Keith). While there’s kind of a soap opera vibe to the show, it should appeal to men and women with its clever—if complicated—story.

Honorable mentions: Nikita (CW); The Event (NBC); Hawaii Five-O (CBS); Blue Bloods (CBS); and Body of Proof (ABC).

THE WORST

1. Outlaw (NBC). Dumb premise, about a Supreme Court judge (Jimmy Smits) who gives up his seat to become a lawyer and fight for the little people. Yeah, right.

2. Outsourced (NBC). “The Office” in India? Nope. I think the funny got shipped overseas.

3. Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC). An incredibly generic, boiler-plate cop drama. The only thing worse would be an actual trip to Detroit.

4. (Bleep) My Dad Says (CBS). Shockingly, this thing isn’t the worst thing to come out of Twitter. But it’s right down there.

5. Undercovers (NBC). You know, I had a lot of high hopes considering it’s a spy show created by JJ Abrams. One of the biggest disappointments of the year, because it’s bland and uninspired. It tries to capture “The Avengers” spirit, but fails.

Which are your favorites—and least favorite—of the new TV Season? Comment below.

Tags:
5 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. zodin2008 7 years ago

    Deb, wonderful blog. Nice work.

    On the 5 favorites, I have to admit, I still haven’t had a chance to watch “Boardwalk Empire”, but the 1st 2 episodes are in my DVR – can’t wait. I also still haven’t watched the pilot of “The Whole Truth” but considering the high praise you and Phillip have both heaped on it, I am looking forward to it!

    I like “Terriers”, but didn’t love it. I am hoping that changes. I am excited to see the pilot for “No Ordinary Family”. As for “Lone Star”, agreed, an excellent show that probably would have had a better shot to make it if Fox had chosen to put it on sister cable channel, FX.

    As for your dislike list, I disagree with you on “Undercovers”. My wife and I very much enjoyed the pilot, and though it might fit better with USA for its ‘light’ feel, it is a new generation “Alias”, a show we thoroughly enjoyed.

    I had no intention of watching Bleep, Outsourced or Outlaw, all of which looked awful. I watch “Detroit 1-8-7” and I want to give it a few more episodes because of my love for Michael Imperioli.

    And though it didn’t make your top 5, “Hawaii 5-0” I thought was one of the best of all the new series. My one concern is that the least interesting actor is the lead, Alex O’Laughlin.

  2. Debra Eckerling 7 years ago

    Thanks for posting. Phillip does great reviews!

  3. Author
    Philiip Ramati 7 years ago

    I had high expectations for “Undercovers” and found that it came off bland. There were attempts at humor that fell flat. But given the show’s pedigree, I’ll stick around for a few more episodes.

  4. […] Write On! TV Reviewer Phillip Ramati is a reporter for The Macon (Georgia) Telegraph; he also covers television for their website: http://www.macon.com/thetvguy. A screenwriter, Ramati was a finalist for a 2002 Disney/ABC Fellowship and later was a second-rounder at the 2006 Austin Film Festival. […]

  5. […] – Write On! Reviews: This feature rotates between TV with Phillip Ramati; Film – Maria Fotopoulos; Tyler Weaver’s Tech; and Writing Resources with Jeanne […]

EMAIL DEBRA

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, ASAP. Thanks!

Sending

Copyright © 2017 Debra Eckerling, Write On Online, All Rights Reserved.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?