Fall TV Diary 2016 (New Shows Edition)

I feel like I’m a little farther behind in posting my fall TV reviews than I have been in the past, but with our trip to London and then just a crazy busy schedule since we’ve been back, I’d gotten behind in watching tv and then also didn’t really have time to write about it either. But at long last for the two of you who care, here’s what I think about the new shows I’ve been trying out this fall.

Sundays

Divorce

This new show on HBO stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church as a couple that is getting divorced. We’ve watched the first two episodes so far, but I’m not sure I’m going to stick with it. So far the characters seem sort of ridiculous and unrealistic, and I’m not sure especially with everything going on in the real world if I’m in the mood to watch people be horrible to each other every week.

Insecure

I gather this show is based on a web series created by Issa Rae, which I never watched. So far I’ve only seen the pilot episode of the HBO series. I gather it’s supposed to be about relationships, but I don’t have a real good handle on the show yet having only seen one episode. It seems like it could be promising and critics who have seen more than I have seem to enjoy it so I’m going to keep watching for awhile.

Westworld

I really have no idea what I think about Westworld at this point. I was busy doing other stuff while I was watching the pilot and thus realized I wasn’t paying close enough attention to know what was really going on. The second time we had just gotten back to London and I was still still dealing with jet leg and fell asleep shortly into the episode. I haven’t seen anything beyond those two yet. I’m not sure this show is really my thing, but our TV schedule is so oddly light this fall, that I’ll probably keep watching with my husband as long as he’s interested in it.

Mondays

Timeless

I wasn’t initially planning on watching this show, but I saw a couple of good reviews of it before the new tv season started and figured I would give it a shot. I’m glad I did because I’ve enjoyed it so far. Abigail Spencer stars as a historian who is recruited to join a team of people with a time machine who are being sent back in time to stop someone else who has stolen the only other existing time machine. He appears to be trying to change history by messing up historical events and they are trying to keep him from screwing up the world. So far they’ve dealt with the Hindenburg crash and Lincoln’s assassination. Even though the historic events are still happening with their intervention they are changing history in small ways, which so far has mostly been played out with differences in Abigail Spencer’s character’s life. Her mom is no longer dying, her sister never existed, and she has a fiance she doesn’t know.

Conviction

All the reviews I saw of this show indicated that it was terrible, but I decided I wanted to give it a try because I like Hayley Atwell and am still sad that Agent Carter was canceled. This show was terrible as all the reviews warned me and I won’t be watching anymore. Hopefully it will see a quick cancelation and Hayley Atwell can get involved in something more worthy of her.

Tuesdays

No Tomorrow

No Tomorrow is a sort of romantic comedy in which a woman finds herself falling for a guy who thinks the world is going to be struck by a meteor and end within a year. He has a sort of bucket list of crazy things he’s working through before the end of the world. At first she gets caught up in the excitement, but now is starting to wonder if he’s just really crazy. I enjoy it whenever I’m watching it, but for some reason I’m not super attached to it. I kept forgetting it was even a show until I would see it on our DVR, and I gather that the ratings for it are terrible and I don’t find myself worried that it might be canceled. I guess I’ll just enjoy it for however long it’s on when I remember to watch it.

This is Us

Everyone has been saying This is Us is the new Parenthood or at least that it will fill the Parenthood shaped hole in your heart. I definitely don’t have the same love for it that I have for Parenthood though. I get the comparison since it’s a sprawling family story with the extra added twist that one of the four family stories is actually the story of the parents of the people in present day back when they were kids. I don’t seem to have developed the love for this show that a lot of other people have at this point, but I’m hoping I’ll get more invested in the characters. I definitely plan to keep watching because I’m starved for this kind of character driven family story that is rare on tv these days.

Wednesdays

Speechless

One would not think that a show about a teenager with cerebral palsy and his family would be good fodder for a sit-com, but this show starring Minnie Driver as a mom fighting for the rights of her child and dragging the rest of the family along with her is excellent. It’s smart and funny and I’ve really been enjoying it so far.

Atlanta

Atlanta is the excellent show from the mind of Donald Glover, who also stars in it as a sort of lazy main character Earn who has somewhat stumbled into managing is friend’s fledging rap career after one of his songs takes off in Atlanta. Earn also has a daughter who he obviously loves and tries to take care of in a sort of inept way while being in a somewhat on and off relationship with her mother. The show is pretty much whatever it wants to be. The episodes change focus and styling from episode to episode with some being more typical tv episodes and others being rather high concept pieces. It’s extremely clever humor and often very visual. You have to pay close attention to what’s happening on the screen if you really want to get the jokes.

Queen Sugar

Moreso than This is Us, Queen Sugar has been a Parenthood replacement for me. In case you’ve never heard of this show and are wondering what it is, it’s actually on the OWN Network and was something produced by Oprah. It’s based on a book by the same name, though having read it I can tell you it’s only very loosely based on the book. Three siblings are brought back together in Louisiana after the death of their father. The brother has recently been paroled and has returned home to get his son back and set up a life for himself. The eldest sister returns to her childhood home with her teenage son in the midst of a sex scandel surrounding her famous basketball playing husband, and the other sister has been in the town for the long haul and does not look kindly on her siblings returning and trying to take charge. They decide to try and save their father’s sugar cane farm, but none of them really know what they’re going and they are fighting against some long odds.

Frequency

Based on the film by the same name, which I never saw Peyton List plays a woman who has somehow discovered that she can talk to her father who was killed 20 years prior via a ham radio. She warns him of his death in order to stop it, but in doing so she changes the present such that her mother is now dead and her whole life is different. She can remember both pasts and is now trying to work with her father in the past to change things so that everything turns out okay for everyone. It’s an ok show so far. I’m not sure I think they can pull this story off in any meaningful way for multiple seasons, but it’s decent for now.

Thursdays

The Good Place

The Good Place stars Kristen Bell as a woman who was a horrible person on earth, but who accidentally gets sent to “The Good Place” instead of the “Bad Place”. Ted Danson stars as the architect of their neighborhood in the Good Place who thinks that it’s his fault that everything is going awry even though it appears that it’s Kristen Bell’s presence that is causing the issues. I gather that it’s designed to only be 13 episodes per season instead of the typical 22, so it’s already halfway through it’s run for this season. I’m not head over the heals in love with it, but I love Kristen Bell and Ted Danson as well as the other stuff from the creators of the show, so I’m giving it plenty of time to develop into something I love.

Pitch

Pitch is about the first female pitcher in major league baseball. So far I think it’s trying to make too much of a statement as well as giving it’s characters some annoying back stories, but I’m hoping it will eventually settle into something a bit more realistic and less moral of the week type stories. I haven’t seen the ratings for it, but I gather based on one of my podcasts that they’re not great, so I’m not sure it will get the chance. We’ll see.

 

 

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