Category Archives: Television

Podcast Feb 9 – The Cloverfield Paradox, Band Aid and Braven

Somewhat getting a bit too personal this week, Jimmy overshares alongside usual suspects Cory and Tristan as they dive into the latest films to hit theaters and streaming.

First up are two VOD releases that slipped under the radar for some – Nicolas Cage’s latest epic The Humanity Bureau (which features a shady killing farm) and Jason Momoa’s long-gestating Braven, where Momoa gets to beat up on a drug ring who entangles themselves in his family’s lives. Cory also caught up to the NJ duo by seeing Christian Bale’s western Hostiles.

Jimmy joins the pair as they discuss The Cloverfield Paradox, which dropped on unsuspecting football fans this Sunday immediately following Super Bowl LII, in which some say the right team won the day. A third film in the strange franchise, it follows a group in a space station revolving around Earth that hope to use the Higgs-Boson to attempt a new form of energy to help avert a major crisis.

Meanwhile, Tristan caught up on a long-awaited music-themed romance Band Aid from last summer, as well as two classic Oscar nominees, 1969 political thriller Z and the first film in Alan J. Pakula’s “Paranoia Trilogy” – Klute, starring Donald Sutherland as a private detective working with Jane Fonda.

All this, plus we discuss Super Bowl commercials and all the trailers that dropped that evening! There’s also a warning against accidentally viewing new NBC sitcom AP Bio, the show that attempted to steal Glenn Howerton away from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Remember to listen the whole way through, and comment responsibly:

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Review: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Episode 1)

In the format of his friend Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Car Getting Coffee, ex-talk show impresario David Letterman is chronicling his post-fame exploits. With the guerilla-style camera tilting up to his desk, Letterman fields a phone call with President Barack Obama to be the inaugural guest on his latest Netflix interview venture. When David politely exchanges goodbyes and hangs up the phone, we see the haggard look of tentative disappointment on his beard-encrusted mug as he immediately jumps to the conclusion that Obama is too preoccupied for his formal, no-frills chat.

Low and behold, Letterman managed to ensnare Obama for an interview in what appears to be a community theater hall that might be the minor venue for a local talent show or bake-sale fundraiser. Best of all, the audience is completely oblivious as to who the guest will be which piques and counterbalances the show’s lean production (two black leather chairs against the backdrop of curtain pulleys).

Strangely, it is quite apropos for Obama to be David’s contemporary since, as Dave winks, they both “left long-term jobs.” Letterman’s line of questions are more about demystifying the cloak-and-dagger secrecy of the White House and how one re-acclimates back to being an American citizen rather than the Alpha and Omega of our government.

Obama is cordial and immensely aboveboard as always about the transition to civilian life but what makes the confab so arresting is how he flips the dynamic and asks Letterman about his journeys after his CBS exile (pilgrimages to Japan and Newfoundland). Even better is how Letterman jokingly retreats from Obama’s curiosity back to his inquisition.

Along with the lighthearted banter (ex. Obama quips about Letterman’s staff along with his “biblical beard”), Obama candidly addresses the economic crisis and two wars he had to juggle when entering the Oval Office. Since they’re tackling provocative issues about social media news feeds, the au courant political climate and Obama’s childhood in Indonesia, the conversation is scintillating. It’s a bit jarring when Letterman pleats the insular format and retraces the Selma march with organizer John Lewis. Much like Letterman’s daily show, the most captivating episodes will hinge on the most captivating of guests in the long run and with an elocutionist like Obama by his side, the biplay is uncommonly strong.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Podcast January 6 – The Florida Project and Bright, plus Most Anticipated

Cory and Tristan usher in the new year with a collection of late-end 2017 films, including:

Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Florida Project
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Bright
I Love You, Daddy
Mr. Roosevelt

Their discussion also features two new television premieres – LA to Vegas and 9-1-1. They cap off their day with a brief recap of their most anticipated films of 2018.

Listen in below, and remember to comment responsibly!

This Will Be Televised – Best Shows of 2017

Just as it has been and always shall be in this platinum age of television, it’s nearly impossible to see all the great programs being broadcast out into our great lands. Heck, it’s often we get stuck picking the wrong show and realizing we’ve wasted precious viewing years on Grey’s Anatomy or NCIS: Los Angeles. Not all of us realized The Leftovers was going to be that good!

Anyway, here’s the definitive list of my favorite television programs of 2017:

10) Master of None and Mr. Robot

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Sure, I know I’m cheating a bit by having these two shows – but there’s a good reason, I haven’t officially finished their most recent seasons. Netflix shows are meant to binge, but for Master of None it’s like a sweet Italian wine you want to savor and contemplate. Given that Aziz Ansari flew the whole production to Modena and Pienza in northern Italy for the first few episodes of the second season, that’s an apt descriptor. Ansari also utilized his knowledge and love of Italian cinema to frame some of the scenes, so it’s a cinephile’s dream right off the bat. I preferred to wait and let the flavor of this beautiful little treat of a show waft around me, and will likely finish it off when there’s a slow period in 2018. As for Mr. Robot, I’ve been watching that with my mother this whole time – and despite my obvious love and extensive word-count on the subject – we’ve fallen behind with her teaching and my other work, as well as catching up on our number 4 show, only recently wrapping up with that. The actual show seems to be reaching another high point, as they’ve gotten past the growing pains of realizing what to do with an imaginary Christian Slater. The stones that were laid for that character are paying off heavy dividends as Slater is giving a master class on sinister bipolar reactions, and Rami Malek is able to mimic his father/ghost/mentor/enemy with such succinct detail that it’s no wonder this show is getting rave reminders that it’s on the upswing this season. Once we’ve caught up, there’s no doubt I’ll set to work on a third edition of my now-famous “Is Mr. Robot better than Gotham” series.

9) Santa Clarita Diet

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Who would have thought a zombie comedy could be so heartfelt? Reminding one of Showtime hits like The United States of Tara and Weeds but with a gross-out twist, Drew Barrymore stars as a no-nonsense realtor who finds herself one day turning into a zombie. The mystery of how she’s technically undead is half the fun, while rest is taken up by the wickedly hilarious turn by Timothy Olyphant, who plays her obliviously sincere husband. At times completely disgusting, you’ll be surprised to find that the little family formed by this tragic event are endearing despite the bloodshed. Throw in some inane plots that even Nancy Botwin couldn’t pull herself out of, and you have yourself the next underrated hit comedy.

8) Crashing

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I first heard of Pete Holmes from the Badman shorts on Funny or Die. His straightforward take on how ridiculous Christian Bale’s gruff vocals were in The Dark Knight trilogy were such a delight that I was hoping he’d break out somewhere else. Lucky for us, he got his own HBO show this past spring, where he showcased some of his stand-up talents. Stemming from his personal life, as all good slice-of-life comedian shows have the past few years, this tells of his sudden divorce and subsequent misadventures around New York City as he tries to find himself emotionally and monetarily – especially given that he has to bounce around friends’ apartments until he can afford a new locale of his own. It’s pretty standard fare these days, but Pete Holmes adds that extra special sincerity that I’ve loved from day one.

7) Rick and Morty

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Yes, I tried to get some of that stupid delicious szechuan sauce. No, it probably was never going to be worth it. We’re all going to have some disappointments in life, and the third season of Rick and Morty hedges its bets on that motif. From Rick’s daughter Beth discovering her imaginary playland was a Jumanji-esque rainbow trap where her childhood friend lived for twenty years to Jerry’s ongoing struggles as deadbeat dad living in slum apartments, we saw several episodes that push our heroes to their limits – all the while questioning whether any of it was worth it. The true highlight of the season was ‘Rick-lantis’, where we step away from our adventurers to take a look back in on The Citadel, the fortress planet that houses virtually every other Rick and Morty that exists in the multiverse. Through several storylines that reference everything from Willy Wonka to Training Day (in a much better way than Bright ever could) we learn that an old villain from season one (a rogue Morty) has re-emerged and taken over the planet. Will this set up an arc for season four, or is it merely a brilliant bottle episode that posits the meaning of life for a lowly janitor, even if he happens to be the smartest man on the planet, just the same as everyone else? True disappointment would be missing out on one of the great modern animated programs.

6) The Good Place

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Phew! For a while during the charmingly saccharine first season of Kristen Bell’s new NBC sitcom, we thought it would be a one-and-done blip of a show. The idea behind a woman finding herself in ‘heaven’ even though she’s meant for ‘hell’ is a good Twilight Zone episode, but would it work over several seasons? The true test was the finale of that first season, when it was revealed that Ted Danson’s guardian angel was actual a demon architect named Michael that was trying out some new torture methods and had pitted four denizens against each other in an attempt to drive them all insane. It backfired, as Kristen Bell’s Eleanor genuinely befriended her fake soulmate Chidi (a great William Jackson Harper) as they hope to end Michael’s reign of terror. In the end, Michael was unable to continue the torture, and a novel approach to the situation finds all of the humans teaming up with the demon to overthrow his mutinous employees. The third best part of this show? I truly don’t know where this plot will take us, and I’m thrilled that this turned out so surprisingly ingenious. The second best part? The show-writers are utilizing so much philosophy, and really diving deep into what it truly means to be human, even if you’re a demon. The actual best part? Ted Danson’s incredibly dextrous performance as the conflicted otherworldly creature, which may just be a career best.

5) Future Man

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Just like that, Josh Futterman became the most important person in history. It’s a shame no one will really know, but that’s the brilliant result from this clever time-bending Hulu comedy. Josh Hutcherson plays the titular ‘Future Man’ who beats an impossible video game and pulls two time-traveling soldiers from their apocalyptic 2162. What they expect is to find an elite fighter who’s trained on their most difficult program available, but Futterman clearly thought it was merely a trifle. He becomes swept up in a zany world of machismo, portals, racial tension and references to movies like Back to the Future and The Last Starfighter and shows like Quantum Leap. Naturally I was going to love something so referential – and it doesn’t hurt that Hutcherson nails his role as the everyman janitor thrust into unspeakably strange situations. The true standouts though are Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings) and Derek Wilson (Preacher) who play the inane mercenaries Tiger and Wolf respectively. Jimmy and I binged this in one sitting and it’s well worth it – sometimes you need to just absorb something all at once to truly appreciate it, and this falls on that side of the argument.

4) Twin Peaks

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One thing you must say about David Lynch’s work – it’s always unexpected. It’s also usually surprisingly delightful. After twenty-five years in hiding, Kyle Maclachlan’s Agent Cooper and the good citizens of his favorite little town in northern Washington state are back to entertain us. In the convening years, plenty has changed those wholesome yokels, as well as the FBI agents that invaded their town in the early 1990s. Something devious blossomed in the heart of Cooper, forcing a duality between the innocent Dale (now reincarnated from the White Lodge into a sort of deadbeat brother-in-law named Dougie) and a nefarious Bob-infested original Agent Cooper. Leather and Laura Dern spell the dark side, while goofiness and Mulholland Drive‘s Naomi Watts pervade the light side. While we attempt to decipher the labryinthian storylines, David Lynch delights in weirding us out. For those that are fans, it’s clear what his methods have developed, especially if they were able to sit through the intense moodpiece Inland Empire. Some of stated that this is a metaphor for Lynch rediscovering his own mojo in directing, but I don’t think it ever went away. If you didn’t like what he’s doing, it’s not like he was never for you – it’s just you might not appreciate latter-day existentialism. You also don’t have to like it, and there are several reasons why – not enough of the old crew (half are dead, though, aren’t they?) – not enough explanation (where is Audrey, really? Why is James bald?) and really, why did we waste an entire episode in the desert in the 1950s? My guess is that Lynch loves to let you interpret art however you’d like, and he’s just giving us the vessel.

3) Search Party

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This show creeped into my mind so much over the past year that it was the mostly hotly anticipated show for me, easily. Alia Shawkat showcases her skills in her eyes, and John Early subverts his acerbic humor into a brilliant defense mechanism. John Paul Reynolds’ uses his mopey and dopey aw shucks demeanor to underwhelm everyone around him into ignoring any devious antics, and Meredith Hanger’s innocence makes her the perfect foil for all of their obliviou shenanigans. Beyond the four of them, the plot is so tight a mystery that you can’t look away at the trainwreck they’ve gotten themselves into. If you know what happened at the end of season one, then you know the writers were in for a difficult fix for season two – and after leaving the Scooby-Doo mission behind, it becomes a Hitchockian alternation. The cinematography reflects this beautifully, as there’s even reference to VertigoRear Window and The Man Who Knew Too Much. If you’re a fan of Fellini from Master of None, you’ll love the Kubrck in Search Party.

2) Big Little Lies

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Jean-Marc Vallee perfects a view from the periphery: in the show’s climactic moment, he even mutes the dialogue so that we don’t know the main characters’ sides of events, something we’d been waiting for the entire series. Even the follow-up scene, where the investigating detective shows up at a funeral, still suspecting one of the leads, we don’t go through the stereotypical motions of accusing them from a distance – instead we hear their pen click – a subtle clue we were given in each episode as we were getting closer to the investigator figuring out the truth. Sound was integral to this show, as was the impeccable soundtrack. Michael Kiwanuka’s melodiuous intro “Cold Little Heart” is a perfect aural entryway into the mood of the show. You’re never quite sure what anyone’s motivation is – from calculating Renata Klein (Laura Dern) to put-upon housewife play producer Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) to knife-sharp former lawyer Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman). When newcomer Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) upends their affluent microcosm, all hell breaks loose. The adult drama is reflected in their younger counterparts, played by particularly brilliant child actors Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon) and Darby Camp. It’s as much a show about growing up as finally accepting that you’re an adult, and the lies that we tell ourselves along the way. It’s simply brilliant, and it has five stellar women to anchor the proceedings.

1) GLOW

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Speaking of incredible women, this Netflix offering has a dozen gorgeous women that end up falling into the strangest job of their lives – lady wrestling. Alison Brie plays down-and-out actress Ruth, who – at the end of her ropes – signs on to the pseudo-sport as a last resort project hoping to revitalize her resume. Little does she realize that she’ll be the one to galvanize the other girls into action and prove that the “pseudo” part doesn’t really apply. Alongside her are Cherry Bang (Sydelle Noel), Rhonda (Kate Nash) and Carmen Wade (Britney Young) and multiple other colorful characters that populate the arena. Their “director” is played with caddish charm by Marc Maron, and the scenes between he and Brie are some of the year’s best. The way they can share an entire conversation with just their eyes speaks volumes in a year where some of the best stuff was in silence. The last component to make this show spark is Betty Gilpin, playing Debbie, Ruth’s only friend. The show begins with Ruth destroying Debbie’s marriage, and the subsequent episodes attempt to repair their reluctant friendship by forcing them to lift up girl power (and each other in finisher moves). A true surprise, let this eat at your soul as you contemplate what it means to truly relate to each other when friends and coworkers are all you have.

Ones to Catch Up on: Godless, The Leftovers, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Sinner, Get Shorty

Honorable Mentions: Ghosted, The Orville, Legion, White Famous


That’s all, folks! We’re off until next week when Cory and I will be discussing our most anticipated films of 2018, and I’ll likely launch back into Music to Your Ears. We’re looking forward to revamping the look of our little podcast website, as well as figuring out what direction we want to take everything in. We ope you have a happy new year, from all of us – Cory, Tristan, Jimmy, Jeff, Brad, et al – at Interjections!

Is Mr. Robot Still a Better Gotham Than Gotham?

Excuse me, I have a quick question: Have you got the time?

That’s how we left things on the precipice of the second season of USA’s breakout drama Mr. Robot, with new character Leon asking hackers Trenton and Mobley the paradoxical question. I’m here to ask if you’ve got the time to dive into yet another recap of the program, one that begs the question again: Is Mr. Robot still a better Gotham than Gotham? If you’re curious why we’re doing this here at the Interjections website, take a quick glance way back to last July, when I boastfully claimed that Mr. Robot might have a better origin story for a Batman-like figure than its actual Batman-based show.

Before we can check in on hacker genius Elliot and his fSociety friends, I want to briefly go over what’s been going on in that Bruce Wayne-wasting Gotham. Obviously, before you continue – I’ll be mentioning heavy SPOILERS for both shows. If you don’t want to be ruined for either, I would turn back now.

Continue reading Is Mr. Robot Still a Better Gotham Than Gotham?

Podcast October 2 – Ghosted and Big Mouth

Somehow the Interjections podcast won’t back down….

Here we are with yet another hot button topic – gun control, incredibly important in light of the events of October 1st in Las Vegas.

Afterwards Jimmy and Tristan discuss two recent comedy television premieres, FOX’s Ghosted – starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson as paranormal detectives, and Big Mouth – an animated coming-of-age story that sees Nick Kroll voicing his younger self and John Mulaney voicing a younger Andy Goldberg as they traverse the terrible years of puberty.

Tune in below, and never forget – comment responsibly:

This Will Be Televised – Fall Preview Part 3 – Mid-terms and Beyond

Did anyone see the Jim Carrey video, the one where he spouts existential fervor at a bewildered reporter in the New York Fashion Week press line? It’s just got me thinking a lot about what it means to do pretty much anything. Am I screaming into the void here? Does anyone really expect True Detective to be as good as it was when the McConnaissance was in full swing? Time is a flat circle, after all, and the circadian rhythms of all entertainment distract us from what we should all truly appreciate. Or is it a reflection of ourselves, our inner demons and deepest hopes?

Anyway, since executives at all studios end up pushing some stuff to the side in case they accidentally greenlight an absolute turkey for the fall – here’s what shows have been left for mid-season, if ever:

Alex, Inc. (ABC)

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Zach Braff has finally given in and is returning to television with this story of a young entrepreneurial radio journalist who quits his job and attempts to build his own startup company. His wife will be played by the rapidly rising Tiya Sircar, who shined in a guest role as the good Eleanor on recent surprise hit The Good Place. It’s great to see Braff back in our homes again, though what this will be beyond that logline is yet to be seen, so there is some trepidation. Hopefully Braff will make this work, or find something new immediately after. Either way, I’m tuning in as soon as it’s slated.

Splitting Up Together (ABC)

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Emily Kapnek has become one of my favorite showrunners, after developing lighthearted ABC comedies like Suburgatory and Selfie. Yes, before you think that latter show was a waste of time, it most certainly was not, and had such a deft touch to the modern adaptation of My Fair Lady that the distillation and takedown of the distraction that modern technology provides humans was absolutely brilliant. I, of course, digress, since this is more of a preview of her new show – that finds Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement) preparing to divorce only to find that the proceeding ignite a deep-seated passion within them that had long been lost. It’s a simple premise, that has been done before somewhere, but with Kapnek’s genius writing, I expect at least something left in her that can bring viewers to their screens. Plus ABC keeps giving her chances, for good reason.

 By the Book (CBS)

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This, of all things, has to be my most anticipated show of the upcoming year. This also, of all things, has the potential to divide like the biggest lightning rod on the air. As with Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, this has a semi-religious bent and a markedly different original title. Before, this was entitled Living Bibically, and given that it isn’t quite about a person who runs a mega-church in Houston or anything, it makes sense why the switched it to an on-the-nose name. Jay R. Ferugson (Mad Men) plays Chip, a distraught film critic who decides to literally follow the word of the Bible after the death of his best friend. I imagine some executives, critics, and even general viewers to balk at that premise, thinking it would be more Last Man Standing than anything else, but my guess from the cast (David Krumholtz, Camryn Manheim) that it’s going to be more of a sardonic look at how ridiculous some of the BIble’s tenets have become over the evolution of society. If nothing else, this will be something everyone will be talking about, good or bad.

Black Lightning (CW)

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No new shows seem to be premiering on the CW this fall, which isn’t really a bad thing. It just means that the programs already in place are clearly working, so why not let a good thing sustain? Luckily for some fledgling shows, there’s room after a 13-episode run to pop in and run for their own. Black Lightning is one of these shows – and much in the vein of other superhero shows on the network, it’s about a man called upon to once again fight for justice in his neighborhood. This time it’s Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who retired nine years earlier after seeing the effects his crime-fighting was having on his family. Now that the family is grown, it just so happens that a gang called The One Hundred is out to terrorize his home, and that means getting back into the business. I’m still in season one of The Flash, and I know all of these Greg Berlanti-developed shows are top notch, but I’m probably going to end up catching this later, like the other ones. If you’re a fan of his stuff, and the CW in general, you’re probably in for a real treat.

Life Sentence (CW)

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Now this is a darker premise than I would expect coming out of the CW. While they’ve attempted stuff this dark before, it’s always fallen flat (see: No Tomorrow, a show that begged to be on cable but was marginalized into fluff). My hope is that it doesn’t happen here. Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) stars as Stella, a young woman who milked her cancer diagnosis to its utmost, but when the cancer miraculously dissipates, she must face the life she thought she was going to leave behind, in other words all the bad decisions she made when she “lived like she was dying”. This includes a husband who thought he was in it for the short run, parents who had mourned for eight years and thought they were doing the right thing, and many other issues that will likely be worked out. Come to think of it, this sounds like one of the possible endings for a season two of No Tomorrow, but maybe this will go better.

The X-Files (FOX)

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That’s right, Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully will once again grace our television boxes in the search for the truth. What’s expected is that there will be a little more levity in the writing, while accounting for the likely short amount of episodes once again. The likelihood is also that this will at long last be the final run of cases for the extended FBI pair, as all involved (Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson) have stated that this and the last short season were in place of a trilogy capper that never came. It would actually be great to see Kumail Nanjani involved again, or someone else like the inimitable Rhys Darby, but perhaps it would be better if they don’t go full nostalgia – something like the recent third season of Twin Peaks would work fine. We don’t need to get existential, and it would be nice to get some actual closure – perhaps for Fox’s sister – but I think it will still be nice to see the greatest working federal agents one last time.

LA to Vegas (FOX)

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Another great premise left by the wayside for January or beyond, this tells the short woeful tale of those red-eye pilots and stewardesses that are stuck on the flight between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Debauchery all around them, the hard-working employees must leverage themselves against their better judgment, although that will likely not go as planned. Dylan McDermott stars as the beleaguered perpetual captain, stuck from rising up to a better flight plan alongside a wacky in-flight crew and weekly passengers that are drunk or hungover. One of them is Peter Stormare, so expect some strangeness.

The Resident (FOX)

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Matt Czuchry was consistently the best parts of scenes he was in on The Good Wife, holding his own against heavy hitters like Julianna Marguiles, Christine Baranski and the show’s MVP, Archie Panjabi. Now that it’s over (and he made it the whole way surprisingly), Czuchry has the chance to be the main star himself in this hospital drama where veterans like Bruce Greenwood continually tell him that he’ll have to compromise his morals to do the right thing for the hospital to stay in business. Given that he’s a maverick, it’s pretty obvious that Czuchry’s doctor, Conrad Hawkins, will bow to the whim of executives. Instead, he’s definitely going to be in it for his patients. Emily VanCamp will follow his lead as another new resident, and this kind of writes itself…so this may not be the best show. However, with a cast like this, it deserves at least a second opinion.

AP Bio (NBC)

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As news broke that this show had been optioned for a slot in NBC’s schedule, the most important thing to note was that star of the series Glenn Howerton still had a job over at FX, namely being the star of their flagship show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As the season over there ended, Howerton claimed that he wasn’t sure what would happen, but given that all five cast members are signed for at least two more seasons, there’s no doubt that the show will continue. The thinking here goes that they’ll push the next season back since co-star Kaitlin Olsen has her own show over at FOX, The Mick and they’ll see how AP Bio goes. The plot itself is enticing, as Howerton plays a high school teacher (obviously of AP Bio) who was cheated out of his dream position at a prestigious university. He then begins to use his brilliant honor students to enact revenge on his rival who claimed the job, much to the chagrin of the high school’s principal, played by Patton Oswalt. For me, this is a dream comedy, so I’m on pins and needles hoping this comes sooner than later. On top of that, the producing team of Seth Myers and Lorne Michaels seems to be already approved for air.

The Handmade Project (NBC)

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Normally I’m not one to be too excited about a reality show – I’ve never had one in a preview before. This one’s different, however, and one I may give a chance for a handful of episodes. Nick Offerman, star of Parks & Recreation, has always had a knack for woodworking, a love he shared with his alter ego Ron Swanson. He’s built a brand in his comedy on defining oneself by developing and harnessing a skill, such as woodworking. Only naturally, the progression towards NBC giving him a show where he can showcase that skill in front of millions of Americans has finally come to fruition. He’ll be joined by his Parks co-star Amy Poehler as they weave their way through contestants who shall compete to make the best furniture or other wooden products. I look forward to Offerman’s sardonic yet straightforward mentorship, as it has always fit well with Poehler’s bubbly optimism. For once, NBC may have done something right.

Rise (NBC)

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So many people getting new shows! Here’s Ted Mosby, high school drama teacher! Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) is set to lead a new Glee-esque telecast set within a school that is on the verge of losing its drama program to budget cuts. Radnor rallies the troops with fellow teacher Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing). Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) leads the cast of students, and we’re sure to see her singing skills showcased, among other talented youngsters. This seems like a great idea, and enough time has passed since Glee that it won’t be stepping on any toes.

Law & Order: True Crime (NBC)

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Are they even trying anymore? I mean, when Law & Order as a franchise first appeared before us all the way back in 1990, everyone joked about how the stories were ‘ripped from the headlines’. They even brazenly started referencing that themselves, and soon no one cared that Chevy Chase was guest starring as a thinly veiled version of Mel Gibson or they were finding three girls who’d been trapped in a basement for decades finally getting free. Obviously, everyone is okay with that by now, and given the current trend of high-profile criminal cases getting their own anthology series, it was somewhat unsurprising the Dick Wolf-produced series would head in this direction. The good news: Edie Falco is coming back to television as real-life lawyer Leslie Abramson, who has defended Phil Spector as well as this 8-episode mini-series subjects, the Menendez brothers. Anthony Edwards (ER) will be coming back not only to television, but his moneymaking home NBC, as the judge who oversaw the case, which sought to discover whether the young siblings murdered their parents in 1996. Julianne Nicholson and Josh Charles will pop in as well, and the whole thing sounds like a nice binge-watch eventually.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Somehow, I must have missed that this was actually premiering September 27 – I believe it was erroneously labeled in the Wikipedia list for the upcoming fall season and I never spot checked before the first part of this preview went out.

Good Girls (NBC)

Good Girls - Pilot

Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes) was set to star in this riff on the Bad Moms situation…except this time the girls decide to plan a heist on their local supermarket. I don’t know what Perkins opted out, but her replacement is a delighful surprise – Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks. She joins original co-stars Mae Whitman (Parenthood) and Retta (Parks and Rec) as the heist goes bad and they’re recognized by the manager, played by Matthew Lillard (Twin Peaks). The premise seems solid enough, and maybe the move to mid-season pulled Perkins, but the messiness still worries me for the show’s prospects.

Later, there will be several shows, that are yet to be scheduled:

True Detective (season 3, later 2017 or early 2018, stars Mahershala Ali!)
Barry (HBO, early 2018, hitman Bill Hader joins a Los Angeles improv troupe!)
American Lion (originally set for 2017, stars Sean Penn as Andrew Jackson!)
Here, Now (undated, probably 2018, Alan Ball returns with a family drama)
The Terror (AMC, set for 2017, historical horror in the Arctic)
Atlanta (FX, 2018, probably setting season 2 at some point in the summer?)
American Crime Story: Versace (FX, 2018, skipping Katrina may have been good?)
Archer: Danger Island (FX, 2018, the seminal animated program does it again)
Jean-Claude Van Johnson (Amazon, unknown, just put it on my television already)

I was going to have a top five worst shows of this upcoming season, but I could only bring myself to discuss one – Widsom of the Crowd, a Jeremy Piven-starrer that has the former Entourage Emmy winner using his technological prowess and endless stream of funds to improve the outdated San Francisco police force’s assets. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s basically last year’s FOX drama APB, which saw former Weeds Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk playing a rich technology buff that supplied the Chicago PD. Unfortunately for CBS, that did not work, and this version looks even more smug – somehow. The good news is that supporting actors include Natalia Tena (Harry Potter) and Monica Potter (Parenthood) so it may be a bigger hit, but it really shouldn’t be if Kirk didn’t get his chance. At least the car chases will be better in San Fran, right?

wisdom-of-the-crowd.jpg


Well, that’s it. Remember to take heed to my warnings and excitement and then go ahead and spend the rest of the year in front of the tube. I hope this at least provides you with some sort of relief from the outside world, maybe?