Fall Premieres: Do These New Series Make the Grade? (Part 1)

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Photo via FOX, CBS, and ABC.

Photo via FOX, CBS, and ABC.

The days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler (well maybe not this year,) summer television is over (unfortunately,) which can only mean one thing: pumpkin spice–I mean–fall TV premiere season! It’s that wonderful time of the year when there are more tv shows to watch than hours in the day. Along with the return of renewed series, there are also many new shows premiering. A few months ago, after the spring upfronts I listed the ten shows I was looking forward to the most. Now, finally, many of those shows have made it to the TV screen.

Premiere season is wonderful, especially now that silly schoolwork doesn’t get in the way of my TV time (I mean, there’s real work from my real job, but it’s not the same.) However, in the tradition of relating new shows to a new school year, I’ve given each of the series premieres a grade. Of course, there are so many shows starting this season that I haven’t been able to catch every single premiere. There are also some series I’ve left off the list–The Blacklist, We Are Men, The Millers, and The Michael J. Fox Show–as I had no desire to watch the premieres. (Let me know if I should check them out!) I’ve also split up the premieres into two sections. In this post, I’ll be covering shows that premiered in the second half of September. So let’s see if these new shows make the grade.

Photo via FOX.

Photo via FOX.

Dads
Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX
Grade: D-

When I heard that Seth Green would be returning regularly to primetime television, I was excited. Sure, the premise of Dads was a little ridiculous, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Then there was all that controversy because the pilot makes an absurd amount of racist jokes, which isn’t quite as surprising once you find out Seth McFarlane is an executive producer. (You wouldn’t be far off in saying he makes his living off of racist jokes.) Between the highly inappropriate jokes and the ridiculous characterization, Dads is not worth your time. Seth Green is truly the only redeeming factor of this show, but even he can’t save it.

Photo via CBS.

Photo via CBS.

The Crazy Ones
Thursdays at 9pm on CBS
Grade: C-

With the premiere of The Crazy Ones, another Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum returns to primetime, though this time in a comedy role. Sarah Michelle Gellar is joined by Robin Williams to create what everyone seemed to hope would be a comedy powerhouse. However, this pairing falls a little flat both as comedians and a sentimental father-daughter advertising team. Williams brings his charm, his silliness, and his impersonations to the table, but Gellar doesn’t work as his counterpart. Maybe if Gellar was given some more snark, a la Buffy Summers, this show would have been able to capitalize on both Gellar and Williams’ talents.

Photo via Showtime.

Photo via Showtime.

Masters of Sex
Sundays at 10pm on Showtime
Grade: C+

Now, I know this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion because Showtime’s Masters of Sex is a highly anticipated drama this season. I was looking forward to it as well, but after watching the pilot I realized it’s not my type of show. Lizzy Caplan and Martin Sheen are wonderful in the premiere episode and it’s certainly awesome in the same way as Mad Men: Masters of Sex takes place in the 1950s following the work of William Masters. Anyone who is a fan of Mad Men should certainly give Masters of Sex a chance. However, I just didn’t enjoy it.

Photo via FOX.

Photo via FOX.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tuesdays at 8:30pm on FOX
Grade: B-

I was a little hesitant of Andy Samberg’s new comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, because I’m not the comedian’s biggest fan. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Samberg’s performance and his co-star Andre Braugher, works perfectly as a comedic opposite. The whole cast of this show is wonderful and I think it has a fair share of potential. The best aspect of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is that there aren’t any other shows like it on TV right now. Sure there are plenty of comedies following in the vein of The Office and 30 Rock, and there are an endless number of crime procedurals, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine combines those two types of shows into one–and it works.

Photo via CBS.

Photo via CBS.

Mom
Mondays at 9:30pm on CBS
Grade: B-

Anna Faris and Allison Janney? C’mon. There’s no way you could combine these two and not get a relatively decent comedy. I have to admit, I want to call bullshit on the fact that Faris’s character, Christy, can afford such a nice  house on her single parent income as a waitress. But other than that bit TV delusion, I think Mom is a fairly solid comedy. I would like to continue watching Mom, though it might fall by the wayside in favor of all the other new and returning series.

Photo via ABC.

Photo via ABC.

Trophy Wife
Tuesdays at 9:30pm on ABC
Grade: B

I was intrigued from the first time I heard about Trophy Wife. The show sounded like it could be cool in a similar way to Modern Family–although it also could have flopped like Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal did last season. So I went into Trophy Wife not expecting much, but I think the writers have something seriously promising here. I also really like the dynamics between all the women in this show, which makes sense since it’s written by two women, Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, who have some experience with this modern family living situation as well as the portrayal of women on TV.

Photo via CBS.

Photo via CBS.

Hostages
Mondays at 10pm on CBS
Grade: A-

Although Hostages stars Dylan McDermott, Toni Collette, and Tate Donovan, I wasn’t too impressed with the premise of the show. I thought the writers would have a hard time drawing out the main conflict of a hostage situation for an entire season. However, after watching the premiere episode, I have a little more faith in the writers. Within the pilot, I was drawn in by all the characters and the conflicts that exist within themselves. The “good” characters aren’t necessarily good–Donovan’s picturesque husband is having an affair–while the “bad” characters aren’t necessarily bad–McDermott’s hostage taker is an FBI agent with an ill wife. The characters are all conflicted and they’re all dealing with troubles that question their integrity. I’m excited to see where this show goes.

Photo via FOX.

Photo via FOX.

Sleepy Hollow
Mondays 9pm on FOX
Grade: A

If I was surprised by any show this premiere season, it was Sleepy Hollow. Even before watching the pilot, I had completely written off Sleepy Hollow as ridiculous. I was sure it wouldn’t make it through its first couple episodes, let alone its first season. However, I was wrong. So totally and completely wrong. To be fair, I can’t even take credit for discovering this hidden gem of premiere season: many friends of mine watched the pilot and raved about it before I even considered giving it a chance. Now, I’m glad I did because it’s easily one of my new favorite shows. Ichabod Crane befriending cool cop, Abbie Mills; the headless horseman is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse; plus witches and magic and demons–what’s not to love?

Photo via ABC.

Photo via ABC.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC
Grade: A+

Out of all the television shows premiering on primetime this season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is easily the most highly anticipated–and it was the most promising show of the fall. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. very easily could have fallen victim to being over hyped, but thankfully, it did not disappoint. Between Joss and Jed Whedon at the helm of this ship, and the amazing cast, plus all the nods to the superhero films, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has everything anyone could want from a Marvel television show. We’re now a few weeks into the show and it is only getting better.

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