2015-16 Autumn TV premiere thoughts

So if you’re an avid TV fan like me, you’re probably in a happy place as our favourite TV shows are back on the small screen and the autumn/fall TV season is in full swing with the returns of some major primetime shows shows alongside some brand new shows of… varying quality, some of which will probably be cancelled by December but hey, here are my thoughts on the shows premieres anyway. I’m also grading the premieres because why not, though I don’t really rate TV on any scale and there will be some spoilers in a few of the shows.

Returning shows

Gotham (season 2)

Grade – B

I’m quite fond of Gotham despite pretty mixed reception for the show all around, the characters are great and Ben Mackenzie is brilliant as Jim Gordon, the set up and premise makes it different from any procedural cop drama and there’s a great style to it, especially shown in the premiere with a focus on the villains in season 2, the season started off fairly strong with a new look to the GCPD with Harvey retired and commissioner Loeb out of the picture. And ending on the maniacs being broken out of Arkham to start the maniacs story, things kicked off at 100mph and it set up an exciting, different feeling season to come.

Agents of Shield (season 3)

Grade – A

Agents of Shield kicked off in a big way, following an equally big and cinematic season 2 finale, we got thrown right into the action with Inhumans and superpowers taking centre stage and we get some great action coupled with some nice dramatic moments, Fitz desperately looking for the lost Simmons and the main SHIELD team down 2 agents with Coulson a bit stressed. The fun team dynamic of past seasons returns and Bobby, Mack and Hunter are great regulars now and of course powers with the Inhumans are a regular occurrence which is great to watch, great season opener.

 

Modern Family (season 7)

Grade – B

Sitcoms staying consistently well written and funny is increasingly hard nowadays I feel with an ever jaded and sensitive, always online community of viewers but against the odds, Modern Family has managed to do that, staying relevant as well and following on from season 6 with Hayley and Andys’ will they – won’t they dynamic, very funny stuff and Adam DeVine as Andy is fantastic as Andy. The jokes are still landing well as are the plot arcs and the show is still on the right tracks.

Black-Ish (season 2)

Grade – B

Black-Ish made its return on a hot and ever relevant subject in regards to a social subject and the show feels funny and fresh as it did with its first season, Anthony Anderson as Andre is an ever funny presence on screen and has a great relationship with his wife Beau, while Laurence Fishburne as Andres father is one of the funniest parts of the show. The story lines don’t shy back from being a bit controversial and depicting certain view points on issues whether they’re right or wrong, but seeing how the show tackles subjects and provides answers (sort of) in its own way is still interesting.

 

The Flash (season 2)

Grade – B

One of my most anticipated shows, The Flash gets off to a bang with its 2nd season with some thrilling action and new changes to Central city as well Team Flash, we get to see a taster of the multi-verse with Atom Smasher and a reference to Zoom along with some cool action. It was a surprisingly emotional episode as well with some nice dramatic moments including Barrys father getting out of prison and Ronnies departure, plus the ending with Jay Garrick directly sets up things to come and leaves us with anticipation for episode 2.

Arrow (season 4)

Grade – B+

Arrow followed hot on the heels of The Flash with a measured premiere with a now changed and more mellow Oliver which is a nice change, now dating Felicity, he comes back to Star city but finds things aren’t quite the same with tension between Diggle and himself as well as Thea, the new team dynamic should be interesting for the rest of the season. While Damien Dahrk wastes no time in introducing himself and his powers, an interesting take on the character, bringing magic to the show, Team Arrows fun escapades return as does the shows high production value and fun action sequences, all in all it’s a solid start to what should be a season of some thrilling action and good drama.

American Horror Story Hotel (season 5)

Grade – B

American Horror Story came into its 5th season with a fair amount of hype over Lady Gaga and the role she’d be playing and Hotel needed to start strong to shake off the memory of the rather lackluster Freakshow and it did, the look and aesthetic of the premiere felt reminiscent of the first season and the first few scenes of Asylum, the story already feels more tight and cinematic than Freak show and things are off to a good start. The characters are effectively quirky as ever, Lady Gaga is decent as the vampiric hotel owner alongside her lover Matt Bomer and Wes Bentley, homicide detective moving into the hotel sets things up nicely in a season that’s already fairly creepy and unsettling, the signs of improvement are there in what should be a good season.

The Vampire Diaries (season 7)

Grade – C-

The Vampire Diaries feels like a show trying to find its feet again now with the departure of longtime and staple character Elena (Nina Dobrev) and I think the show has suffered for it, even having a so-so season last time around with her still on it, the story line with the heretics and Damon and Stefans mom needs a lot of work to say the least but i do like the idea of them all sharing Mystic falls for better or worse. That being said, I struggle to see the heretics as a compelling threat and I’m wondering if we’ll see a major villain yet to come.

 

The Walking Dead (season 6)

Grade – B+

The Walking Dead kicked off to an intriguing start with its mix of flashbacks and present day action, a nice visual nod to the comics and with Morgan back and in Alexandria, we have an interesting set up for some adversarial drama between Rick and Morgan, seeing seeds of that in the premiere. Daryl disagreeing with Rick was also well done and shows not everyone, even Ricks friends may be fully agree with him, the mega herd plot arc was interesting also with an immediate threat to Alexandria and Carters vocal opposition and fate sort of signified what happens to people that can’t really cope in the world on their own. Overall a strong opener with some nice dramatic moments.

 

New debuts

Minority Report 

Grade – D

Maybe I just expected too much from a sci-fi show on Fox, we all know how much that network loves it’s sci-fi…  but yeah, I love the idea of world the show’s set in but it just feels far too predictable and cliché currently despite the ideas and themes the show is based on being interesting. The cast is decent enough but could work with better material for sure, despite the show taking a different take from the film and spinning off into a world without pre-crime.

 

Scream Queens 

Grade – B

Ryan Murphys new show looked like a lot of crazy, silly fun when it was announced earlier in the year and so far it hasn’t failed to deliver, the premiere starts off with some crazy, hyper realistic situations and unashamedly over the top characters, things are so heightened that it’s practically self aware but that’s what makes it fun in a show that embraces tropes and stupid clichés of the genre it resides in. But even with stereotypes and some pretty outrageous lines from characters like Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts), it’s still pretty funny and entertaining nonetheless, Skyler Samuels who plays Grace in the show is also pretty awesome in it, as is Jamie Lee Curtis and the cast in general does a great job in their roles, playing up to and mocking horror/slaher film character tropes.

Heroes Reborn 

Grade – C

Heroes return was somewhat anticipated but it wasn’t exactly setting the internet alight with hype, it returned with some familiar show tropes, stylised writing on screen and some Heroes themed music, the premiere was a double episode introducing us to the main characters, their current situations and powers or motivations, with maybe 2 or 3 genuinely interesting characters and some more clichés. The 2nd episode definitely picked up some steam though and took things in an interesting direction but I was left wondering how long it would take for more of the characters to finally meet up as some individual stories just weren’t that interesting, not terrible but not great.

Quantico

Grade – C

Conspiracy thriller Quantico has a great set up and a… pretty weird layout feeling half Homeland and half Greys Anatomy, following Alex (Priyanka Chopra), a new FBI agent who is found in the rubble of a terrorist attack and becomes a prime suspect – you’ll need keep suspending your disbelief if you’re gonna watch this show, trust me. Going through a non-linear structure and a lot of flashbacks as Alex and a group of other recruits join the FBI and get tasked with counter terrorism training, all the main characters are really attractive and half of them are romantically invlved so it’s a bit hard to believe so yeah, it has room to improve for sure. But the central mystery and premise is interesting with Alex being framed for the attack and not knowing who’s setting her up and why.

 

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