Fall TV is in full swing and I’m scrambling amongst my busy life to be catching up on everything that’s new and amazing while simultaneously catching up on a number of favorites recommended to me by others. Some old shows have left us (Happy Endings, The Office, Community, Modern Family), but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a busy week for me and my television. So I’ll break down the lineup I go through each week and then I’ll dive into the initial impressions of each show!
MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW
The Fall TV Line Up
Masters of Sex
The Walking Dead
Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Parks and Recreation
The Legend of Korra
Saturday Night Live
Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Showtime’s newest series, originally slated to air last year (or at least teased to air last year), follows up directly after Homeland. Much has been said about which bad guy we love to hate will replace the hole Walter White made after Breaking Bad had it’s tremendous finale, and Michael Sheen’s Dr. William Masters is absolutely a front runner. Masters of Sex is a show about Dr. William Masters’ study of human sexuality. Set in the 1950s, this period drama reflects a lot of the values foreign to this generation and can open eyes regarding just how different things were back then. Dr. Masters himself is an intriguing character. He’s relentless in pursuing his goal in understanding human sexuality, going as far as doing studies in brothels, ignoring his loving wife, and burning bridges to his closest friends. Yet he is still worth rooting for, not so that he can win a Nobel Prize, but rather to educate the ignorant mindsets of his peers. Hot on his heels is the adorable Lizzy Caplan playing Virginia Johnson, his secretary/assistant. Caplan’s Johnson plays the most likable character demonstrating the ideals of a modern woman in a time where woman didn’t have the respect they have now.
Overall Masters of Sex is a great new series with interesting material and powerful leads. I look forward to how the rest of the season plays out and highly recommend it to anyone who was at all hesitated.
A strong first season and a decent second season, I unfortunately wasn’t as excited to watch the third season of Showtime’s Homeland as others might be. And as I watched the first episode, I wasn’t necessarily impressed. Claire Dane’s Carrie has become detestable and almost deserves the punishment she’s getting for the actions she has committed. Meanwhile in the Brody household, Morena Baccarin’s Jessica, while adorable and pretty as she is, can’t maintain her household, primarily due to the very awful human being Morgan Saylor’s Dana. I’ve read her response to the internet’s hate for her character, and while humanizing it is for Saylor, it doesn’t really make me change my disappointed stance on how the writers have done with Dana. Meanwhile the show’s two saving roles, Saul and Brody haven’t really made their moves yet [I haven’t caught up on the third episode yet]. Saul, now head of the CIA, is now held down in bureaucracy and responsibility, and hasn’t really done anything too awesome yet. And then it appeared to have taken two whole episodes before we even get to see Brody.
All the complaining aside, I’ll keep watching, praying it gets better.
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Quite frankly Boardwalk Empire might be one of the best shows of this fall season. No, it’s definitely not as popular as some of the other TV shows out there, but Boardwalk Empire has been so consistently delicious, especially with the performance of newcomer Jeffrey Wright’s Dr. Narcisse as an intellectual African American during a time where slavery was masked with low wages and little respect. Elsewhere, there are still guns, women, badass lines, and booze. Political, economical, lawful, and personal strifes between characters are still the driving force between the impressively sized cast, ranging from Chicago to New York quite often. Also stirring things up is the introduction of J. Edgar Hoover and the creation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as it cracks down on Prohibition bootleggers. All during of course when one of the best characters was recently offed…
Boardwalk Empire’s first three seasons have gone under the radar, if you don’t mind the slow pace and sometimes overwhelming dialogue, the payoff of catching up on one of the best dark horse television shows is absolutely worth the time.
The Walking Dead (AMC)
As an avid comic book reader of the series, I‘m incredibly hype about the forth season of The Walking Dead. This season has the potential to really bring out the essence of the comic book, something the television series has had trouble capturing (though season 3 got fairly close). There has been a show runner change up just about every season, but I think Scott Gimple has the most potential in making The Walking Dead one of the best series of this Fall. The first episode surely brought the guts and glory that has made the series pull in 16 million viewers. The first episode was suspenseful and incredibly well written and executed. I’m glad they’re giving Michonne more lines and quickly characterizing Tyrese [who is one of the best characters in the comic books, I’m hoping they do him more justice].
I’m really excited if they have the gall to make the finale as much of a bloodbath the book version was. We’re talking Ozymandias/Reigns of Castamere levels of holy shit.
New Girl (Fox)
Having hit it’s stride early, New Girl knows what works for their ensemble and are firing on all cylinders in its third season. Even Winston has found his niche (which is being really weird about small things), but Nick and Schmidt continue to carry the series in terms of the heavy lifting. Zooey remains to be adorable, though I find it’s only her supporting character’s responses to her quirkiness that make it grounded and tolerable. Overall, New Girl definitely in it’s zone, and I don’t see it letting up. (Also Coach/Brad/Damon Wayans Jr. returns for a stint! RIP Happy Endings)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX)
Oh my god, nine seasons and this show is still running? What’s even more unbelievable? It’s still soooo good. If you saw “The Gang Desperately tries to Win an Award” is so meta and well written, that it pangs me to think they haven’t been nominated on any level of respectable means. “The Gang Desperately Tries to Win an Award” absolutely slams the genre of nominated shows from corny, bright, laugh-track filled bar (sitcoms like Big Bang Theory and Modern Family) to the old period bars (shows) that a few people visit, but they still get a lot of rewards (Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men) Otherwise, the gang is the same as always: random and destructive, which makes each episode delightful in terms of the new lows they’ll find and hilarious callbacks to a glorious past eight seasons.
South Park (Comedy Central)
Still biting, still gloriously written, and still amazingly relevant. From video game violence in relation to influence on real life to George Zimmerman, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone continue to push every boundary, even after 17 seasons.
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
If I had to label a favorite comedy of all time, maybe even a favorite show of all time: Parks and Recreation might be up there. This show gives me the laughs, the smiles, and the feels. Season 6, arguably the last good season in a TV series run is just as great. Parks and Recreation always find a great story every season. Season 3 had the Pawnee rebound, Season 4 had the election, Season 5 had the first year in office, Season 6 is now the Eagleton/Pawnee merger. With Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins leaving mid season, this season has been rumored to be the last season of the show, ending it’s still amazing run. I continue to look forward to this show every week, smiling and grinning for the most solid 21 minutes of my week.
The Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon)
As a huge fan of The Last Airbender and the first season of The Legend of Korra, the Legend of Korra, Book 2: Spirits has met my expectation for humor, beautiful animation, and riveting storyline. Set in the same universe, but a different time era as The Last Airbender, we continue to follow Korra’s adventure as she becomes the Avatar. With the delicious addition of the character, Varrick, The Legend of Korra is taking a different and riskier approach then The Last Airbender, not so much focusing on the stability of the world, but a closer to home storyline. I will enjoy keeping up with the series as Korra continues to find her way to becoming the Avatar with the help of another new character, Wan, the first Avatar.
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
With strong opening episodes with Tina Fey and Miley Cyrus (there I said it, I thoroughly enjoyed that episode), I’ve always had a passion for Saturday Night Live. I’ve admired their ability to write, rehearse, perform, and deliver in a one week period. And I like the idea of actors and musicians humanizing themselves with sketches. Each episode definitely has it’s fair share of blunders and unfunny messes, but I love the enthusiasm of big-name in the making, Taran Killam, and brilliant newcomer, Kate McKinnon.
Overall Fall TV is amazing! Be sure to watch and let me know what you’re watching!