Wedged between all the October binge partying (read: Oktoberfest, Thanksdrinking, and Halloweek… can I get an amen?) and the manufactured calorie-denying cheer of December, November is a pretty miserable month. Let’s be real, the great outdoors have backstabbed you, going from being leaves-and-orange-beautiful-everything to a perpetually dark, unforgiving subarctic hellhole. Add that to the fact that everybody is stressed out before the holidays and there being no new Netflix series to binge-watch and suddenly you are in fairly dire emotional straits. Don’t bother wasting money on something silly like therapy or Prozac though. Instead, do the healthy thing by grabbing a bottle of pinot and unplugging yourself with some fall television.
This year’s TV harvest has a little something for everybody… and a few things that should really never be watched by anybody. Whether you’re into the comedic antics of Trophy Wife, or are into how comically bad Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is, there is definitely something on the airwaves to distract you. To make your life easier, we’ve put together a mid-season round-up of all the buzziest shows from this fall’s line up:
1. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In terms production budget, hype, and sheer association with the cinematic mammoth that was The Avengers, this was pretty much THE show of Fall 2013. Even to a closet comic geek and diehard Joss Whedon stalker, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just couldn’t perform. While you’d think following around an elite group of international special agents would be interesting… The characters are bland and the plot is contrived. Oh yes, and the characters are contrived and the plot is bland. It could have been so beautiful…
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Andy Samberg leads up this cop comedy that feels surprisingly at ease for a first season. The cast has good chemistry, the show works well, and Samberg is not over-the-top annoying. Also, it’s from the people who created Parks & Recreation, which, if you have any taste, should mean something to you.
3. The Crazy Ones
Year after year, networks drop sitcoms like a fish lays eggs. There are a million, only a few survive, and even the ones that do are eaten soon anyways. Compared to other new comedies out this fall (we’re looking at you, Dads) The Crazy Ones doesn’t actually make one want to gouge one’s eyes out with something rusty. Robin Williams plays a successful ad-man who is trying to navigate his firm and pseudo-family of employees, with plot points peppered with his aging and recovery from alcoholism. Pretty standard. As with most things he stars in, Williams is definitely Atlas holding up the deadweight but it’s worth checking out. Think of it as Mad Men with celebrity guest stars and current pop music. Okay, it’s absolutely nothing like Mad Men.
Firstly, admittedly I am completely biased. After being exposed to Muriel’s Wedding as a child, it was love at first sight for Toni Collette and I. She could be cast as Rob Ford and I’d think she was the right choice. That fact aside, Hostages is actually super compelling. Collette plays a surgeon about to operate on the President, only to be held hostage by people intent on making her kill him. Pretty cool, lots of twists, you should watch it.
5. Trophy Wife
It’s like the Modern Family meets Real Housewives except more modern and real realer. Malin Akerman plays a reformed party girl who marries a lawyer with two ex-wives and children. Awkward antics ensue. It’s amazing.
6. MasterChef Junior
There is something intensely fascinating (and mildly masochistic) about being shamed week after week by the vastly superior culinary skills of a nine-year-old. And yet, there is something about the experience that’s kinda weird but also kinda great. Throw in a dash of Gordan Ramsay and you have a hot steaming bowl of deliciously addictive reality television.
Dishonourable Mentions: Dads, Mom, and The Millers. These would be some of those fish egg sitcoms that really just never should have been born.
Which TV shows are on your radar this fall? Comment below, or tweet us @ViewTheVibe!