Fall Premieres: The Good, The Eh, The Bad, & The Ugly (Sept. Edition)

23 October 2015 by 7 Comments

It’s that time of year when all the new shows are shouting at us to watch them, actors are promoting the crap out of themselves/their new show, and my TiVo is about to bust so hard at the seams that it’s threatening to delete things! While I’m taking a gamble watching new shows—since the networks can/will/have canceled my new favorite show faster than I can say “this is my new favorite show”—I can’t not watch the fall premieres. I love stories and characters too much to not always be seeking out new books, shows, and movies. So I watched and I opinionated. Here is my The Good, The Eh, The Bad and The Ugly for September’s Fall Premieres. (Agree, disagree, and tell me what I missed and should be watching in the comments.)

Homer Simpson watching TV


Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris

Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris review

Basic premise: Live one-hour show that basically does everything: skits, tricks, pranks, game shows, karaoke, celebrity appearances, audience participation…
Why I watched it: Doogie Howser!– I mean all of the awesomeness that is NPH.
The good: His prank on The Voice , Gloria Gaynor! and the fast-paced mix of something-for-everyone. The celebrity announcer changes every week.
The eh: It was the first episode and still hadn’t fully gotten its rhythm.
The bad: All the in-house promotion I imagine NBC will keep using this show for.
The ugly: N/A
Recommended especially to: Anyone looking for an entertaining for-the-whole-family show. Fans of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Fans of variety shows.
Not recommended to: People who only like NPH in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.
Recording episode 2? Sure.
Hey, I Know You: The Pussycat Dolls singer is NPH’s sidekick.
On the bookish scale: 100% awesomely bookish just for his adorable skit with his mini-NPH reading Gone Girl.




 Rosewood Fox review

Basic premise: A freelance medical examiner, with health issues, “partners” with a detective. (Didn’t know freelance medical examiner existed.)
Why I watched it: It’s set in Miami and I wouldn’t kick Morris Chestnut out of bed for eating crackers.
The good: Detective Annalise Villa got to save herself a few times. Didn’t scream not-filmed-in-Miami by having things like mountains in the background.
The eh: Gotta suspend disbelief.
The bad: Nothing fully came together for me, but I’m going to hope it was just the first-episode wobbles. That’s a thing, right?
The ugly:
The YA dis. (see bookish scale below)
Recommended especially to: Fans of shows like Castle and Bones–if you like the “mystery/police” angle where the crime is neatly solved in one episode mixed with an over-the-top character and opposites attract type partnership.
Not recommended to: Those who hate TV tropes or want realistic fiction.
Recording episode 2? Yes, but pretty much only because it’s set in Miami.
On the bookish scale: Negative a billion for insulting YA books just to make a female character look cool? Tough? Not sure why they did it but bad. Bad. Bad.



Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces review

Basic premise: Multigenerational family and their lives in comedy form.
Why I watched it: Colin Hanks.
The good:
Each family unit within the family has a story told like a chapter or vignette. The jokes were new-ish even when the situation was something done a million times before. You didn’t see all the jokes in the trailer played a million times leading up to the episode so yay for some surprises.
The eh: Sappy, forced moment towards the end.
The bad: At the moment no LGQBT representation in a rather large cast.
The ugly: N/A
Recommended especially to: Fans of shows like Modern Family.
Not recommended to: Those who hate TMI.
Recording episode 2? Yes, but I have a feeling this might get old quick.
Hey, I Know You: Mom from Parenthood (1989). Sister from Breaking Bad.
On the bookish scale: I think zero. Apparently not a family of readers based on the pilot.


The Player

NBC The Player review 

Basic premise: Security Consultant (Alex Kane) gets picked up by a secret organization claiming to be able to predict crime—which they use to bet on crime rather than help people.
Why I watched it: Wesley Snipes (I still love Demolition Man) and the trailer reminded me of the ‘90s action films I loved.
The good: It was exactly what I wanted from it (action and good characters) and more (already done before plot BUT with a new twist that is very interesting). Ridiculous BUT TOTALLY WORKS Hollywood violence/action and same for the one-liners. Hot guy running around in boxers. And there’s kick-ass ladies.
The eh: The need to have characters explain backstory in conversation wasn’t needed.
The bad: Characters meet up at a bar, drink shots, then think driving home is a great idea.
The ugly:
Continues the stereotype that Middle Easterners are terrorists.
Recommended especially to: Action movie lovers–you’ll know within the first 3 minutes if it’s your type of show.
Not recommended to: People who hate action, fast moving scenes, car chases, shootouts.
Recording episode 2? Season Pass! There’s enough in the pilot where this show can go in so many directions rather than continuously circling the same boring plot.
On the bookish scale: None. They were too busy shooting at each other and running to stop for some reading time.



 Blindspot review

Basic premise: Naked woman covered in fresh tattoos has an FBI agent’s name tattooed on her back and zero memory as to who she is or what happened.
Why I watched it: Jaimie Alexander was in an awesome dress at the Emmys talking about the show—I can easily be enticed sometimes.
The good:
Kick-ass, awesome lady. Smart way to end an episode.
The eh:
Didn’t really have any feelings towards any of the characters so I can easily leave it.
The bad:
The easy-to-swallow unbelievable stuff that worked for me in The Player didn’t really work this time—I’m not a doctor but if a bomb detonates near you in a tunnel you’re probably gonna, at the very least, have trouble hearing.
The ugly:
Recommended especially to:
Those who like FBI type shows with an underlining mystery like The Blacklist.
Not recommended to: Mystery and procedural drama haters.
Hey, I know You: Daughter from What Women Want.
Recording episode 2?
I’m giving it the second episode to decide if I’ll stick with it but it’s not looking good.
On the bookish scale: Zip. Nothing. Nada. Even a kid on a student visa didn’t have books in his room.


Scream Queens

 Scream Queens review

Basic premise: Sorority of mean girls has a serial killer.
Why I watched it: Everyone seemed really excited about this show and campy horror/ ’90s style mean girls sounded fun.
The good:
Campy horror scenes. When the satire was good. The social media death scene! The 1995 flashbacks that reminded me of Heathers! ‘90s pop culture references.
The eh: Oliver Hudson having a college-age daughter made me feel old.
The bad: The constant ping ponging from good to bad show.
The ugly: When the satire didn’t exist “jokes” were racist and offensive.
Recommended especially to: Fans of campy horror, satire, obnoxious mean girls, and the who-could-possibly-be-the-killer type mystery like in Scream.
Not recommended to: Ryan Murphy fans who want the PSA Glee.
Recording episode 2?
Technically the first 2 episodes premiered together. As for the 3rd episode I’m undecided—if I do watch it’ll be for the murder scenes, I say sounding like a psycho.
Hey, I know You: Daughter from Little Miss Sunshine and you can play this with basically the entire cast.
On the bookish scale: There was a Gone with the Wind quote but during the racist “white mammy” bit so I’m actually deducting points.



quantico review

Basic premise: There is a possible terrorist in the incoming FBI class.
Why I watched it: Had me at incoming FBI class.
The good: Great characters, many different personalities. Lots of twists and turns, and what-is-happening moments (in a good way). Priyanka Chopra.
The eh: There were a couple stories that have already been done before.
The bad: Girl with daddy issues is something I’m tired of.
The ugly: N/A
Recommended especially to: Fans of Homeland, Rookie Blue and Covert Affairs.
Not recommended to: Anyone who hates FBI dramas or who-done-its that aren’t solved neatly in one episode.
Recording episode 2?
YUP! And I’m really hoping this show solves the issue in the first season and starts a new one for season 2–I won’t care anymore in season 2 if we’re still trying to solve who the terrorist was and just stretching that plot as far as possible.
Hey, I Know You: Cougar Town bar owner.
On the bookish scale: I didn’t see any but it was fast paced so I may have missed something, but probably a zero.


The Daily Show with Trevor Noah


Basic premise: Late night comedy show mocks newsy things. The much loved previous host (Jon Stewart) retired and the show premieres with a new host (Trevor Noah).
Why I watched it: While I love Jon Stewart (and hope we didn’t break him) I’m open to giving a new voice a chance–and a cute one with a shexy accent.
The good: The structure of the show remained exactly the same. Trevor Noah’s opening bit was very funny and a nice nod to Stewart. The race jokes and satire from a black comedian’s perspective. It’s adorable when he giggles at his own jokes.
The eh: A few jokes could have been edited down and a couple were just for shock value.
The bad: You still need the added minute set in recording options if you don’t want The Moment of Zen to be cut off midway.
The ugly: N/A
Recommended especially to: Fans of The Daily Show, Chelsea Handler and Trevor Noah’s stand-up.
Not recommended to: Anyone looking for a news program.
Recording episode 2?
Season Pass.
On the bookish scale: So far none, but I’m hoping he’ll have many authors on as guests–you hear me, Trevor?!


The Grinder

The Grinder

Basic premise: Actor who played a lawyer on TV doesn’t know what to do with his life now that the series ended so he moves back home where his brother is a real lawyer. Naturally, the brothers are opposites.
Why I watched it: Kevin Arnold.
The good: I really liked the kids and their stories. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage had good chemistry and good banter. Some surprisingly funny dialogue.
The eh: Rob Lowe slipped into his Parks&Rec character a few times—even said LITERALLY! Not sure if it was an inside joke or he played the character too long.
The bad: Has the potential to get old quick and just be the same plot—Fred Savage has a case, his brother butts in, everyone learns a lesson, the end—over and over again.
The ugly: Winnie Cooper isn’t the wife!
Recommended especially to: Fred Savage/Rob Lowe fans. Family comedy fans.
Not recommended to: Loathers of family sitcoms.
Recording episode 2? Yes, I want to see if it can evolve but if not it gets the ax.
Hey, I know you: Charlie’s obsession on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
On the bookish scale: I think there were law books?




Basic premise: Womanizer not only finds out he fathered a child years ago, that child now has a child. Surprise! You’re a grandpa.
Why I watched it: Er, John Stamos?
The good: The “baby mama” character of Stamos’ son and Stamos’ restaurant assistant were great/hilarious characters! The baby is adorable. Even with all the negative stuff I list below I still watched the episode and was entertained.
The eh: Sappy moment at the end with accompanying sappy music.
The bad: Not a single new joke—everything is and was predictable. They ALREADY set up a Ross/Rachel type plot that can get real annoying if it keeps doing the will they? won’t they? back and forth that never actually resolves until the series ends.
The ugly: John Stamos sold his sole to the devil to be aging so well.
Recommended especially to: Any and all John Stamos fans. Seekers of entertaining family sitcoms.
Not recommended to: Haters of womanizing-characters. If you’re looking for a fresh new comedy.
Recording episode 2?
I am and I don’t know why!
Hey, I know you: Full House appearance. Girlfriend on Friends that caused Joey to stick Chandler in a box.
On the bookish scale: Stamos gets help reading Sleepy Seahorse from his granddaughter to melt our bookish hearts.


Minority Report


Basic premise: Siblings that can see future crimes are in hiding until one teams up with a police officer.
Why I watched it: Trailer caught my attention.
The good:
Cool future gadgets. Loved the cop and her chemistry with the “seer.” Little details like the 75th season of The Simpsons playing in the background. Visually nice.
The eh: Fez.
The bad: Too much hand gesturing, time focused on showing all the future technology which was needed to be spent on the actual story development. There will be something even more annoying than a selfie stick in the future.
The ugly: I zoned out a few times and lost track of the story and didn’t actually care to rewind and find out.
Recommended especially to: Occasional enjoyers of sci-fi. Procedural fans who want a futuristic setting.
Not recommended to: I suspect die-hard sci-fi fans will find it weak?
Recording episode 2? I really liked Meagan Good so one more episode—hopefully more story, less flash.
Hey, I know you: Boyfriend from What I Like About You.
On the bookish scale: Um, I don’t think I saw any books in the future.

Looney Tunes That's All Folks

At least that’s all the September premiers I watched. Did I miss one you loved? Or loathed? Clearly I seem to have a two episode leeway for deciding on axing a new show–how much time do you give before deciding to stick or dump a new show?

Jamie Canaves

Creator of Dinky Cow, contributor at Book Riot and Quirk Books, and lover of everything '80s--except Freddy Krueger. Her happily-ever-after is living inside a seaside bookstore equally stocked with chocolate—please slide pizza under door. Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr --if you so fancy.

7 thoughts on “Fall Premieres: The Good, The Eh, The Bad, & The Ugly (Sept. Edition)

  1. I really think I’m going to be unable to watch and enjoy Minority Report. PKD is my faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave and I really hated the movie (but I’ve only actually liked two adaptations of his work, so). I think I might just skip it, unless I decided to get drunk and rant about it on twitter. :/

    • I have zero memory of having seen the movie and I didn’t read the book (*puts self on timeout) so my review was 100% purely only on the show so if you’re coming in with baggage it’s gonna be even lower. I’m still on the fence, there are elements that are interesting to me then parts I could care less and I hate Fez.

      • Nah, it’s a short story and not really a great place to start with his work, so don’t feel too bad about it.

        I just have…very strong opinions w/r/t adaptations of things I love.

  2. Pingback: Fall Premieres: The Good, The Eh, The Bad, & The Ugly (Oct. Edition) - Insatiable Booksluts

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