Granted, it’s a little early still for some of the new shows. Four new shows just premiered last night, in fact! But, here’s just a quick look at where the new shows stand so far. (As a reminder, I employ a three strike rule that starts AFTER the pilot episode, since those are often misrepresentations of what the show is going to be like week to week- too much exposition and introducing the characters. The real show, and thus real test, begins Week 2.)
Betrayal- This is one of the few new shows that I’m not even trying out. I know I’ll hate it, and I know I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It has an automatic out based on the trailers/clips alone!
We Are Men- Only the pilot has aired so far, but what a rough pilot it was! You can read my thoughts in detail here, but basically, it’s misogynistic and just not funny! The cast is mostly great, so I hope that it finds a real tone and some humor quickly, but as of now, I’m not looking forward to the three strike test on this one!
Mom- Two episodes so far, including the pilot. For the strike test, it’s 0 for 1- no strikes yet. The second episode was better than the pilot, which is always nice and makes me hope the show will continue improving until it finds the right tone. The characters were a little more likable on the second go, and there’s a lot of potential for story lines.
Sleepy Hollow- Only one episode away from completing the strike test! Much like FOX, who has already ordered a second season (though they’re going to be sticking with 13-episode seasons for this show), I love this show already- 0 for 2 in the strike test. It’s got that Fringe feel to it that I love, mixed with a little bit of Buffy‘s demon-of-the-week storytelling. Abbie and Icha-hottie-with-a-bod-y (Ichabod. Who’s ridiculously hot. Those eyes. Dang. Anyway….) have great chemistry. The third episode was weaker than the previous two, but still far more engaging than most of the dreck on TV right now.
Hostages- I’ve only watched the pilot thus far. To be fair, it’s only had one episode air besides the pilot so far, so it’s not like I’m carzy far behind in
judging watching this one. The pilot was okay- fairly intriguing, though a bit ridiculous that every single family member has some kind of major personal crisis happening that the other family members don’t know about just as they’re held hostage. What rotten luck. Anyway, strike test results TBD.
Blacklist- Other people seem to be digging this show. I have still only watched the pilot thus far. I just found the pilot to be so over the top and predictable, I’m having a hard time getting myself jazzed up to watch episode 2. I’ll probably get bored over the weekend and watch it. Strike test results TBD.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- There was a fun cameo at the end of the second episode (hint: Get this mother-fudging tesseract device off my mother-fudging plane!), and yet it was unnecessary. A nice bonus for Marvel-verse fans, sure, but the episode had held up and satisfied this fan long before that coda. I’ll admit, the first 20 minutes felt more like 40, in a bad way. It kinda dragged on for me, and when I looked and saw there were still 40 minutes left, I thought ‘What the hell, why am I so bored this week?’ Luckily, right around that mark, the show started to pick up steam, and I ended up enjoying the episode. 0 for 1 in the strike test.
The Originals- Ha, yeah right. I’ve watched, like, one episode of The Vampire Diairies, I’m not going to be watching its spin-off. Automatic out.
Dads- I could only make it through two episodes of this show, including the pilot. Listen guys, I genuinely WANT to like it. I actively tried NOT to be offended/annoyed at the offensive/lazily-written jokes. I mean, it’s a Seth MacFarlane show, starring Seth Green who I’ve loved since I was a child, plus Giovanni Ribisi. I want so badly to like it. I just can’t get behind it. Maybe it’ll get better writers, defy expectations and end up turning into one of the best comedies on TV. Or maybe it’ll go away during the World Series and not come back (more likely). I’ll make a deal with Dads- if you survive into 2014, I’ll give you another shot. Until then, you’re outta here. 1 for 1, which becomes an automatic out in their case.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine- I really dug this pilot. I thought it was really funny, and Andy Samberg (or as my mom keeps saying, Adam Sandberg, because she’s confusing him with Adam Sandler- completely understandable!) wasn’t nearly as annoying as I’d expected! I actually watched the pilot again before the second episode was released, because I thought it was really funny. (The inside informant- ha!) There have now been two strike-able episodes, and the count is sitting at 1-1. The next pitch decides the whole game! The second episode was just too mean-spirited and not nearly as funny as the pilot. This week’s episode was much more in line with the pilot. I would get rid of the secretary, because she’s annoying as hell and definitely the weakest link, but the rest of the show was pretty funny.
The Goldbergs- It’s okay. I don’t love it, but I wouldn’t necessarily judge others if they liked it. For me, it’s 1 for 1 in the strike watch, but that’s just me. I just don’t love the 80s…
Trophy Wife- 0 for 1 folks! Still love it. I think the cast has great chemistry, and it just has an easy, relaxed feel to it. It would be so much better off paired with Modern Family, and would likely be doing much better in the ratings! I’m worried getting attached to this one, but such is the risk I take every fall.
Lucky 7- Based on the ratings, their luck has already run out- it did CW numbers for its second episode. That’s bad, guys. Real bad. The show itself is kinda dull, but not so bad that I actually want to give it a full strike. I mean, you either get a strike or you don’t, so I’m gonna call this a foul- it got a piece of the ball, but didn’t follow through, so now it’s counted as a strike. I’m not entirely sure it’s going to live long enough to see the end of its strike count, though. 1 for 1.
Back in the Game- The show that would most appreciate my strike watch and baseball references. Man, I miss playing softball…. Anyway, 0 for 1 in the strike watch. I like it. I love Maggie Lawson and think she’s doing a great job- she makes every scene pop. Seeing The Cannon take the Angles to prison this week to get over their fear of getting hit by a pitch was awesome, and I like the little jokes this show makes, like the pee stains on their uniforms as they’re leaving the prison, or one of the boys letting an inmate keeps his pen, or her son petting the guard dog. It’s these small moments that make the show have the same relaxed, easy feel as Trophy Wife or like last year’s Go On. It just works, even if it’s not a revolutionary show with a gimmicky hook.
Super Fun Night- The only fun thing about this is that I get to judge it even though only one episode has aired! Since it skipped its pilot, I get to jump straight into judging and berating this awful, awful show (SPOILER ALERT: Strike count is 1 for 1). I think the most maddening part is that I can see what they want the show to be, but it’s so far off the mark! First off, as someone with an ear for accents, Rebel Wilson’s “American” accent is bugging the crap out of me. She’s supposed to have been friends with these girls since they were 13 or 14, so that’s why she chose to use an American accent. Because no one ever moves to New York from Australia! It’s the worst. Then there are the fat jokes. I know that the show runners have said they don’t really focus on her weight or use it as a go to joke, but every two minutes there’s a joke about it, whether it’s a Spanx joke, her skirt ripping off her, her running to get jelly donuts and birthday cake, telling her friends not to cancel the consolation pizzas- they were everywhere. And I get awkward humor. I LOVE awkward humor. I utilize it in real life to varying degrees of success. I’m awkward, I get more awkward when I try not to be awkward, so I get it. I also get being a big girl. I also get being “an adult” who feels like a kid most of the time. But I STILL couldn’t relate to Kimmie! She’s not awkward, she’s borderline mentally challenged!
Okay, now for the couple good things about the show, because there were a couple good things: 1) Liza Lapira. I’ve loved her since Traffic Light, I thought she was really funny (and that the other BFF was HORRIBLE- so annoying!). 2) Richard, her crush. While I find it unrealistic they’d behave the way they did in a meeting, they are convincingly in puppy love. I like that their weirdness seems to mesh so far, and that he’s smarter than your average romcom hunk and saw through Kendall’s bitchiness at the piano bar. If I have to sit through two more episodes of this show to complete the strike test, at least I have Richard to look forward to!
Ironside- Automatic out.
(SIDE NOTE: OMG, so many new shows! I’m staring to get carpal tunnel!)
The Millers- Pilot, can’t judge yet. I can see the potential, and I like the majority of the cast, but I didn’t love the pilot.
Welcome to the Family- I’d already watched the pilot, but I enjoyed it when I did, so I’m excited for episode 2. It didn’t do great in the ratings, nor do most of the critics enjoy it. I’m not saying it’s a great comedy, but I liked it. It has heart; I like heart. (Ironic, four readers, since you know I’m dead inside in real life!).
The Crazy Ones- Episode 2 aired last night; haven’t watched it yet. Strike test results TBD.
Sean Saves the World- Pilot aired last night. Wasn’t as awful as I expected. Wasn’t necessarily good, either. Strike test results TBD.
The Michael J. Fox Show- One advantage to last week’s hour long premiere is that it was actually the pilot AND a separate second episode, so I already have two episodes to judge this one on! This is another one where I’m calling foul- it’s not a bad show, I can definitely see why other people might enjoy it, but I don’t think it’s must see for me. It’s a Hulu-the-next-day-or-over-the-weekend-or-be-okay-missing-the-episode-all-together kind of show. Per the rules of baseball, the three-strike test might never stop, because you can’t strike out on a foul ball. So, it’s 2 for 2 in the strike department, but due to fouls, so… yeah. And for someone who recently returned to work, why aren’t we seeing Mike at work more?
Masterchef Junior- Not as fun as the real version, nor as fun as the couple episodes of the Guy vs Rachel Kid Cook Off that just wrapped up on Food Network. This is kind of exempt from a strike test, since it’s a limited run show and reality and it would feel mean to call kids boring…. And if there’s anything you should know about me, dear readers (all four of you), is that I HATE being mean to and/or judging children. (Okay, and you four know that’s a lie….) PS, I think I’m going to start a show for kids aspiring to be chefs and call it The Hungry Games, and the kids will have to face off in physical competitions a la GUTS or Legends of the Hidden Temple or Double Dare. There will be three competitions per episode, and the winners of each competition will get to cook their signature dish for the judges. The winner will get some money, and the two losers will get a cream pie in the face. They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t even care that they’re giant losers!
(Okay, that started as a joke, but now I’m seriously thinking it’d be a fun show and need to know how to contact Rachel Ray or Gordon Ramsay to get them my idea! You can steal it, RR, or GR just hire me as a producer!!!)