Fall TV: Thursdays
Thursdays are another busy night for new shows, so let’s get to it, shall we?
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) has the longest title of the year- congrats. That’s about the most I can say about it at this point. It’s a spin-off of Once Upon a Time (ABC, Sundays at 8/7c). A few of the characters will make appearances, but the story will focus mainly on Alice and her time on the other side of the rabbit hole. The trailer looks fine- very on par with OUAT, so if you’re a fan of their twisted fairy tale stories, you’ll probably like OUATIW. I personally will pass, because I have up on OUAT last year, so… yeah.
NOTABLE FACES: Newcomer Sophie Lowe plays Alice; Michael Socha from BBC’s Being Human plays the Knave of Hearts; John Lithgow plays the White Rabbit, and I think I heard Naveen Andrews (Lost‘s Sayid) will play Jafar, because I think Alice is in love with Aladdin… or something like that.
Following The Big Bang Theory over on CBS is The Millers, about a man, Nathan, whose divorce inspires his father, Tom, to leave his mother, Carol, so of course Carol moves in with Nathan, while Tom moves in with Nathan’s sis, Debbie. It looks like it could be funny, actually. It’s brought to us by the mind of Greg Garcia, who brought us My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope. The Millers looks tonally different than those two- a little more broad comedy, focusing on a middle class family instead of white trash (I say loving, since I love both the Hickeys and the Chances). I think most of the cast is great, with one major concern…
NOTABLE FACES: Will Arnett. The only time I can really stand him is as Gob Bluth on Arrested Development or as Devon Banks on 30 Rock. The rest of the time, I want to punch him in the face and yell at him “You’re not as funny as you think you are- shut up!” However, the rest of the cast I absolutely heart- Margo Martindale, who is awesome in everything and I love as Nick Miller’s mom on New Girl (go watch this immediately, because it expires in 3 days), Beau Bridges, who is awesome in everything and just rocked it as the dead dad in The Goodwin Games), Jayma Mays, who was one of the few redeeming parts of Glee and was not just okay, but awesome as the coat check girl on HIMYM, Nelson Franklin, who I loved on his, like, one episode of The Office and the awesome show Traffic Light (see Netflix) that woefully wasn’t picked up, and finally, Happy Ending’s and Scrubs’ Eliza Coupe as Nathan’s ex. Great cast, great EP, really hope Will Arnett doesn’t screw it up!
Meanwhile on NBC, after Parks and Recreation, is Welcome to the Family, boy meets girl, boy knocks up girl, boy and girl’s families have a culture clash. It’s like Fools Rush In, but if Selma Hayek and Matthew Perry had been teens. It makes me think of last year’s The New Normal tonally, and I don’t think it will be horrible, but I also don’t see it lasting long. Again, a shame, because I like the adults in the cast…
NOTABLE FACES: Mike O’Malley, whose been in everything, including playing the most accepting dad of a gay teen in Glee; Mary McCormack from In Plain Sight; Ricardo Chavira from Desperate Housewives (Carlos, Gaby’s hubby), and Justina Machado from Six Feet Under (and briefly Grey’s Anatomy)
UP AGAINST: The Vampire Diaries (The CW), The X Factor results show (FOX)
Moving on to 9/8c
CBS is introducing us to The Crazy Ones, which follows a family-run advertising agency, including the eccentric dad, Type A daughter, and womanizing son. The first episode evidently contains a major client- McDonald’s- and a major guest star- Kelly Clarkson- so critics are hesitant to give a real opinion on the show, since it’s hard to tell what it’ll be like week to week when there isn’t a major company and major guest star. Based on the trailer, it could be funny, or it could be annoying. I don’t see it pairing well with Two and a Half Men, which airs after it, but hopefully they’ll find a different, more appropriate spot for it should it deserve it…
NOTABLE FACES: So many. Robin Williams! Sarah Michelle Gellar! James Wolk! (Mad Men, Happy Endings, Lone Star) and that girl whose name I can’t remember but was on The Mindy Project as the receptionist last year and plays the receptionist here…
Reign (The CW) is a historical drama about Mary Queen of Scots, I think, and has no one in it. I’m sure some people may be into it; not my cup of tea.
NBC offers two new sitcoms where the leads evidently couldn’t be bothered to have a different first name than their real life first names in this timeslot, Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show.
Sean Saves the World stars Sean Hayes (Will and Grace, Smash) as a divorced gay dad whose trying to deal with the classic life-work balance issue. It looks dated and bland. Just… no.
NOTABLE FACES: Sean Hayes, obviously; Thomas Lennon as his demanding boss, and Megan Hilty (Smash) as his either coworker of BFF or both, possibly…
In The Michael J. Fox Show, Michael J. Fox plays a TV news reporter, with Parkinsons, returns to work, with Parkinsons, after taking time off, because of Parkinsons. PS, did you know that Michael J. Fox has Parkinsons? Brand new information to me, except for that every single thing he’s been in since being diagnosed with Parkinsons has made a point to mention and explain Parkinsons. Parkinsons.
Overall, it looks like it could be funny, actually, with a bit of heart. I’m just wary, because the clips I’ve seen of the pilot really focus on the Parkinsons, and it really loses its funny quickly.
NOTABLE FACES: Michael J. Fox, obviously; Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad) as his wife; Katie Finneran (Wonderfalls) as someone named Leigh- I’m not sure how she fits in, but she’s a notable face for me!
UP AGAINST: Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Glee (FOX)
No new shows at 10/9c. There’s Scandal (ABC), Elementary (CBS), and Parenthood (NBC).
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC, premieres 10/10)
The Big Bang Theory/The Millers (CBS, both premiere 9/26)
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, premieres 10/3)
The X Factor results show (FOX, premieres 9/12)
Parks and Recreation/Welcome to the Family (NBC, premiere 9/26 and 10/3)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, premieres 9/26)
The Crazy Ones/Two and a Half Men (CBS, both premiere 9/26)
Reign (The CW, premieres 10/17)
Glee (FOX, premieres 9/26)
Sean Saves the World/The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, premiere 10/3 and 9/26)
Scandal (ABC, premieres 10/3)
Elementary (CBS, premieres 9/26)
Parenthood (NBC, premieres 9/26)