2013 Fall TV Premieres – The September Issue

Once upon a time, it seemed like every TV show began in the same calendar week. Well, no longer. As such, I’ve decided to break up my pilots/premieres coverage month by month. Shows like The Walking Dead (October) and Almost Human (fucking NOVEMBER) will just have to wait.

Sleepy Hollow

sleepy hollow

I watched a trailer for Sleepy Hollow earlier this year and laughed my ass off. The whole premise was so stupidly ridiculous. I figured, I’d have to watch the pilot and mock the holy hell out of it. But then a strange thing happened — I started reading a ton of positive early reviews. Everyone seemed to really love the show, so I said to Mekaela, “Mekaela? This one might actually be good.” And what do you know — it is.

I’m sorry, FOX, for doubting you. Just this once, mind.

So, the plot is utterly ridiculous — like the Headless Horsemen is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ridiculous — but it’s really entertaining. This is almost entirely due to the show’s fantastic leads: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). Tom Mison is attractive and English and Englishly attractive, but more than that, he’s funny. This Ichabod is considerably sharper and crankier than past iterations I’ve seen, and I love it. Beharie is also funny — she’s got great comedic timing — and she and Mison have good chemistry together. More importantly, she seems totally competent so far, and yet her character has, like, feelings and expressions. She shrieks at a moment where it’s totally justifiable to shriek, yet she doesn’t just stand around, flailing her arms and crying all the time. I’m . . . confused. A realistic female character? Surely not.

There are definitely things to mock in this pilot — glowy-eyed horses, miracle sunrises, Ichabod getting arrested for . . . being dirty? But I definitely had a good time watching this. I am grading it down for saying Book of Revelations, though. Come on, people. Don’t we all know better than this by now? It’s Revelation. No plural, please.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“It can’t be mere coincidence that he and I arrive in the same place at exactly the same time.”
“That isn’t possible.”
“Oh, really? Oh, well, that’s wonderful news. Thank you for the clarification. Here I thought I’d actually awoken in the future and my wife had been dead for 250 years. I’m glad everything I’m seeing and hearing and touching is impossible, because that means it isn’t actually happening.”
“I have orders to take you to a mental institution.”
“Excellent. This day continues to bear gifts.”

GRADE:

B+

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

shield

I don’t know if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the most amazing pilot I’ve ever seen — it’s no “Serenity,” is what I’m saying —  but it’s solid and entertaining, and I enjoyed watching it. I love Coulson (Clark Gregg), obviously, and I’m naturally intrigued by the mystery of his resurrection, especially since Coulson himself seems to be in the dark about it. Although I must say, I’ve been reading a lot of fan speculation that Coulson is, in fact, a robot or a Life Model Decoy or something of that nature, and if that’s actually the case, Whedon’s going to have to do a lot of work to sell me on it. (Because I’m sure Joss Whedon — and Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen too — are highly concerned with what I think about this program. Stop laughing. Of course they are.)

I like some of the tie-ins to previous Marvel movies (like Extremis from Iron Man 3), and I’m relieved that Skye doesn’t seem nearly as annoying as she came off in the promos. Mostly, I’m just waiting around for the actual character development. Weirdly, I’m most concerned about Fitz and Simmons — they’re cute and, you know, accents! But I wish I could have seen anything to them besides cute and accents. I mean, it’s a pilot. A lot of pilots are too busy setting up the universe to get into any real character building, and that’s cool. It’s just . . . this is Joss Whedon, and I’ve come to sort of expect better from him. But hey, I’m still excited. COULSON LIVES!

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“It’s a diaster.”
“No, it’s an origin story.

GRADE:

B+

Person of Interest

poi2

The actual case in Person of Interest was just sort of blah, and I was a tiny bit disappointed by the lack of awesome Finch (Michael Emerson) moments, just because I love Finch. But the women in this episode . . . the women owned.

Sarah Shahi is immensely badass as Shaw. I loved every moment she was on screen — I would totally watch an action movie starring her. And Root (Amy Acker), always awesome, is currently stuck in an insane asylum arguing with the Machine on the pros and cons of murdering her skeezy psychologist? Yes, please. And then somewhere between getting demoted, hiding out Elias (Enrico Colantoni) and keeping a Secret Crazy Vengeance Wall in her closet — Carter (Taraji P. Henson) got a lot more interesting. Also, Reese is right. She does look pretty badass in that uniform.

My only thing — the part where Reese abandons Fusco alone to deactive the bomb, and the false tension that arrives when he might not have defused it in time? Eh. I know it’s supposed to be funny, but it just made such little sense for John (Jim Caviezel) to actually do this that I couldn’t get into the humor. It felt way too contrived for me.

QUOTE:

“The truth is God is eleven years old.”

GRADE: 

B

Elementary

elementary

I drifted away from this show last year but after hearing positive reviews and a few surprising developments, I decided to check out the second season premiere because, hey, I like Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu quite a bit, so why not? And kind of like Person of Interest — I wasn’t exactly wowed by the case, but I enjoyed the episode well enough. It’s fun. I really like that I can already see how Sherlock has grown as a character from the last time I watched this show — one of my big problems with actual Sherlock adaptations or shows with Sherlock-esque characters (i.e., House) is that their super-observational powers coupled with their near-to-total lack of people skills starts feeling stagnant after a while, and I tend to turn against the character. You know, I don’t want them to become bright, shiny, happy people all the time, but if characters refuse to have any kind of actual growth . . . you know, I get bored.

I also enjoyed seeing Sean Pertwee as Lestrade, mostly because I like his gravelly voice, and Rhys Ifans as Mycroft. The scene on the bench? Awesome. I will gladly come back to watch this show if there continue to be more scenes like that.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“Our relationship is entirely genetic.”

GRADE:

B

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14 Responses to 2013 Fall TV Premieres – The September Issue

  1. Steve Cooper says:

    I couldn’t watch an action movie with Shaw – the idea that this tiny woman could kick that much ass is preposterous.

    I too didn’t much like the Fusco bomb-defusing bits either. And would it kill Caviezel to show some emotion?

    • I couldn’t watch an action movie with Shaw – the idea that this tiny woman could kick that much ass is preposterous.

      I think this complaint has come up before — I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on the radical notion that action films could star short women.

      • Steve Cooper says:

        It’s more the way they use them – obviously a woman could shoot as well as a man, but in hand-to-hand combat against an equally skilled, equally fit man (who would have a huge advantage in strength) it doesn’t make much sense. Buffy had a woman with supernatural enhancements so it worked.

        • I wouldn’t mind seeing shows or movies talk about stuff like that, you know, showing how the heroine’s tactics come into play when facing harder odds, or how she has to adjust her strategy for different opponents of different sizes and strengths. But if I had to watch that EVERY time a female character kicked ass, I would get bored — and annoyed — pretty quickly.

  2. fatpie42 says:

    Jonny Lee Miller? Sean Pertwee? Rhys Ifans? I thought Elementary was an American show?

    • Steve Cooper says:

      but if characters refuse to have any kind of actual growth . . . you know, I get bored.

      Most fans wouldn’t want Sherlock Holmes to change or he wouldn’t be Sherlock Holmes. Plus in the real world people don’t often change.

      • I don’t want him to be a completely different person, but four seasons of a guy doing the same things over and over gets boring after a while. Especially if he’s learning some kind of lesson because then he just has to conveniently forget all about said lesson next episode. And then he learns it again! That gets tiring.

        As far as whether people change in the real world or not . . . well, that’s a philosophical discussion for a different day, I think. 🙂

    • Ha. I’m pretty sure Pertwee and Ifans are just guest stars, although I suspect that Ifans will come back now and again. Or at least, I hope. But yeah — Sherlock Holmes isn’t actually American in this show. He just moved to America and is solving crimes here now.

  3. Dave Nielsen says:

    I like Agents of Shield. The second episode much more than the first. I hope they don’t stretch out the Coulson mystery all season, though, especially if it just turns out he’s a robot or a clone or something. Or a high functioning zombie. At first I thought this show would be too much like Alphas, which kind of sucked, but it looks like it might be quite good. Shield obviously has the usual TV show job requirement, though – even if you’re a computer nerd or scientist, you have to also be extremely attractive.

    • I did like the second episode more, although I don’t love this show anywhere near as much as I’d like to. I’m really not happy with the characterization yet. Then again, it’s still early on, and I’m pretty invested in the Marvel movie universe. The show would have to fuck up pretty hard for me to go, Nope, I’m done.

      And I did enjoy Alphas. I was very disappointed when it was cancelled on a cliffhanger. But that was definitely a show that took a while to improve.

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        Alphas I wanted to like but couldn’t for some reason. It sucks that they left it on a cliffhanger, though.

      • Teacups says:

        I think May and especially FitzSimmons got a little more focus and development during the second episode, at least. That’s good, because I’m on the fence about Skye, don’t particularly like Ward so far, and am already finding the sexual tension annoying, to be honest. But I am a sucker for cute and accents, and May is cool too.

        I could have done without the “learn to work as a team” theme being so bloody obvious, though.

        Also, I wonder how long it’s going to be before May realizes that she’s going to see combat just about every episode? I hope it isn’t long, because come on – they’re obviously going to be involved in a lot of uncontrolled, unforeseen, violent situations here. Anyone with fight training is going to end up having to use it.

        • I could have done without the “learn to work as a team” theme being so bloody obvious, though.

          I know! That was driving me crazy! Like it was fine as a theme, but I didn’t understand why they kept shoving it in our faces. Like, no, really guys, I got it the first seventeen times you told me.

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