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

“I’m Your Huckleberry.”

Oh, this movie.

tombstone

I watched Wyatt Earp a few years ago — I don’t even remember why — and I read Emma Bull’s Territory last year, so I figured I might as well add Tombstone to the list of westerns-to-watch this year. You know, really round out my various versions of the OK Corral and the Vendetta Ride.

Yeah. Not the best idea I’ve ever had.

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