My review of the season so far

As it is almost every year, this season has been a mixed bag of varied shows many with potential that has not always been fully realised. I made my predictions a few weeks ago, you can read them here. Now that we’re a month into the new season and I’ve seen about 4 or more episodes of each show, it’s a good time to pass judgement on what I’ve seen so far and look at how shows are measuring up and what will soon receive a post-mortem.

Sadly the majority of the new shows are really nothing special, there are a lot of disappointing results, but thankfully some returning shows have either come back as strong or even stronger than last year!

NEW

Blindspot – This is one of the most promising of this seasons new shows, by far the most polished production and quality performances. It’s been given a full season order now so it has some future at least, though revelations come fast making me wonder where a second season could go.

The Muppets – Mothers protested against this show before it was even aired saying it wasn’t suitable for kids, they’re wrong, it is suitable, but it’s just not targeted at them, it’s aimed right at people like me. It’s not got all the same charm as earlier Muppets projects, but there are still great moments and jokes, with a nice way of incorporating the special guests that is far more contemporary than the original Muppet Show. It may not be a modern classic, but for a grown up fan of the Muppets it’s a really enjoyable half hour.

Limitless – Bradley Cooper has planned more appearances in the season, which will prop this show up and probably keep it alive for the first season to get a full run, but I can’t see it going beyond that, or more accurately I can’t see myself going beyond that, I will happily replace this hour in my TV viewing time next season with something better.

Minority Report – Looks like it’s dead in the water (or milk bath) as the run has been cut to 10 episodes. I thought it would struggle to survive, shows like this often do, plus it has to measure up against the big-budget feature film the preceded, which got so much right, that this could only ever fall short.

Quantico – Has now been given a full season order, though I’m not sure people would be interested enough to return in good numbers for a second season. I’m enjoying it, but there isn’t much there to make it stand out as something memorable or lasting, it’s the sort of sho that you enjoy while it’s on, but in 10 years time you’ll have completely forgotten it as will everyone else.

Scream Queens – THis is proving to be quite the success I predicted it might be, with the killer team (couldn’t resist) of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk behind it and a steady pace of twists and horror-movie deaths it does what so many other shows this year are failing to, stands out.

RETURNING

Heroes Reborn – I’m calling this a returning show as it’s not a reboot but rather a delayed continuation of ‘Heroes’ and builds on what went before inextricably. This could have so easily been the biggest disappointment of the season, but somehow it’s the opposite, I’d have to say it’s one of the very best of the crop. While not perfect, this season has been great, with a nice mix of old and new characters and a compelling and well-paced plot.

Gotham – The season has been given the title ‘Rise of the Villains’ which is a very bold and interesting move for a network show to distinguish the season and outline the key arc. So far this has already gotten off to a strong start, with certain characters coming from the sidelines and background of last season and now becoming more featured and developed. I still have my concerns that too many characters and too much speed could be a bad thing for this, but despite that reservation I’m still greatly enjoying it all, especially as my hunch from last season turned out to be right!

The Big Bang Theory – I got very annoyed with the first two episodes of this season, and maybe I jumped the gun a little as some of those issues were resolved though I still can’t quite work out why they arose in the first place if they were to be such a fleeting diversion. It’s the same show it always has been , with things changing, while still staying very much the same.

Modern Family – I’d quite confidently put this at the top of my list of most consistently funny sitcoms currently airing. The families are still all there and while everyone is growing up, the character traits that make them so watchable are employed to such great comedic effect every single episode that I’m actually a little amazed. I’m sure it can’t run forever, but I do hope there are 3 or more years of life left to see if they can keep things going as the kids grow up and become adults with families of their own.

Brooklyn Nine Nine – This won awards just a few months into the first season that made me wonder how it could be awarded so early on in the run, but it was well-founded confidence as the show has remained very good throughout. As there are so many procedural shows this year, it’s nice to have a show that takes many of the elements of these but uses them in a sitcom format and not as mere parody.

The Last Man on Earth – Phil Lord and Chris Miller are brilliant, it’s as simple as that, and thought the title of the show no longer rings true, the central role of Phil ‘Tandy’ Miller remains enjoyable thanks to Will Forte doing some of his best work and supported by Kristen Schaal who steals scenes more often than not.

As you can see then it really is a mixed bunch of shows this year, with hardly any of the new shows looking like they will be huge lasting hits, though I could be wrong. The only ones I think could do over 3 seasons (if done right) would be ‘Blindspot’ and ‘Scream Queens’, with half of the others not looking likely to get past season one. At least the returning shows are mostly holding up, which is partly why they are returning shows.

Late starters and short runs could be the strongest contenders this season, with ‘Supergirl’ debuting next week and ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ coming in early 2016. Those look like they could be good fun, until then I’ll stick with these and see how they develop.

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