It’s December, folks. December means I have finally watched all of the show premieres that I planned to back in September. It means I have made nearly all of my choices about which new series I’ll keep viewing and which ones I’ll be happy to forget I ever saw in the first place. It also means this is my last Pursued by Primetime column.
Only three shows remain for me to make my final viewing decisions on, and I will make two of those decisions right now. One of them is the last show that premiered for the 2013 fall season: Almost Human.
I’ve watched all three episodes that have aired so far, and it’s doing pretty well in my estimation. As you know, crime procedurals are not my cup of tea, but this show’s conceit gives it room to intrigue me through other means. Those means are primarily engaging the question of what makes us human. I loved Battlestar Galactica, and the line between human and robot was always of primary concern to that show, so it’s a familiar topic for me. Perhaps a tad too familiar, if I’m honest, and I’m not that interested in the technological advances, the day-to-day investigations, or the nefarious, shadowy Insyndicate villains. But the gentle teasing between John and the DRN (or Dorian if you prefer) is fun, both leads are engaging, and I’d like to learn more about why DRN is so far removed from his robotic cop counterparts—I’m not sure that the introduction of emotions is that vast of a difference to give him such a strong personality. I’m also very much enjoying Lili Taylor as the head of their police unit because she embodies smarts and strength while also coming across as a warm person I’d love to have as a boss. I’ve wanted to see her shine in a meaty role for a long time. So I’m definitely watching for a few more episodes. Proceed to Episode 4.
Sleepy Hollow: I’m still not sold on this show. Introducing a son for Ichabod made me roll my eyes. Katrina is the opposite of interesting. But good old Headless came back in fine form.
And that, combined with Abbie and Ichabod’s banter, is enough for me to be in it for the long haul. Okay, it’s really that I’ve watched most of the season already, so I may as well finish it out. Added to the DVR.
The Tomorrow People: When I last updated, I was surprised by how much more approachable I found this show than that other sci-fi show with a really long title that also premiered this year. But since then, the love triangle has been the primary focus, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a really bad decision. My groan when Cara popped Stephen’s telekinetic-sex cherry was legendary.
No. Just no.
I haven’t seen an ounce of chemistry between those two, especially because John is ten times more interesting than Stephen, who is still inexplicably the lead of this show. I have to think that’s only because it’s Stephen father we’re supposed to want to meet. Newsflash, CW, but if Stephen’s father is anything like Stephen, I have absolutely no interest in meeting him. I had enough trouble figuring out why Cara would bother to sleep with Stephen when Astrid revealed that she was in love with him too, and I am not willing to invest in either of those women tying themselves to such a boring lead. Why isn’t there more John? With more of him and without the unnecessary love triangle, this show had potential. With it, that potential has fizzled away. Infiltrating Ultra should be this show’s primary focus, not infiltrating each other’s pants. Game Over.
So where does my checklist now stand? Let’s review:
Almost Human (Jury’s Out)
A Chef’s Life (ADDED!)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Game Over)
The Crazy Ones (ADDED!)
The Blacklist (Game Over)
Dracula (Game Over)
The Goldbergs (Game Over)
Hello Ladies (Game Over)
Hostages (Game Over)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Game Over)
The Michael J. Fox Show (Game Over)
Mom (Game Over)
Sean Saves the World (Game Over)
Sleepy Hollow (ADDED!)
Super Fun Night (Game Over)
The Tomorrow People (Game Over)
Trophy Wife (Game Over)
We Are Men (Game Over)
I’m on the fourth episode of Broadchurch, but I’m not counting it on that list because it’s not a fall debut. I’m still not that invested in the show because of its pacing, and well, focus on a crime, but at least it’s not a procedural in that it’s only about that one murder and not a new one every week. And I do love David Tennant, which watching “Day of the Doctor” just reminded me of again. I may as well buy the season pass from Amazon if I buy another episode, so I think that counts as a win for the BBC no matter what I do.
End lessons? I’m still watching 5 shows out of 19, and I think that’s actually a pretty good retention rate for a fall TV viewer. Of the losers, I gave up on 6 of them after the first try, and the remaining 8 lasted from three to seven episodes before I pulled the plug. I’ve learned that I’m more forgiving than I thought for debuts, but if I make it past the premiere, that doesn’t mean my interest is assured. It has to be sustained for a number of episodes before a new show is comfortably out of my murky cancellation waters. And for me to buy into a crime procedural, even one based in a whacked-out-crazy-apocalyptic reality, the main characters better be funny and genuinely nice people, or I won’t want to stick around. Oh, and if you’re a traditional laugh-track sitcom, you still have no place in my viewing world.
Thanks for coming along on this experimental series of columns! What new shows are you still watching?
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