Tuesday, November 15, 2016

TV Tuesday - Fall 2016

Once upon a time, there were but re-runs on during the summer. Now,  there are several summer series ... but Fall, that is when the new premieres hit the small screen.  Personally, I haven't been one to watch anything "new" in years. I wait until the season is done and it hits the streaming services or DVD and then catch up. I know, TV people must hate people like me. But this year ... well, I decided to do my TV duty, to give some of the new shows a chance and a review. I'm still not watching them as they air.  I record them via my PlayOn service, then stream them to the TV in my gym, watching while I workout. My interests lay with the longer (40min without commercials) dramas. The action/intensity and emotion add to my adrenaline as I elliptical, and hopefully keep me captivated so I can't wait until my next workout.  So while there were some comedy/sitcom premieres, they didn't make my list.

I've always liked shows about the law. My favorite John Grisham novel was "The Runaway Jury" which really added some interesting insight to jury selection and such. Here, Dr. Bull and his team make an art of picking a jury and presenting arguments to sway them. I really requires some "suspension of disbelief" for me though. After "reading" the possible jurors to pick those they think best, they form a "mock jury" by gathering twelve people who "match" the actual jurors. The same age, race, employment, hobbies ... people who happen to live close and can drop their real lives to come attend the trial (with electrodes attached to give feedback). I guess that's what I found to be the most far fetched, even more than the cases, or the fact that they always win. But still, several episodes in and I'm entertained ... but not hooked.

Conviction is another new law drama. Here, a team has been put together to re-look at old cases, to determine if justice was served, or if it should be over-turned. A bit of a spoiler here ... but the first few, all were incorrectly incarcerated. You know ... I realize it's just a show, but it really doesn't promote faith in our legal system (nor does "Bull" who is manipulating the system. He's a good guy and those watching are meant to be rooting for him, as he's taking cases "good" cases, getting the underdog off. But ...who is paying for it? IRL ... only the wealthy would be able to afford something like his services). Again ... with Conviction, I like the show, but I can take it or leave it.

One of the more talked up shows for Fall Premieres. And I'm a Jack Bauer fan! I'm not sure if that helps or hinders here ... because while Kirkland is a likeable guy, he's not Jack. I don't know why, but I'm a big fan of the post-apocalyptic genre (TV Tuesday - Is it the End of the World?) so this is right up my alley. Also, I do better with serial dramas, where the storyline continues week to week, with cliffhanger endings on each episode, rather than wrapping up characters and cases each week. This does that ... but watching weekly? As it airs (or the day after in my case)? It interrupts the continuity for me. While I like the show, I think I'd prefer to just wait until the season is complete and watch the episodes back to back. I haven't decided what to do on this one yet, finish out the season week to week, or record them but wait to watch ... I think I'd be fine waiting, but can I avoid spoilers? Some good reviews, but others are irritated with its "agenda" ... I personally don't tend to focus on things like that, but just enjoy the story. But it is interesting for me when it gets pointed out and I perhaps hadn't picked up on it.

Picking up the sweet spot after Grey's Anatomy (Scandal airing there previously) is Notorious. While I do love Grey's Anatomy, since I'm not watching live on Thursday nights, the timing doesn't impact me... but I still figured I'd give the show a try. The setting is a TV studio,  "Louise Herrick Live" a flashy news show. There is a main backstory continuing week to week, with a weekly story wrapping up each episode. Stretching reality, as all shows do, some eye-rolling moments for me. It's entertaining and caught my interest,  but I'm not sure if it's really enough to keep it. 
I heard some buzz about this new show. I enjoyed the premiere and have continued for a few episodes. It's a good one to watch while working out. As it's an athletic show, it is a little more inspiring as I'm sweating it out on the elliptical. I like the continuing story line, but it doesn't quite have the excitement to keep me coming back, eagerly anticipating the next episode. As I looked at it on IMDB, I was BLOWN AWAY that one of the main characters, Mike Lawson was none other than Mark-Paul Gosselaar, the cute blond boy from "Saved by the Bell" ... not even a spark of recognition from me!
Of all the new shows this season, THIS was the one I heard about the most. Maybe it had the biggest advertising budget? For some reason ... this one was NOT appealing to me. It reminded me of the show "Sliders" which ironically, I loved back in the day. While it's technically a drama (I mean, history of our world as we know it is at stake!) it has it's comic relief, and sometimes it's just a little hard to take the whole whirring time machine seriously. It did have a couple moments that really touched me though. One thing I like about this type of program, is I learn a little bit. I know it's a ton of fiction mixed in with a little bit of fact ... but still, I come away from it with a little more.

Back in September I did a post featuring several series with Time Travel as their theme. In that post I mentioned Timeless coming up, and also Frequency. While not technically time travel, Frequency has some of the same aspects (changing something in the past impacts the future). I loved the movie that came out some years ago ... I wasn't sure if I was looking forward to this redo or not, but I've liked it thus far. 

... and finally, another premiere that has been talked about a ton. Lots of people are watching apparently. Rave reviews. I like it ... again, it just doesn't quite have the excitement and action to make it a "must watch" but I've enjoyed the story. I am absolutely ashamed to admit that I didn't quite get it there in the pilot episode. Usually I can call twists like that from a mile away. I generally struggle with settings in the 70s ... I don't like the clothes and the hair ... or the smoking in the hospital! They were pretty sneaky with the presentation up until that point, and I think I was just SO disturbed by the smoking in the hospital that I couldn't stop and process the twist. I've enjoyed the continuing storyline and plan and watching week to week, as I'm pretty sure spoilers would spoil it if I waited to watch.
... as for continuing shows, I have been keeping up on Grey's Anatomy and TWD. That's pretty much it. I generally get in 80min on the elliptical each day during the week. That's two episodes a day. The weekends I usually only get an hour ... or an episode (or not even that). But every episode I've watched, I've been on the elliptical or treadmill. Unfortunately ... even when I have one of each series waiting for me, I haven't been uber excited. I do pretty good at getting the exercise in ... it's habit at this point, but if I have a show that GRABS me and makes me excited to get back down to the gym, so much the better! I may be branching out back to Netflix or Amazon for a series to keep me coming back, and then filling in with these ones here and there.
Your thoughts on the 2016 Fall Premiere line up?

Because of the way I watch (recording them via PlayOn after they are posted online) I'm not really in the know as to what night's they are on, which Networks produced them, how many episodes will be in the season, etc. I love that with PlayOn and can just set a "subscription" and it will automatically record said shows as a new one is added. With "ad skip" I don't have to wade through commercials. But I'm already hearing a little about Fall Finales? When did that become a thing? I still think I prefer my traditional wait and watch method ...

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