September 14, 2015

Fall TV Premieres: ABC

Lately, I'm deciding which returning shows I'll have time for this fall, and which new ones I want to give a chance. Let's see what there is to see on ABC:

Returning Show: The Middle

Oh, Heck. I love this show so much it made me use a pun. And I hate puns! Last season we saw a lot of growth and change for our favorite family from Orson. Axl got a girlfriend and got to have a beer with his dad. Brick started a podcast and went to the Planet Nowhere convention. Sue didn't get engaged, didn't go to Prom, didn't win the attendance award, and, in the sweetest graduation-themed episode ever, didn't lose her yearbook after all. Meanwhile, Mike and Frankie kept on being the most well-meaning, not to mention the most realistic, parents on TV. How does anyone not love this show?

In Season 7, Sue will head off to college, and Brick might be headed to high school. We're apparently also in for a Halloween episode that can't be missed. Overall, I'm looking forward to more madcap adventures with household appliances, classic sitcom misunderstandings, and heartfelt endings that give us the warm fuzzies to the tune of the show's jaunty theme song that makes the viewer feel like Orson is home.

The Middle premieres Wednesday, September 23, at 8 PM.

New Show: Quantico (And mid-season expectations)

Unless you love The Muppets, you might not be that excited by the new shows in ABC's fall lineup. Two of the leading men from Gossip Girl got their own gig on the network this season, with Chase Crawford starring in the somewhat promising drama Blood and Oil, set in the North Dakota oil fields, and Ed Westwick exercising that American accent in the horrifically creepy looking Wicked City. (Seriously, the trailer will give you nightmares and possibly prevent you from ever going on a first date again.) As a fan of Community, I'm interested to see what comes of Dr. Ken, starring Ken Jeong. Of all the shows debuting this fall on ABC, the trailer that captured me the most is Quantico. It starts out looking a bit like NCIS but ends up with a twist that I found to be not exactly believable, but nonetheless intriguing. See for yourself:

If this show has anything going against it, it might be the use of a single actress as the star vehicle in a TV world that's currently embracing the ensemble cast. Priyanka Chopra is relatively unknown here in the states; but she's a Bollywood actress and singer, and a former pageant winner (Miss World 2000). Taking on this big role could make or break her, no? Her co-star Johanna Braddy is a talent I'm familiar with. This summer, I binged on UnREAL, a scripted drama that aired on Lifetime (but please don't judge it by that!) and is well worth your time if you are interested in a piercing satire (commentary?) of The Bachelor. (Unfortunately, you can't watch it on Lifetime's website anymore without a subscription, so if you have an antenna like me, you missed your chance.) Johanna was absolutely brilliant on UnREAL, and I have little doubt she'll make a similar splash on Quantico if she's given the screen time.

Quantico premieres Sunday, September 27 at 10 PM.

For whatever it's worth, the shows slated for mid-season premiere look far more interesting. There's Of Kings and Prophets, an epic that appears to be only very loosely based on the Biblical account of Saul and David, The Family, a thriller that seems to combine the political intrigue of The Good Wife and the sinister content of a classic episode of Dateline, and the quirky comedy The Real O'Neals, a show that has the advantage of being headlined by Emmy winner Martha Plimpton and Mad Men alum Jay Ferguson. But since we'll have to wait at least until January for those, in the meantime, I'll be excited to see what's new with the Hecks in Orson, and I'm at least curious to see what happens to Alex on Quantico.

Check out what I'll be watching on CBS here.

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