Fall premiere season might not carry quite the cachet it used to in the entertainment world, but that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t some shows worth checking out. Sure, most of them will probably be mercifully executed within three weeks and way too many of them are aimed at your elderly neighbor whose place smells like cat piss and despair, but you never know when the next Breaking Bad will come roaring into your life.
This year’s slate of new fall shows is as bare bones as it gets, but we think there are at least a few shows that you might be interested in checking out. They run the gamut from “Hey, that should be pretty cool,” to “Well, that’s not the worst way to spend a half hour, I guess,” but, really, in this day and age all you’re really looking for are one or two new shows to capture your interest. Chances are it will probably be one or two of the following.
‘Gotham’ – Fox
The Show: The city of Gotham, pre-Batman, featuring all the characters you know and love, complete with Commissioner Gordon and a youthful Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman.
Why You Should Check It Out: Uh, really? You need this explained to you? If there is one show debuting this fall that everyone’s anticipating, it’s this one. Hopefully, it manages to strike the right balance between gritty, dark drama and comic book fun, a balance that can be hard to find when it comes to the world of Gotham. Even if it fails, it should at least still be interesting enough to follow, and let’s face it, you’re already invested in the characters.
‘Scorpion’ – CBS
The Show: A group of computer nerds team up to save the world, presumably by hacking nudie pics and pwning newbs.
Why You Should Check It Out: It’s based on the real-life exploits of genius hacker, Walter O’Brien, better known as Scorpion, so it’s got something with genuine depth to work from and isn’t just an idea in search of a story, like too many cool sounding shows. It should be smart, irreverent, and let’s face it, a show about dudes running wild with computers should appeal to dudes who, well, who love to run wild with computers, and I’m guessing that’s a good chunk of you. Plus, it costars Katherine McPhee, so it won’t all be neckbeards and Mountain Dew. Unless, of course, that’s her new look. We won’t judge.
‘Gracepoint’ – Fox
The Show: Two cops investigate a homicide in an idyllic California ocean resort town, and the shit quickly hits the fan. You may also know it better by its original name: Broadchurch, the hit BBC show that it’s based on. It even stars the same dude, David Tennant. Yes, that David Tennant.
Why You Should Check It Out: Well, there’s David Tennant, AKA maybe the most popular of all the incarnations of Doctor Who, and there’s… David Tennant. Okay, there’s also Anna Gunn as his partner, Nick freakin’ Nolte is in the cast, and the original is really good so there’s no reason why this one can’t capture some of that magic for itself.
‘Survivor’s Remorse’ – Starz
The Show: Produced by LeBron James, it’s about a basketball player who hits it big and then has to deal with the fact that he’s richer than God while all his bros are still out there hustling every day. I’m sure it wasn’t at all autobiographical.
Why You Should Check It Out: This has a chance to be the new Entourage, only with not so many douchebags. Plus, there just aren’t very many – if any – decent sports centered scripted shows out there so it would be nice to see one take off. And even if it’s horrible, you get to watch LeBron vomit all his issues onto the screen for everyone to see. I’m just waiting for the inevitable episode where one of the main character’s teammates goes all Delonte West on his mom.
‘Mulaney’ – Fox
The Show: Your standard sitcom about a comedian and his whacky life.
Why You Should Check It Out: This is probably the riskiest pick of all. It has a lot going against it – standard sitcom, Fox sitcom, kind of a boring premise – but what makes sitcoms work isn’t the premise, but the personalities involved, and especially the chemistry between the cast members. John Mulaney is a rising comedy star who’s written for SNL, and should be able to rise above the usual sitcom clichés. He’s funny, and with a cast that includes heavy hitters Elliot Gould and Martin Short, I wouldn’t write this one off without at least checking it out.
‘Constantine’ – NBC
The Show: A comic book adaptation of Hellblazer, it’s about John Constantine, a hardened and damaged demon hunter who finds himself getting drawn back into the world of supernatural ass-kickery.
Why You Should Check It Out: Because it should be pretty bad-ass. This isn’t your typical super-hero stuff, where a dude in a mask saves the day and fights for truth, justice and the American way. No, this is about demons and the occult, and an antihero who’s had enough but keeps getting drawn into the fight for the soul of the world. It might be too dark for Ma and Pa Kansas out there, but if you’re looking for something different, something with a real chance to be genuinely cool, this might be your best bet of all. Network TV isn’t exactly the place to be these days, but more shows like this might give it a shot at hanging with the cool cable and Netflix kids. Unless, of course, the show ends up sucking. In which case, we’ll both agree to pretend I never wrote any of this. Deal? Deal.