Every year we get the trailers for the new shows that are set to debut around the end of September. Couple that with returning shows and you have a week chalked full of new character developments and set ups for what is to come. Each show is fighting to keep the viewers they once had or to gain a loyal fanbase. That brings lots of questions. Which show will bring home the first renewal of the year? Which show will be cancelled first? Which show will improve the most? Which show will struggle with storylines? All that and more will be answered. Here are my quick reviews of new and old shows as they set their tone for the new season.
Gotham- Jim Gordon is no longer with the GCPD and there is a lot of potential there but the one that has plagued Gotham in its first two seasons is once again the issue with the season three premiere. The show tries too hard too focus on so many characters and it falls short on developping the interesting ones.Focus on the Bullock and Gordon dynamic. Keep Penguin, Barbara/Tabatha and then drop the rest at least until mid season.
This is Us- It has enough emotion in the first hour to be a realistic drama the main issue here may be keeping it grounded in the powerful realism that was a huge part of the pilot. There are enough characters to see which ones the audiences react better too so there is always potential to add new characters and drop some of the existing ones if certain plotlines dont pan out over the course of the first few episodes. It sure feels like a show worth investing in and the next three or four episodes will help determine that.
Bull- The trailer for this drama intrigued me for many reasons. The plot looked deeper than the average procedural and of course Michael Weatherly was taking on a project that is not NCIS. The pilot was good, not great as far as pilots go and the plot definitely has to find a way to keep itself fresh. As cool as it was for the pilot this could get very old really fast if it keeps going down the case of the week road.
Law and Order: SVU- 18 years in and they are tackling stories that come directly from the headlines and adding their own twists. This episode had a poweful message but it did not have the same flow and unpredictability that past episodes have had. Barba remains the most interesting character in the ensemble cast and his usage may be the key to season 18’s success.
Empire- This show continues to be the juiciest drama on television. Terrence Howard was more menacing than ever in the premiere. The tracks dropped in the season opener were hotter than ever and Empire may be on its way to the the craziest season yet. Howard is looking for that Emmy and based on the premiere a lone this may be the year he brings it home.
Chicago PD- The season finale was intense and that gave them the obvious lead in to create more tension with the fall out. It was a good premiere but they put the tension to bed way too quickly to head back to standard procedural format. The moment between Voight and Lindsay near the end was a different set of emotions for both of them which was refreshing. I have no real worries about Chicago PD and the ability to create more intriguing story lines as the season progresses. Solid premiere.
Designated Survivor- This show thrived on the believability of Keifer Sutherland in the main role. The drama was a tad predictable but the show carries some heavy set themes moving forward and could easily turn into the best new show of the year. This is my early pick for the first show to be renewed this season. It has all the fixings of a long running series and has endless possibilities of where it can go from here. Plus on the positive side it is not bogged down by the case of the week hinderance which allows for more instant connection with the main cast.
Chicago Med- Shows always have pressure of keeping things interesting in their second season. This show did a good job of set up for the season but the premiere itself was not a memorable episode in any way really and that was a shame. Season one did a good job creating dynamic scenarios and interesting characters while the season two premiere opted for easy street.
Pitch- Downright phenomenal. Kylie Bunbury has heart and her character of Ginny Baker is an admirable lead worthy of high praise. Pitch had all the heart of a championship show and enough drama to sustain itself moving forward. This show does for Baseball what Friday Night Lights did for Football. Lets just hope this show lasts as long as Friday Night Lights and continues to carry the same heart and emotion as it progresses.Easily the most likable show that debuted this season and the most worthy of positive praise. The production value on the pilot felt like many sports broadcasts I have watched in the past.