Have any of you looked at the list of new shows coming to the networks? It's a shitshow. There's a show about time travel. A sitcom about being the fat mom on the block (heavens!). 800 shows about superheroes. Shows based on movies Lethal Weapon, Frequency and The Exorcist (what?!). Another sitcom with Matt LeBlanc. Zombies.
Doesn't the sound of all that make you want to heave?
So I've done some cursory research on some new shows with potential; I've watched a few new shows that I already like; and I have a few favorites I'm looking forward to returning. Here's my list:
New Shows I've Watched and Love
"Better Things" (FX)
Premise: Co-created by Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., "Better Things" stars Adlon as "Sam Fox," a single, working actor with no filter trying to raise her three daughters in Los Angeles. She is "mom, dad, referee and the cops."
My take: So far, this is -- and probably will continue to be -- my favorite new show of the season. It's a lighter, funnier "Louie." Read more from Slate here. (Premiered September 8. Catch up on FX NOW.)
"Loosely Exactly Nicole" (MTV)
Premise: From MTV: "Nicole Byers is living the Hollywood dream, sort of. In this hilarious half-hour comedy, we’ll watch as Nicole, exuding her special brand of confidence and irreverence, demonstrates the hilarious missteps of what it means to be out on your own for the first time. She’ll deal with humiliating auditions, unpaid electric bills, friendship ups and downs, and the battlefield that is Tinder as she slowly but surely finds her voice as a comedian."
My take: I saw Nicole Byers (the comedian behind the character) on "Conan" the other night and had to check out this show. It's silly and quirky, for sure. But it's also pretty honest and even relatable, even though I'm an old bat and she's a Mill (that's a "Millennial" for you other old bats). I don't make a habit of watching shit on MTV but I'll make an exception for Nicole. Read more from EW here. (Premiered September 12. Catch up on MTV's app.)
Premise: From FX, in a nutshell: "Two cousins work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families." The show's lead, Donald Glover (you've seen him in "Community") also serves as Executive Producer.
My take: Hey, I need to watch - and appreciate - any non-reality show about Atlanta, right? And this one happens to be pretty interesting. Read a review from Deadline here. (Premiered September 6. Catch up on FX NOW.)
Returning Shows I Love
"Younger" (TV Land)
Premise: If you haven't yet discovered "Younger," basically it's about a 40-year-old newly divorced mom named Liza (Sutton Foster) who passes herself off as 26 to land a publishing job in NYC. The show follows her attempts at not getting found out, while dating a guy 15 years younger than her. Also stars Hilary Duff and Debi Mazar.
My take: "Younger" is fun take on the differences between Gen X and Millennials. There's also fashion, music, drama and cute boys. (Season 3 returns Wednesday, September 28. Catch up on the first two seasons on TV Land's app.)
"The Affair" (Showtime)
Premise: From Showtime: "The Affair explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship. Noah is a New York City schoolteacher and budding novelist with a wife of twenty years and four children. Alison is a young waitress and wife from [Montauk, Long Island], trying to piece her life back together in the wake of a tragedy."
My take: Sounds heavy, eh? If you can get past the bummer premise, "The Affair" is an addictive look into the nitty gritty and aftermath of infidelity told from each party's unique perspective. It stars Dominic West of "The Wire," Ruth Wilson of "Luther," Joshua Jackson of "Dawson's Creek" and Maura Tierney of "ER." (Season 3 returns Sunday, November 20. Catch up on seasons 1 and 2 on Hulu or Showtime Anytime. Don't blame me if you sit and binge watch it all in one sitting.)
"The Gilmore Girls" (Netflix)
Premise: "The Gilmore Girls" ran for 7 seasons so I am going to assume you know about it already. Here's the info about the reboot from TVGuide: "Premiering Nov. 25, 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' consists of four 90-minute episodes, each focused on one of the four seasons, and will pick up in real time, eight years after viewers last visited Stars Hollow."
My take: This one's a given. If you loved the series, you'll love the comeback. Read more about it from Digital Spy here. (Netflix airs the four part series starting November 25.)
New Shows I WANT to Love
"This is Us" (NBC)
Premise: From the writers of "Crazy Stupid Love," "This is Us" stars Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown. According to NBC: this new series "follows a unique ensemble as their paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways. We find that several of them share the same birthday and so much more than anyone would expect."
My take: This is my "I need a replacement for 'Parenthood' STAT" pick. NBC calls it "refreshingly honest and provocative." That's pretty bold, if they do say so themselves. Please be good. (Premieres Tuesday September 20.)
"The Good Place" (NBC)
Premise: From NBC: "The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife and, thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place, which is definitely where she belongs. While hiding in plain sight from Michael (Ted Danson), the wise architect of the Good Place (who doesn't know he's made a mistake), she's determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome (or, at least, the pretty good) person within."
My take: I like Kristen Bell. I really like Ted Danson. What could go wrong? (Premieres Monday September 19.)
Premise: From HBO: "Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage, and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought." "Divorce" also stars Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam and Tracy Letts.
My take: This one will be no surprise as I am officially (OK, unofficially) Sarah Jessica Parker's number one fan. Not everything she touches is gold, but I'll definitely hope for the best. (Premieres Sunday, October 9.)
Premise: Starring actor/writer/comedian Issa Rae, "Insecure" - according to the LA Times - is a comedy that "explores the friendship between two African American women who deal with their sometimes stormy relationship while also grappling with conflicts inside and outside black culture." And from USA Today: "What sets the show apart is Rae’s singular voice, and her rebellion against the idea that 'there's a universal way to be black.'"
My take: This is another show about trying to fit in when you aren't perfect. The tagline is even: "She's trying hard AF." How can we not watch? (Premieres Sunday, October 9 after "Divorce.")
Premise: According to USA Today, "'Fleabag' is a six-episode series that follows a seamy London café owner named Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). She provokes her sister (Sian Clifford), steals from her stepmother (Olivia Colman) and strings along her milquetoast boyfriend (Hugh Skinner) when she's not masturbating to YouTube videos of President Obama."
My take: A British actor and writer, Waller-Bridge has been called the "next Lena Dunham," "the 'English Amy Schumer," and the "next Sharon Horgan." Sounds good to me! Read an early review on HitFix here. (Premieres tonight, Friday, September 16.)