What’s New This Fall?

Last year, the 2013 television season brought us several new scifi-oriented shows.  Only a couple of them survived.  Does this year bode as well (or as poorly) for the genre?  I’m not sure.   I’ve been checking out some of the new show previews on Xfinity.  Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far.  Interestingly, these three remind me of three current shows.

Gotham (Fox)

The cast of Fox's Gotham are featured in this poster for the tv show.

The Gotham cast: All the main players are here.

The most highly-anticipated show of 2014 is a prequel to the Batman saga.  As with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m behind the power curve, having seen only a handful of the many Batman movies made in the last several years.  Ratjer, my exposure to the Batman world came from the Adam West Batman series of yesteryear; and its campy, cartoonish vibe was much different from the dark, forlorn tone of the movies and (I suspect) the comic books.

Also like Agents of SHIELD, expectations are high, so it needs to deliver; something that Agents… didn’t do until well into the first season.  Fortunately, the Gotham previews look intriguing.  Its world is grim and gritty on the outside, but there appears to be goodness and heart at its center.  Gotham also benefits by starring several well-established actors.  Agents of SHIELD, on the other hand, featured mostly newcomers, as was further hampered by the fact that they weren’t very interesting.

Constantine (NBC)

Constantine stars some guy I never heard of.

The titular character

This series is based on the Hellraiser comic books, about which I know absolutely nothing.  It has a very Supernatural feel to it, what with demon-banishing, consequences of hell, and even dubious angels.  It hasn’t quite piqued my interest, probably because my investment in Supernatural tends to supersede any other show dealing with similar themes.

Forever (ABC)

Ioan Gruffudd and Judd Hirsch star in Forever.

Henry & Abe

Actually, Forever is more of a police procedural, with a dash of medical drama on the side.   So far its only science fiction aspect is a protagonist who can’t die.  He works as a medical examiner for the city (New York, I think), partly so he can figure out what makes him different (i.e., immortal).  The show looks like a Castle wannabee, with an attractive brunette female detective solving cases with someone who’s not another police detective—in this case, our undying medical examiner.  The characters have the same kind of push-pull chemistry as Castle, plus the female leads looks remarkably similar (at least to my non-Castle-viewing eyes.)

The series premiere was okay—not particularly bad, but not particularly memorable either—until the last 5 minutes.  That’s when we learn the story of the relationship between Henry (the can’t-die-doctor) and Abe (the only person who knows Henry’s secret).  That reveal gives us a completely new perspective of the characters, and it’s quite heart-warming.  I’m not sure it’s enough to make me want to watch it, but it did make me tear up.

Other Scifi-Related:

Selfie (ABC)

It stars Doctor Who veteran Karen Gillan, along with John Cho, no stranger to science fiction television and movies.  Sadly, the premiere was pretty awful. Karen’s American accent is fine, but her character is embarrassingly awful.  After a humiliating experience in front of her colleagues, the  narcissistic sales rep asks John Cho’s character for help in redefining herself,.  You see, John Cho successfully rebranded a nasal spray that caused hallucinations (although they conveniently never explain what the rebrand was).

I smell a romantic comedy of two opposites in the works, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to introduce that plot device so early in the series.  Yes, it worked for Cheers, but Selfie‘s supporting cast isn’t strong enough (the exception may be receptionist  Charmonique, played the equally strange-named Da’Vine Joy Randolph) to give us a diversion from the two-dimensional main characters.

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7 responses to “What’s New This Fall?

  1. I’m skipping Gotham. Wayyyyy too grim for me. It’s got, like, a 10-1 ratio of bad guys to good guys, and I know what it leads up to (complete failure by the good guys), so no thanks. Flash is way more my style. You didn’t mention Flash! Since most of Gotham doesn’t have anything “extraordinary” about it (like superpowers and stuff), and Flash has lots of “meta-humans” like Barry, it fits the category better. 🙂 Both shows have been getting accolades, especially beyond the pilot.

    Constantine I’m going to try mainly because I liked the Keanu Reeves movie version and my husband is into it, but I’m neutral. Might not last long.

    Forever wasn’t on my radar until I saw the very short trailer where he had like one line, but it was surprising and funny and made me check it out. I love Castle and I think there’s room for another one of those romantic/bantering/crime-show-with-a-twist shows. If it’s done well. Castle wasn’t at the beginning, and it has faded slightly over time, but it got really good in the middle.

    Selfie sounds horrible but the casting made me watch the extended trailer. It totally looked like a romcom movie, not a TV show, but was charming enough for me to give it a try. I love both of those actors, so…

    Scorpion could *almost* fit your list, because of all the techie stuff. Reserving judgment on that one completely until I see it. Could be fun/exciting/interesting, could be flat/trite/awkward/awful.

    • Ack! I forgot about Flash! It wasn’t in the preview section, which is what I went by. I understand your desire not to watch Gotham. It’s similar to the reason I never likes Battlestar Galactica (& another show I can’t remember—good guys were heavily outnumbered).

      So, your husband is into the devil, eh? 😀

      I know you’ve liked Castle, so I think you might like Forever.

      Double Ack! I know absolutely nothing about Scorpion. I’ll try to check it out.

      If you have Comcast cable, you should be able to see the premieres of Forever and Selfie. I was going to wax about Karen Gillan’s enhanced hair (i.e., wig). I saw her in a guest shot on @Midnight with her short hair and she was super adorable. I wish Hollywood wasn’t so obsessed with long hair. Besides, don’t we all need support if we’re growing our hair out? (Not that that matters to you.) 🙂

      Edited to add: Ok, I just read that Shohreh Aghdashloo will be guest starring on Scorpion. Hopefully in more than a single episode. She is too awesome for words.

      • Nah, my husband is into demon-killing. LOL

        I have DirecTV, but that’s okay, even when I get a chance to see premieres in advance, I don’t do it. I have a few times, but when I really liked the show, I had to wait weeks for it to actually start and then I’d already seen the episode! LOL So I like to get just a nibble and then launch into it when it’s official.

        She definitely rocks the short hair, but I imagine the wig was a necessity because she was probably bald when they shot the pilot, thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy. The wig allows consistency, but it also fits the character better, I think. Maybe they’ll have her cut her hair at some point and then you can have that support. 🙂

        I didn’t know that about Shohreh! Yeah, that ups the quality instantly. Not sure it will be enough…the vibe of the show reminds me of the Christian Slater sitcom Breaking In, and of another show I can’t put my finger on. Shows that didn’t last, even though I liked them. 😦

  2. Ah, crap, I forgot about Forever starting tonight. I was so caught up in the Sleepy Hollow season premiere, that it slipped my mind. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch it on Hulu. I want to at least give it a chance, because I’ve been a fan of Ioan Gruffudd since his Horatio Hornblower days.

    Constantine looks pretty cool. The others don’t seem like my thing. Between Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, Doctor Who, and Gracepoint(as well as the two mentioned above), I still have plenty to keep me occupied. 🙂

    • Well, the Sleepy Hollow premiere slipped up on me. If it hadn’t been set to record (from last season) I wouldn’t have known it. I watched Gotham (of course, I’ve seen the Forever premiere, so no loss there) and rather enjoyed it.

      More on that… and more… later…;0

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