Now that almost all of the new Fall TV shows have premiered, it is time to look back and see the series stood out from the pack and completely ignore the shows that failed to make an impact (*cough* Heroes Reborn *cough* Minority Report *cough*). Though the majority of the new network shows this fall have underwhelmed to varying degrees, there are a few early bright spots that I wanted to point out. So now, without further ado, I present my five favorite Fall 2015 premieres (In a very, very particular order).
Mondays at 8:30 on CBS
Nothing groundbreaking here, Life In Pieces is as familiar as they come. But, what the show lacks in originality, it makes up for in charm and understanding of the format. The cast is loaded from top to bottom, and the writing is quick and endearing. Plus, quite brilliantly actually, Life In Pieces uses the show’s cliched format and premise to its advantage. The show leans into the stereotypes to help the audience feel right at home, but twists them just enough so that they stand out on their own. Life In Pieces isn’t anything special, but just a few episodes into its run, it has proven to be a solid, reliably entertaining, family sitcom.
Tuesdays at 9:00 on FOX
Charm can go a long way. Grandfathered rises above a mediocre and predictable script through the combined charm of stars John Stamos, Josh Peck, and Paget Brewster. The pilot episode is pretty terribly paced (It seemed like the numerous montages took up almost half of the episode). But Peck and Stamos hit all the right notes as the show’s central pairing, and, as Stamos knows better than anyone, you can get an insane amount TV milage just from grown men hanging out with adorable babies on screen. Grandfathered is charming, funny, and breezy, but fairly forgettable. You won’t think about the show much after the credits roll, but there is plenty of promise and fun to be found before they do.
Sundays at 10:00 on ABC
Quantico, the year’s most promising drama, is a textbook example of a show that’s just dumb enough to work. Everyone involved in Quantico seems to be aware of just how ridiculous the show’s plot and characters are. Wisely, the creators have leaned into the absurdity from the get-go, throwing logic and general intelligence out the window before the first commercial break. Once you’ve left your brain behind, what’s left is an entertaining thrill ride where twists come so fast and furious the audience can barely digest what is going on. Quantico‘s cast impressively solid across the board, and the show already seems to be well aware of its strengths and weaknesses. Can Quantico sustain its strong premiere run throughout an entire season? I honestly don’t know, but based on how well the show has hooked me, I’ll probably be sticking around long enough to find out.
Mondays at 8:00 on The CW
Of all the shows that premiered this fall, CW’s Crazy Ex Girlfriend is probably the hardest to describe while sounding like a normal person. Strangely, or not strangely, depending on your opinion of me, it was also the show I was most excited to watch. On paper the show shouldn’t work, in fact, it has every right to be an enormous train wreck. Impressively though, Crazy Ex Girlfriend got just about everything right in it’s promising premiere episode. Newcomer Rachel Bloom has the screen presense of a big time star, and the show rides that charisma to a confident, silly, and downright hilarious premiere. Maybe I’m a sucker for a show that is trying to do something different, but right now I’m definitely planning to continue my stay in West Covina, California (Only 2 hours from the beach…4 in traffic).
Just as an added note, honestly, this musical number alone would’ve earned the show a spot on this list:
1. THE GRINDER
Tuesdays at 9:30 on FOX
Hands down the best new show of the fall, and by a pretty huge margin, The Grinder has definitely impressed from the start. Just meta enough to stand out, but not too far up its own head to be enjoyed, The Grinder has struck just the right balance of absurdity early on. Rob Lowe is unbelievably good here, and Fred Savage has proven to be a solid pairing for the seemingly ageless West Wing alum. The show has an impressive cast of supporting characters, and despite its incredibly strong start, has tons of room to grow as time goes on. The biggest compliment I can give The Grinder now is that every time I hear the little music cue from one of the courtroom scenes, I’m basically already laughing. It’s been awhile since a show has impressed me this much, this early into its run. If you watch one new show this fall, make it The Grinder.
Thanks for reading! To check out my full Fall TV Preview click here. I’ll be back soon with another post!