It’s that time again. The kids are returning to school, the foliage is changing, there is a crisp chill in the air, everything is coming up pumpkin, and the stores are already decked out for Halloween. All of this can only mean one thing: it’s time to watch new television shows! We at PCU have put together a little preview guide to some of our most anticipated shows.
Paul’s Pick: Designated Survivor
Jack Bauer is back to battle terrorist in a short time period……wait….
Kiefer Sutherland returns to broadcast television as Tom Kirkman. As a security measure, when the cabinet is in session during a State of the Union address, the United States of America designates a low level government official to be sheltered away to ensure that, in the event of an attack on the Capitol, our government remains intact. Tom Kirkman is that low level official. In an instant of a devastating bombing, Kirkman suddenly finds himself in charge of the most powerful nation on the planet. The terrorists are fully aware of our process of succession and look to take advantage of the under-qualified replacement. Can Kirkman rise to the challenge amidst a storm of opposition that includes his own nation?
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Q, Kal Penn
Premiere: Wednesday, September 21 on ABC
Doug’s Pick: Speechless
Raising a teenager is tough. Raising a teenager with special needs? Well, in this fall’s upcoming show, Speechless, the DiMeo family shows their new neighborhood just what kind of outlook on life it takes to do the things they are able to do.
As I wrote about back in May, I’m pretty excited to see this show come to fruition, as there has been a serious under-representation of realistic characters with disabilities on the small (and large) screen. In the series, Minnie Driver stars as Maya DiMeo – a mother with a no-holds-barred attitude. She has a husband who seems to be more intelligent than he gives himself credit for, a no-nonsense athletic daughter, a middle child who’s the “brains” in the family, and a teenaged son with cerebral palsy (portrayed amazingly by Micah Fowler). The DiMeos are about to bring their take on life from a middle-class area which they hated, to a more upscale town – all with…interesting results.
The trailer & commercials for Speechless look hilarious. I also love Minnie Driver & Micah Fowler in these roles, as it seems like they’ll (hopefully) have great chemistry, and the themes of the episodes will get through to the audience through their (as well as the rest of the cast’s) performances.
Starring: Minnie Driver, Micah Fowler, John Ross Bowie, Kyla Kennedy, Mason Cook
Premiere: Wednesday, September 21 on ABC
Harry’s Pick: Timeless
When I see shows like this, I get scared. I get scared because you know the networks spend big budgets on them. I get scared because these shows don’t ever get a really decent chance at developing because of the metrics used to measure viewership. But, I still hold out hope. Timeless is about a trio of unlikely heroes traveling through different time periods to stop evil criminals from undoing history. It sounds a whole lot more like Quantum leap than 12 Monkeys and hopefully a lot less hokey than Legends of Tomorrow. What I am really interested in seeing is how this show handles situations in which the best qualified person just happens to be a person of color in a time period where people were less accepting. If this NBC product is good, I hope it lasts but considering what became of shows like Journeyman, My Own Worst Enemy, and even The Event, I can only hope we get 2 seasons.
Starring: Chad Rook, Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter
Premieres: October 3, 2016
Kelsey’s Pick: Luke Cage
The trailer for the new Netflix series Luke Cage confirmed what most fans already suspected; Marvel is landing hit after hit, and they have no intention of stopping. Daredevil caught audiences’ attention with its moral grey areas and beautifully bloody fight scenes. Jessica Jones caught on even more for its three dimensional protagonist and unapologetic look at toxic relationships. Luke Cage looks to be a worthy follow-up with its Harlem setting, down to earth tone, and appearance of fan favorite character Claire Temple.
Each of these Marvel shows takes place in a different part of New York, and Luke Cage is no exception. However, it’s also diversifying by taking place in Harlem. The cast is almost entirely people of color, and there doesn’t seem to be a stereotype in sight. This not only allows Marvel to diversify its audience, but makes sure that Luke Cage will stand on its own. The previews look culturally sensitive, and for the time being, we can believe that the show will be as well.
The most promising part of the trailer is Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple. She showed up on both Daredevil and Jessica Jones and has proven herself to be a smart, no-nonsense woman with a talent for calling heroes on their bullshit. In the preview she tells Luke, “Too much happens in the shadows; people fear what they can’t see” and “sometimes if you want justice, you have to get it yourself”. These look to be calls to action when Luke inevitably starts wallowing in his own self pity. Claire may only be around for one episode, but there’s no doubt she’ll make an impression.
Starring: Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Erik LaRay Harvey
Air Date: Streaming all episodes on Netflix beginning September 30.
Sarge’s Pick: Taken
This isn’t a remake or a reboot of the Taken trilogy starring Liam Neeson. It’s a prequel. The show focuses on a young Bryan Mills as he is recruited and develops his “set of skills”. This show is so hush-hush, that the one & only site where I located a trailer, had it blocked by NBC shortly thereafter. A search of YouTube also turned up nothing. This leaves one to speculate; is the show that good…or is it that bad? I personally liked the first movie, but didn’t see the other two. Why ruin a good thing, right? So, how will a TV series fare? I don’t know, but I am interested to see how the creators come up with Bryan Mills’ backstory. I think I’ll watch at least one or two episodes to see if it’s a hit or a bust.
Starring: Clive Standen, Jennifer Marsala, and Simu Liu
There is no currently concrete release date for this show, but it will air on NBC.
There you have it. The top picks from some of our TV watchers here at Pop Culture Uncovered. Remember: this is just a smattering of the shows that will debut this fall. We couldn’t cover all of them, so let us know in the comments what you’ll be watching!