Highs, lows of fall’s TV season in progress


Every year brings a slew of brand new TV shows that never make it past December.

Many of this season’s new shows will likely meet the same fate with disappointing ratings and questionable quality. There were, however, new shows that showed great potential for staying power, while others don’t stand a chance.


While it’s great that Michael J. Fox has returned to acting despite his struggles with Parkinson’s disease, his show severely misses tapping into its funny bone. Fox plays a slightly meta character that (big surprise, NBC) works at NBC studios in area news. The family dynamics just aren’t cohesive, and it’s almost like watching several mini stories in one episode that don’t connect. Plus it’s hard to really let the jokes stick when it’s still so apparent that the lead is not well.

DADS – Fox 1 Star

When Seth McFarlane decides to make a live action show, the expectation is another incarnation of Family Guy – the same jokes, delivery, crudeness and dysfunction you come to expect from his writing. “Dads” takes the dysfunction too far, leaving horribly unlikeable characters to banter on screen, while the show barrages you with too many laugh tracks. It would take more than an artificial sound of laughter to make anyone think this was comedy gold.


In this drama of backstabbers and secrets, James Spader plays his favorite character archetype, which many of us enjoy watching, of the twisted jerk who only serves his own interests. “The Blacklist” has the potential to hook anyone who was missing that chaotic factor in their espionage-related dramas. Spader works well with the female lead, who asks the audience’s questions about what role Reddington, Spader’s character, has in any given situation, while harboring her own powerful and secretive story herself.


Rebel Wilson plays a mousy, agonizingly awkward lawyer in this comedy about misfits and finding love as an underdog. If you have any empathy, you feel for her character, even if her name is Kimmie Boubier – a play on the word boob by the way it’s pronounced. She lacks grace and falls prey to many misunderstandings that ultimately highlight the ways she can rise above her underdog status and become an awkward hero to the socially misplaced masses. While the show is not perfect and doesn’t always hit the comedy mark, it has potential for some serious staying power.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE – Fox 3.5 stars

The creator of “Parks and Recreation,” brings us a show that is almost an exact copy of “Parks and Rec” but with the setting of a New York Police Department and starring the highly energetic Andy Samberg. It even comes with its own deadpan scary female version of Aubrey Plaza. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is complete absurdity, but in a fun sort of way. Once you suspend your disbelief that this is actually a functioning police department, you can enjoy the dynamic between Samberg, who is playing his usual silly, aloof character, and the super serious head chief. Hijinks ensue.

DRACULA – NBC 2 stars

Johnathan Rhys Meyers may have brought some of the sexy to the “Dracula” name in this show, but he didn’t make it all that interesting. The show looks visually impressive, but when you try to get a grasp of the plot it stumbles. “Dracula” isn’t a creature of pure evil and is instead looking to destroy a group of mysterious bad guys and their stake in big oil, so he can save the world from them. What were the writers thinking? Dracula with no evil and is no Dracula at all.