The Top 5 New Shows of This Tv Season
Reviews by: Russ Milheim (Kappa)
5.) Go On - This show hit as a surprise. It’s a comedy about Ryan King, a sports talk radio host who starts to go to a support group to try and get past the death of his wife. Here’s the catch: it’s a half hour comedy. Now the best comedies (at least in my opinion) out there have a perfect balance of comedy and serious emotional moments. That is what Go On is trying to achieve. While it hasn’t fully reached it’s potential, it has certainly done a great job so far. It is a very entertaining and funny show and it hits those emotional beats very well, causing it to be touching at times. Some outstanding examples are the surprise of Ryan’s wife appearing as a ghost to him, and getting a glimpse inside of Danny’s head to see how he copes. Every group member gets a moment and it’s quite wonderful. If it is hopefully renewed, I have a feeling season 2 will vastly improve upon the structure that has been built by season 1.
Status: Not yet renewed, but likely to be Channel: NBC
4.) Bates Motel - Coming from Cartlon Cuse, a former writer for LOST, Bates Motel focuses on the infamous Norman Bates from Psycho (1960) before he became the killer he is. While the show serves as a prequel to the movie, it’s more influenced by it rather than a direct prequel. The show not only focuses on Norman, but on his unique relationship with his mother, and how that shapes who he becomes. It’s very entertaining to watch the dynamics play out between the characters. The show also provides a very good amount of mystery and suspense that, oddly enough, doesn’t seem out of place or tacked on. The most recent episode really showed how the show can excel at keeping you on your toes, and keeping you guessing, as well as being able to provide unexpected twists. The show is not predictable in the slightest (excluding the obvious future for Norman), which is a very good thing, something that is becoming harder to come by these days. If you want a very entertaining and eerie story about the formation of a serial killer, then Bates Motel is for you.
Status: Renewed! Prepare for another season of craziness! Channel: A&E
3.) Arrow - At first, Arrow was good. It has some of the best choreography I’ve ever seen in a TV show. Not to mention it followed DC Universe’s Green Arrow. But besides that, there wasn’t much to it (besides Deathstroke looking unbelievably badass in every shot he was in), with many of the villains introduced being severely under developed. That’s not to say it never had it’s moments, with the brutal fight between Green Arrow and the Dark Archer being a prime example of this (seriously – great fight). Sometimes there is an episode of television that makes a show better than just good. It makes it great. And that’s what happened after the brilliant episode “The Odyssey,” which took place almost entirely on the island where Oliver Queen was stuck for five years. After that episode, the show maintained a high quality (for the most part) every single week, with every episode becoming more focused and improving characters within the show. After “The Odyssey,” Arrow became a must watch show.
Status: Renewed! Channel: CW
2.) The Americans - Never thought there would be a show where you root for the Soviets did you? IntroducingThe Americans, making the FBI look like assholes…understandable assholes. The show follows two Soviet secret spies planted in the US during the Cold War and their attempt to gain information from the US. The information introduces you to extremely complex characters and dynamics. It’s a very unique show, one that is exploring an area of complexity rarely done on television. It’s a very dark, serious, and down-to-earth show; so if you are expecting laughs, this is not your show. But you don’t need laughs to be a great show (as the number 1 show on this list will prove). The Americans is a perfect example of not needing big action sequences in order to make great drama and tension. It goes behind the enemy lines and shows you that they are people too, just like us. It is certainly one of the best period shows on television as a whole.
Status: Renewed! Channel: FX
1.) Hannibal - The brutally wonderful Hannibal. This show was a huge surprise. NBC held it until midseason and refused to release any footage of it until a month before its air date, so one knew what to expect. The moment I finished the pilot episode, I was blown away. It is certainly one of the best pilots out there (not quite reaching the heights of last year’s Awake, but still amazing nonetheless), and each episode is better than the last, excluding the minor missteps in the most recent episode. As you can guess, the infamous Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs (1991) is the primary focus of the show. It is set before he is caught and known to be the cannibal killer that he is. It follows agent Will Graham as he is assigned with Hannibal to get inside the head of killers in order to catch them. Hannibal also serves as Will Graham’s therapist and every scene that they share is just so great. Their chemistry is perfect,and they play off each other wonderfully. It isn’t just their chemistry either; every character plays well with everyone else and watching the dynamics play out, especially with the prior knowledge the audience has that Hannibal is a killer, is just fascinating. The show has a very distant, scary, and edgy look to it that is just awesome and works so well. The gore on the show is something that shocked me as well. I was awed that this stuff was being shown on broadcast television. In other words they stretch the boundaries as far as they possibly can. Not to mention the creativity and originality the writers have when it comes to crafting the killers for Graham to catch is unreal. I really hope the writers of this show are getting constant psych evals. If you haven’t guessed, I really like Hannibal, and if you haven’t seen it, you really need to.
Status: Not yet renewed. It’s unbelievably uncertain. Here’s to hoping!
Last Resort - This was so good! Sadly, no one watched it and it got canceled; therefore a lot of the plot got rushed to a conclusion, and the potential that that the series had got squashed. However, the conclusion was enough to be satisfied and to give the best ending to the show it could get. I would recommend it if you have the time.
Status: Canceled Channel: ABC
The Following - While it is a very entertaining show and has some of the most disturbing scenes in it (prior to Hannibal that is), what kept me from putting this on the list is it’s predictability and unbelievable logic gaps. Like, you REALLY have to stretch your suspension of belief to enjoy the show.
Status: Renewed for Second Season Channel: FOX