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2014/15 TV Preview
By Bert Ehrmann
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It's been a few years since I've felt this way, but I can say that I'm actually kind'a looking forward to the slate of new shows set to debut on network TV this season. The only negative I can see is that while there's quite a few new shows I'm interested in checking out, most of them don't premiere until sometime during the winter (read not until 2015) season.
First up are shows that are set to premier this fall and just so happen to be superhero TV series.
Gotham, premiering Monday September 22, is FOX's attempt to cash in on the current hero boom. A kind'a sort'a prequel to the Batman story, Gotham takes place when Bruce Wayne was still a kid and Jim Gordon — Gary Oldman in the movies and Ben McKenzie here — is still a street detective. Focusing less on Wayne and more on Gordon, the series looks to setup future super-villains like Catwoman, The Penguin and Poison Ivy here still early in their careers.
The Flash has always been a favorite character of mine and he's set to break speed limits on CW starting Tuesday, October 7. A spin-off of the popular The Arrow TV series, The Flash stars Grant Gustin as a hero who uses his superhuman speed to run down the bad guys. The Flash is actually the second Flash TV series to feature the red speedster. The first one starred John Wesley Shipp and lasted one season on CBS back in 1990.
Constantine, on NBC Friday, October 24, comes from the mind of comics writer Alan Moore who also created The Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Miracleman - though he'd prefer you'd not know about them. Based on the Hellblazer comic and what looks like the 2005 Constantine movie that starred Keanu Reeves too, this new Constantine stars Matt Ryan as an occultist who users his powers to drive back the demons to keep our world safe from the dark things of the night.
The rest of the network shows I'm interested in are all set to debut "eventually" and admittedly these are all "either way" shows too. That is they could go "either way;" be really good or really bad. But even with these shows like these I like that the networks seem to be taking chances again.
Good: Agent Carter on ABC stars Hayley Atwell in the title role that she started with the first Captain America movie. Here, Carter is a SHIELD agent in 1946 where a women's place was anywhere but on the frontlines of superhero battles. Bad: Agents of SHIELD really didn't set the TV world alight with its creativity which doesn't bode well for this sort'a spin-off.
Good: Created by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), American Crime on ABC is set to explore race relations set against a trial. Bad: Seeing how ABC handles shows like The Assets, I can only imagine that American Crime won't be promoted well, will be shown only once, then pulled from the schedule after no one watches a show no one knows about.
Good: Aquarius on NBC stars David Duchovny as an undercover cop in Los Angeles in 1967 who stumbles into the Manson murder case. Bad: Period shows are popular these days, but not handled right this could be more Pan Am than Mad Men.
Good: Backstrom on Fox stars Rainn Wilson of The Office as a gruff, no-holds-barred tell it like it is detective. Bad: Handled poorly this could be a House clone but with a badge.
Good: CW's iZombie, another series based on a comic book, seems to be a fresh take on the tired zombie genera and is partially produced by Rob Thomas of Veronica Mars fame. Bad: iZombie is a detective show, and do we really need another detective show?
Good:The Last Man on Earth, also on Fox, stars Will Forte as literally the last man on the Earth after something happens to the rest of us. Bad: How long can a series focusing on one dude sustain? Or - how quickly will The Last Man on Earth turn into The Last Few People on Earth?
Good: Wayward Pines on Fox looks to be an updated 21st century version of Twin Peaks. Bad: The series is created by M. Night Shyamalan who hasn't done anything of interest in more than a decade.
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