Fall Preview: a Superhero, a Jane Doe and…Rob Lowe?
By Stacey Gillard
Maybe it’s just me having had a busy summer and not really being online or watching TV much, but I haven’t noticed a huge presence of exciting trailers for new shows. In fact I’d almost forgotten we were heading into a new season! Having done a little research, though, there are definitely a number of offerings that have piqued my interest and, as I have done for the past couple of years, I want to preview some of them here. Here are the ones that I’m going to focus on this year:
SUPERGIRL – Premieres October 26th at 8.30/7.30c on CBS
I flip-flop between being excited and being leery of this one. While I’m generally a Marvel fan, my love for DC shows like Arrow and Flash is well documented, but the Superman universe has never been of huge interest to me. However, it seems that Melissa Benoist’s Kara/Supergirl could have aspects of Grant Gust’s Barry/Flash who I absolutely adore. As a bumbling, flustered and much-put-upon assistant to Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant she has hidden her powers for many years until she decides the city needs her. There are definite comedic elements to the show and it does seem to be much lighter-hearted than its other DC counterparts but I think it will need to go very careful to avoid clichéd caricature tendencies. Grant is already being portrayed as a cold, angry bitch and sometimes it would be nice to see a woman in power have a softer side. Mehcad Brooks seems to be playing a nicely matured, confident Jimmy – sorry – JAMES Olsen who I think could become a nice mentor and friend to Kara. I’m also very excited to see the ever awesome Chyler Leigh as Kara’s older sister, Alex. I loved her on Grey’s Anatomy and think she’s going to be the strong role model female character that could be lacking in Cat Grant.
Overall, as long as the writers focus on the strength of the superhero side of Kara and less on the Devil Wears Prada elements, as many reviewers are comparing the two, it could become a well-rounded, enjoyable hour of entertainment. Focusing on the darker side of Barry’s life has definitely helped The Flash develop into a strong show and maybe that’s where Supergirl will be taken. I’m definitely willing to give it a good chance though. (Spoiler alert: keep your eyes peeled for some pretty cool cameos!)
BLINDSPOT – Premieres September 21st at 10/9c on NBC
This new NBC show from creator Martin Gero has me intrigued. Jaimie Alexander is best known for portraying one of my favorite Marvel comic characters, Lady Sif, and it seems she’s bringing her no-nonsense badassery to the role of Jane Doe. With echoes of the 2000 movie Memento, Blindspot features Alexander as a woman found naked and tattooed in Times Square with no memory of who she is or how she got there. The tattoos on her body are new and appear to point towards future crimes and it appears we’ll embark on her journey of discovery while she works with the FBI to figure out exactly who she is and why she is there. Along the way it is discovered she has incredible talents at hand-to-hand combat, languages and other skills obviously learned in the military. I love seeing strong, capable women as leads on TV shows but it also seems as if there is an element of vulnerability about Jane that will be interesting to watch.
Jane’s FBI handler, Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) seems to be suspicious of her actions, rightly so, and as long as they play that with the right amount of chemistry and maintain the appeal of the characters that could be a nice balance to the trust they will need to show in each other as partners. Jane’s missions with the FBI are exclusively, it appears, related to her tattoos so I hope they find a way to incorporate other cases and story arcs, otherwise viewers could lose interest, but overall I’m excited to get to know Jane and her story.
MINORITY REPORT – Premieres September 21st at 9/8c on Fox
Based on the 2002 Tom Cruise movie of the same name, Minority Report is set 10 years later, when the Pre-Crime program is defunct and pre-cogs are trying to lead normal lives. Stark Sands is Dash, one of the twins from the original movie, whose visions of murders, mere flashes, are taking over his life. He has yet to save anyone and his only hope seems to be a detective, Lara Vega (Meagan Good). She takes him under her wing and tries to help him find a way to refine his talents while also protecting him from the authorities.
Filmed in Vancouver (so I have a bit of a soft spot for it!), Minority Report showcases some great VFX, giving us a very futuristic Washington, DC and it looks like the effects for the visions will be well done. As with any procedural (and let’s not kid ourselves, futuristic or not this is what it is) they will have to be very careful to not let it get tired but I think it has a good chance at building on what it looks like the pilot is giving us. There’s also the opportunity to investigate Dash’s past which could be interesting. My biggest hope for it is that Fox not only gives it a fair chance but, unlike with Almost Human last season, they show the episodes in the correct order so that the relationship building, the essential part of a new series, makes sense.
THE GRINDER – Premieres September 29th at 8.30/7.30c on Fox
Let’s round it out with a comedy! I laughed out loud watching the trailer for this new Fox show starring the ever awesome Rob Lowe as Dean Sanderson, a famous actor whose long-running legal drama show has just ended. Moving back to his home town where his father (William Devane) and brother (Fred Savage) are lawyers he feels he has enough skills in the courtroom to become a real-life lawyer, much to the chagrin of his long-suffering sibling. I’ve always loved Rob Lowe’s comedic talent and it seems he’s on his game with the character of Dean. Fred Savage looks to nail it as someone with the mind but not the persona to be successful in the legal profession and all round it looks like it will be a fun 30 minutes each week.
Concerns about it? Mostly that they might go overboard with the silly. Jake Kasdan is executive producer and he brought us New Girl which I grew tired of after a couple of seasons. Assuming The Grinder makes it that far (big assumption) hopefully it can keep the pace going. But for now I am looking forward to a bit of escapism and some good belly laughs which isn’t much to ask!
As I usually do, I’m committing to watching each of these shows until at least the Christmas break and then I’ll come back and review what we have so far. So stay tuned for updates!
We have some shows looking to prove themselves in their sophomore years, too, not least of which is The Flash which ended the first season on quite the cliffhanger! Madam Secretary hooked me early on in its freshman showing but tapered off a bit towards the end. Agent Carter was a fun romp and I was especially excited that we’ll get more episodes of that. I didn’t stick with iZombie last season and honestly it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it, I think it just came at a time when I had a lot more going on. Maybe I’ll pick it up again and then catch up, it seems to be popular.
With returning shows such as the epic Supernatural, now into its 11th (ELEVENTH!) season, Arrow coming back for a 4th with a lot of excitement from cast and crew and Agents of SHIELD offering up a conspiracy-laden third season I think we have a lot to look forward to. What about you guys? What returning shows are you looking forward to? What new ones are you going to give a chance? Tell us below!
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