Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall 2015 TV: a disappointing new crop of shows so far

Not every TV season can be like fall 2001, which saw the debut of Fox's "24," ABC's "Alias," and CBS's "The Agency," not to mention - for reality TV junkies - CBS's "The Amazing Race." But so far, fall 2015 isn't even close.

I watched the pilot episode of Fox's "Minority Report" and decided that was enough for me.

Since then, I caught the second half of the NBC reboot "Heroes Reborn," which was very strange and also boring, although I didn't watch much of the original series, so perhaps there's something there for long-time fans. I watched that part of "Heroes Reborn" because I was waiting for NBC's "The Player," starring Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes. It's another one of these "guy who helps out a different person each episode" kind of shows, maybe like CBS's "Person of Interest" with more unrealistic movie-style action. I thought it was okay, and Winchester (most recently on Cinemax's "Strike Back") does have screen presence. I didn't set a TiVo season pass, but if there's nothing else on, I could imagine watching an episode. There's a thread of an arc set up in the pilot episode, but it's mostly episodic, I think.

I tried CBS's "Limitless," which is set in the same world as the Bradley Cooper movie (and Cooper shows up briefly in it). I didn't see the movie, but I did read the novel that the movie is based on. This is about the drug NZT, which supposedly unlocks the full potential of your brain. Here too I found the pilot bland and dull.

Then there's NBC's "Blindspot," starring Jaime Alexander (Lady Sif in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), about an amnesiac woman who wakes up naked - well, covered in a burlap sack - with tattoos all over her body. Each tattoo is the key to unraveling the mystery plot of the week. This has shades of "The Blacklist," "Prison Break" (Michael Scofield had a huge network of tattoos inked on himself to help him with his prison break plot), and "The Bourne Identity." It's held up decently through two episodes, although I seriously doubt that there is any coherent explanation as to who inked her and why. I like these big concept shows, but ever since "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" demonstrated that their showrunners were making things up as they went along, I'm leery of expecting anything that holds together.

Finally, I watched the pilot episode of ABC's "Quantico," which is kind of like "How to Get Away With Murder" if it were set at the FBI Academy instead of law school, and terrorism instead of murder. It may verge on ridiculousness, but at least it's interesting. I'm mildly skeptical of what season 2 would look like, if there is a season 2, because I really don't want the terrorism flash-forward plot to drag out more than one season.

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