by Lyle Smith
Another TV season has come and gone, with the Game of Thrones being the poignant bookend. But do not worry! Some of television’s best shows air during the summer (e.g. Breaking Bad, Luther, and Strike Back), so bring it on, I say! But let’s forget about the summer TV schedule for the moment and move a little bit further into the future, now that all of Fall and Winter pilots have been chosen for series.
Before I start, I will say this: Oouuuuch! This year is chock-full of underwhelming plots, bland atmosphere, and a ton of cheese (the bad kind). I know it’s almost impossible to predict which of the following shows, if any, will be good or compelling until we see much more. But when has something like that ever stopped someone for making lists?
Despite the lackluster lineup, there’s still hope! So let’s see how this goes!
Without further ado, here are my top 5 most anticipated (new) series for the 2013-14 season.
Almost Human (Fox)
Premiere date: Late Fall, Mondays
Plot: A new futuristic spin on a buddy-cop show, in which LAPD officers like John Kennex (Karl Urban, wooo love this guy) are forced to be partnered with highly evolved androids like Dorian (Michael Ealy, woo don’t know this guy) to protect and serve. Karl Urban’s character dislikes these robot jerks, while Dorian is a rare, defective android: he actually feels real human emotions (wouldn’t Data be jealous? Poor guy.)
Why I like it: I love Karl Urban. I remember watching him waaaay back in the 90s when he played Julius Caesar on Xena along with his more recent roles like Eomer in Lord of the Rings and the lead role in the highly underrated and soon to be cult classic, Dredd.
With what looks to be action packed, as well as the potential to be thought provoking, Almost Human looks like it might deliver and I will definitely be checking this one out.
Marvel’s Agents S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
Premiere date: September, Tuesdays
Plot: If you read Unreality, chances are I don’t need to explain what this show is about. But let’s do it anyway! This new show is based on the Marvel Universe’s super-secret law-enforcement agency, S.H.I.E.L.D., where they focus on several elite agents who are led and assembled by … Agent Phil Coulson! I guess that was fake blood in The Avengers?
Why I like it: I think the answer to that is quite obvious. Boom! Next!
Gang Related (Fox)
Premiere date: Midseason debut planned
Plot: The story revolves around gang member Ryan Lopez, who is sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department. While rising through its ranks, he becomes torn between his obligations to his crime family and his increasing sense of loyalty to the SFPD’s Gang Task Force. What will he dooooooo?!
Why: I think it’s a pretty good premise for a show; I don’t believe there has been a series that focuses on a plant (not the green, photosynthesis kind) in a Police Force. I can see some pretty tense scenarios develop with a plot like this! I just hope this show doesn’t fall victim to the uninspired, cookie-cutter procedurals that usually plague series like this.
Also, it’s good to see Terry O’Quinn get another shot at primetime TV.
Premiere date: Early 2014
Plot: Created by the awesome Ron Moore, Helix is a dark thriller about a team of scientists from the ‘Centers for Disease Control’ who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak. They soon find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation or … total annihilation!!
Why I like it: A Syfy show actually made the list! Crazy, huh? I haven’t enjoyed a show from that network since Stargate and Battlestar Galactica, the latter which Ron Moore also created, incidentally. Anyway, I love horror and I love science-fiction, so by those merits alone I will check it out. It’s also good to see a high-concept show like this airing on SyFy; a step in the right direction for that network!
Black Sails (Starz)
Premiere date: TBA 2014
Plot: Yarrr! This high-seas story focuses on the exploits of Captain Flint and his band of pirates! (Did you read that in a pirate voice?) It is said to take place twenty years prior to the classic novel, Treasure Island. Will have lots of blood and sex.
Why I like it: With Spartacus gone in spectacular fashion (RIPL), there is a void that needs to be filled by Starz. I know it is probably way too early to tell, but I am cautiously optimistic that Black Sails will fill at least a fraction of that massive hole. Judging by the trailer, it seems to have at least the potential to do so.
Here are some shows that have not been given the green light yet, but they are definitely worth looking out for:
Wayward Pines (Fox): A mind-bending, Twin-Peaks style thriller in which nothing is what it seems! Wayward Pines centers around Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon), who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions
The Strain (FX): Based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s book trilogy first published in 2009, the story centers on a vampire virus that infects New York and the CDC doctor, Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather, who investigates the case. As the strain spreads, Eph will lead a team of New Yorkers as it wages a war and defends humanity.
So, there you have it: five shows (and a few bonuses!) that I will definitely be checking out come Fall and Winter. It’s likely that some of these shows will fail to deliver, as quality television these days seem to be a rare commodity, so I am definitely keeping my hopes realistic.
We all like different things, so what are your top most anticipated new shows this Fall/Winter? I know that I will undoubtedly be checking out more than these five.