Sure, there are some shows still left to premiere, but most have had their second or third airing, so I thought I’d check in with second impressions.
Blindspot: I gave this one a second look because my mother raved about the pilot. We don’t always have the same taste in TV, but it’s helpful when we do because we can discuss the shows and that’s a nice bonding activity. I actually missed the second episode and it’s only available on Hulu (the one service I don’t have, and I won’t even sign up for the free trial because I have every other service and why can’t they just put it on demand like everyone else?) so I caught the third episode. And you know? I don’t think I missed anything. There was nothing in the episode or the “previously on”s that referenced anything that happened in the second episode. Doesn’t seem like a good sign, but might not be a sign at all. For procedurals, it’s not that uncommon. And especially since the second episode is just supposed to repeat all the points from the pilot, I shouldn’t be that surprised. But I was. What I was also surprised by? They’re not dragging this mystery out. By the end of episode 3, Jane Doe has a proper name and backstory for the first third of her life. Sure, right now it all revolves around the male lead, because of course, but it’s a hell of a lot more answer than I was expecting at this point in the game. And there’s Michael Gaston! I like Michael Gaston. If you’re ever writing a show and he’s up for a part, go ahead and cast him. You’ll be glad. Lennie James, too. I mean, if they’re not busy. They’re really nice guys and they do really good work. Anyway, it’s a fun show with some nice surprises, but in general those surprises are surrounded on all sides by tropes and tripe. I can see checking in from time to time, or asking my mom what’s going on, but it’s not getting added to the season pass list at this point.
Muppets: This last episode felt very After School Special, didn’t it? Kermit’s trying to decide whether he should be a good friend or a good boss, and finally realizes he needs to be both. Still, I will watch this show until the day it’s canceled, whether that’s 13 episodes or 13 years.
Scream Queens: Like Glee before it, this show continues a proud Ryan Murphy tradition of being senselessly delightful one minute, and infuriatingly senseless the next. It’s the kind of show where you actually buy that perhaps a young woman would keep a chainsaw under her bed for protection, but a frat boy walking up to a group of women and sexually harassing them comes totally out of left field. The fact that my reactions to this show also don’t make sense is just one of its charms. When it’s not pissing me off.
Limitless: This show is just delightful. It’s found a real joie de vivre that’s missing on so many shows. (We’ll get to Code Black.) Brian, the main character, clearly loves living in New York city. He’ll take public transportation just because he has time to kill. But my favorite part is that they don’t dumb down the rest of the characters to make him seem smart. A couple of times per episode he’ll get all excited and call his handlers with some amazing information he gleaned by being observant and he’ll be told, “yeah, we figured that out hours ago. Why are we giving you smart pills again?” And then Brian will have to up his game to prove his worth. I’m already thinking of spec ideas, although if they’re this obvious to me there’s a really good chance they’ll show up in the show, but still worth jotting down somewhere.
Heroes Reborn: Oh, right, the agonizing wait for all the plots to come together. I forgot about that. This week we get the first hint of several plots converging on the same building, but they haven’t actually met yet. The show is trying to coast on, “no, seriously, something majorly bad is going to happen. This all means something.” Which shouldn’t be enough. But what the hell, we’re already a third of the way through, might as well finish it.
Code Black: Same problems as the pilot: a show can’t actually be about the mysterious medical cases. It can only be about how the characters react to it. We’ve already been told not to hesitate, and trust our instincts, and perform surgery in the ER multiple times. And we’ve seen that the head doctor has PTSD, but since it doesn’t seem to affect her patients or any of the other doctors, I’m not sure why it matters. This show isn’t House or Grey’s Anatomy. This show absolutely could be another ER. The question is whether or not we want another ER.
Quantico: I want to say that this show has the present/future balance off, and they should be spending just snippets of time in the future, the way How to Get Away With Murder does, except that the present storylines don’t tend to have one strong, central conflict. There’s a bunch of little hints or arguments, but nothing you can hang your hat on and no real stakes. Nobody *has* to get expelled. We know, because of the future bits, that all of the main characters made it through. When Alex beat the test, that was nice. When they announced she was the first person *ever* to figure it out I rolled my eyes. So maybe we should actually be spending more time in the future, except that world is distinctly different from our world and I don’t care what happens there because all of the character development is happening in the present. It’s all so confusing. I don’t know how I feel about it yet.