Okay, guys. I’ve been failing at discussing a whole bunch of premieres, so I recently thought, “Hey, Cara, why can’t you just do a big ol’ giant post talking about a whole bunch of them?” And then I thought, “You know what, Cara? That’s not a bad idea!” Because these are the conversations I have with myself. I…live alone. Anyway, let’s see if we can get to the bottom of some of these premieres, shall we?
The Particulars: Admittedly, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn’t the kind of show that’ll knock your socks off, but it’s always a pleasant half-an-hour of television that always manages to give me a few good chuckles. No exception with this premiere. It’s probably my least favorite premiere for the series so far since the end of last season promised such craziness and the premiere doesn’t totally deliver. Still, I thought it was fun. Plus, Bill Hader pops up for a while, so no qualms there.
My Grade: B
The Last Man on Earth
The Particulars: My biggest thing for the season two premiere of Fox’s The Last Man on Earth was to make sure it got back on track to being as good as it was in the season one premiere. While I don’t think this premiere was as good as last season’s, I did find it to be a nice return to form. It’s more like it was in the beginning, and that’s the best way to present the show, I think. Phil (Will Forte) is not the complete jerk he became as season one went along, and the bond he has with Carol (Kristen Schaal) is stronger than ever. Solid start.
My Grade: B+
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Particulars: It’s official—this is my favorite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere so far. It was something of a slow build for me to really get into this ABC show, but the last half of season one and all of season two has cemented it as one of my favorites. And the season three premiere did everything it needed to. It expands on the Inhumans focus, introduces a new threat, and gives a decent amount of time to all of the characters we’ve come to love (aside from one notable absence, but that one was to be expected). Loads of action, humor, and style. Well done, Marvel. Keep it up.
My Grade: A
The Particulars: While I do appreciate that Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, like many of my current favorite TV shows, has developed a sort of evil-fighting team consisting of three of more people, I was fairly disappointed to see this team kind of broken up without a whole lot of explanation. Granted, it got back together fairly quickly, but I was just a little confused about how they wound up apart after such firm promises at the end of season two to stick together. Plus, though I like Nikki Reed’s portrayal of a very sassy Betsy Ross, I’m uncertain about her place in the series. Do we need her? Guess we’ll see. Points for Ichabod’s (Tom Mison) much-improved haircut and the presence of a sinister new villain though.
My Grade: B
The Particulars: After a surprisingly strong first season, The CW’s The Flash is kicking things off right all over again with a thoroughly enjoyable season two premiere. Once again, this is an example of a show with a strong team of likable people all helping to fight evil in their city. Sweet Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is as perfect a hero as ever, and with more folks in on his secret, Team Flash has become a well-oiled, crime-crushing machine. I love the dynamic between these characters. I love the lightheartedness. I love the action. And the effects. And the villains. Really, I love The Flash. Easily one of the most enjoyable superhero shows on TV right now.
My Grade: A
The Particulars: While old man brains may not be the best note to start on for a brand new season, I still think iZombie is showing a lot of promise for its sophomore season. There’s quite a lot cooking in the world of the undead, and I think watching protagonist Liv (Rose McIver) navigate the craziness that is a zombie’s existence in a human world is a whole heap of fun. This was a surprise hit for me last season, and I’m thrilled that this season is supposed to be a little bit longer than the last. iZombie is not only very clever and funny, but it also has this unexpected pinch of drama that makes the show great. Frankly, The CW is kind of crushing it right now. Some other stations could learn from these guys.
My Grade: B+
The Particulars: After three seasons with a relatively dark tone, The CW’s Arrow seems to be taking some cues from The Flash because it’s suddenly a shade or two lighter! And as much as I love Arrow, frankly, I think it was about time. The Green Arrow is supposed to be a more lighthearted superhero anyway, right? I’ve always appreciated the Dark Knight-esque thing Arrow has going for it, but seeing Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) smile is a refreshing change. And I love seeing Thea’s (Willa Holland) upgraded role! I had a few minor qualms with this premiere—mainly Diggle’s (David Ramsey) frustrating stubbornness and those damn flashbacks that nobody cares about—yet even so, I found this to be another great start for the hooded vigilante.
My Grade: A-
American Horror Story: Hotel
The Particulars: Okay, guys, I’m sorry to say it, but…I’m not so sure about this one. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t exactly love it either. Going in, my biggest concern was how I’d feel about Lady Gaga taking over for the fabulous Jessica Lange, but I honestly didn’t have a problem with her. Granted, that may be because I didn’t see much of her either. She pops up for a bit of sex, violence, and cool dialogue here and there, but this first episode reveals very little about the mysterious Countess. In fact, this first episode reveals very little about anything in Hotel, other than it seems very set on shocking us. AHS (and FX in general, really) is getting worse and worse about that—showing things for shock value rather than any actual contribution to the story. However, the really brutal moment in this episode kind of seems like a ripoff from Se7en, which isn’t very effective now, is it? I think this one could have potential, but I’m gonna have to feel it out a little more. It’s a much rockier start than Freak Show, and that’s disappointing.
My Grade: B-
The Particulars: This is a fine example of a show that started as “meh,” but gradually became something of a must-watch for me. NBC’s Grimm took a little more than a season to get its hooks into me, but its evolution from an episodic show with mostly mediocre characters to something with a more cohesive storyline and much-improved characters has helped it immensely. And I think its season five premiere may be one of its best yet. Poor Nick (David Giuntoli) had to deal with a lot of drama at the end of last season, and nothing has really slowed down in this premiere. I think this there’s a lot of drama in store, and I’m kind of excited to see what comes next.
My Grade: A-
Ash vs. Evil Dead
The Particulars: You guys—Ash (Bruce Campbell) is back. And he’s just as delightfully ridiculous as ever. I will say this: if you’ve seen the Evil Dead films (which I talk about here and here), this one seems much more like Army of Darkness than anything else. A dirtier, bloodier Army of Darkness, but Army of Darkness nonetheless. I say this mainly because much like he is in Army of Darkness, Ash is a complete douche here. But, okay, yeah, he’s pretty funny, too. Because with much more humble, sweet, and no-nonsense characters to keep him in check, I found him much less irksome here than I did in Army of Darkness. Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead is bonkers, but so far it seems like a pretty good kind of bonkers to me. We’ll see how groovy it can get.
My Grade: B+
Whew! Well, I still have a few premieres to cover, but that covers a good chunk of them. Have you guys been watching any of these? What do you think of them so far? Hope the fall TV season has been good to you so far!