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Fall 2015 Premieres and What to Watch

Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin, L) and new Sorority Pledges Grace (Skyler Samuels, C) and Zayday (Keke Palmer, R).

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: upfronts. This is like my draft day. It’s like Christmas. This is the week that all major networks release their fall line-ups; new trailers, new faces, and new schedules. After keeping a watchful eye on all the updates, I’m ready to tell you my favorites. Here are the shows I’m most excited about starting this fall.

Grandfathered, FOX

I laughed out loud. I gushed. I had goosebumps. And that was only from the trailer. John Stamos portrays Jimmy, a lifetime bachelor whose life is upended when he discovers he’s a father—and a grandfather. Josh Peck portrays his hopeless, mess of a son. Paget Brewster is his ex-girlfriend.

Reasons to watch: The chemistry between the actors seems to be perfect. John Stomas and Paget Brewster are natural together.

Cast: John Stamos, Josh Peck, Paget Brewster, Christina Milian, Kelly Jenrette, Ravi Patel

Scream Queens, FOX

If you combine Glee, American Horror Story, and Emma Roberts’ resting bitch face (all of my favorite things) you get Scream Queens. The plot hasn’t been fully explained yet and I think that’s why I like it. There’s a little bit of mystery. We know that it’s set on a college campus, there have been a series of murders, and it’s a comedy. I’m intrigued. And I’m not alone judging by the straight to series order.

Reasons to watch: That cast.

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Oliver Hudson, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande, Billie Lourd, Skyler Samuels, Lucien Laviscount, Niecy Nash, Diego Boneta, Glen Powell, Nasim Pedrad

Flesh and Bone, STARZ

This was the first trailer I watched that made me actually giddy with new television excitement. Can we just call it what it is? Center Stage: The Gritty Sequel. I mean, it even has Charlie from Center Stage. CHARLIE! And let’s be real. Center Stage is the BEST movie. It’s that go to movie that you watch to reminisce about how easy it was to be a teen in the early 2000s. I fondly remember days where it played on HBO after school while I pretended to do pirouettes in the kitchen before my parents got home from work.

Anyway, Flesh and Bone follows Claire, a young dancer with a distinctly troubled past as she enters into the American Ballet Company in New York. The eight-hour series has been described as gritty and complex as it navigates Claire’s self-destructive tendencies.

Reasons to watch: Hellooooooooo! Charlie (Sascha Radetsky) is back!

Cast: Sarah Hay as Claire. The cast includes 22 accomplished ballet dancers including former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko (Kiira), former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky (Ross), Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner (Daphne) and Boardwalk Empire’s Emily Tyra (Mia). Ethan Stiefel, former artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and a former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, served as consultant and choreographer. Other cast members include Josh Helman (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Damon Herriman (Justified), Tina Benko (The Good Wife), Ben Daniels (House Of Cards) and Tovah Feldshuh (The Walking Dead).

The Family, ABC

I could not look away while watching this trailer. Joan Allen plays a local politician whose son (The Way, Way Back’s Liam James) returns after being presumed dead following his disappearance a decade earlier. His return has a ripple effect on the rest of his family. And in probably the most interesting twist, is he who he really says he is?

Reasons to watch: The cast. In addition to Joan Allen and Liam James, Andrew McCarthy portrays the wrongly accused neighbor who has been rotting in prison. Zach Gilford (I’ll always love you Saracen!) is the alcoholic, eldest son. Alison Pill is the tightly wound daughter managing her mother’s campaign. That’s a pretty strong list of talent.

Cast: Zach Gilford, Liam James, Margot Bingham, Joan Allen, Alison Pill, Floriana Lima, Madeleine Arthur, Andrew McCarthy, Rarmian Newton, Rupert Graves

The Grinder, FOX

Rob Lowe stars as a beloved TV lawyer known as “The Grinder.” When his long-running hit series comes to an end he decides to return home and join his family’s real-life law firm—despite having no formal education, no bar certification, no license to practice and no experience in an actual courtroom. Fred Savage plays his hopeless brother.

Reasons to watch: Rob Lowe and his ability to deliver fantastic, ‘knock em outta the park’ speeches.

Cast: Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Natalie Morales, William Devane, Hana Hayes, Connor Kalopsis

Wicked City, ABC

It was really only a matter of time before the True Detective format made it’s way to cable. Each season, Wicked City will follow a different case set in an infamous era of L.A.’s history. For it’s debut, Wicked City is focusing on the Sunset Strip circa 1982. However, it seems this show will focus more on the criminals than the detectives as Erika Christensen’s and Ed Westwick’s Bonnie & Clyde-esque characters take center stage. I’m pretty sure Ed Westwick was destined to stab people in the back of the head.

Reasons to watch: It’ll be a character-driven, true-crime procedural that explores sex and pop culture in L.A. Need I say more?

Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Erika Christensen, Ed Westwick, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Karolina Wydra, Adam Rothenberg, Holley Fain, Anne Winters, Gabriel Luna

Supergirl, CBS

I dunno. I’m not totally sold on this. Even though I’m an avid comic book fan and movie buff, I’ve never been too excited about a comic book as a television series. I’ve passed on The Flash, Arrow, and The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but I’m not uninterested in Supergirl. Melissa Benoist plays Superman’s famous cousin who decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was destined to be. Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance, Jeremy Jordan is her trusty sidekick, and Calista Flockhart is her nasty boss.

Reasons to watch: Girl power?

Cast: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Calista Flockhart, Chyler Leigh, David Harewood, Laura Benanti, Dean Cain, Helen Slater, Jeremy Jordan, Malina Weissman

Blindspot, NBC

A woman (Jaimie Alexander) with no memories of her past is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Why? What happened? Who is she? And we’re off…

Reasons to watch: If you like developing theories, pouring over recaps, and searching for clues then this show is for you.

Cast: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ashley Johnson, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ukweli Roach

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Top 12 Worst TV Deaths Countdown

If you don’t already know, we here at RPW really enjoy a good countdown.  After discussing an entertaining evening of television on Sunday, and freaking out about the possible untimely and fiery death of Eric Northman during the True Blood finale, the idea for this list hit us.  We are counting down the 12 worst deaths in television history.  By “worst deaths,” we don’t mean the ones that made us sad because we loved the character or the ones that were heartbreaking to watch.  We mean the downright disappointing ones.  The ones that make you question the sanity of the writing team,  the ones that make you say, “Oh my gosh, are they really dead?  Did that seriously just happen?  They can’t be dead?  They deserve a much better death!”  If a major character is going to depart a show, the death should be gut-wrenching, appalling, and downright difficult to watch but it also needs to make sense.  And so our list begins:

12. Charlie Harper, Two and a Half Men

So we all knew the death of Charlie was inevitable after Charlie Sheen’s sudden departure from the show.  But being hit by a subway car?  Really?  Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Charlie to die surrounded by prostitutes?  We guess It was a nod from the creator that Charlie Sheen would never, ever return.

11. Russell Edgington, True Blood

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For being one of True Blood’s biggest and baddest villains, his death was shockingly boring.  He was killed by Eric Northman in the opening scene of Episode 5×12 but his death was ultimately way overshadowed by the death and rebirth of Bilith.  They really should’ve stepped up their game and given Edgington a more fitting True Death.

10. Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire

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Jimmy Darmody’s death still sparks debates among critics and RPW writers alike, so it wasn’t a complete disappointment.  But there is one thing that everyone can agree on – the ultimate success of this show was hurt by the death of Jimmy.  Michael Pitt was a stellar actor and his Jimmy was beloved by many.  It was too soon for the show to say good bye to the second lead character, and the third season was noticeably weak without him.  It also felt unfair to see Jimmy die at the hands of Nucky, his make-shift father, as Nucky’s other enemies (Eli and Manny, just to name a few) escaped with their lives.  The argument can be made that Nucky finally became a full gangster, but did he really?  Did he murder Jimmy and walk away without guilt?  Did he take out all of his enemies, or just the one that was easiest to target?

9. Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey

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Many argue that Matthew’s death was unavoidable after Dan Stevens decided not to return to Downton Abbey, but it doesn’t make his death feel any less bogus.  After two seasons of waiting for him and Mary to get together, they finally get their happy ending…only for him to die almost right after.  #Disappointing.

8. Andrea, The Walking Dead

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No one was more pleased to see Andrea die on the season finale of The Wakling Dead than me.  But come on writers, there wasn’t a better way to do it?  In a horrendously stupid scene, where Andrea has to fight for her life against Milton using her (perfectly manicured) toes and a pair of pliers, Andrea finally comes up short and is bitten by a walker.  She then has all the time in the world to sit and bleed out and wait for Rick and Co. to show up and mercy-kill her.  It would have been 1000x better to see Rick & Co. arrive to find zombie-Andrea munching on someone.

7. Bill Henrickson, Big Love

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We have one giant complaint about the way Bill was shot.  After all the enemies he made through the years, it’s the neighbor that offs him?!

6. Robert McCallister, Brothers and Sisters 

ROB LOWE

HE HAD JUST SURVIVED CANCER!… only to die in a car crash.  Everything about it felt SO WRONG.

5. John Locke, LOST 

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Our biggest complaint isn’t the fact that John Locke, the biggest believer in the magic of the island and most obvious replacement for Jacob, died before the series finale.  No, we can deal with that.  Our biggest complaint is the way Locke died!   The scene in which Ben pretends to want to help Locke and then suddenly turns on him to kill him was so sudden and so forced that it was almost unbelievable.  And it especially threw off the audience when Locke’s body was suddenly alive and well and perusing the Island.  In a series that posed more questions than it answered, this curveball was unnecessary and hurt the storyline more than it advanced it.

4. George O’Malley, Grey’s Anatomy

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He got hit by a bus and spent majority of the episode as an unrecognizable John Doe surrounded by his best friends as they half-assed operated to save his life.  When they realized that the John Doe was George it was too late and his actual death got wrapped up in Izzie’s almost-death.

Watch the clip below but be warned, you’ll probably feel annoyed just reliving it.

 

3. Lady Sybil, Downton Abbey

DowntonLogo

Probably one of the most unexpected characters to be killed off on TV, Lady Sybil was a cast favorite.  Revolting against her families wishes and expectations, Sybil set out to form her own life.  After a difficult childbirth, the audience knew Sybil made it out alive, however toxemia claimed the best of her post-pregnancy, leaving TV viewers reeling the death of a beloved character.  Once word spread of the sudden, unexpected death of Lady Sybil, the ratings of Downton spiked, bringing in many new viewers just in time for them to be let down by the (expected) unexpected death of Matthew Crawley.

Watch the heartbreaking scene unfold below.

 

2. Rita Morgan, Dexter

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We get that the death of Rita was inevitable (she’s married to a seriel killer!).  And the shock factor for this death was definitely there.  No one, Dexter included, thought that Trinity would break his cycle and go after Rita.  All of that aside, I have some major beef with this death.  My biggest complaint is that the audience didn’t see it happen.  Rita was such a big part of the show and it felt unfair that we didn’t get to see her live her final scenes.  I get the shock factor wouldn’t have been there, but couldn’t the writers throw in a flashback somewhere?  Or even a flash of memory from Harrison?  Because we didn’t get to see the interaction between Rita and Trinity, we will never know if Rita died knowing the truth about Dexter.  #ThingsThatKeepMeUpAtNight

Watch the [disturbing] clip of Dexter finding Rita below.

 

1. Ned Stark, Game of Thrones

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Ned Stark’s death could be viewed as the best death ever on TV (I mean, who can argue it’s epicness?) or the worst death.  For our purposes, we think it was the worst.  Why?  Because Ned’s death meant that the Lannisters (AKA the dad guys) won.  Ned’s death was such a shock because it directly defied everything that viewers come to expect from a drama – the hero faces trials and tribulations, the hero suffers, the hero finds a way out, the hero is victorious.  Game of Thrones took the opposite route.  They killed off the main character and protaganist in the first season, throwing everyone for a major loop.  Not only that, but Ned’s death meant Joffrey won and who the hell wants that to happen?

Watch the chilling scene unfold below.


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Fall Picks: The RPW Breakdown

The Crazy Ones

For Rock Paper Watch, the fall premiere season is up there with Christmas.  To celebrate our holiday season we are counting down the most exciting new shows.  To summarize, it seems that NBC has the most exciting line-up for the fall season.  After cancelling most of it’s shows in 2013 to make room for more promising pilots, one would hope they have some killer debuts shows ready for release.  After a thorough review of promos and plot summaries, it seems that NBC has finally found its footing following the format established by Parenthood and Hannibal — high quality, plot driven, dramatic shows.  Will it work?

CBS has a few interesting shows in the mix, breaking their usual format (see The Crazy Ones and Hostages).  ABC is continuing it’s theme of soapy, female-targeted dramas.  Surprisingly enough, FOX is expanding on it’s comedies, instead of offering thrillers similar to The Following.  The CW is broadening its horizons with a variety of content-driven pilots, no real unifying theme here.

What shows are you most excited about?  Are there any missing from our list that you can’t wait to watch?

1.  The Crazy Ones (CBS)
Thursday, September 26 at 9pm

A single-camera, half-hour workplace comedy about a father-and-daughter team in the world of advertising. (Oscar winner Robin Williams plays the dad, while Sarah Michelle Gellar is the daughter.) Ally McBeal’s David E. Kelley will write the pilot and executive-produce with Arrested Development’s Dean Lorey and McBeal’s Bill D’Elia. James Wolk, Amanda Setton and Hamish Linklater will also star.

Reasons to Watch – It’s Robin Williams in his first regular TV role since Mork & Mindy.  If you need another reason, majority of the show is improvised.  Also, I love seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar back and judging by the promo, these two already have amazing chemistry.  Did we mention James Wolk?  Anything with him and I’m in.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It’s on CBS, which tends to skew older.  This means great things for attracting an audience via Robin Williams, but what about the younger crowd?  Will it be “crazy” enough to keep their interest?  Majority of the promo follows this overly sexual jingle that Kelly Clarkson wants to perform, and it does seem a bit risqué.  If they can keep that tongue-in-cheek humor it might work.  Also, I’d watch for a glimpse into the advertising world.  Bad news, it competes with the powerhouse Grey’s Anatomy and three other shows on our list.

2. Reign (CW)
Thursday, October 17 at 9pm

Watch as a 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) arrives in France, betrothed to Prince Frances (Toby Regbo). She must survive fierce foes, dark forces and a world of sexual intrigue. Outlaw’s Stephanie Sengupta and CSI: Miami’s Laurie McCarthy will write and executive-produce. Celina Sinden, Torrance Coombs, Jenessa Grant, Anna Popplewell,Megan Follows, Rossif Sutherland and Caitlin Stasey will also star.

Reasons to Watch – Going through period-drama withdrawals since the end of The Tudors?  Me too.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It’s competing with Grey’s Anatomy, The Crazy Ones, and The Michael J. Fox Show.  The good news is that it has a great lead-in with The Vampire Diaries.  It’s on the CW, which means a younger audience with little competition.  But is the plot too “old” for the viewer?

3. Master of Sex (Showtime)
Sunday, September 29th at 10pm

Michael Sheen and acclaimed actress Lizzy Caplan star in a new drama series that chronicles the unusual lives and romance of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the pioneers of the science of human sexuality. Their research took them from a midwestern teaching hospital in St. Louis to the cover of Time magazine and nearly a dozen appearances on Johnny Carson’s couch. Created by Michelle Ashford, the series also stars Caitlin Fitzgerald, Nicholas D’Agosto and Teddy Sears. Beau Bridges, Allison Janney and Margo Martindale will recur.

Reasons to Watch – This one is easy.  It’s Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen and sex.  What more do you really need?

Reasons to be Skeptical – I don’t have any skepticisms.  It’s true that some audiences might not have an interest but the show is being recognized for breaking barriers and tackling taboos.  I’ll be watching, will you?

4.  Dracula (NBC)
Friday, October 25 at 10pm

Inspired by the classic Bram Stoker novel, this drama stars The Tudors’ Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the title role. Based on a script from co-executive producer Cole Haddon, this version finds Dracula in London posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. But his true plan — to seek revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier — is thwarted when her falls hopelessly in love with a woman named Mina (Jessica DeGouw ), who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. Dracula will be executive-produced by Colin Callender, Tony Krantz (24), Gareth Neame (Downton Abbey) and Anne Mensah.

Reasons to Watch – Remember when we said we missed The Tudors?  Well this show brings Jonathan Rhys Meyers back for another period drama, just more fangs and less wives (that we know of).  Remember that time he ate the pomegranate in season one of The Tudors?  I feel like this show is going to a lot of that and I’m perfectly fine with it.

Reasons to be Skeptical – Friday night death slot, never good.

5. The Originals (CW)
Premieres Thursday, October 3 at 9pm, airs regularly Tuesdays at 8pm

This Vampire Diaries spin-off focuses on the show’s Original Family. Klaus (Joseph Morgan) returns to New Orleans — a town he helped build centuries ago — to reunite with his diabolical former protégéMarcel (Charles Michael Davis). Diaries executive producer Julie Plec will write and executive-produce, alongside Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, Daniella Pineda, Leah Pipes and Danielle Campbell will also star.

Reasons to Watch – Producer Julie Plec says where Diaries was a coming-of-age story, “this is a show that is not about struggling to be a vampire, it’s about embracing vampirism. It’s about reveling in it. … We’ve graduated high school and went to college, and they’re getting their master’s degree in The Originals.” Oh, and did we mention Klaus? HOT.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It’s a spinoff.  However, many show’s have had very successful runs as spinoff’s. Especially in the vampire category. Look at Angel for example, it had 6 successful seasons as a spin off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and continues to have a cult following. We are a bit skeptical about the show taking some of our favorite characters out of play, but that does open up the door for crossover episodes. PLUS Julie Plec has not ruled out the option of a Klaus/Caroline reunion…of sorts. We vote YES.

6.  The Blacklist (NBC)
Monday, September 23rd at 10pm

The world’s most wanted criminal (James Spader) mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition: He will only work with a newly minted FBI agent (Megan Boone) with whom he appears to have no connection. Perfect Stranger‘s Jon Bokenkamp will write and executive-produce with AliasJohn Eisendrath. Ryan Eggold, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix and Ilfenesh Hadera will also star.

Reasons to Watch – James Spader.  What’s interesting about this show is that it has this Silence of the Lambs Hannibal/Clarice feel without being Hannibal by adding a dash of White Collar, basically it’s a mash-up of really great pop culture with Steff from Pretty in Pink.  Really, what more could you want?

Reasons to be Skeptical – Is it too formula?  Will it get old fast?  With a lead actor like James Spader, can the practically unknown Megan Boone counter his on-screen brilliance?  Only time will tell.

7.  Hostages (CBS)
Monday, September 23rd at 10pm

Toni Collette plays a surgeon who is recruited to operate on the president (James Naughton), an assignment that propels her family — Tate Donovan, Mateus Ward and Quinn Shephard— into a grand political conspiracy. Dylan McDermott is an FBI agent tasked with helping the family. Based on an Israeli series, the pilot is written and executive-produced by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow). Jerry Bruckheimer will also executive-produce. Sandrine Holt, Rhys Coiro and Billy Brown will also star.

Reasons to Watch – Political Dramas are hot right now (Scandal, House of Cards) and CBS has some big shoes to fill. Hostages has a stellar cast of Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott, plus with the extra fire power of Jerry Bruckheimer, the series is bound to be a thrill ride. Will she murder the president for her family? What is McDermott’s motive?

Reasons to be Skeptical – Where exactly can this plot go? It seems kind of dead ended, however, it seems like writers can take plot lines anywhere they want nowadays. It wouldn’t hurt our feelings if this show did tank. We do love Dylan McDermott on American Horror Story…(hint, hint).

8. Us & Them (Fox)
Mid-season

A couple’s (Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel) long-distance, budding romance is constantly disrupted by their friends and family in this comedy based on the British series Gavin and Stacey. David Rosen (I Just Want My Pants Back) will write and executive-produce. Dustin Ybarra, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Jane Kaczmarek, Kurt Fuller and Ashlie Atkinson will also star.

Reasons to Watch – There’s nothing more we LOVE than a good RomCom and Jason Ritter. Also, I think we’ve all experience or know someone who’s experienced the pain of online dating, so we are hoping the show will be something people can find relatable. I mean, not everyone can be an an Agent in S.H.E.I.L.D….because thats relatable.

Reasons to be Skeptical – Bledel can kind of come off pretty flat as an actress. Also, chemistry is key to this show. Will they, or will they not have it? Here’s hoping!

9.  Marvel’s Agents S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
Tuesday, September 24th at 8pm

Based on Marvel Universe’s fictional and secret law-enforcement agency. Avengers’ Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen will write and executive-produce. Clark Gregg will reprise his Avengers role, joined by Ming-Na, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ian De Caestecker and Chloe Bennet.

Reasons to Watch – Did you see The Avengers last summer?  Of course you did.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It seems like a cheap ploy to attract a built-in audience.  Will it last?

10. The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)
Thursday, September 26th at 9pm

Michael J. Fox returns to TV as Mike, a former New York news anchor who goes back to work but still manages to find time to drive his wife (Betsy Brandt) and three kids crazy. The show is executive-produced with Fox by Sam Laybourne and Will Gluck and also stars Conor Romero, Juliette Goglia, Jack Gore, Kate Finneran and Wendell Pierce.

Reasons to Watch – In 2009, with Michael J. Fox: Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist Fox erased any cynicism about his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease by charming the world with his innate likability.  Furthermore, the actor has dominated the small screen lately with his guest appearance on The Good Wife.  The Michael J. Fox Show promises to make light of Fox’s everyday struggle and hopes to create a dialogue among viewers about optimism when struggling with the effect’s of Parkinson’s.  Bring it on Marty McFly.

Reasons to be Skeptical – Against Grey’s Anatomy, it has tough competition for it’s demo.  Do you think viewers are ready to watch the side effects of Parkinson’s every Thursday night?  Even though it’s a comedy, will it make people uncomfortable?

11.  About a Boy (NBC)
Mid-season

About A Boy

After writing a hit song, Will Freeman was granted a life of free time, free love and freedom from financial woes. Now he’s single, unemployed and loving it.

So when Marcus (the oddly charming 11-year-old next door neighbor) stops by, Will’s not so sure about being a kid’s new best friend… until Will discovers that women find single dads hot. Well, that changes everything. A deal is struck: Marcus will pretend to be Will’s son, and in return Marcus is allowed to chill at Will’s house, playing ping-pong and gorging on steaks – something Marcus’ single, needy (and very vegan) mother would never allow.

Before he realizes it, Will starts to enjoy Marcus’ visits and even finds himself looking out for the kid. Could it be that maybe there’s something to be said for being a (sort of) responsible adult – at least in a young boy’s eyes?

Starring Minnie Driver (“Good Will Hunting”) and David Walton (“Bent”), based on the best-selling book by Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “An Education”) and written/produced by Jason Katims (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”) comes a different kind of coming-of-age story. Half-hour comedy (single-camera).

**Description from Huffington Post

Reasons to Watch – David Walton is fantastic and one of the most underrated actors on tv.  I loved the show he did with Amanda Peet a few years back, Bent.  It was cancelled before ever really given a chance so I’m hopeful that this show will find its footing with Walton in the lead role.  Also, with Jason Katims producing you know its going to tug at your heartstrings.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It hasn’t been given a premiere date yet by NBC.  With the right promotional campaign it could go far, I guess it is in NBC’s hands.

12.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Tuesday, September 17th at 9:30pm

A group of detectives — including Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher,Terry Crews, Joe Lo Truglio and Melissa Fumero — form an odd family in a police precinct in the outermost neighborhood of New York City. Parks and Recreation’s Mike Schur and Dan Goor will write and executive-produce with 30 Rock’s David Miner. Samberg will also produce.Stephanie Beatriz and Chelsea Peretti will also star.

Reasons to Watch – If Andy Samberg in a speedo isn’t enough to watch I don’t know what is.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It’s sharing the night with 3 major Fox comedies, 2 of which are heading into a sophomore and junior seasons with high ratings. If it doesn’t bring the people in with its time slot, it will have the axe in no time.

13.  Crisis (NBC)
Mid-season

Washington’s most powerful players, including the president, find themselves blackmailed into an international conspiracy by an unlikely puppeteer. The FBI and a rookie Secret Service agent (Lance Gross) must unravel the mystery. Life’s Rand Ravich will write and executive-produce with Far Shariat. Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor, Dermot Mulroney, Max Martini,Michael Beach, James Lafferty, Halston Sage, Max Schneider, Joshua Erenberg and Stevie Lynn Jones will star.

Reasons to Watch – It has a stellar cast!  With this kind of line-up, it’s hard not to have high expectations.  And as a girl who grew up watching One Tree Hill I love seeing Nathan (James Lafferty) back on the small screen.

Reasons to be Skeptical – Past the initial kidnapping, where can the show go?

14.  Dads (Fox)
Tuesday, September 17th at 8pm

From Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, this live-action comedy stars Seth Green and Giovani Ribisi as two successful thirtysomethings who have their lives turned upside down when their fathers (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert) move in with them. Vanessa Lachey, Brenda Song and Tonita Castro also star. Alec Sulkin, Wellesly Wild, Mark Cendrowski will executive-produce alongside MacFarlane.

Reasons to Watch – This needs no convincing. Its Seth McFarland, Seth Green, and Giovani Ribisi.  Remember the scene in Ted when Giovani Ribisi is dancing in front of the TV to Tiffany’s, ‘I Think We’re Alone Now?’ How could we forget? A match made in comedic heaven.

Reasons to be Skeptical – Vanessa Lachey?…Unless its a major failure in the plot department I don’t think there are any vices. It has a great time slot around New Girl and The Mindy Project. PS-did you guys see how fab Mindy Kaling looks on this week’s issue of EW?

15.  Believe (NBC)
Mid-season premiere

An unlikely relationship develops between a young girl (Johnny Sequoyah) with a gift and a man (Jake McLaughlin) sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evildoers who covet her power. Harry Potter’s Alfonso Cuaron and The Forgotten’s Mark Friedman will write and executive-produce with Lost’s J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. Kyle MacLachlan, Delroy Lindo, Sienna Guillory, Arian Moayed and Jamie Chung will also star.

Reasons to Watch – Critics are raving about how gorgeous the imagery is on this show.  It’s not set to premiere until 2014 and is already getting a lot of attention.

Reasons to be Skeptical – It’s a mid-season premiere and the biggest name attached is J.J. Abrams as executive producer.  Jake McLaughlin is great, I remember him from a few minor roles but is he strong enough to carry a show?

16. Mind Games (ABC)
Mid-season

From Awake’s creator Kyle Killen, the project is a provocative workplace ensemble about the complicated relationship between two brothers — Steve Zahn and Christian Slater — who head an agency that uses the real science of human motivation and manipulation to solve its clients’ problems. Megalyn Echikunwoke, Gregory Marcel, Wynn Everett and Cedric Sanders will also star. Ron Rifkin will guest-star.

Reasons to Watch – It’s from Awake creator Kyle Killen.  Awake was acclaimed for being one of the most innovative pilots in 2012.  After watching the promo, the chemistry between Christian Slater and Steve Zahn seems to be incredible.  It’s like a twisted version of Scandal.

Reasons to be Skeptical – Christian Slater hasn’t had the best luck with tv shows lately, it doesn’t seem like hopes are high.

All plot summaries were gathered from TV Guide.

The list was constructed by Rock Paper Watch authors Elizabeth Bond and Ashley Foster.  Feel free to reach out with comments or questions.  Thanks for reading!


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Night of the Tie — Critics’ Choice TV Awards

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The Critics’ Choice Television Awards aired last night and the ceremony had something highly unusual – a tie.  And it wasn’t just one – three major categories awarded more than one winner.  (Apparently, critics have a really tough time making up their minds.)  Here is the tie-break…down:

  • BEST DRAMA SERIES (TIE)
    Game of Thrones – HBO
    Breaking Bad – AMC
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (TIE)
    Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
    Eden Sher (The Middle) – ABC
  • BEST REALITY SERIES (TIE)
    Duck Dynasty – A&E
    Push Girls – Sundance

A complete list of nominees and winners can be seen here.

You can’t share a trophy so we hope they do a better job of picking winners next year. 
If they don’t, we will unleash the demon monkey on them.

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We’ve Met the Mother, Now What?

ATTENTION:  If you haven’t seen last night’s How I Met Your Mother STOP reading RIGHT NOW!  MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.

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Guys, we just met the mother.  Let that sink in for a second, we have met the mother.

I haven’t always been a loyal HIMYM fan, mostly because I’m too impatient.  That led to binge watching a few seasons and reading a lot of recaps.  Throughout the series, I’ve often found myself annoyed with Ted Moseby.  He’s just so dumb sometimes (but aren’t we all during the search for love).  I’ve frequently had to remind myself that there’s a payoff, we know there’s a happy ending and it’s coming.  Just. Be. Patient.

This season has been dropping several hints that the end is near, here is my favorite.  Warning, you might need a tissue.

Well, last night we finally met the mother.  Ted’s bride-to-be is played by actress Cristin Milioti.  She is known for her role in the musical “Once,” as well as guest appearances on “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “30 Rock.”  We meet Milioti’s unnamed character in the last minute of the episode at the train station, holding her infamous yellow umbrella and buying a ticket to Barney and Robin’s wedding.  Here’s the long awaiting glimpse at the mother:

What do you think?  I like her!  She seems cute!  And great casting, the daughter looks just like her.

Now that the viewers have met her, what’s next?  The ninth (and final) season will likely begin with the wedding and the first meeting of Ted and Milioti’s character.  How long will this wedding weekend be stretched out?  A few episodes?  The entire season?  The creators always said that the show will likely end when Ted meets the mother.  Does this mean we don’t get to see any of their relationship?  That kind of seems like a rip-off.  I’m curious to see where the show goes from here.  What are your thoughts?


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Lizzie McGuire Returns to Television

Disney Fans – keep on celebratinog! Lizzie McGuire is returning to television! Well, sort of.

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News broke yesterday that Hilary Duff is set to guest star on the season finale of Two & a Half Men. Lizzie, oops I mean Hilary!, will be playing Stacey, a woman who catches the eye of Ashton Kutcher’s character, Walden. However, in an [odd] twist of fate, Walden will ultimately fall in love with Stacey’s grandmother, who will be portrayed by Marilu Henner. This is Hilary Duff’s first appearance on TV since she gave birth to her 11-month old son, Luca.

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The season finale will air this spring. You can catch new episodes of Two & a Half Man on Thursdays at 8:30 on CBS, and reruns of Lizzie McGuire on YouTube.