The Fall season is just kicking off, and so, this week’s Top 10 Tuesday will take a look at our most anticipated Fall series of 2014. For our Fall preview click here. For our full TV schedule, click here.
10. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – ABC
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started a bit rough in its first season. Personally, I feel that much of this was due to Marvel treading water until the events of Captain America: the Winter Soldier. After those events (well a little before) the quality of the series improved dramatically. Part of this can be directly attributed to the addition of, the always excellent, Bill Paxton to the cast. Season 2 will be kicking off with far more interesting circumstances, a slew of new characters, and deeper relationships between our existing characters. The pilot episode is also set to include Agent Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos from Captain America: The First Avenger, in a scene that takes place in the 1940s and will likely set up some interconnecting events between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Tuesday, September 23rd.
09. Sons of Anarchy – FX
With 1 episode already out, and another set to air tonight, Sons of Anarchy squeezes on to our list. This season of Sons of Anarchy picks up the pieces from the tragic events that ended the last season, with Jax seeking revenge in all the wrong places. Sons has been violent and shocking from its start, and the prospect of a planned final season means nobody is safe, not that any of them ever were. Series Creator Kurt Sutter has explained that Jax is written as a different man, where as before he was reactionary to the chaos of his life, he is now the bringer of said chaos. The series was loosely based on Hamlet, which suggests a massive sweeping tragic ending, though the series has stepped away from this inspiration at times. All I can say is that I am excited to see the chaos unfold episode by episode.
08. Supernatural – The CW
Supernatural was originally meant to cover a 5 season story. The series lived season by season unsure if it would get picked up for the next, with series creator Eric Kripke unsure if he would be able to write his conclusion. Well, Supernatural is now entering its 10th season. Kripke was able to write his conclusion at the end of season 5, and then he stepped aside. Since then, Supernatural has been living beyond its finale. While this kind of situation typically leads to a steep decline in quality, Supernatural has handled the post season 5 arcs as if they are all part of a massive epilogue, never attempting to top the events of season 5. While the quality of the show has never been as good as it was in its first 5 season arc, the show has been consistently fun and funny. Season 5 will include the series 200th episode which ahs been described as musical-ish.
Supernatural returns on Tuesday, October 7th.
07. Boardwalk Empire – HBO
with 2 episodes of its final season under its belt, Boardwalk Empire begins to draw from history as it brings the eventual fate of its characters to fruition. This season has used flashbacks to Nucky’s childhood to supplement the main story. We are given insight into the events and choices that lead an impoverished son of a fisherman towards his eventual place as a significant gangster of the prohibition era. Nucky has already evaded 1 attempt on his life this season, while other significant figures have not been so lucky. The first episode of Boardwalk Empire began with the start of prohibition in America. Currently, the series is set mere years before its conclusion. It would be fitting if the final scene of the series coincided with the end of prohibition. We’ll have to see where the final season leads us.
06. Person of Interest – CBS
The events of Person Of Interest’s last season were a true game changer. The machine, and her soldiers, are now hiding in plain sight from Samaritan, another artificial intelligence. Vigilance is dead and gone, and our government has completely sold us out to a sketchy unsupervised intelligence agency (but enough real life, lets get back to the show). Season 4 will kick off with our heroes assuming fake identities, while plotting a means of subverting Samaritan once and for all. I have to wonder how this might affect the episodic b-plots of the series, though John’s fake identity is apparently that of a police officer, which should provide another avenue to episodic content. When Person of Interest started, it was largely science fiction, though we now live in a post PRISM world, and much of what we see in the show is remarkably close to our own reality. Hopefully, like last season, Person of Interest uses this cross over with reality to give voice to those of us under the watchful eye of our governments.
Person of Interest returns on Tuesday, September 23rd.
05. Gotham – Fox
One of only 2 new series to make our list, Gotham has perhaps the most potential of any new property this year. Though with Gotham, that is 1 side of the coin. The other side being the potential for disaster. I have been wanting a Batman prequel on TV for quite some time, but I never expected it to have such a young Bruce Wayne. Such a move will shift the focus to the series primary protagonist, Detective Jim Gordon. Early reaction to the pilot episode has been generally positive, with some concerns for the number of characters being quickly introduced. The concern is that, like some comic book movie sequels, too many characters will dilute the focus of the show. We don’t have long to wait until we find out how Gotham has handled things for ourselves.
Gotham premieres on Monday, September 22nd.
04. Constantine – NBC
Our other newcomer has, seemingly, less potential than Gotham, but also appears to be handled with better care. Constantine, based on the comic book series Hellblazer, has previously been adapted as a feature film (also called Constantine) starring A-list actor Keanu Reeves. The film had mixed reactions, mostly due to how much of a departure Reeves was from the source material, a blonde chain-smoking Brit. The TV show has immediately addressed this concern by featuring a blonde chain smoking Brit (portrayed by Assassin Creed 4’s Matt Ryan) in the title role. The series looks to have a vibe similar to Supernatural or Angel, with a nice blend of comedy, action, demonic beasts, and magic. The show is produced by prolific Comic Book adaptation writer David S. Goyer, and the pilot episode was directed by Game of Thrones (Blackwater, The Watchers on the Wall) director Neil Marshall.
Constantine premieres on Friday, October 24th.
03. The Walking Dead – AMC
Season 5 of The Walking Dead finds our survivors at risk of being eaten, not by zombies, but by creepy cannibals. Season 4 saw a disastrous breaking of ranks that caused the group to split up, rediscovering the risks of being alone in the zombie apocalypse. The season ended with many of them reuniting at last, in the worst kind of circumstances, trapped in a train car by cannibals, with escape putting them at the mercy of hordes of zombies. Yet to join the pre-dinner party, are Tyrese and Carol, the stars of last season’s best episode, and the duo with the most fragile bond (owing to the recently admitted actions of Carol). Also alone, is Beth, who was recently abducted by an unknown player. The Walking Dead is the most successful show on cable television. A second series has been ordered by AMC that will follow an entirely new band of survivors.
The Walking Dead returns on Sunday, October 12th.
02. Arrow – The CW
Following the series beloved sophomore season, CW’s Arrow is going for broke with season 3. The most notable change being the introduction of infamous Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul. Previously, Ra’s organization, The League of Shadows, has crept into Starling City. First in season 1 with Malcolm Merlin, who was trained by the group, and later is season 2 with Black Canary and Ra’s daughter Nyssa. Season 3 will focus on the aftermath of Deathstroke and the introduction of augmented (and perhaps supernatural) abilities to the realistic world in which Arrow takes place. Though not meant to be as fantastical as its upcoming spin-off The Flash, Arrow will still have to deal with a world in which superhuman ability now exists. Speaking of The Flash, Arrow and The Flash already have 1 confirmed cross-over, with additional ones sure to follow.
Arrow returns on Wednesday, October 8th.
01. South Park – Comedy Central
After a 9 month hiatus, South Park is returning for its 18th season. This year saw the long delayed release of the video game South Park: the Stick of Truth on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC, the first game based on the series that actually felt like watching the series. South Park has continued to be iconic and groundbreaking throughout its entire run (unlike another long running cartoon series), with its later seasons focusing on the lampooning of current events with remarkable speed. Episodes of the series are written and animated the week before they premiere. In the 9 months that South Park has been off the air, we have experienced horrific acts of war, massive online security breaches, and some questionable legal decisions. All of which could be fodder to South Park’s critical lens. We know nothing of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s season 18 plans, and yet nothing else has me as excited.
South Park returns on Wednesday, September 24th.
For more coverage of all of these shows and more, stay tuned to TVEnthusiast. Agree? Disagree? Tell us in our comments.