Today marks the first installment of our new weekly roundtable discussion series, The Weekly Set. Today we are discussing The Fall 2014 TV schedule.
Tyson: Some Fall shows have already started, so lets consider those. Anybody here watch New Girl.
Danielle: I pay for my sins every day by knowing that anything with Zooey Deschanel is still on the air.
Kat: Do you like/not like her?
Will: I like Zooey.
Danielle: I don’t like her. She seems manufactured.
Tyson: Zooey is divisive, I know my sister isn’t a fan either.
Kat: I’ve only ever seen her in Elf, so I don’t have strong opinions one way or the other.
Danielle: She’s the last in the dying breed of Manic Pixie Dream Girls.
Tyson: I think she is adorable, though it can be a bit much in New Girl. I love her in 500 Days of Summer.
Will: 500 Days of Summer is my favorite movie. I cry everytime.
Danielle: It’s like her “Scar Jo in Lost in Translation” switch is always on. I haven’t seen her in anything that isn’t “complete and utter solution to lonely boy’s drab, boring life.” ( i.e., 500 Days.)
Kat: Yeah, I’d be happy to do away with that trope. Sadly, I feel like Skye on Agents of SHIELD fills it to a certain degree.
Tyson: Has anyone seen Play it Again, Dick? It is actually a web series spin-off of Veronica Mars.
Kat Taylor: Oh, that’s right! I love VM, but I don’t care for Dick, so i wasn’t really drawn to the series.
Will: I love Veronica Mars.
Tyson: It is a sort of mockumentary about Ryan Hansen, the actor who played Dick Casablancas on Veronica Mars, trying to capitalize on the recent Kickstarter success for Veronica Mars.
Danielle: I’ve never seen, but it’s a good piece of trivia to know. *tucks it away*
Tom Cat: This is the first time I’ve even heard of the show. Then again, I never watched Veronica Mars either.
Will: Haven’t watched this and don’t plan to. Not into the whole meta thing
Tyson: Ahh. It is funny though, and short, about 8 minutes per episode. Ryan Hansen is playing a fictional version of himself, who is kind of clueless about how vile Dick is as a person.
Will: Well only 8 minutes it may be worth seeing.
Tyson: The show goes online every Tuesday on The CW’s web content page, CW Seed.
Tyson: Anyone else here watch Sons of Anarchy or Boardwalk Empire?
Tyson: There was also a new series on SyFy, Z-Nation, another zombie series, this one featuring Harold Perrineau, who played Michael on LOST.
Tyson: Not so great.
Kat: I saw the ads, but I’m a bit burned out on zombies after The Walking Dead.
Will: Kinda zombied out. The Walking Dead is the only Zombie show I’ll watch.
Danielle: Even Romero’s like, “I’m sick of zombies.”
Tyson: So, lets move on to next week, a lot to talk about there.
Kat: I’m excited for next week.
Tyson: Starting on Monday, we have Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and The Black List.
Danielle: Little bit of hype there for me.
Kat: Gotham and Sleepy Hollow are two of my most anticipated.
Will: I am anxious to see Gotham.
Danielle: I am, too.
Tyson: Anxious is the right word for how I feel about Gotham. I am kind of apprehensive.
Danielle: I could do without yet another Batman origin story, but at the same time, I’m really curious to see where they go with it, and if they’ll dip into the mythos that paves the way for a nod to Year One.
Will: I really hope they don’t blow it, because I love the premise.
Kat: I agree that Batman is kind of overused these days, but this is such a dramatically different approach from what we’ve seen recently. I think it has a ton of potential.
Tom: Given that the show is on Fox, I’m a bit weary on Gotham. But I do have high hopes. It’ll be nice to see a bit more of the world, without focusing on Batman/Bruce.
Will: Yeah. Besides, the show isn’t about Batman, its about Gordon.
Danielle: Agreed. This looks like they’re focusing on him as a fringe character instead of something central. There’s not a lot to write about Batman in those formative years, which is why most stories start when he’s becoming or has already become Batman. So Gordon’s going to have to carry this one. I meant Bruce, but he doesn’t call himself that in his mind (thanks, Batman Beyond), so Batman it is.
Kat: Just so long as it doesn’t turn into a procedural, that is. That was Almost Human‘s ultimate failing.
Will: It’s probably going to be a procedural.
Danielle: I feel like, if they introduce Batman villains, it’s going to feel shoveled in.
Tyson: Many of those who have seen the pilot for Gotham share your concerns. Too many origin stories.
Will: Batman villains have already been confirmed.
Tyson: At least 4 prominent Batman villains are in the Pilot, with a 5th highly rumored.
Tom: All that in the Pilot? That’s a lot of name droppage for one episode.
Will: Tell me about it. (laughs)
Danielle: This isn’t the 1960s where they’re all holed up in one room plotting revenge. Though it is Fox, so I don’t know.
Tyson: But what if it was like that? (laughs) What if they all got together in a brightly colorful room and talked about how to get rid of that pesky bat.
Tom: Actually, There is a great episode from Batman: The Animated Series in the 90s where they are all playing cards together like that. (laughs)
Danielle: “Almost Got Him.”
Will: What if Gordon teaches young Bruce the Batusi?
Kat: I loooove the Batusi – but it has absolutely no place on this show from the looks of it.
Danielle: I wonder if they’re going to go Mr. Miyagi/Daniel-san with their relationship. I mean, Bruce has to learn how to be a detective somewhere.
Will: Yeah, I believe Gordon will end up as a mentor for Bruce.
Tom: Bruce would be a bit young to mentor for detective work at this point.
Danielle: He’s too young to learn detective-ing, but plotting vengeance that basically carves out his entire life — oh, no, he can do that.
Tyson: So Kat, you mentioned Sleepy Hollow, I am a big fan as well, and I am really excited to see John Noble in full villain mode.
Kat: Me too! I’m so glad he and Jenny (Jennifer Mills, as portrayed by Lyndie Greenwood) got upgraded to series regulars.
Tyson: Any fans of The Blacklist.
Kat: Afraid not. I know James Spader’s supposed to be a great actor and all, but he just rubs me the wrong way.
Tyson: He is the one part of the show that I really like.
Danielle: He looks like he’d be a shoe-in for a Putin biopic, but I haven’t seen the show.
Tyson: Lets take a look at Tuesday the 23rd. Tuesday brings us Person of Interest, and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
Will: I watched the first season of Person of Interest and liked it well enough, but I dropped it.
Danielle: It’s written by Christopher Nolan’s brother and stars Jesus.
Tyson: I think Person of Interest, like most shows, really improved as it became more serialized.
Tom: I support anything with Michael Emerson in it. I really haven’t gotten to see more than a few episodes of Person of Interest though. I’m hoping to catch up on Netflix after I finish a few other series.
Kat: I’m looking forward to Agents of SHIELD, but I really hope it goes up in quality this year. Guest stars are great and all, but they won’t be able to compensate for mediocre writing and plotting.
Danielle: I loved your article on Agents, and I don’t even watch the show.
Will: Also, as big of a Marvel nerd as I am, I hated the Pilot for Agents of SHIELD. I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I loved all of the films.
Kat: I hear you. I can’t imagine you’re the only one who has felt that way. Have you watched any more of the series?
Will: No, but I ordered the first season Blu Ray, as I’m fanatical enough to watch a mediocre show just to keep up with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Kat: It gets good around the episodes that take place after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but then declines in quality by the finale. I’m still cautiously optimistic.
Tyson: I loved the finale though, the ending was totally Whedon-esque.
Kat: Oh, I disagree. If it had been Whedon, then there wouldn’t have been so many one-liners, and the plot resolution would actually have been satisfying. I still really don’t like the finale.
Tyson: I specifically mean the scene where Paxton’s character finally dies, for real. (laughs) So reminded me of a Buffy scene.
Kat: Yeah…I thought that was kind of dumb. It lacked the finesse that Joss Whedon has when he turns on audience expecation like that – I very much doubt he was directly involved in that episode (or any other episode of the series beyond the pilot).
Will: Hopefully season 2 improves.
Tyson: I think that many of the failings of Agents of SHIELD‘s first season were the result of the series treading water, waiting for the game changing events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Danielle: (to Kat) I liked what you said in your article about how they were basically hinging their episodes on the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). I feel like they’re going to stumble around Avengers: Age of Ultron. SPEAKING OF JAMES SPADER. (laughs)
Kat: Oh, I hope not. But that is a legitimate concern.
Tyson: I don’t think it will pose the same kind of problem. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the events of the movie were directly related to SHIELD as an organization.
Danielle: James Spader is playing Ultron, for those who don’t know.
Kat: HE IS??
Kat: Well, thanks for ruining Avengers 2 for me.
Danielle: I live to ruin.
Will: One thing I hate about Whedon is his penchant for killing off popular character in the most unceremonious ways.
Kat: Oh, I largely enjoy it – mostly because, unlike so many other shows that just kill characters left and right for no reason, he actually has a purpose when he does so. He never kills anyone nonchalantly or without care.
Tyson: Whedon is the clown killer, he uses humor to endear you to a character, and then he either kills them off, or kills everything they love.
Will: Damn you Whedon. I thought his brother (Jed) was running the show.
Kat: Yeah, and his sister-in-law, whose last name I can never spell. (Maurissa Tancharoen)
Tyson: The two of them worked together on the Starz series Spartacus, and with Joss on the web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
Danielle: SPEAKING OF BROTHERS RUNNING SHOWS. (As a segue from Person of Interest, which is run by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan.)
Tyson: Wednesday the 24th, has one significant returning series, South Park, my personal highest anticipated series of Fall. Any fans?
Will: I usually watch reruns here and there, when I see it on.
Tom: I mean, I don’t mind catching South Park once in a while, but it’s been a long time since I was regularly invested in the show.
Danielle: I always catch the same damn episode, no matter when I turn it on. The Bane episode. Every time!
Tyson: South Park is great to watch as it airs because they make the episodes the week they air. This makes any issues they address super timely.
Will: Yeah, that’s dedication.
Danielle: I remember reading an interview with (Matt) Stone and (Trey) Parker and how excruciating the process used to be. You can definitely tell improvements have been made from season 1 to now.
Will: After this long I’d hope so.
Tyson: Oh yeah, they have drastically streamlined the process. A lot of that came from the movie, I think.
Danielle: Which is on Netflix.
(Note: the series is exclusive streamed Hulu, the movie is available on Netflix)
Tyson: They invested a lot of the budget into their studio infrastructure, which carried over to the series, or so I have heard. Anybody play the South Park rpg that came out this year?
Danielle: The Stick of Truth?
Danielle: No. *ruins conversation*
Will: Nope, but I want to.
Tyson: It was the closest thing I have ever seen to a licensed video game truly capturing the source material upon which it is based.
Tom: I’ve been waiting for it to go down in price. It’s gotten rave reviews.
Will: Yeah I usually wait for games to go down in price before I buy.
Tyson: Steam sales?
Will: Yeah Steam sales for sure.
Tyson: So next Thursday, the 25th, Bones comes back, and on Friday the 26th, Hawai Five-0. Any fans?
Danielle: SPEAKING OF ZOOEY DESCHANEL. Her sister is on Bones.
Kat: All I have to say about Bones is….why is it still on the air?
Will: I dropped out after the end of the season before the last one.
Tyson: I never got into Bones, just occasional reruns.
Danielle: Bones has been going on for about a decade now.
Tyson: Crazy, procedurals just go on forever.
Tom: Procedurals…it’s just in the right safe zone to stay around forever. Just like Castle.
Kat: Like the Energizer Bunny. Only less furry and cute.
Will: The magic tech wizard villain being all magic and ruining bones and Booth’s engagement killed the show for me.
Kat: More importantly: Procedurals built around a UST(Unresolved Sexual Tension)-couple.
Tyson: I watch Hawaii Five-0, it isn’t very good, but the scenery is gorgeous, a total zone out show.
Danielle: I stayed at the hotel where they filmed the original Hawaii 5-0 theme. That’s my contribution to that. Welp.
Will: Jin from LOST is on that show.
Kat Taylor: Also, Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica.
Will: I like her.
Tyson: Also from LOST, Hurley has been on some episodes, and Hiro from NBC’s Heroes.
Tyson: Sunday, the 28th, is a big day for Fox with The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Brooklyn Nine Nine. ABC has Resurrection and Once Upon a Time. Thoughts?
Danielle: The Simpsons and Family Guy need to go. They’ve both outstayed and outlived their welcomes.
Kat: Amen, Danielle. The Simpsons just makes me sad.
Will: I think Family Guy is funny I dunno, but I don’t go out of my way to watch it. The Simpsons is like the walking corpse of someone I once loved dearly.
Tom: Family Guy has been pretty meh for a long time. I preferred it pre-cancellation. The Simpsons is a shell of what it was, but I sort of feel like I’d miss it if it weren’t in on TV.
Tyson: I agree on both shows, though Family Guy is total rerun background noise for me. I’ll watch it while doing time trials in Mario Kart 8. Brooklyn Nine Nine is great though, a lot like Parks and Recreation, but with cops.
Kat: I’ve heard that about Brooklyn Nine Nine – which means I definitely will have to watch it eventually.
Tyson: So a few years back, there was a rumor of a Parks and Recreation spin-off. The idea was that it would follow April and Andy, with Andy training to join the FBI. I think that Brooklyn Nine Nine is kind of the vestigial remnants of that idea.