The 2016-17 TV Season so Far…

Winter is here [Sansa Stark said so], so before the wave of mid-season shows hits us, let’s review what happened in the fall so far:

Network TV finally making a comeback…

For years now my TV obsessions have been monopolized by cable. Network series were relegated to “stuff I watched while multitasking” or when I needed “light entertainment.” But there hasn’t been a network drama that excited me in a long time.

This year, finally, I got two.

I’m not alone with the first one; I’m enjoying This is Us as much as everybody else. This show is a cleverly written family drama with a twist that expands generations. It has a lot of humour and heart. I also appreciate that, unlike most cable dramas, This is Us doesn’t have dark antiheroes as the protagonists; just good people trying to do their best in life. We gotta have some of those! [Not saying we should get rid of the tortured antiheroes, we still need those too.]

This is Us has been the surprise hit of the season; unfortunately, my other network pick is not as popular. I’m talking about Fox’s Pitch which recently ended its abbreviated first season with no confirmation of season two. If you haven’t checked out this show, I strongly recommend you do!. “But I don’t care about baseball,” you might say. Neither do I! There is quite a bit of baseball on the show [no idea if it is accurate of particularly interesting for the fans, but it looks good], but the show is a drama about a young girl in a man’s world.

Pitch is slightly rosy and idealistic, but it also has a lot of interesting nuanced commentary about feminism [Plus you get to see Zack Morris as you have never seen him before!]

Westworld is a good show, but is it a ‘great’ show?

I couldn’t have been more excited about Westworld before it premiered. Artificial intelligence + the wild west + Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris being morally ambiguous. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? And judging by how popular the show has been, most people seem to think so.

I’m still not 100% convinced though. Did I enjoy Westworld? Yes, I absolutely did and will be looking forward to the next season, whenever it comes. But do I love it [the way I love GoT]? Not really.

There are so many things I loved about Westworld, but others that left me slightly disappointed. Mainly, I think they took way too long to reveal stuff. Everyone had figured out the big ‘man in black’ twist and I felt underwhelmed when it was finally revealed on the last episode.

I also found it frustrating that most characters were in the dark. My favourite storyline was Maeve’s, partly because Thandie Newton was awesome at playing her, but also because she was the only one who was truly self-aware and doing something about it. I had a hard time caring about the other hosts [the way I care for the synths on Humans].

Having said all that, with this type of show, the enjoyment level goes up post-airing with all the fan interaction. I’m already watching YouTube videos and discussing theories on Twitter. That’s a big part of the fun and by the time the show comes back, I might actually ‘love’ it [but Game of Thrones it is not… yet]

More superheroes than a girl can handle!

Listen, I’m trying to keep up. I really am… but there are just TOO MANY TV SHOWS WITH SUPERHEROES. I’ve been watching all the CW shows (The Flash, Legends, Arrow and Supergirl), mostly because they are light enough I can play them in the background. I’ve also thrown some Agents of Shield and Gotham in the mix. But that leaves little time to focus on the actually good superhero series: Daredevil, Luke Cage and upcoming Iron Fist, none of which I have been able to watch! [I did watch Jessica Jones which is my favourite so far]

I am not even into comics, so how come I spend so much time watching these shows? There are a lot of good things in them [more in some than others] but we have to be reaching a saturation point, right?
And let’s not forget that there are movies too! [#geektroubles] Can’t even cope with the Marvel universe and now I have to worry about DC as well? I have not had the misfortune of watching Batman v Superman nor Suicide Squad yet [although the honest trailers were superb], but I am going to soldier up and catch up with this in time for Justice League, mostly because I like Jason Momoa . And speaking of Jason Momoa…

What’s coming up in 2017…    

Quite excited about Netflix’s Frontier after watching the previews. Think about it as Hell on Wheels meets The Red Road.The show will have its world premiere on Netflix next January.

Also coming to Netflix next year, A Series of Unfortunate Events, but all my fangirl hopes for 2017 are on Starz’s American Gods, the upcoming Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) show. Based on the Neil Gaiman book of the same name, this show has a surreal premise, great cast and the perfect showrunner to go with it. The trailer looks all sorts of awesome and I’ve loved everything Bryan Fuller has ever made [including the first and only good season of Heroes], so I feel confident about this one.
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The TV Empress is a Media Management graduate, screenwriter in the making (and financial engineer in the meantime). She has serious plans to take over global television. You can follow the TVEmpress on twitter @TVRepublik

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