TV Talk: Week in Review ’15-16 #3

Reviews for Fall TV Shows & Specials Which Aired
September 27, 2015 – October 3, 2015
* New series in CAPS
* Reviews May Contain Spoilers

Note: I will not be reviewing Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Criminal Minds, The Blacklist, or The Graham Norton Show. I will only be reviewing the series premieres of BLOOD & OIL, THE GRINDER, and DR. KEN, not the entire seasons.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

Once Upon a Time (ABC) – Season 5 Premiere “The Dark Swan”
As usual, a wonderful return for Once Upon A Time, which opened up season five with a very intriguing excalibur story line for Emma. The sword is broken and the other half of it has Emma’s name on it?! Whoa!

So Emma is sent to the enchanted forest, where all of the greats learned to be dark. She tries her hardest to resist this dark progression while finding her way back home. She runs into Brave‘s Merida (Amy Manson) which was so great to see! She’s definitely a recent favorite! Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, everyone is trying to get her back. Thank goodness, they are reunited. For a moment there, I had a brief nightmare that this would get stretched out. Thankfully, it didn’t.

But the good vibes didn’t last long as everyone is about to head home but is stopped by King Arthur who welcomes them to Camelot and all is well until everything is disrupted. Suddenly, they find themselves back in Storybrooke – six weeks later with no memory of their time in Camelot. But Emma remembers. And she is the Dark Swan now. And the one person she gave the authority to destroy her if her darkness became too great, Regina, doesn’t even have the sword to get rid of her anymore. So. This is quite the predicament and I am really not 100% sold on the evil Emma so hopefully this will win me over sooner rather than later. Otherwise, fantastic premiere! Very excited for the season ahead.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) – Season 3 Premiere “New Captain”

Read my review of the season 3 Brooklyn Nine-Nine premiere here.

Photo Credit: Kurt Iswarienkio/ABC

BLOOD & OIL (ABC) – Series Premiere “Pilot”
Blood & Oil is not a show I’d seek out to watch each week but I try to watch all Pilots and something told me this would be much more gripping than I originally anticipated anyway so I should look forward to this one. I’m happy to say that it was better than I thought it would be. That said, it still wasn’t as good as it needed to be to win me over for an entire season.

First though, I must say how awesome it is to see Chace Crawford on the small screen week to week again. It’s been a long time since Gossip Girl, that’s for sure. Same for Scott Michael Foster (Greek). And I’m so happy to see Rebecca Rittenhouse who I loved on Red Band Society, Barry Corbin (One Tree Hill), and so many others. As for India de Beaufort, what show is she NOT on? Go, India! Great steady work since her OTH days! As for the characters… can’t say I’ve particularly connected with any of them but the storytelling reeled me in and the oil is what drives the drama here so I’m excited to see the best and worst of these characters through the oil drama (and who am I kidding, relationship drama) as time goes on.

While the Pilot certainly isn’t as compelling as I’d hoped it would be, the pacing and tone of the show seem pretty clear and if this is how it’s going to be, then it works well, it’s just too slow for me. I’ll still watch the show but I may rack up a few episodes and watch every couple of weeks to watch on a cozy weekend. It’s got a very sleepy vibe to it and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as a form of storytelling. Ratings wise though, well, it just might hurt. I’d be surprised if this show isn’t cancelled before the winter hiatus because it’s so dry and I don’t see enough people tuning in for this. But I hope that’s not the case because I can totally see the potential this show has and look forward to seeing it grow into an epic drama.

The Last Man On Earth (FOX)
Season 2 Premiere “Is There Anybody Out There?”

Read my review of The Last Man On Earth season 2 premiere here.

Photo via ABC

QUANTICO (ABC) – Series Premiere “Run”
This show is just as amazing as it presented itself to be and as I’d hoped it would be. First, let’s talk about the magnificent cast. Priyanka Chopra is a huge Bollywood star and I am so grateful she has transitioned to such a huge American role because she deserves this world reknown recognition. I last saw Josh Hopkins on Cougar Town and he is quite a hoot so seeing him in a dramatic role is quite a change. A change I like. I loved Jake McLaughlin in Believe and am so excited he got a large role so quickly after this because he’s the kind of guy you look forward to seeing on your small screen every week. Johanna Braddy made quite an impression on me in Unreal even though she’s been on my radar since Greek, so it’s great to see her on one of the big five networks. Finally, it was great to see Brian J. Smith (Stargate Universe) in the premiere…if only for just the premiere. There is such a great mix of familiar and new to me faces, my favorite combination of a cast so right there, the show has won me over. And the characters are so distinct and complex and mysterious! I love it!

As for mysterious… the show is mostly set New York and follows the Grand Central Station explosion which was an inside job by one of the FBI agents. It goes back and forth between the new recruits going through the ringer in FBI training and the day as well as aftermath of the blast. Two different timelines? Yes yes yes! This show is just checking off every box for what can reel me in immediately. Best of all, it aces every objective it sets out to accomplish. Especially the bit when we find out Priyanka Chopra’s character, Alex is being framed for the attack and one of her FBI colleagues helps her break out of their custody so she can set off to prove her innocence. It sounds like a story we’ve all heard before but already it’s proving to be a more than satisfying whodunit. Quantico is magnificent and I am so excited for more!

Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/FOX

Gotham (FOX) – Episode 202 “Knock, Knock”
This week on Gotham, Barbara is still alive (why?!), Bruce Wayne is a brat (understandably so in this case but still…), and a number of prisoners from Arkham Asylum have escaped and are running a muck. While I definitely appreciated Bruce (once again) realizing that Alfred really is looking out for his best interest, this storyline was a complete tease given how the season premiere ended. Talk about false hope! Bruce didn’t even make one single development in regards to obtaining new information. Sure he found his father’s lair, but concrete information in his hands…that did not happen. Disappointing.

As for Gordon vs. the Asylum… the school bus scene had me on the edge of my seat! As the episode progressed, it was interesting to see Gordon go from being a savior to being saved…by Barbara no less. Barbara might be crazy (conveniently now) but she still has a love for Gordon and luring him away when she has the chance was expected. What wasn’t expected? Killing the rarity of the POC woman chief of police. That sucks. Storytelling wise, it makes complete sense for whoever the person was in that position to be killed off but the fact that she last, what, two episodes, is really disappointing. This police station massacre put on by the escaped prisoners has brought Bullock back but I’m trying to figure out just how useful he’ll be. Because he seemed to roll over to the enemy when he was a cop before, so what will be different now? Solid, very disturbing episode. Next week should be another doozy, I’m sure.

Photo Credit: Katie Yu / FOX

MINORITY REPORT (FOX) – Episode 102 “Mr. Nice Guy”
This week’s episode brought a case of the week feel with Dash and Vega teaming up to save the life of a girl before she is murdered. It took me awhile to get into the episode but when I did, I enjoyed it although it made me wonder just how long Vega will be able to get away with using Dash without her boss finding out. I’d like this to progress because that’s more interesting and why I’m tuning in. To see the aftermath of the fallout.

We know there will be fallout. Add what we know is coming thanks to the last minute of this episode and wow! We have plenty to look forward to. I just hope the writers get too it quick because we don’t want to reach a muddle middle – and we’re not even in the middle of the season yet. It’s just beginning. So, in short, I’m no longer Mr. Nice Guy. Less case of the week, more thrilling interconnecting plot lines, please! Get on with it…

Photo via CBS

Scorpion (CBS) – Episode 202 “Cuba Libre”

“It feels like I’m wearing a snow globe.” – Sylvester on the sand in his pants

A woman Cabe once helped before needs help catching the person responsible for the deaths of people close to her. This means the Scorpion crew had to head to Cuba for a very undercover mission. Sylvester shrieking at the top of his lungs when they had to jump out of the plane…pure gold! This episode was full of laughs, full of action, full of stakes. I loved it! Classic entertaining episode of Scorpion! Actually way more fun than the premiere last week if I’m being completely honest. Also, great to see Kevin Weisman (Moonlight, Alias) and can’t wait to see more of him this season. What did you think of this episode?

Photo via Hulu

The Mindy Project (Hulu) – Episode 403 “Leo Castellano Is My Son”

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Certainly has a lot of the N word like a Kanye song. Oh, no! But it has a message like a Common song! No, thank you.” – Mindy

An episode that starts out with a dig at lame dad jokes? Made to be a winner. So this week, Mindy and Danny bring baby Leo home! Ahhh! So as the episode goes on, we find Mindy bored at home taking care of Leo while Danny goes back to work after baby proofing (to the extreme) the house. That in itself will make anyone laugh, parent or not. Then, we discover their neighbor conflict which involves Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings)…and more and more comedy ensues. I loved it. Every minute of it was great. Very entertaining. The best part? The B story was just as captivating and entertaining.

“Wait – that’s the minimum wage?! Nobody tell Morgan…” – Mindy

Jeremy is currently dating Whitney (Cristin Milioti, A to Z) but Tamra overhears a conversation that appears as though Whitney is cheating on Jeremy and after she does what any good friend would do…well, we find things aren’t always what they seem. So, maybe more unfortunate than funny but just as relatable and entertaining. A fun surprise in all of this? Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) as Sheena showing up via voiceover/text chatting with Tamra. I did not expect to hear from Laverne again so that was pretty awesome. Basically, everything about this episode rocked. It delivered what I wanted and more and that is always the best feeling ever while watching. If I’m still laughing at an episode long after it’s aired, it’s good and that is certainly the case here. So be sure to watch if you have yet to!

GRANDFATHERED (FOX) – Series Premiere “Pilot”

Read my review of the Grandfathered series premiere here.

THE GRINDER (FOX) – Series Premiere “Pilot”

Read my review of The Grinder series premiere here.

Photo via ABC

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) – Episode 202 “Boy II Man”
Evan power walking to school with the neighborhood ladies? Hilarious! The chess-twister miscommunication at book club? Hysterical. Then, I don’t know what was more comical, Jessica shutting down Louis when he proposed having another baby or Emery and Evan laughing at the thought of Eddie in college. This episode just got funnier and funnier by the minute. It’s way too early to call favorites for season two but this is definitely going to be a standout episode looking back. Hi.La.Ri.Ous.

Photo Credit: Patti Perret/FOX

SCREAM QUEENS (FOX) – Episode 103 “Chainsaw”
Another entertaining episode this week! I enjoyed this episode quite a bit but I did have one big concern. The entertainment factor didn’t overshadow this either. Jamie Lee Curtis’s character seemed it did a complete 360 and felt like just another ridiculous character. She was the only levelheaded one in the premiere. How did her character change so much in one week?

This aside, I liked the developments this week. Chanel gave Hester a much needed makeover and there was very vocal backlash about it. The frat brothers sought out the Red Devil who they just knew (aka wrongly guessed) killed Boone and in the process, two of them were killed. Grace and Peter were still looking for answers to the curse behind the sorority and how it connects to the Red Devil…not much happened here but we see the story moving forward in motion so perhaps we’ll get some concrete info next week here? Finally, what a pleasant surprise to see Charisma Carpenter guest star as Chanel #2’s mom. You’d think she’d have stolen the show but Niecy Nash is still one of my favorite parts about this show and this week, her scenes were once again, my favorites. Fun episode. This show really is a hoot!

Photo via ABC

The Middle (ABC) – Episode 702 “Cutting the Cord”
This week’s episode was hilarious! I remember moving into and adjusting at college like it was yesterday so this episode was very touching! I especially loved Axel checking up on Sue! That was so sweet! What a top ten sibling moment for these two! As for Sue and her roommate situation, I wonder how much story we’ll get here between these two. Regardless, really looking forward to seeing more of Sue’s adjustment to college! Awesome episode!

Photo via ABC

Modern Family (ABC) – Episode 702 “The Day Alex Left for College”
This is one of the funniest episodes of the show that has aired this year, that’s for sure. I loved it. I laughed aloud plenty and had so much fun watching Cam and Mitchell coach, Luke re-invent himself as he grows up and Phil react to his son really beginning to own his teenage years, Claire and the family try to get out of going to Mitchell’s coaching game, and oh my goodness, all of this was so, so funny! Really enjoyed this week! Some serious memorable moments!

Black-ish (ABC) – Episode 202 “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Gun”
This episode was both entertaining (Hello, guest star, Nicole Sullivan) and a real conversation starter as it was all about whether or not the family should have a gun in the house. This episode aired one day before the Oregon shooting and I’m positive if this show had aired a day later, this episode would have been postponed. What’s sad about that is that this episode creates a much needed dialogue about gun control and it would have been delayed during a time when people need to be talking about this the most. So, really great episode, it’s always the right time to sit back and play this and really sink your teeth into what’s being served here.

Photo Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

Episode 103 “Chapter Three: Under the Mask”

Another stellar episode! I was completely engrossed and on cloud nine. So HRG discovered he was in the hospital with Molly and possibly Hiro on June 13th. He also saw himself IDing Claire’s body. So heartbreaking! So he heads to find Molly for answers but she isn’t willing to share. Maybe she should have gone with him instead of running the other way and falling back into the hands of Renataus who has created “Epic” to locate all of the EVOs by using her as their “processor” to find them. Oh my goodness. The torture that Molly is experiencing now. Unfathomable. If you thought she went through the ringer as a child, everyone trying to use her for her powers back then, you haven’t seen anything yet!

Meanwhile, Luke discovers that he is becoming the people he hates the most and is avenging his son’s death for. An EVO. I knew he was going to become an EVO! They tried to kick us off the trail in the premiere! Sneaky, sneaky! I wonder how his power will be used for what comes next and if his wife will be quick to kill him like she is to kill the other innocent EVOs. Although he’s not so innocent, having slaughtered who knows how many innocent people simply because they were EVOs.

Also worth mentioning, The Protector has been keeping an eye on Tommy because the world will need him soon. What does THAT mean? Did a car crash really need to be had to have stopped him and his mother from leaving town? Is his mother okay? Is there more than one protector because that would make more sense than just one “The Protector” unless there are more protectors all called the same thing… So many questions about so many things! There were lots of developments here and I loved this episode especially because we’re really beginning to see story lines come together and intersect, Tim Kring’s signature move, a speciality of his indeed, and it is beautiful.

Photo via ABC

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – Episode 12.02 “Walking Tall”
Another solid episode of Grey’s in the books! It was so much fun to watch Bailey take on her new role as Chief and her come to a realization that she can’t do it alone and shouldn’t do it in the firm, sterile way that she’s been doing because there is a better way for all parties involved. I enjoyed all of the story lines this week but that one was the focus and the most compelling, so it was definitely worth mentioning. Very much looking forward to seeing how Bailey continues to navigate her new role!

Photo via ABC

Scandal (ABC) – Episode 502 “Yes”

“I can’t make the President speak to the press. He’s not a puppet, he does not have strings.” – Abby

“He does, he does have strings but that Olivia is in the wind and she took the strings with her.” – Elizabeth

This week on Scandal, it became clear to me that Mellie is Blair Waldorf all grown up. Olivia fled the area and took on a case to keep her busy while Fitz waited at the white house for her to make a statement to the public together about the affair. Smart of Liv. Not so smart of Fitz. Susan Ross told off the President of the United States in the most loving way ever. Loved that! Elizabeth got owned by Abby. Loved that too! Ha ha! Equality is all people want, wish it were this easy to always give. And Olivia has finally come back and said “Yes” to the big question, “Are you the President’s mistress?” Whoa! They sure are milking this! And I am loving every minute of it! I thought this week was going to be the big blow up but it seems next week, we’ll really see the trouble brewing.

Photo via ABC

How To Get Away with Murder (ABC) – Episode 202 “She’s Dying”
I can’t say that I was all that impressed with this week’s episode of How To Get Away with Murder. It definitely had its moments, of course and was captivating the whole way through but this was simply great set up for what’s to come. The pacing is slow now but I know it’s worth it to stick through episodes like this because we’ve seen the writers untangle webs before out eyes before and this is no different. So, if anything, I’m more pumped for what this episode is leading towards than this episode as a stand alone. What did you think?

Photo via ABC

DR. KEN (ABC) – Series Premiere “Pilot”
Dr. Ken is a great effort to a really entertaining show but it just isn’t worth taking time out of my week to watch when it originally airs. This is definitely a DVR type of show which makes me wonder with ratings, how long this show will last. It’s funny but it could be funnier because I didn’t laugh aloud once. It’s got a message behind the jokes, some jokes are just full of puns, and others carried by physical comedy, all of which are great. I liked the former the most, always love a good pun, but the physical comedy was too much.

I get it. Ken Jeong is a very physical comedic actor. But this is too much on top of his really bad posture which is super distracting. Another element that I thought was bad? The directing. I don’t want to watch a show where I can tell that each cut from a different angle is a different take and that’s what it feels like. Not to mention, the new faces I see on my TV screen are clearly heading to their marks and reading lines off a page, as well as trying not to laugh at Ken Jeong and stay in character. It’s just not smooth. This Pilot feels like a practice run of what should have been the Pilot. Tisha Campbell-Martin and Jonathan Slavin are pros but even they might not be able to keep me tuned in for long. Only time will tell what becomes of this show.

Photo via Syfy

Z Nation (Syfy) – Episode 204 “Batch 47”
Ah man, season two started off so good but we’ve had two back to back weak episodes. I’m beginning to think season two is heading toward sophomore slump territory and I really don’t want that because this show has been so much fun in the past and I’m not ready for ratings to drop to the point of cancellation. I’m worried. Hopefully next week’s possible birth of the half zombie baby will bring some more entertainment to a show that used to know how to deliver.

Premieres Next Week (October 4, 2015 – October 10, 2015)
CSI: Cyber (CBS) Sunday, October 4 10/9c
Talking Dead (AMC) Sunday, October 4 10/9c
The Flash (The CW) Tuesday, October 6 8/7c
iZombie (The CW) Tuesday, October 6 9/8c
Arrow (The CW) Wednesday, October 7 8/7c
Supernatural (The CW) Wednesday, October 7 9/8c
The Vampire Diaries (The CW) Thursday, October 8 8/7c
Haven (Syfy) Thursday, October 8 10/9c

What did you watch and love this week?
What are you anticipating next week?