Autumn Television 101

 
 

The return of much loved TV shows also heralds the arrival of shiny new programmes. David Corscadden takes a look at some of the brand new shows hitting American TV screens.

For TV obsessives and those looking to avoid study like an Ebola patient on a busy Dublin Bus, rejoice, because autumn has shed its musty old shows and the new shows are settling in for a long winter.

At this time, TV fans are delighting in the return of old favourites like the medical melodrama, Grey’s Anatomy, and the sassy, presidentially promiscuous hit show, Scandal. Of course, there was also the return of everyone’s favourite woodland-dwelling, food-raiding, and exhumed exterminating show: The Walking Dead. Who doesn’t love to watch some groaning, rotting-flesh pummelling action after a long day in college?

With their return also come some new contenders for our affections. But as every avid TV junkie knows, you can’t watch them all. And so, Otwo has picked the ones to watch as Winter is coming (No, Game Of Thrones doesn’t make the list).

How to Get Away with Murder

You know a show that is produced by the same person who gave the world Greys Anatomy and Scandal is going to be good. But with all the hype that surrounded How to Get Away with Murder it could have easily been a terrible let down. Luckily for everyone, Shonda Rhimes has done it again and, just like Grey’s Anatomy added the sex and jaw-dropping scandal to medicine, How to Get Away with Murder is doing just that to studying law, except with much more sex.

The show centres on a criminal law professor played by Viola Davis and five students who have been picked to work for her. It’s similar to early Grey’s Anatomy, so expect a bunch of high achievers and lots of backstabbing. This has a much darker tone however and viewers are kept on the edge of their seats as you learn more about the characters, their varied backgrounds and their murderous tendencies. It is the perfect suspense/thriller that drip-feeds you information slowly enough that you’re left with a constant itch for more.

Reason to watch: A good thriller full of sex, back stabbing and some great plotlines.

Madame Secretary

Imagine House of Cards, except no cocky talking to the camera, and the main character is less power hungry and less likely to push a journalist in front of a train. Depicting the life of a female Secretary of State, the show focuses on the day-to-day challenges faced by her while she also juggles the role of being a mother. From working to save hostages in war torn countries, to fighting for natural disaster management in third world countries, the show offers a dramatised insight into the work of the US Secretary of State.

While in the beginning it looked like it might be a clichéd portrayal of a woman in a powerful job, struggling to fit in and survive in a man’s world, it quickly moved past this into a show speckled with mystery and political bad-assery. The show is helped with a great cast of actors and a storyline that, although slow in starting off, proves to be intriguing and relentlessly addictive.

Reason to watch: A good political drama with good acting that makes politics seem interesting.

Stalker

Stalker is the kind of show that will make you question what you put on social media. You will become extremely paranoid about that person you meet two days in a row as you walk out of spin class. As the title suggests, the show is focused on stalking and revolves around a team of detectives who specialise in crimes of obsession.

The show is very fast-paced with each episode centred on a new case for the team, each as twisted as the last. You soon learn that it is not just coincidence that the two main detectives work this unit.

Reason to watch: It is full of twisted storylines and great acting that will make you question your own sanity.

Selfie

Let’s face it, selfies have taken over social media, and therefore, the world. It was only a matter of time before they would get their own show. Selfie is almost like a modern version of My Fair Lady (or if you want him to roll in his grave, then Charles Dickins’ Great Expectations). It’s about an upstanding member of society trying to improve another person’s social standing. In this version however, the downtrodden maiden is a social media vixen, who just can’t socialise without the use of a mobile device.

The show is funny and quirky and displays an obvious, yet interesting, romantic debate between the two main characters. Will it be the next Friends? Not a chance. It does however provide a good many chuckles and features some great supporting actors. But unfortunately at the time of writing this great show met an untimely fate.

Reason to Watch: It’s a funny, heart-warming comedy that will make you appreciate life outside social media.

Red Band Society

Teenagers that are life-threateningly ill in hospital. Sounds like a great light-hearted show doesn’t it? Well it is! The show is based around the ‘Red Band Society’ and their lives within the confines of a rather swish hospital. With so many teenagers stuck in one place and hormones flying everywhere, you can expect teenage melodrama pickled with some more serious undertones.

It may not be laugh out loud funny, but as a light drama, like Nurse Jackie, this show delivers. The stand out star of the show is Nurse Jackson played by Octavia Spencer. Just like Spencer’s character in The Help, Nurse Jackson provides the sass and sarcasm this show needs.

Reason to watch: It’s a good comedy drama that delves into the dramatic world of sick teenagers.

Bad Judge

Those who love Kate Walsh of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice fame will love this show. Bad Judge is a very funny legal comedy that delivers on the laughs with each scene. This show has a distinct 2 Broke Girls style of humour. Like said show, if you like it, it’s like crack, but if you don’t, it will probably infuriate you. It’s like marmite for television.

The show focuses on a ridiculous, and unprofessional, judge and her adventures in and out of the courtroom. It is a show that requires very little investment, as it never strives to challenge you, but simply delivers light-hearted enjoyment. Walsh plays a loveable, bumbling screw-up that you hope won’t change. While the show has great potential, rumours are flying it may be the next show to kick the bucket.

Reason to watch: It provides laughs, and really, what more can you ask for?

With every great run of new shows come the ones that you wish you had never given your time to. Two in particular to avoid at all costs are A to Z and Manhattan Love Story. Both are cringe-worthy romantic comedies that have, luckily, already been cancelled. Imagine the most awkward date you have ever been on, where your mother tagged along and you randomly ran in to your ex. Yeah, watching these shows is worse.

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