It’s the most wonderful time of year to be a television fan, but fall premieres during Peak TV can be overwhelming. With broadcast, cable, streaming, DVRs, phones, AppleTV and all the think pieces! there’s a lot to absorb and process in the next several weeks. We went ahead and picked the five fall shows we’re most excited about to save you some time and trouble during TV’s favorite season.
This is Us
Sept. 20, NBC
Are you the type of highbrow masochist who wept on a weekly basis through six seasons of Parenthood? Well, YOU’RE IN LUCK! NBC has a new ensemble drama about life and family and the love that brings the utmost joy and maximum amount of ugly crying. This Is Us follows the stories of two young parents (Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia), siblings grappling with the personal crises of health and career (Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz), and a grown man (Sterling K. Brown) in search of his biological father. Oh, and they’re all 36 and have the same birthday, so expect that and more to tie them together.
Sept. 30, Netflix
Luke Cage has been one of this fall’s most anticipated shows since last fall since Mike Colter made his debut as a sullen superhuman caught in the chaos of Jessica Jones’s life. Luke Cage gets us acquainted with the man behind the muscles, a man dealing with grief, loss and abandonment and who just wants “to be left alone.” The trailer promises more of the lightness glimpsed in brief during spells of Jessica Jones and Daredevil, but won’t be lenient with the visceral hand-to-hand violence abundant in both its sibling shows.
The Good Place
Sept. 19, NBC
You know that processing errors are too prevalent when they’ve spread upstairs to the afterlife. That’s the oversight that leads to Eleanor (Kristen Bell) ending up in “the good place” after she dies, instead of the bad one.
NBC’s comedy aim has been fairly off in the past several years, but The Good Place creator Michael Schur wrote for Parks and Recreation and The Office, two of the networks last great comedies, so expect heartwarming moments amidst laugh-out-loud gaffs. Schur’s vision of paradise includes endless drinking without hangovers and curse words rendered unspeakable, and Bell’s impish intrusion into this world is the kind of juxtaposition that makes TV comedy…well, good.
Oct. 9, HBO
If you’re not thrilled for HBO’s dystopic fall tentpole Westworld and even if you are! then look to the understated side of its programming slate. Insecure stars The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl’s Issa Rae as a protagonist similar to her erstwhile awkward black girl; a character navigating relationships and life choices as she approaches 30.
Sept. 12, ABC
It’s risky to put 24 star Kiefer Sutherland in an intense government drama, but the heightened stakes on Designated Survivor are in good hands. Sutherland plays Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman, the Cabinet member chosen during the State of the Union to stay home in case the others are attacked. That bleak worst case scenario comes true, and Kirkman abruptly becomes President, faced with a shaken staff and the task of figuring out who attacked his country.
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