Binge or Bust? Fall TV

Binge or Bust? Fall TV

Now that we are a couple months into the fall TV season, now is a good time to review some of the 2014 premieres and see which series are busts, and which are worth binge-watching to catch up on. The UpFront Ottawa team gathered and here is the consensus:

Comedy Must-Binge

Black-ish is a hilarious take on the traditional family sitcom which has definitely delivered the laughs in its debut season. The entire cast has something to offer, though Laurence Fishburne’s character could use more development than peering over the newspaper with raised eyebrows. Jane the Virgin is a charming sitcom despite the zany nature of its telenovela antics and impossible plot twists. Marry Me is a worthy successor to Happy Endings and has some of the sharpest and quirkiest wit of any comedy currently airing, and Casey Wilson is a gem.

Comedy Busts

Unfortunately, the bust list is pretty long for new comedies. A to Z, Bad Judge, Manhattan Love Story, and Selfie have all been cancelled, and Mulaney is likely destined to the same fate. They all failed for different reasons, but we can’t imagine any being cult classics that were “cancelled too soon.” The McCarthys is broad and fails to land its punchlines, and it was a bit surprising that The Millers was cancelled in its place. We can’t imagine The McCarthys making it to the Fall 2015 schedule either, so count it as another bust and not worth your time to catch up.

Drama Must-Binge

There were many highly-anticipated drama premieres this fall, and quite a few are worth following if you get the chance. The Flash is a fun action-packed show with a compelling over-arching plotand you definitely don’t have to be a comic book fan to enjoy it. How to Get Away With Murder has an interesting concept and blends procedural elements with an intriguing season-long plot. Gotham still hasn’t hit its stride, but it is an entertaining way to spend an hour each week . Gracepoint is well-made and the main cast is so talented, and although we can’t help but prefer the original Broadchurch, we can’t wait to see “whodunnit.” Madame Secretary is topical, with stories ripped straight for the headlines, and Tea Leoni delivers each week. The team is split on Forever, with some liking the supernatural twist and the cast chemistry, others finding the crime-of-the-week nature a bit tired.

Drama Busts

Formulaic procedurals like Stalker and extraneous spin-offs like NCIS: New Orleans aren’t worth a binge watch. Scorpion is another crime-of-the-week show that never really gels.  Constantine is a comic book adaptation that never really comes together. Mysteries of Laura is pretty tedious and fails to strike the balance between comedy and drama.

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