Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Grades for Returning Television Shows

After tackling the new shows, I had to grade the returning series as well, and yes I watch this much television.  At the moment I would say that network television is averaging a solid B, with a few shows rising above the crap.  My one complaint is that "great" television comedies have seemed to disappear, there are few which live up to standard.  I want to see comedy rise from the ashes, but until then here is a look at how this seasons returning shows are doing this year.

Once Upon a Time (ABC) B

Finding and defining this version of Neverland is more interesting than anything they did in the second season, and we are only three episodes into the third season.  While the CGI is a bit jarring, that storm in the first episode almost looked as fake as the background in the Pilot of The Ringer, but I digress.  The creators have found the perfect Pan, and I like the depth in the direction of the material, the fact that both Henry and Emma were orphans and the connection with the lost boys, and well girl.  Good start!

Revenge (ABC)-B-

Another show which had a bit of a sophomore slump, is doing much better.  Revenge had a good last episode, but the season reminded me of Alias, when it got too bogged down in this outside organization playing puppet master.  This season is back to the red sharpied basics.  I would urge this show to end this season, and end on a high note.  I think if they continue on the path they would be grasping at straws.  Good start and Nolan, and Patrick, yes please!

The Good Wife (CBS)-A

The best network television series on the air, this season is not holding anything back, and unlike last year the show is not starting from a downward place, they are firing on all cyllinders.  The pilot which was directed by Robert King is one of the shows best episodes connecting the case with the behind the scenes drama.  Catch up and watch this show.

How I Met Your Mother (CBS)-C+

Better than last year, but spending the whole season on wedding weekend, and Marshall's story of a road trip with Sherri Shepherd is terrible.  I loved the mother, thought she was great, she and Lily had wonderful chemistry.  I also like all the connections from past guest stars.

New Girl (FOX)-B-

The second season did not hit a slump, but rather kept the creative juices going.  This season has let me down Schmidt is becoming a one note selfish characters, in the past his quirks were endearing, but he's not growing.  There has to be something better for Winston than becoming a cat person.  I like Jess and Nick together that has saved the show for me, where I can rank it higher.

The Mindy Project (FOX)-D

Probably one of the worst sitcoms on the air, I love Mindy Kailing, but this show is beneath her, and it never had any direction.  The show has meandered through trying to use famous people as potential beaus, or rivals to save things, but when the material is bad, its bad.

Modern Family (ABC)-B-

Tough call, the first episode back had me lulled into a false sense of security that this show was back with the Mitch and Cam engagement story line.  At the moment my favorite character is Lily; she is the one who consistently delivers.  I think the show is funny, but has lost a lot of its sheen.  With that said how can you hate this show? 

American Horror Story: Coven (F/X)-B+

My favorite premiere of all three of the different series, the episode was tight, and put things in motion to becoming a blend of darkness, and humor, something Ryan Murphy excels within.  This show has seemed to be the most comfortable material for Murphy, and it shows, the cast the writing great start to Coven.

Parks and Recreation (NBC)-A-

What can I say about the show consistently snubbed by the Emmy Awards, it still has it!  While the second episode was a bit of filler to push story the third episode entitled "Dopplegangers" is the reason this is one of, if not the best comedy airing on television.

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)-C+

Still faltering, with the interns no one cares about.  The only reason to watch this is leaving at the end of this year, and that is Sandra Oh; she is far too talented for this material.  I am curious to see if this show can recover without her.

Scandal (ABC)-B+

Shonda is on her A, well B+ game with this show, the heightened drama is jam packed, and even with the far fetched plots and melodrama, there is something fun, and juicy to turn into week after week.  Kerry Washington and team help add to the fun of course.

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