Fall 2018 New Show Reviews

You know, the ones that I watched and cared about. I was going to go by premiere date, but I don’t have it in me to figure out what came on when, so I’ll just go by station.dddd

Rel (FOX)

I watched the first two episodes. I actually liked the pilot more than the second episode. The pilot was kind of clunky at the beginning, but I found myself laughing a lot by the end. (Loose boots! So random, so funny.) The second episode stayed clunky and was weirdly preachy and heavy handed in its messaging. I mean, for a second episode. So basically, the tone wasn’t consistent between the two episodes.

Lil Rel is good, the brother is super charming (and cute), and Sinbad is a delight as always (and it’s nice to see him working again, though I’m not sure about that second episode hair). I like the best friend, and I hope there’s more Marla Gibbs because, obviously, she is a queen.

I’ll watch again because I liked the first ep so much, but if the third ep is like the second, then I’m out.

The Cool Kids (FOX)

Okay, so the only thing I like better than teenagers is old people, so you know I was all over this. I had the opposite experience watching this than I did with Rel, in that I thought the first episode was terrible (but I liked the premise and the characters enough to watch again), but I thought the second episode was hilarious.

Leslie Jordan is a freaking DELIGHT and scene stealer, and the chemistry between the four was a lot more evident in the second episode. Also, can we just take a moment to talk about how Vicki Lawrence looks so much better than she did when she was playing Mama on Mama’s Family, even though she is now older in real life than that character was? So, yes, I’ll watch again.

The Good Place (NBC)

good place jason
source

This isn’t new, obviously, but it is still a joy and a delight, and I couldn’t let it pass without comment. LOVE this show. LOVE Simone. Love, love, love, love, love.

I Feel Bad (NBC)

Okay, first of all, this show has the EXACT same set up as Black-ish except it’s about a woman and focused on gender instead of race (though the fact that the main character is Indian is important and race is, of course, mentioned). It starts with her at home, then she goes to work and talks to her work bros about whatever the issue of the day is, and then goes back home, etc.

I don’t know if I’ll watch this again. The show is funny enough, I guess (and I liked both the first and second episodes for different reasons, and they worked and didn’t work for me for entirely different reasons), but I almost always have a very hard time getting into stories about Women Who Have It All, But Still Don’t Think They Do Enough. As a single mother who was basically poor the whole time I was raising my daughter, that struggle is just so not relatable to me and, quite frankly, I hate those types of stories. Like, I get it’s a real problem some women have, but I’m just not interested.

Single Parents (ABC)

I have only watched the first episode so far and am halfway through the second, but I’ll probably keep watching because I’m interested in seeing where it goes (even though there was so. much. singing. in the first episode). Plus, see above re: my interest in stories about single parents, which I didn’t explicitly state but that I’m guessing you figured out.

I love Brad Garrett, the twins are amazing, and the whole exchange the main dude and the Asian dude had about main dude’s pants in the first episode was hilarious. It doesn’t take much is what I’m saying.

A Million Little Things (ABC)

The only reason I watched this is that James Roday (from Psych) is in it. I was fully prepared to hate it because a card explaining the title came up at the beginning and then they explained the title IN THE EPISODE, and I just do not need that kind of hand-holding. I also thought I was going to be zero percent interested because of all the focus on the men, but the women and their friend group seem like they’re going to have their own weight, and we all know which content I’m here for (plus James Roday, obviously).

My friend Casey tells me the second episode takes care of some of the issues we both had with the first one, so we’ll see if I can keep up with this hour-long show, especially because I also liked ANOTHER hour-long one (see below). Though I guess this is the one plus of Jane the Virgin not coming back until mid-season.

Murphy Brown (CBS)

Right, so, as I was watching this, I distinctly remembered watching the original with my grandmother and not really being into it. Nothing has changed. I’m tempted to watch it again but probably won’t unless absolutely nothing else is on.

God Friended Me (CBS)

My friend Deb said, and this is a direct quote, “I knew you’d be on board for the god show. You love your god shows.”

This is a fact. I was super excited about this show because I am still searching for that good Joan of Arcadia equivalent show that won’t get canceled [pours one out for Kevin Probably Saves the World].

I just finished watching the premiere, and I liked it! The whole cast is superb. Brandon Michael Hall is a charmer; I see why he keeps getting cast as the lead on shows. Joe Morton is Joe Morton, so you know. Plus, the hacker best friend was just delightfully charming and funny. Also, it’s a god show, so you know.

(The only thing I didn’t like is that there’s an actual God account on FB, and the show never acknowledged that. I’m not sure how they would have, but it’s just a thing I noticed.)

Also, here is the comment I made about the show on Twitter:

Okay, they had to have done colorblind casting for #GodFriendedMe because no black man would break into an abandoned house in the middle of the woods and then say, “HEY, IT’S ME.”

Also, it was obviously written by white people. I’m just saying.

So, anyway, I will obviously keep watching.

The Neighborhood (CBS)

Okay, I thought this was fine, but they didn’t push or complicate some of the jokes enough. At one point, Cedric’s character (will I ever learn his name or always call him Cedric?) makes a joke about how white people moving in changes the neighborhood, and it’s supposed to be poking fun at white flight comments BUT the writers ignored that white people moving into certain neighborhoods could be a signal of gentrification (something that’s prevalent in LA, so it’s actually a legit concern).

The cast is freaking amazing. Besides Cedric and Max Greenfield, Tichina Arnold plays Cedric’s wife, and the guy who played TK in The Mayor is in it, and omg, he is just as delightful on this as he was on that.

I’ll keep watching.

Happy Together (CBS)

I only watched this because black people! on CBS! I actually wound up liking this premiere more than The Neighborhood (which I was excited about because Cedric! Tichina! Max! black people! on CBS!). It made me laugh, and Cooper is actually pretty charming, and I like the main couple’s dynamic. Also, Claire’s parents are HILARIOUS. They were probably the best part of the whole thing

So yeah, I’m going to keep watching.

Whew, that was a lot and a reminder that even though it doesn’t feel like it, I still do watch a lot of TV. And it looks like everything I’m watching is new except Mom and The Good Place. Oh, and Jeopardy! of course.

Did you watch any of these shows? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought about them.

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