Below is my list of TV Shows (Drama) that deserve your attention this fall season.
The Playboy Club
Set in 1963, ‘The Playboy Club’ will go through a lot of comparisons as soon as it hits the airwaves. When you watch the pilot, you will see that it has many similarities with ‘Mad Men’. Excessive drinking, smoking, womanizing and a lot of hair gel. But if you get past that, you will realize that this is a very different show. It centers around the lives of the employees aka ‘Bunnies’ at The Playboy Club in Chicago. It has skimpy clothes, the local mafia and murder thrown in for good measure.
Many have already criticized the pilot for being extremely offensive and not being fit for family viewing. But I highly recommend it. It does have its downsides, yes. For example, Eddie Cibrian – the male lead is trying too much to be like Don Draper. Too much time was spent on insignificant characters too at one point.
But, if I were you, I would watch it. It is easily one of the best shows this year. The only downside to this is that it is going to be on NBC in the USA. This might be the reason for its early demise. This show would have been a perfect cable show. Having said that, the show’s female-driven cast is reason enough to give it a try.
Based on an Israeli TV Show called ‘Hatufim’, ‘Homeland’ is probably my favourite TV Show premiering this fall. It is a fantastic psychological thriller created by Howard Gordon (Executive Producer for ’24’) with a plot that is super interesting — A CIA agent suspects that a recently released prisoner of war might actually be a terrorist sleeper agent. It stars Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in roles that they are made for.
I highly recommend this show. The end of the pilot was like a sucker-punch in the face. Must be watched by all means.
PS – If you like storylines of this sort, check out the old Showtime series called ‘Sleeper Cell’.
PPS – Psst! The pilot of ‘Homeland’ is available on the interwebs.
Hell on Wheels
The first reason to watch ‘Hell on Wheels’ is that it is going to be on AMC and they rarely disappoint. FUCK YOU AMC, FOR CANCELLING ‘RUBICON’. Hmm. Moving on.
Set in the 1860s in a boom town near the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, ‘Hell on Wheels’ is a Western that follows a former Confederate soldier who’s looking for revenge on the men who killed his wife. The trailer looked brilliant. When I watched the pilot, I was floored. I haven’t seen attention to detail in a TV Show like this since ‘Mad Men’. The storyline is very gripping too. Highly recommended!
Person of Interest
Person of Interest delivers the elements of a crime procedural in an unpredictable manner. Michael Emerson is brilliant in his role as Finch. There are undercurrents of Benjamin Linus in his behavior. But I am sure that will pass once he finds his own feet as Finch. Jim Cavaziel is very good in his mysterious character Reese – A special agent whose past is unknown. The writing on the pilot was tight for most parts barring the painful and over-dramatic dialogues at times. But it comes from writer Jonathan Nolan and producer JJ Abrams, so I have faith in this show. If you liked the concept of ‘Minority Report’, you will love this show as the premise is similar. If the writers flesh out the characters well on the show in the coming episodes, the series should work.
I have only one concern. This show is on CBS. CBS rarely lets shows go in the direction the producers want. Hence, this show runs the risk of getting mediocre very soon. But you should definitely give it a shot.
Kelsey Grammer, like you have never seen him before.
The mayor of Chicago, Tom Kane (Grammer) has always used any means necessary to get the job done, and has been very successful at it. But when he’s suddenly afflicted by a degenerative brain disorder. I haven’t watched the pilot of this show but from whatever I have heard and what I saw in the trailer, I cannot wait to watch it.
Probably the most awaited show of the year. The most expensive show of the year with a budget of an average of $4 Million per episode.
The year is 2149 and Earth is running out of resources to sustain mankind. Scientists of devised a way for humans to travel 85 Million years back in time to the prehistoric era where dinosaurs exist. The hype and the buzz around this show is only because of dinosaurs but take my word for it — This show is much more than that. The two-hour TV premiere of this show will be the biggest TV event in my opinion. And even if the story doesn’t excite you, I suggest you watch it for the sheer scale at which this project is being executed. Also, there’s this dude called Steven Spielberg producing this show. Just thought I’d let you know.
My concern is that this show is a huge production commitment that FOX has made. An average episode takes 8-9 days to shoot and then 6 weeks for post-production. Plus it doesn’t shoot in the USA. It is shot in Australia. They will be able to take this forward only if enough people watch it and they can make profits on the money that they are pumping into this project. Let’s hope they do.
PS – The show premieres on Star World in India on the 8th of October at 9 PM. Just a little over a week after it premieres in the USA.
Tomorrow, I shall do a similar post for comedies.