I wouldn’t doubt that The Michael J. Fox Show feels tremendous performance anxiety. Expectations run high whenever a big-name star like Fox makes a comeback, of course, but add to that how desperately NBC needs a reliable performer on Thursday nights (or any night, for that matter), and you’ve got more riding on your shoulders than most sitcoms ever have. It’s clear that NBC would like MJF to be the network’s answer to ABC’s Modern Family, and that’s a lot to live up to. I can’t speak to how MJF will perform for the network; Thursday’s episode, “Art,” took a sizable ratings dip, but it’s not impossible that the series could pick up a bigger audience as the season goes on. But as the show seeks out that audience, it seems to be having some trouble figuring out the kind of show it wants to be, and if it doesn’t get a handle on that, it’s going to dip in quality as well.
Has there been an actor in the last thirty years with broader appeal than Michael J. Fox? I mean that in the best way. Immediately likable, charming, unthreateningly handsome, quick with a snappy one-liner. What’s not to like? He’s Alex P. Keaton! He’s Marty McFly, for crying out loud! So it comes as little surprise that, after a long Parkinson’s-induced break from demanding film and television roles, he would return triumphant to anchor a series that looks to be every bit as likable as he is.
The Fall 2013 television season begins in earnest this week, and as promised, I plan to review several new and returning series. Things will kick off Tuesday with the return of Fox’s New Girl and the pilot episode of the same network’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but before we begin, here’s a quick rundown of the shows I’ll be covering, the nights and times they air, and (roughly) when you can expect my reviews to go up here at Awful Art Party.
Let’s start with shows I’ll be reviewing week to week…
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Season 1 (Fox)
When it airs: Tuesdays at 8:30 PM; premieres September 17
Expect my reviews: Tuesday nights
New Girl – Season 3 (Fox)
When it airs: Tuesdays at 9:00 PM; premieres September 17
Expect my reviews: Wednesday mornings
Parks and Recreation – Season 6 (NBC)
When it airs: Thursdays at 8:00 PM; premieres September 26 (1-hour premiere)
Expect my reviews: Friday afternoons
The Michael J. Fox Show – Season 1 (NBC)
When it airs: Thursdays at 9:30 PM; premieres at 9:00 PM September 26 (1-hour premiere)
Expect my reviews: Thursday nights
Parenthood – Season 5 (NBC)
When it airs: Thursdays at 10:00 PM; premieres September 26
Expect my reviews: Saturday mornings
I simply lack the time to cover all of the shows I’d like to on a weekly basis, so there are four additional shows premiering this Fall that I plan to drop in on 3-4 times throughout their seasons’ runs. Here’s the info on those…
Bob’s Burgers – Season 4 (Fox): Airs Sundays at 8:30 PM; premieres September 29
Homeland – Season 3 (Showtime): Airs Sundays at 9:00 PM; premieres September 29
Masters of Sex – Season 1 (Showtime): Airs Sundays at 10 PM; premieres September 29
American Horror Story: Coven (FX): Airs Wednesdays at 10 PM; premieres October 9
Given that 1) reviewing television is hard work, 2) I also have a real job to attend to, and 3) any new shows may very well be canceled due to poor ratings (although I don’t foresee either Brooklyn Nine-Nine or The Michael J. Fox Show, series for which there’s been a sizable amount of critical and promotional buzz, facing this problem), I reserve the right to revise this schedule at any time. In fact, because so many more excellent shows that I’d like to review return in early 2014, there will likely be some significant changes to my review schedule (and how I review particular shows) after we reach the mid-season point in December. I’ll keep readers abreast of these changes, however, and I look forward to getting things started tomorrow night. Happy viewing, everyone!
The fall TV season kicks off soon–very, very, very soon)–and, having been in a bit of a rut writing-wise the past couple of months, it occurred to me that this TV season might be as good as any to start a project I’ve wanted to take on for quite some time: writing weekly episode reviews. Of course, anybody who knows me knows that I keep up with waaaay too many television shows during the calendar year to ever review all of them, so I thought starting with just 3-5 shows for the time being would be a good plan.
The question then becomes, which shows do I review? Since most of my readers at the moment are friends, family, and curious acquaintances, I thought I’d put that question to you guys. Ideally, I would like to focus more on new shows than on veteran ones, given that it’s a good policy to get in on the ground floor, but I’m open to seeing which shows others would like to read about.
So, if you don’t mind, please take a second to respond to the three poll questions below. I’ve limited the answers to things I’m already watching, in the case of veteran programs, or, in the case of new shows, things I was planning to watch anyway. However, if there are other shows returning this Fall that you’d be interested in reading about, you can let me know in the “Other” slot. Thanks, friends!
***A QUICK NOTE: In the case of returning dramas, I just realized that the Sherlock season 3 return date hasn’t been officially set yet. I’d read somewhere that it would be late fall, but it’s looking like that is no longer happening and that an early 2014 premiere will be more likely (poor Sherlock fans really never catch a break, do they?). I will probably review it whenever it airs, given that it’s only 3 episodes, so your choice might be better spent on a different show.