Lot 48: fall tv: what to watch, what to skip - part i

October 13, 2016

fall tv: what to watch, what to skip - part i

i have an obligation as a tv writer and blogger to tell you what to watch this season! right?  just humor me.  we have some really good new shows this season and some really not so good ones.  i will also place guesses how many episodes each show will get and if it gets canceled.  indulge me while i tell you what new shows you need to be watching, what shows you should already be watching, and what new shows to skip.  also, here is my breakdown of the anatomy of a tv show; how a show goes from idea to screen and what happens to keep it on the air.  evverrrything you need to know.  also, shows are ordered in 3, 6, 13, and 21-24 episodes, typically.  okay! let's go!

new shows you need to watch

speechless.  this is a true gem.  this is my favorite new show by far this season.  i follow alllll my favorite writers on instagram, and when jeremy bronson (the mindy project) posted about this show on instagram a while before it aired, i got really excited because he was involved in it.  this show is about a family with a special needs child, jj.  jj can't speak at all or walk.  he has a laser pointer attached to his glasses and a board that has letters and words on it so he can communicate.   minnie driver is the mom and she is hilarious  this show is HILARIOUS.  it would have been so easy to make this topic dramatic and take it too far, but they went the opposite direction.  all the characters are unexpected and are characters i have never seen before and how the world around them treats jj is unexpected.  all the kids at school are really welcoming to the point where its comical.  and!  scott silveri created it, which i didn't know until i watched the pilot!  he created one of my favorite shows, go on, that got canceled after a season which i was really mad about.  scott never fails to take a difficult topic and make it incredibly funny and heartwarming without it being cheezy.  

the verdict: unfortunately, i don't know if people are going to watch a show about a boy with a handi-capable.  and minnie driver's character is a bit sterotypical, (incredibly fiesty and a force of nature to make sure her son has the best life possible!) which won't do the show any favors.  her character is really funny and one of my favorite parts of the show, but i don't see this going past 13 episodes.  i will be really happy if it does, but i wouldn't bet on it. i don't think it is going to draw a large enough audience.

another gem.  i don't want to give anything away, but this show is about a family.  the pilot kind of blew my mind because i didn't see it coming even though it really was right in front of my face.  the characters are so different from one another and are multi-dimensional.  again, this show is created by one of my favorite writers, dan fogelman (writer of crazy, stupid love) and he also created the new show pitch which i am not even listing on here because its sports so i couldn't care less. and i can't watch every new show!  there are too many! speechless and this is us are the two shows that i look at my hulu queue everyday to see if there is a new episode because i don't have a tv that works so i don't really know what day these shows air.  there was a week where there was no new this is us episode and i was really pissed.  i promise, you will love this show. it is incredible.  for a writer, sometimes i don't have a way to put my feelings into words and you'd think i'd be better at that.  i have my moments.  but i'm trying to tell you that everything about this show is beautiful and you have to watch it! 

the verdict: because this is a dan fogelman show, it has already been ordered for 13 episodes.  i think this show is going to go all the way, for multiple seasons.  it's going all the way, baby.

this show i debated putting into the watch column or the skip column.  it really isn't that great.  which i'm really disappointed by because it was created by michael schur (creator of parks and recreation and brooklyn 99, writer on the office) so you would think that it would be amazing.  the story is pretty boring but the writing is top notch.  it has all the writers from  brooklyn 99 and parks and recreation like matt murray, alan yang, (congrats on your emmy alan!!) aisha muharrar (the episode she wrote was the funniest yet) and joe made.  and yes, i just listed those off the top of my head because i memorize every single writer that writes every single episode of the shows i love.  i know their resumes, i know where they have been and if they were a producer on this or that.  how else am i supposed to become a great comedy tv writer??  by educating myself.  learning how these writers got where they are.

anyway!  this show is a little disappointing and wow i haven't even told you what its about yet.  kristen bell dies and goes to "the good place" because thats what they call it, not heaven or hell.  there was a mistake and kristen bell was a really bad person on earth and should definitely be in "the bad place" but doesn't want to go to eternal damnation, so she is trying to earn her place in the good place.  this could easily be but joe, aisha, alan, michael and matt make it funny.  so i watch.  but don't really enjoy.

the verdict:  michael schur.  really disappointed in you.  i struggle to watch.  give us a better storyline!  you have proven to be a master at that!  what's up?  canceled after 13 episodes tops.  i'm inclined to say canceled after 6.  but we'll see.

i've only seen the first episode of this but i like it.  i love that it is a different angle of a lawyer show.  instead of a show where they start the trial, see it through, get a conviction, this show looks at cases and challenges them to see if the convict really was guilty.  they challenge old cases.  what a new take, right?  its witty and fast and not boring at all, which i usually find lawyer dramas to be.  and!  it is produced by the production company i used to work  for!  i love watching something and seeing names of people i know in the credits. also, it trips me out that the goalie from miracle  is one of the main actors in it.

the verdict:  i think it might go for a season.  it's got the right parts. what are the right parts?  what do i know?  has any of my writing ever been on the screen?  no, but i'm sure that won't stop me from writing a blog post about it.

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS.  tracey wigfield (writer on the mindy project and 30 rock she won an emmy with tina fey for writing the series finale of 30 rock) created this show and it premiers in january.  i heard the news not from tracey (how do you not instagram when your tv show gets the green light? i'm gonna shout it from all the rooftops i can when that happens to me!) but from jack burditt's instagram account because it seems he is a writer on the show. tina and robert carlock (friends, unbreakable kimmy schmidt, 30 rock) are producing and it is sure to be EXQUISITE.  but i am sad that tracey and jack left the mindy project.  

the premise of the show is based on tracey's relationship with her mother.  its about a news producer whose mother decides to get back in the workforce and lands a job at the news show that the daughter works at.  its sure to be hilarious as i'm sure that the mother will be embarrassing and awkward!

ps.  how do i get in these writing groups?  notice how all these writers i have mentioned cross over and have all written on the same shows?  it's like "hey!  i created a show! come write for me." i want that so bad if you prick me that is what will come out of my blood.

the verdict:  well, it hasn't aired.  but it's tracey.  and tina.  and robert.  and jack.  how could this go wrong?  i don't think it will.  

you know what, this post is getting realllly long and i still have a lot of opinions to share because i care deeply, so let's split this up so i don't lose your interest, okay?  next i'll write about what shows that have been on the air that you need to watch and then i'll write about new shows that you should skip.  

*update: part ii and part iii


  1. I absolutely love This Is Us and I didn't guess the plot until it was revealed to everyone. I really think it will go on for a long while because it's very dimensional and the stories could go in many different ways. I wanted to love The Good Place but it's very meh, I couldn't get through the first episode.

  2. I really appreciate these posts, thank you!

  3. Personally, I'm enjoying The Good Place. It's not amazing or anything, but I think it's cute and very watchable as just something fluffy and fun.

    This is Us is so good! I wish this had been released on Netflix so I could just binge the whole season at once. Episodic network TV is killing me!

  4. I'm loving This is Us!! And I'm so excited to watch Great News!

  5. I love This Is Us and The Good Place!


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