Fall Premieres: Let’s Talk TV!

on September 10, 2015

Those of you who know me know I’m a TV addict. I always have been. Yet, when I was working full time in the State Capitol and started seriously writing, I gave up television for THREE YEARS. It was difficult, but I love writing and books more than television, so it was worth it. Once writing became my full-time job, I added television back into my schedule. With kids, it’s even more fun … though because of my deadlines I often have numerous shows recorded and have to play catch up.

Here are the premieres I’ve put on my calendar (in the order of airing.)

castle-header9.21: CASTLE

Season 8 and I still enjoy this show. Why? Characters. Some seasons are better than others, but this is one of the shows I watch with the kids and they love it. My daughter Kelly, now in college, cracks up when things Castle does remind her of me. Like his screensaver, his procrastination, his propensity to google himself … My daughter Mary has been watching re-runs all summer (of CASTLE and BONES) and when she doesn’t know something, she looks it up. (Of course, she did ask me what a prostitute was … and I told her, simply, that it was a person who has sex for money. She put her hand up and said, “I’m sorry I asked.” LOL.)

I really didn’t like how they resolved the S6 finale with Castle being kidnapped and I thought their explanation was pathetic. It was the over-arching storyline that just didn’t work. But the individual stories were among their best. I still think that S2 and S5 are my favorites, and most of S6, but I’m optimistic that between the writers and the stellar cast that S8 will be well-worth my time.

10.1: BONES

11 seasons! BONES is one of those shows that irritates me more often than not … but I still watch. The first five seasons were fabulous, truly, then they completely screwed up the romance subplot between Booth and Brennan. (As opposed to how CASTLE writers handed Rick and Kate, which was perfect.) While they redeemed themselves with a strong S8 and how Brennan adjusts to being a mother, lately they’ve gotten far too preachy. I don’t need a lesson of the week in my entertainment. I just want a good story well told — just like in the books I read. I still like the revolving interns … but they’ve become weaker over time, unlike the first few seasons after Zach. Still, this is another show my teenage kids enjoy, so I still watch it.

the-blacklist-season-310.1: THE BLACKLIST

My son Luke and I watch THE BLACKLIST and we certainly enjoy it … both seasons were sharp, original, fun. James Spader makes this show. No one else could play Red Reddington. I’ll admit … I’m not quite sure how they are going to work through Elizabeth Keen killing the US Attorney General in cold blood in front of witnesses, but I’m willing to go along for the ride because so far, it’s been a twisty, complex show I’ve enjoyed. And while I never thought they could redeem Tom Keen … well, I was wrong. He’s become one of my favorite characters and I’m eager to find out what he does next.


This is my 11 year old son Mark’s favorite show of all the shows we watch. He won’t admit it because his older brother prefers ARROW, but it’s the one show he’s constantly asking about. At first I was surprised that THE FLASH received higher ratings than ARROW because I truly felt that ARROW was a superior show with superior storytelling and writing. But I know what it does better — it’s lighter, it’s more “superhero,” and it appeals to a broader, younger audience. I enjoy it, but it’s not in my top five shows. However, Grant Gustin the star is fantastic. If only Iris wasn’t such an annoying twit.

izombie_promo_poster-860x28010.6: iZombie

My favorite new show last year. Starring Rose McIver and based on a graphic novel series, iZombie is the best show that debuted in the mid-season … and possible all of last year. I love it. A totally different take on Zombies, so for those who find THE WALKING DEAD too violent and graphic, watch iZombie. The premise: Dr. Liv Moore became a zombie after a party and she can only maintain her humanity by eating human brains. So she quits her job at the hospital and becomes an assistant at the morgue where the M.E. is the only one who knows her secret. When she eats brains, she has some of the memories and personality of the deceased, and she and the M.E. convince a detective that she’s a psychic, so she helps solve murders. David Anders (HEROES, ALIAS) is the villain and absolutely fantastic. This is darkly humorous, not graphic (though a few gross-out moments) and has a stellar cast and writers. You want to watch it. I guarantee you’ll love it. Try to catch up on the short Season 1 (only 13 episodes) because it ends on a cliffhanger. It’s created by Rob Thomas of VERONICA MARS fame. If you liked MARS, you’ll love iZombie.

Arrow_Promo10.7: ARROW

I would have to say that ARROW is my second most anticipated premiere this year. I love this show. I write a series of articles with historical romance author Lavinia Kent for the USA Today HEA Blog, and we have so much fun going back and forth after every episode. I’ve watched this show from the beginning and have loved the growth of the characters and the rich darkness of the storytelling. The choreography is incredible, and I’ll re-watch fight scenes just to help me with writing my own action sequences. The writers are among the best in the business, and I was willing to trust them because they never let me down … until the Season 3 finale. I just watched the first two seasons over again this summer with my college girl Kelly and realized that yes, they let me down. It wasn’t up to the other two season finales. I didn’t buy into it as much.

That said, I saw the trailer of Season 4 and I CAN NOT WAIT. I have to regain my faith in the writing staff, and I might not be quite so quick to go along for the ride as I was for the first three seasons. But if the trailer is any hint of what is to come, this is going to be a fabulous season. Maybe the best yet. I love the trailer so much, I’m including it here:


I’ve watched SUPERNATURAL from the beginning with my two oldest, then last summer I re-watched the entire series (9 seasons at that point) with my son, Luke. We watched S10 together, and he’s very much looking forward to S11. I go back and forth with this series. It should have ended after 5 seasons like Eric Kripke planned. It had a perfect story-arc. Yet … there have been moments of brilliance in the series in seasons 6-10. And, it’s interesting that my son prefers the later, darker seasons. I loved Kevin. I love that Sam and Dean have a home base. Crowley is one of the best villains ever. Castiel is a terrific characters. And Jared Padelecki and Jensen Ackles have really sustained the show. I rarely feel like they’ve phoned it in. There are some story decisions I haven’t liked, but for the most part they’ve kept me entertained. It’s not one of my favorite shows anymore (like it used to be) but it’s still on my must watch list.

walking-dead610.11: THE WALKING DEAD

This is it — my #1 most anticipated show of 2015. I’d watched the first season and a half when they were first aired, but about 6-8 episodes into S2 I lost interest. Something happened in the storytelling, and I also had read about the show runner being fired and the desire of the network to save money by limiting locations. So maybe I was jaded. But this summer, my son wanted to watch it so I started from the beginning … and we watched all five seasons in less than three months. I can not say enough about this show, but for writers … for any storyteller out there … this is the show you must watch. Character. Action. Conflict. Motivation. Heartbreak. Suffering. These actors are the best in the business, and the writing is outstanding. You need both to succeed, and TWD has it. The show has only gotten better. The S5 finale was as good or better than any finale that came before it. I feel like I know these people. And the S6 trailer … wow. Just wow. This show is not for the faint of heart, but there is no better television series today.

Grimm-Season-510.30: GRIMM

Starting S5, GRIMM left us with a major character dead and huge conflict … and I loved it. This is a show that I started from the beginning and immediately loved, then read about how it was on the verge of being cancelled. I knew why — it was a bit different and the acting in the first few episodes was rough. But around episode 6 or 7, it all clicked, and then it was renewed. Once that happened, I think the cast and writers redoubled their efforts to produce a quality show, and they haven’t failed me. As long as they don’t create some stupid way to bring back the dead character (she needs to stay dead … she did something that could not be forgiven, and the writers better not mess that up) this show is going to only get darker and more exciting. This is another show my boys are totally looking forward to.


This isn’t my favorite, but my son Mark (the fan of THE FLASH) absolutely loved this show last year, so it’s on our must-watch list. I enjoyed it, but more I enjoyed how my two youngest totally got into the show and the history. Anytime a series can grab the imagination of kids, I’m all for it.

That’s ten shows that I must watch … it sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but not as many as I used to watch.

There are some shows not on my must watch list, though I’ll probably still watch them. They’ll be DVR’d and I may have a marathon after a deadline for some of them, but they’ve all lost something through the years … Also, none of these shows I watch with my kids, which could be why they are at the bottom of my priority list.

NCIS: I loved this show for a long time, but the last 3-4 seasons were blah. S12 was actually better than the last few, but like BONES they’ve gotten a little preachy and I feel that the cast has lost the love of the stories. I don’t know why. I would like them to end strong. Like, with this season.

NCIS: New Orleans: I know a lot of people didn’t like this show. I did. Just not enough to put it on my must watch list.

L&O SVU: I loved the reboot when Elliott left … but I haven’t finished watching S16 which tells me that it just doesn’t interest me as much anymore. But I’ll probably still watch it. Maybe.

Marvel’s Agents of Shield: I really kinda liked this show, but not enough to finish S2 … though I have it on iTunes. I like it, but it doesn’t quite grab me like ARROW and FLASH do. (However, I much, much, much prefer MARVEL big screen moves to DC big screen movies. Go figure.)

Haven: I love this show, but haven’t finished S5 yet. I want to. Just haven’t done it. So I won’t start S6 until S5 is done. Might need a marathon or something.

Now, what about new shows? I don’t watch reality television, I don’t particularly like sit coms (NEW GIRL is the exception), and I’m not big into drama unless it’s crime drama. I tried REVENGE and it was interesting for awhile, but it was basically a soap opera and I got tired of it. There are a few shows I’m thinking of starting:

heroes rebornHEROES REBORN: I’m skeptical, but the trailer didn’t look that bad, and my kids loved HEROES and want to try it. So we’re probably going to watch it. I just hope they don’t f*^# it up like AMC did FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. We saw two episodes and I don’t think we even care what happens to anyone. Sad, because TWD is my favorite show right now. But one of the problems with spin-offs of really, really popular and extremely well-done shows is that you have huge shoes to fill. FWD failed. I might give it a few more episodes … Anyway, I hope REBORN works.

MINORITY REPORT: I was skeptical of this show until I read the synopsis and now I’m putting this on my watch list. I will give it a try. It takes place 10 years after the movie, the pre-cog program was disbanded, and one of the pre-cogs comes back to help a detective prevent crimes … but you can’t put people in prison anymore for crimes they haven’t committed yet. However … I fear that the futuristic setting will fail in the ratings like the really fun and really good ALMOST HUMAN failed. My boys were totally upset when they cancelled that show, as was I. I thought it was terrific. But obviously we were in the small minority. I fear MINORITY REPORT may suffer the same fate. I hope not … if it’s good.

QUANTICO: I can’t see this being good. I don’t know why, but as soon as I heard about it I gagged. Still … I might have to watch it because this is something I know a lot about. I am a bit interested in how they run with the plot line. I’m on the fence. But this is one I may DVR and see what they do with it …

Of course, there are some shows we don’t know about yet … like SHERLOCK. Season 4 anyone? Hell yes! But when? All we know is that it’ll be coming in 2017. But that’s one show that will be worth the wait.

What about you? What are the shows you’ll absolutely, positively watch this fall? What new show are you most anticipating? What show has failed you and you doubt you’ll return? Let’s talk TV!