Fall is officially here! Although if you’re in London at the moment it might as well be Winter…
Anywho, a few weeks I dedicated a post to the top 5 television shows I was most excited to make their fall premier or return. Well, I finally watched all 5 said shows (adulating means I do not have as much time to watch everything as soon as it comes out).
So, here’s how they’ve all stacked up so far:
Dynasty, Series Premiere
The consensus: This rebooted Dynasty revolves around the wealthiest family in the world. I had never watched the original 80’s show this drama was based on, but the trailer promoted plenty of wealth, glitz, betrayal, lust, and scandal to entice me. I then thought that perhaps this show would become a hard pass for me- Buzzfeed did an article on the new Fall 2017 premiere shows to miss/give a chance/be excited for. I was disappointed to find that the series had fallen under their ‘give it a miss’ category. The points made for why were pretty sensible.
However, this morning I decided to give it a chance and make up my own mind- and I was so glad I did! I have a feeling that I’m about to walk into another Friends from College hole where I’ve fallen in love with a series that is unfavourable to popular opinion. I haven’t read many reviews for Dynasty as of yet, but a quick Google search tells me that the reception is lukewarm at best.
In my opinion, the show managed to deliver everything it promised in its’ promotional trailer: wealth, glitz, betrayal, lust, and scandal engulfed within a world where the 1% are the 99%. Enough happened in the first episodes to promise viewers that this show isn’t about dragging storylines but not enough to make you feel like there’s nothing left to explore. Within a one hour episode, we see two characters get engaged and married- and it’s no where as simple as that as you can image. If you’re a Gossip Girl fan (like myself) I have a feeling you’re going to love or hate this series. I fall under the category of people who love it (for now anyways, will keep you all posted on how the season develops!)
Room for Improvement: Okay more like BIG room for improvement- the first screen shot this show will have to be held accountable for is a screen shot of the Trump family. Fair enough, the few seconds they were on the screen were to use examples of dynasties, but then they had to give this vile weasel and disgusting excuse of a human being more unnecessary attention by pointing out that one of the characters voted for him in the election. I am not going to talk politics here, but Dynasty writers/producers, I hope this is the last we ever hear of it.
Odds of Renewal: 50%- It is way too early to early to tell, it’s only had one episode so far. It’s always about ratings, and I’m not sure how indicative the reviews are of actual public perception. As long as it keeps the drama and excitement alive, I think it has a strong chance of making a stellar first season debut that will have viewers demanding a second one. It also has the added advantage to be showcasing after Riverdale (which is all the buzz right now, will get to that one next), and it’s been acquired by Netflix which means a way better chance of acquiring more viewers.
Riverdale, Season 2 Premiere
The Consensus: I loved it! Spoiler alert ahead everyone, as I want to discuss the madness that was this episode, you have been warned!
The first season of Riverdale ended on a a big cliffhanger- Archie’s dad (Fred Andrews) was shot by a mysterious man in a hooded mask. The second season kicked off quite literally where we left off. So let’s get to the big question that everyone had on their mind, did Fred Andrews make it? Yes he did! Perhaps Fred isn’t the most exciting or essential part of Riverdale, but I would definitely count him as the only ‘good’ parent on this series and the most grounded character. I was rooting for him (perhaps because I watched the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and I will always have a soft spot for Luke Perry).
We didn’t find out this fate until nearly the end of the episode though, and there was plenty of thrills going on in between to keep the momentum of this overnight sensation going. We all know that Cheryl Blossom is ‘bad’ (in a way that makes you love her, for the purposes of the show of course), but she showed us a whole other side of her epic evilness when we discover that she nearly burnt her mother to a crisp- and it was no accident. She then makes it officially clear to her mother that she’s not messing about (unless she had any doubts to begin with) by pressing on her breathing tube far more than momentarily while stating that she’s boss of the Blossom manor moving forward.
The Riverdale Crew also waste no time in trying to figure out who was behind the seemingly intentional hit on Fred Andrews. While Betty, Archie, and Jughead seem to be inclined towards digging in Southside Serpent territory for answers, Veronica shocks us all when she not so subtly insinuates to her own mother that she put the hit out on Fred Andrews- she does this while they’re sitting on their knees praying. This moment was also built up with Veronica beginning the episode by serving herself a glass of Cristal for breakfast (she’s meant to be like 16), and her mom appearing to be more upset over the fact that it was meant for her father. While I thoroughly enjoy seeing Veronica’s sinister side make a grand appearance, I couldn’t help to think that if I ever dared to speak to my mom the way Veronica does, la chancla would be making a far more sinister appearance.
This jam-packed premier episode (which included plenty of Betty and Jughead moments for all you Bugheads out there, and a rather inappropriately timed Veronica and Archie (Varchie) shower scene) ended with one character’s death that we would have all guessed to be Fred Andrews. Instead, it was creepy Ms. Grundy, the music teacher from season one who had a fling with Archie. We find out this teacher makes wildly inappropriate advances on all of her students, and in her reappearance during the last few minutes of the season two premiere, we see her kissing another one of her new teenage students goodbye. She is then strangled to death by the same person who attempted to kill Andrews. I don’t think anyone will be sad to see Grundy go, and I’m glad that Riverdale quickly ended the glamorisation of teacher-student relationships because it is not okay (I’m looking at you Pretty Little Liars writers).
Room for Improvement: This is a brilliant show, but the jump between brilliance and perfection lies in the details. I’m pretty sure Riverdale is meant to take place in 2017, so I’m not sure why the hospital looks like it takes place in the 50s and why Pop’s isn’t an official crime scene- instead Pop is preparing to mop up the blood himself and serves burgers and milkshakes to Bughead in the same joint. Also, are we really meant to believe that Veronica and Archie are getting it on within a few hours of his dad getting shot, while he was reluctant to even leave the hospital while the doctors had him under observation?
Odds of Renewal: 99.9%- Something would have to go very wrong for this show not to be renewed. Fan or not, Riverdale is all of the buzz all of the time at the moment and it’s hard to imagine that changing anytime soon.
How to Get Away With Murder, Season 4 Premiere
The Consensus: Not the most exciting premiere but I have high hopes for the rest of the season (I have yet to get around to the preceding episodes, hoping to today!). Once again, I would like to caution that spoilers are ahead so read at your own risk…
A show that consistently delivers those ‘I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING’ screams- HTGAWM pulled the biggest twist of them all by tragically killing off the character at the epicentre of the series- Wes. Whether you loved him or hated him, there is no denying that Wes was a genuinely good person who got handed a rather unfortunate card in life. So not only was his murder tragic due to the injustice and heartbreaking end that it brought to a character who already suffered so much, but the show killed a main character we probably all assumed was invincible. Before the season ends, we find out that this murder was organised by no other than Laurel’s father, Wes’s girlfriend and unknown to Wes baby mama.
Season 4 clearly has a lot of material to work with right off the bat- but it dabbled in all of it at a rather slow pace in the season 4 premier. We find out that Laurel is still pregnant (although she’s lied to her father and said she’s terminated the pregnancy) and we also discover that she already knows that her father is responsible for Wes’s murder. We are also treated to a depressing ‘last supper’ hosted by Annalise Keating, where she fires everyone- including Bonny (the basic gist is she’s setting them free). Generally, the whole episode just felt very slow. We see Annalise at home with her parents, find out Laurel knows about her father but we don’t yet know how she’s figured that out, Connor and Oliver talk about the pros and cons of marriage, and Asher and Michaela (mostly Michaela) having a a moment of crisis post getting fired from Annalise. I can’t really remember what Frank and Bonnie were doing but it’s not worth mentioning.
However, despite this ‘iffy’ season premiere, you can always count on HTGAWM to drop a bomb on it’s viewers in the last few minutes. Every season revolves around a new mystery- this one flashes forward to three months with Laurel in a hospital bed looking very injured and Frank being the first one to greet her when she wakes up to tragically find she has lost her baby.
Room for Improvement: I am sad to say that this is probably the worst HTGAWM episode I have seen, but hopefully it’s the last time I say that because I am a huge fan of the show. The series needs to tread lightly in not becoming too slow as its’ success is aimed on the consistency of delivering jaw-dropping moments. Fortunately, the last few seconds of the series delivered that with the new Laurel mystery, so let’s hope that we can all go uphill from here.
Odds of Renewal: 90%- This Shondaland series may not perform as well as Grey’s Anatomy (it is an entirely different type of show after all), but I would like to think it’s doing well enough to be renewed for another season. Unlike Greys Anatomy, but like Scandal, HTGAWM has an expiry date. There is only so much mischief these characters can get themselves into before it reaches a point where you need to call it a day. My estimate is that this season will deliver shocking moments through the Laurel mystery, and it’s last season (which I would guess to be season 5 or 6 at most), will see all the character’s on trial for all of the crime they have unwillingly and willingly gotten themselves involved in.
The Big Bang Theory, Season 11 Premiere
The Consensus: It was sweet, funny and light-hearted- everything I look in a mainstream comedy. Big Bang Theory has never been original, but that doesn’t make it unenjoyable. It borrows from the same formula that made Friends so successful- it delivers studio laughter jokes and develops characters that audiences become emotionally invested into. Surprisingly, BBT has managed to stay on the air for 11 seasons while still exemplifying character development is possible in a comedy and that joke recycling isn’t a requirement (I’m looking at you Modern Family).
Season 10 ended with Sheldon proposing to Amy. So, how did that turn out? Spoilers ahead obviously…
Amy said yes! And it was as sweet and funny as you’d expect a proposal from Sheldon to go. We also find out that Bernadette is pregnant and other than it is just a nice and funny episode. Not sure I’ll be continuously watching the show, but I might give it a good binge-watch at the end of the season.
Room for Improvement: I know this is a comedy but I am legit all for Leonard and Penny getting seperated. Are they even really that into each other? Perhaps a separation-on-verge-of-divorce with some temporary love interests in between is exactly what these two need to spruce up their relationship again.
Odds of Renewal: 100%- The network has already confirmed season 12 (and I would place a 75% renewal chance for a season 13).
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 3 Premiere
The Consensus: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend once again has managed to sing its way into my heart. Where is Rebecca Bunch, has she gone out to brunch? That’s the question on everyone’s minds during the season 3 Premiere of this quirky musical dramedy. Not to sound like a broken record, but spoiler caution ahead….
Season two ended with Josh leaving Rebecca at the altar to become a priest, and Rebecca declaring revenge on Josh Chan for all the suffering he’s caused her. Season three begins only two weeks after the disaster almost-wedding, with everyone in West Covina wondering where Rebecca has disappeared to- not even Paula knows (but at least she knows she’s alive because she liked her Ice Bucket Challenge video from a few years ago). Quite quickly though, we discover that Rebecca has been self-loathing in a hotel room despairing at where her life went wrong, but then realising she must fulfil her promise to destroy Josh Chan. This inspiration is then fuelled by a rented Fatal Attraction DVD.
Rebecca returns to work with darker hair and looking completely drop-dead gorgeous (which is rather distracting for her boss Nathaniel, who we discover is very much falling for Rebecca). However, Rebecca is dismissive of Nathaniel as she’s on the hunt for revenge, and quickly gathers her team (Paula, Heather and Valencia) together to reveal her epic Chan-destruction plan- to send him cupcakes of her poop. This plan is unsurprisingly not brought with warm reception from her gal-pals, the shit plan is shit to put it bluntly. Rebecca is very sensitive however and her friends promise to go along with her next plan, which is to cast Josh Chan lookalike to make a ‘fake’ sex tape in which fake Chan proclaims he hates Jesus. Paula convinces Heather and Valencia to go along with it in hopes that she will realise herself that it is a batshit crazy idea. The plan however goes so-too far (they find someone who might as well be Josh’s doppelgänger), that Paula has to pull the plug on the actual shoot day.
However, Rebecca ends the episode sneakily reverting back to her original shit plan where she delivers poop cupcakes to Chan.
As always, the show delivers a lot of laughs through a lot of ridiculous drama, and wonderful songs highlighting the emotions of the characters (Let’s Generalise About Men, we’ve all been there!)
Room for Improvement: Riverdale is brilliant, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend successfully took the leap into perfection- there is none in my opinion.
Odds of Renewal: 80%- I wish I could give it a higher percentage chance but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has never performed stellar when it comes to ratings. However, I am hopeful that it will have at least another season in it!