Every now and again I like to take the opportunity to give you a heads-up on all the new and returning TV shows about which to give a damn. I give multiple damns and I write this column to share some of my damns with you, my damn good friends. As we approach the autumn fleet of programming on and off the idiot box, I’m here to help you sift through the dummies for the quality. There’s a lot of garbage heading down the pike in September, and a few nuggets of gold. Okay busy beavers, to work:
Hand of God (New) – Amazon Instant – This promising-looking show features everyone’s favorite former beast/motorcycle gang leader, Ron Perlman, as a judge who starts seeing visions of god. This is one of Amazon’s new shows with a lot of heat on it, and it’s high on my list of shows to give a chance. Also stars the great Garret Dillahunt and Dana Delaney.
The Awesomes (Season 2) – Hulu
This cartoon show with adult themes has a whacky-junior-varsity-
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (New) – CBS – Sidney Reilly wrote eloquently about how much this show is guaranteed to continue sucking, just like its predecessor (with David Letterman) did and all the other current competitors do. The late night format should be dead. But this is the premiere with Colbert, so it may be worth a quick look to confirm Sidney’s fears. Stars Stephen Colbert.
The League (Season 7) – FXX – This show has always been up and down. At first, I loved it. As a fantasy sports devotee it was all I had ever hoped for. Then it turned horrible. Then it sort of got good again, then it got really bad. This is the last tilt for the show, and it’s probably got enough juice left for one decent run. Stars Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll and Jon Lajoie.
Longmire (Season 4) – Netflix
The streaming behemoth’s latest reclamation project is the mysteriously cancelled (despite high ratings) AMC orphan based on the popular series of novels about a Wyoming sheriff and his small town with a high murder rate. This show is definitely for the older set, but is surprisingly lithe and ended the third season with a block-rocking cliffhanger that promises madness for season 4. Stars Robert Taylor, Katie Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Doll & Em (Season 2) – HBO – The premium channel that invented premium channels is usually at its best with insider-Hollywood types of shows and fish-out-of-water shows, so my expectations are pretty high for season 2 of this show which combines the two premises. Emily Mortimer is always good too, so that doesn’t hurt. Stars Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells
The Bastard Executioner (New) – FX – Yikes, this is conflicting territory for me. On one hand, this is the new show by one of my favorite show writers and show runners ever, Kurt Sutter (The Shield, Sons of Anarchy). On the other hand, as my wife helpfully pointed out when I showed her the trailer, it looks like a cheap TV parody of the worst King Arthur-ish movies out there. Basically Game of Thrones without any magic or production values. This could get ugly… Stars Katey Sagal, Stephen Moyer and Darren Evans.
South Park (Season 19) – Comedy Central – Do I even need to explain this one? The best and funniest cartoon show of all time is back for a 19th season of debate moving brilliance. I’ve never missed an episode and I don’t intend on starting now. Stars Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Moonbeam City (New) – Comedy Central – This Miami Vice cartoon send-up will have to work hard to not get typecast as a cheap Archer rip-off. That said, it has tons of promise and a fairly interesting animation look. Stars Rob Lowe, Will Forte and Elizabeth Banks.
Gotham (Season 2) – Fox – The first season of this breakout hit started strong-ish and then got increasingly obnoxious. But it was far from the worst thing to come from the DC canon, and is light years more watchable than Arrow or The Flash, its two sister shows. In case the title didn’t tip you off, it’s in the Batman universe.
By Ygal Kaufman