The hits and misses of the fall TV line-up


Actors Ben McKenzie (left), Richard Kind (right) and Donal Louge in ‘Gotham.’ Courtesy Photo.

Paola Garcia and Angelica Wallingford

The weather is a little colder, leaves have started to change color and TV networks like The CW, ABC, FOX AND CBS have released an onslaught of new shows this fall. It’s likely only a couple from each channel will live to see the light of another season. Here’s a review of a few of fall’s most anticipated shows.


Money, secrets, corruption and power; just another typical cliché crime drama right? In the case of Fox’s new show “Gotham” it couldn’t be more wrong.

“Gotham” starts off with the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Rookie Det. James Gordon and veteran Det. Harvey Bullock, played by Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue respectively, are assigned to the case. Gordon quickly realizes that all is not what it seems to be in Gotham City and unbeknownst to him the murder of the Wayne’s is the catalyst that throws Gotham into chaos.

A major highlight of the show is Robin Lord Taylor’s portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot better known as the Penguin. Taylor’s take on the iconic villain is refreshing and brilliantly played out in a way that makes the viewer feel sympathetic towards this small-time criminal who is working his way up Gotham’s underworld. McKenzie’s portrayal of an up-and-coming James Gordon is interesting to watch and is somewhat relatable. Gordon is just a guy trying to do his best in the situation he’s put in. There are also subtle hints skewed throughout the episodes at other popular characters that may or may not be appearing in future episodes.

For “Batman” fans the liberties that the show takes with the beloved characters may be an annoying turn-off from the series. However, for the casual fan or avid TV viewer, it’s an intriguing and thrilling crime drama guaranteed to keep the viewer on their toes.

“Red Band Society”

Everyone is thinking it, but they’re also saying it, “Red Band Society” is a little too similar to another FOX series: “Glee.” Although it draws from other works, namely “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Breakfast Club” and even the British version of “Skins,” the show adds its own twist of modernity with a heartwarming storyline executed by a group of ill teenage misfits.

In this show we meet Kara, a blonde cheerleader with a heart disease, Jordi and Leo who both suffer from Osteosarcoma, Dash, the rule-breaker who does not let cystic fibrosis slow him down and Emma, a 15-year-old with an eating disorder. They all inhabit the pediatric ward of Ocean Park Hospital. The introduction to this unique set up is left to the last member of this group, who we later find out is a character named Charlie, a kid who has been in a coma for months.

There’s no denying that there is a good plot in there, yet the fact that there’s no shortage of “inspiration” from other works it’s what leads to believe that this show could be good, but could it be good enough? While the pilot was charming, the show so far from being a hit.

“How to Get Away with Murder”

Producer Shonda Rhimes’ newest addition to ABC’s Thursday night line-up isn’t a winning case; it’s an obstruction of justice.

Viola Davis stars as Professor Annalise Keating, a criminal defense attorney and professor at a law school in Philadelphia. Keating is a no nonsense and ruthless lawyer with a “take no prisoners and win at all costs” attitude whether it be in the courtroom or the classroom. She selects five of her students who impress her the most to come work for her and her team. At certain times the show cuts to a forest where it’s discovered that Keating’s students have murdered someone and they argue on how or if they should dispose of the body.

The problem with the show is that the pacing is way too slow and most of the characters are just boring. The flow of the show is somewhat confusing as well. It shifts from what appears to be past and present at random times leaving the viewer to guess when certain events took place. The twists and turns are sometimes too frequent and it makes it feel as if the show is trying way too hard to be an edgy murder mystery.

“The Flash”

The newest adaptation of this superhero from the DC Comics family arrived on TV screens this fall and it’s clear from the start that Barry Allen is here to stay. “The Flash” is a spin-off from The CW’s current vigilante hit “Arrow.”

In the first episode we are introduced to Barry Allen, played by the naturally dorky Grant Gustin. As a child, Allen has the misfortune of seeing his mother mysteriously die and his father be erroneously convicted of this crime . Iris West, Allen’s love interest, is also his life long partner-in-crime since her father took Allen in when we was left an orphan all those years ago. Finally, on a night where everything seems to go wrong after an unexpected explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs , Allen gets struck by lightning. We are then left to explore Allen’s new powers with him before we see him fight this episode’s viallain.

Throughout the pilot we see very strong, powerful and emotional performances but the best were delivered by John Wesley Shipp who plays Allen’s father and Jesse L. Martin who plays Det. Joe West.

“The Flash” reportedly debuted to 4.8 million viewers, scoring solid numbers for The CW, according to Lighthearted, fun and genuine support for this hero make the show a definite early hit.