I'm enormously grateful that the fall television season has begun and I'll have a full set of shows, until the holiday hiatus. While I probably watch too much television, I can't but help and appreciate the amount of craft that goes into quite a few modern shows. There's no sense in missing a Golden Age of television writing, effects, and acting.

Here's what I'm looking forward to this year.


Last year's big surprise for me was ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat", a sitcom about a second generation Chinese family growing up in Florida in the 1990's. I'm really digging these sitcom "period pieces" and this one's as good as (and maybe a bit better than) "The Goldbergs". I'm looking forward to seeing if "Dr. Ken" joins this list or flames out.

Another unexpected development has been to what extent I've gotten sucked into FX Network's slate of comedies. It started this summer with Denis Leary's "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll", and I saw enough upcoming promos to introduce me to my favorite new show "You're the Worst" followed by my replacement for "The Middle", Judy Greer's "Married".

"The Big Bang Theory" poor premiere episode landed that show square on the bubble.

Comic Book Dramas

Absent from my watchlist this year are both "Gotham" and "Constantine". "Constantine" was a fine show that was cancelled, and I found "Gotham" to be too tedious to continue watching. CW's "The Flash" and "Arrow" are some of my favorite shows and I'm looking forward to the midseason "Legends of Tomorrow" to round out that universe a bit. (I'm also pleased that LoT will be CW's last DC show – we have plenty.)

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." improved significantly last season and I'm sufficiently invested in Marvel's cinematic universe (Inhumans!) and OCD that it'll take quite a bit to knock this show off my schedule. In particular, I'm really looking forward to seeing to what extent Marvel Studios (movies) leverages Marvel Television (television) to lay some groundwork before next summer's "Captain America: Civil War".

CBS's "Supergirl" looks promising, but while I'll check out the pilot, I don't anticipate it joining my weekly "must watch" list.

Fantasy Dramas

As part of the FX assault in my television watching, I've been enjoying Kurt Sutter's "The Bastard Executioner". It seems to be second only to HBO's "Game of Thrones" in terms of production values and scratches the same itch. I don't know were the show's headed, but I'm along for the ride.

"Supernatural" grudgingly remains on the watchlist mainly for the decade of viewing that I already have invested in the show and characters. I'm not expecting anything stellar from this show, but it'll be interesting to see where the Winchester brothers go next.

Similarly, I'm looking forward to the return of HBO's "The Leftovers" next week. The story in that one has been shaky for me, but the actors on that show do a hell of a job.

"American Horror Story: Hotel" is looking promising, if a bit over-Gaga'ed. Looking forward to comparing that to the recent Wildclaw Theatre production of "Motel 666".

Finally, the last two episodes of "Doctor Who" have been kicking Dalek-ass and taking names. I wasn't a big fan of the last season (esp. after binging through the modern Who last fall), but since last year's Christmas episode, Capaldi's rapidly becoming one of my favorite Doctors. (He's currently tied at #2 with Eccleston. Tennant's still #1.)

"The Walking Dead" is on the bubble for me. I'm not sure I'll resume watching it or not. My "Walking Dead" is the one in the comic pages.

Realistic Dramas

I swore off the Dick Wolf Chicago universe this season, largely because I'm not willing to play the crossover game more than once a season. (Multiple "Chicago PD" and "Law and Order: SVU" crossovers led to me missing key parts of stories.) I like the shows and love that they're made and cast locally, but I'm worn out on them.

I added a couple of the new dramas on my watchlist: "The Player", "Limitless", and "Minority Report". All of these are on the bubble and while I enjoyed the pilot for "Limitless", the formula of turning it into a police procedural lost my interest really quickly. I'll check out some of the others, but I'm skeptical that they'll stick around through the rest of the season on my watchlist.

Reality Television

I'm sufficiently invested in Kevin Smith's SMOD universe that I'll certainly be watching "Comic Book Men". (Though I find Walt and Bryan to be much more entertaining on the "Tell 'Em, Steve Dave!" podcast.) I'm also looking forward to the return of my favorite fake reality show, "Moonshiners".

I'm also hoping that Irish Mike makes a comeback with "Big Giant Swords". That was a fun series.

I'm also giving "Shark Tank" another try this season. I've already been rewarded by seeing one of my favorite small companies pitch their product.

My Fall 2015 "Must Watch" List

FX: American Horror Story, You're the Worst, Married, The Bastard Executioner
ABC: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Goldbergs, Fresh Off the Boat
CW: Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash
HBO: The Leftovers, Real Time with Bill Maher
Comedy Central: South Park
BBC: Doctor Who
FOX: Family Guy
AMC: Comic Book Men
Discovery: Moonshiners
NBC: Shark Tank

What are you watching?

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