New Castle News

The Couch Potato

September 25, 2013

The Couch Potato: Your guide to the best new shows on TV

NEW CASTLE — The air is cooling, the leaves are turning and summer seems like a distant memory, which can only mean one thing (at least for the Couch Potato): it’s pilot season!

Pilot season is a tough time for the average television viewer. There are dozens of new shows being rolled out by each network, all promising to be the next big thing. It’s extremely difficult to keep track of what needs to be watched and what should be left to die.

So your old Couch Potato is here to guide you through the muck. I am by no means a professional television critic, so I’m basing my opinions solely on 30-second commercials, articles read and my sixth sense of television promise. I literally have not seen one second of these shows, so if they are terrible, I take zero responsibility.

The first show that I’ll be checking out is “The Goldbergs,” airing at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC. From what I have heard, this is a modern version of “The Wonder Years,” if you can consider a show about the ’80s being modern. 

Patton Oswald narrates from an omniscient point in the future, as his ’80s childhood is re-enacted with George Segal (“Just Shoot Me”), Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Reno 911!”) filling out the main roles of the family. 

Since I’m an ’80s child myself, I will certainly be giving this show at least a few episode trial. With a strong cast and interesting, if not original, premise, this show could be a keeper.

The next show on the Couch Potato list is “Trophy Wife,” airing at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC, right after “The Goldbergs.”

I’m really just going on a hunch, here. I think that Malin Akerman, starring in the title role, has been very funny in almost everything she has ever done, including “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Wanderlust” and a Couch Potato favorite, “Children’s Hospital.” I expect this turn to be no different and will certainly be giving Tuesday nights on ABC my attention.

Finally, we come to NBC’s “The Blacklist,” airing at 10 p.m. Mondays. This show really can have only two possible outcomes — it’s going to be very riveting or extremely ridiculous.

James Spader always brings something to the table, whether it be maniacal looking eyes, slow and meticulous speech patterns or in some cases, general malaise (see: “The Office” for all three), but it’s always something. His over-the-top performance (again, from the commercials) makes me wonder if this show doesn’t go off the deep end within the first few weeks. NBC’s “Revolution” did just that in the PILOT EPISODE last season, but it’s back for another go around this year.

In any event, I’ll be giving “The Blacklist” a try to see which way it goes. My guess is we’ll know pretty early on.

Other shows you might be interested in are: “The Michael J. Fox Show” (9 p.m. Thursdays, NBC) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Fox). Both may have some potential with established funny men (Michael J. Fox and Andy Samburg, respectively) in the starring roles.

So take my advice or leave it. Either way, starting this week, your television menu is certainly full. Make sure you check out the spread early, as most will be rotten before long.


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