The first week of the new television season is always a bit nerve wracking, especially to a TV junkie like myself. There are always at least a half a dozen pilots that look promising, and as I sit and carefully plan out my DVR schedule, I always wonder which show will get that permanent record slot in the series manager.
Of course, the 2016 Fall pilot season is no different, and after two weeks gone, several have already been deleted (including some returning shows, but that is another post entirely).
The three picks below are some of the best new shows to hit the airwaves this season. If you are looking for something new to watch, start with these — you won't be sorry.
1. The Exorcist
Based on the fan-favorite horror film of the same name, The Exorcist (Fox) follows the story of the Rance family, who is plagued by a demon. Angela Rance (Geena Davis) enlists the help of the local priest, Father Tomas, who is new to the idea of possession and exorcisms. However, once he begins having visions and dreams of his own, Tomas is more and more convinced of the Rance family's plight.
The show successfully captures the intensity and uncertainty of the movie, while modernizing the overall story. Airing on Friday nights, The Exorcist is a must-watch for any fan of the genre or cult-classic film.
2. The Good Place
What happens when a person dies? Does their soul go to Heaven? Hell? Well for those people who live a life of service, honestly and overall goodness, they end up in The Good Place (NBC). Makes sense, right? But, what happens in the case of mistaken identity? When Eleanor (Kristen Bell) dies, her soul ends up in the good place, a neighborhood of heaven created by one of God's architects, Michael (Ted Danson). Eventually, Eleanor realizes that there has been a mistake and that she really belongs in the bad place. With the help of her soul mate, Chidi, she begins to learn to be a good person so she can stay in the Good Place.
What makes this show so worthwhile? The characters are just as outrageous as the fictional world itself, and the cast breathes a special kind of life into this show that has severely been missed on television. Kristen Bell is funny and a great joy to watch as the unapologetic and unethical Eleanor, as she schemes her way into being a permanent resident of The Good Place. A great 30-minute comedy to add to the DVR every Thursday night on NBC, you won't be sorry to give The Good Place its own place on your DVR list.
3. This Is Us
I would be shocked if you hadn't heard about this show, as it seems to be the most talked about series of the new season. There is a really good reason for that — it is the BEST new show of the Fall season. This Is Us (NBC) follows the story of a group of people who all seem to have something in common. Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) are married with triplets on the way. Then there is "The Big 3" — Randall, Kevin and Kate, who are all celebrating their 36th birthday. As the show goes on, it weaves a tale of success, failure, loss, relationships, family, obligation, self-motivation, and most of all, love.
As someone who doesn't regularly tune into dramas, This Is Us appealed to me because it didn't feel salacious or over the top. The twists and turns come in the way the story is told, and not necessarily the drama among the characters themselves. The way the characters are written and portrayed by this incredibly talented cast makes you instantly like them. You cry when they cry. You laugh when they laugh. You genuinely root for their successes and mourn their losses. Don't be the only one who can't follow along when the office chatter turns to the latest episode of This Is Us. You're going to want to experience it with the rest of us, and be apart of "The Big 3" fan club. Set your DVRs for Tuesdays at 9:00pm on NBC.
One thing that most of these shows have in common is family. How do they compare to some of the most iconic TV families we know and love?
Have you already watched any of these? Which new series were your favorite of 2016?