The first day of fall means it’s time for a number of things — sweater weather, apple picking and pumpkin-spice everything. But most importantly, it means it’s time for fall television premieres. The end of September brings a plethora of new shows, some sure to be America’s next obsessions and some so bad that they’re physically difficult to get through (looking at “Man with a Plan”). The following are some shows to consider checking out during what is actually the most wonderful time of the year.
“Designated Survivor” — The premise of this show is so good that it’s almost shocking that it’s never been done before. Kiefer Sutherland of “24” (2001-2010) plays Tom Kirkman, the U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, who happens to be the cabinet member selected to stay behind during the president’s State of the Union address. This is customarily done to preserve one person in the order of succession in case disaster strikes the Capitol Building during the speech and everyone there is killed. In “Designated Survivor,” the worst-case scenario happens and Kirkman is thrown into the presidency, left to deal with this crisis.
“Designated Survivor” premiered on Sept. 21 and airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
You should try this show if you like: “The West Wing” (1999-2006), “Homeland” (2011-present), Kiefer Sutherland
“The Good Place”– Kristen Bell stars as Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who spent her life selling fake vitamins to old people, only to die and get sent to a heaven-like afterworld after having been mistaken for a lawyer who freed innocent people from death row. She now has to learn to be good in order to stay in the Good Place and avoid being discovered and sent to the Bad Place, which is much less nice and has much less frozen yogurt. Despite its outlandish premise, “The Good Place” so far appears to be a clever comedy.
“The Good Place” premiered on Sept. 19 and airs on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.
You should try this show if you like: “Parks and Recreation” (2009-2015), “Community” (2010-2015), pretending to be a good human being
“Insecure” — About to turn 30 and unhappy with both her professional and personal life, Issa Dee (played by Issa Rae) is the center of this deeply relatable and real comedy. The show follows Issa as she tries to take back control of her life. Co-created by Larry Wilmore, the pilot is currently available online through HBO and is already receiving praise from critics.
“Insecure” premieres on Oct. 9 and airs on Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.
You should try this show if you like: “Girls” (2012-present), “Broad City” (2014-present), feeling better about your lack of direction.
“Pitch” — This is another show with a great concept. Kylie Bunbury plays Ginny Baker, a woman with a killer screwball who becomes the first female pitcher in Major League Baseball. The pilot flips back and forth between the day of her first game as a San Diego Padre and flashbacks that show how she got to this point. The show is very self-aware; it does not shy away from the pushback that Baker would receive from men had this happened in real life. In general, “Pitch” might overdo it a bit with the melodrama, but, the fact is, breaking any glass ceiling is pretty dramatic.
“Pitch” premiered on Sept. 22 and airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.
You should try this show if you like: “Friday Night Lights” (2006-2011), “A League of Their Own” (1992), feminism
“This Is Us” — This show had a lot of hype before its premiere because it touted a “big twist” at the end of the pilot, so it might be worth tuning in just to find out what it was, although a quick Google search might also suffice. If people are looking for shows that divisively try to make them cry, then this program is perfect. In actuality, “This Is Us” seems like a nice family drama reminiscent of “Parenthood” (2010-2015). The ensemble itself is clearly a hit boasting the likes of Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and recent Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown. The pilot follows Randall (Brown), a man about to meet his biological father, Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley), twins who are unhappy with different aspects of their lives and Jack (Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Moore), a married couple about to have triplets.
“This Is Us” premiered on Sept. 20 and airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC until Oct. 11 when it shifts to 9 p.m.
You should try this show if you like: “Parenthood,” “My So-Called Life” (1994-1995), ugly-crying in your pajamas