Staff Picks: 18 TV Shows We’re Excited to Watch This Fall and Beyond

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Fall TV Preview
So many options is never a bad thing.

Couch potatoes, rejoice! The Fall television season is here! We at GeekDad are thrilled for the new fall TV schedule, especially when we’re living in what some are calling the new Golden Age of television. Some of our favorite shows are long-established winners while others are earning some serious buzz before ever gracing the airwaves. Regardless, with the variety and quality of programming out there, I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy in our latest staff picks.

Longmire (Now Playing on Netflix)
I know I’m much, much younger than Longmire‘s target demographic, and I’ll freely admit that I checked the show out in the first place because of Katee Sackhoff, but I was immediately hooked. Longmire is a modern western, based on a series of novels written by Craig Johnson. It’s mostly a crime-of-the-week drama, but also has bigger season-long threads dealing with politics, domestic violence, and US-Indian relations, along with a series-long subplot dealing with Longmire’s attempts to solve his wife’s murder. Sackhoff, Robert Taylor, and Lou Diamond Phillips lead the cast, but it’s really the writing that makes the show tick. For a crime drama, there’s very little shooting and car chasing; instead, the characters really try to solve the crimes with their minds and their wits. I was among those very disappointed when A&E canceled the show after its second-season cliff-hanger, and can’t wait to binge on season 3 on Netflix. (Season 3 streaming on Netflix; seasons 1 and 2 also on Netflix and on disc.) – Rob Huddleston


Continuum (Now Playing Fridays on SyFy)
It’s a shame how little attention this Canadian-produced SF show gets. I once joked to my mother that it was “Time Trax,” but with better acting and writing. There’s a general exploration of the nature of time, good and evil, and what people would really do if they could go back in time. Oh, and one of my favorite things? Unlike many shows shot in Vancouver, this actually takes place there. Neat. Since then the show has elevated the remaining six seasons may or may not wrap the entire show up, but I’m ready to see what happens. – Mordecai Luchins


Minority Report (Monday, September 21)
Dash is one of three “precognitives” who can see crimes committed in the future. When the dedicated Precrime police department was shut down following the events of the 2002 Tom Cruise film, the precogs went into hiding. 11 years later, Dash is back in the city and trying (unsuccessfully) to stop crimes on his own. Staying off the grid, he’s looking for his missing twin brother while avoiding those who want to catch him and learn more about his powers. The artistic direction matches the film closely. However, in 2002 it was a glimpse of the future to see multitouch computer interfaces, self-driving cars, and advertising that tracks you through the store and reacts to your buying history in real-time. Now these technologies are a part of our daily lives. The show runners will need to come up with some new near-future technology to maintain the same sense of wonder from the original movie. Minority Report will premiere on Monday, September 21st at 9pm following the 2nd season premiere of Gotham– Stephen Clark


The Muppets (Tuesday, September 22 on ABC)
It’s been over thirty years since The Muppet Show aired on prime time television, but this fall ABC is bringing the iconic felt characters back into the limelight. In this new iteration, we get to see the Muppets in their “real” lives as they produce a television show for Miss Piggy. If you like the fake documentary style of The Office or Parks and Recreation, then the new show will seem familiar. Although the content is aimed a tad more toward nostalgic adult viewers, Muppets Studios VP Debbie McClellan assured Dragon Con audience members that the show will be suitable for families. Based on the ten-minute series pitch ABC showed off, it is clear that the same tongue-in-cheek humor is awaiting longtime fans and new viewers alike. – Preston Burt


The Goldbergs (Wednesday, September 23 on ABC)
Why are you not watching this show? Personally, The Goldbergs bears the sole responsibility for making me purchase a Hulu subscription. Unlike most shows, I’m simply unable to wait the standard week delay to watch new episodes of this nostalgic 1980-something comedy. With its identity of humor and heart firmly established in season 2, The Goldbergs continues to prove it is this generation’s Wonder Years. Ghostbuster and Pac-Man references aside, relatable family dynamics make this show accessible to any generation. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, season 3’s premiere episode themed around Risky Business should be a great way to get to know the raddest retro family on television.


iZombie (Tuesday, October 6 on CW)
It’s easy to get tired of forensic crime shows or zombie shows, but when you combine both formats with a dose of fun humor and a great cast, you get iZombie. iZombie was one of last year’s surprise hits for me. I’d read the comic and loved the humor and art and the show does a great job of capturing everything great about the book and bringing it to life. I can’t wait to see Season 2!  – Will James


Haven (Thursday, October 8 on Syfy)
Speaking of remaining episodes, Haven has 13 episodes left to make some kind of sense. Very, very loosely based on Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, the show started as a kind of “freak of the week” procedural and morphed into something just insane. There have been some dark turns (season three in particular features a very nasty serial killer), but the last season has dipped far deeper into trying to explain the overall mythology of the show (there are people with hereditary curses called “troubles” and they flare up now and then, and only this one woman can stop them) that has so clearly not been planned since day one. It will be very interesting to see how they end things for the characters and explain themselves out of the corner they’ve written themselves into. – Mordecai Luchins


Into the Badlands (Sunday, October 11 on AMC)
I’m a big fan of AMC’s output of original programming. From Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Hell on Wheels to Humans and both Walking Dead shows, the channel has more than proven its willingness to embrace genre. With Into the Badlands, the channel’s newest series premiering this November, AMC is tackling another genre that is near and dear to my film- and TV-loving heart: the martial arts genre. In fact, Into the Badlands, a series loosely based on the 16th century Chinese novel Journey to the West, looks to be an intriguing cross blend of samurai films, Westerns and even steampunk. Check out the Comic Con trailer to see what I mean. – Tony Nunes


The Walking Dead (Sunday, October 11 on AMC)
What needs to be said about The Walking Dead? It’s hard to argue that it’s not one of the best shows on TV, with its mix of action, drama, and horror. Last season left us in Alexandria, with Rick and Company struggling once again to fit into a bigger society that just doesn’t understand them, and I can’t wait to see where they’re going to take us next.
However, the thing that really has me excited about the return of The Walking Dead is the spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead. Watching the first couple of episodes of Fear made me long for the return of the main show, but not for the reasons the producers had hoped: I simply can’t stand the spin-off, with its clichéd story lines, one-note characters, and the sheer boredom that makes me almost start rooting for the walkers (if any would actually show up, that is). No, I want the main show back so that I can try to erase the memory of Fear and remember all of the things that make me love The Walking Dead. (Season 6 premieres on AMC on October 11. Prior seasons available on disc.) – Rob Huddleston


The Flash (Tuesday, October 26)
When The Flash debuted last year, I was already on superhero overload. I wondered if we needed another superhero show full of more villains of the week? After all, we had Arrow, Gotham, Constantine, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on network TV, not to mention Daredevil on Netflix! I was tired of the angst, the brooding, the heartfelt credos. Which is why, once I started watching The Flash, I couldn’t have been happier. Barry is a hero totally unlike the “totally not Batman” Oliver Queen of Arrow. He’s goofy, heartfelt, earnest, and totally geeked out about his newfound powers. The Flash is that rarest of the rare: a superhero show that’s as fun as it is engaging. It embraces everything that’s completely gonzo about comic books at splashes it onto the screen. You want a psychic 800-lb. gorilla? They’ve got that. Want a girl with a gun that turns things into gold? They’ve got that too. Where The Flash really shined in Season 1 was with its Big Bad. Reverse Flash was the perfect antithesis of the light that Barry brought to the show. Not since The Mayor from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Season 3 have I been more bummed to see a villain defeated. Cavanaugh was pitch-perfect. I suppose I can forgive it, though, as long as we get one more “Run, Barry. Run!” in Season 2! – Anthony Karcz


Supergirl (Monday, October 26)
I didn’t watch the fall pilot yet, because I’m waiting for my wife and daughter. Which is why I’m looking forward to this show. There hasn’t been a show that interested all three of us in ages. The promos and PR for Supergirl show a real love of the concept and a real desire to do it right. There’s an honest enthusiasm that is contagious. I’m probably more excited about this than I have been about any show in some time. – Mordecai Luchins


Grimm (Friday, October 30 on NBC)
Everyone has a guilty pleasure, right? Grimm is mine. The acting is spotty, the writing delightfully over the top, and the plot-induced stupidity is glaring. But gosh darn it, it’s the best show to fold laundry to. Interestingly, it’s also got a heck of a strong female cast/story element. One of my favorite scenes last season was when the gang “weaponed up.” Two characters, both introduced as love interests, were there, armed up, and went with the protagonists. There was no discussion of it not being safe of them not being up for it – they were all involved. I really like that. It almost makes up for the Dark Phoenix rip-off story that came after. Almost. – Mordecai Luchins


Ash vs. Evil Dead (Saturday, October 31 on Starz)
Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise has surpassed its cult status to become what I would consider essential horror. The film’s unique blend of horror and comedy would work perfect as a television series, which is precisely why Raimi has taken to Starz to create Ash vs. Evil Dead. Essential to the series’ success is Bruce Campbell’s return as Ash, without whom Evil Dead would lose its identity. Equally important is the use of gore and practical effects, which, judging from the initial trailer, have not been overlooked. Sure, shows like American Horror Story and The Walking Dead have elements of horror, but Ash vs. Evil Dead has the potential to become television’s purest horror series to date when it premieres on Halloween night. – Tony Nunes


The Librarians (Sunday, November 1 on TNT)
The first season of The Librarians suffered from shows airing out of order (ala “Firefly“), but in the end it became a much stronger show than it started. It’s absolutely a hammy, low-budget, scenery-chewing show. It’s fun. Considering how gloomy most of the shows I watch are, fun is a welcome addition. – Mordecai Luchins


Jessica Jones (Friday, November 20 on Netflix)
Marvel’s second Netflix original show, Jessica Jones, starts this fall. Daredevil was amazing and for that reason alone, I’m excited to see the rest of the Marvel Netflix shows. But in addition, Jessica Jones is the second of four shows that will be culminating in The Defenders. And then there is the fact that they’ve got a great cast lined up, it’s a super hero show with a female protagonist who will be more than a love interest, and they are supposedly heavily incorporating Bendis’ storylines. This is going to be a must-see this season! – Will James


The X-Files (January 2016)
Originally announced as an “event series,” internally the just-wrapped production has been referred to as “the 10th season.” However, at six episodes long it will likely play out like a mini-series with one story arc and no monster-of-the-week episodes. Even if every episode is dedicated to telling one story, there are a lot of questions to be answered. What happened with the inevitable 2012 alien invasion? What’s the new alien conspiracy uncovered by a new character played by Community star, Joel McHale? How are The Lone Gunmen and Cigarette-Smoking Man figuring into the story when they were supposedly killed off in season 9? While some of these questions were answered in the canon comic series, The X-Files: Season 10, they may choose to adopt a new storyline along with a proper, televised Season 10. Fox will air first episode on the traditional Sunday night on January 24th, while the remaining episodes will show Monday nights starting on the 25th. – Stephen Clark


Lucifer (TBD – 2016)
Now this I did see the pilot for (naughty me). Despite being named for a Mike Carey Vertigo comic book series, the book and show are nothing alike. The show is very much a quirky police procedural. Think Castle or Forever. So why the interest? I was very impressed about how the show subverted the annoying “no one can know my secret” trope. Not only does Lucifer not hide who he his, but much of the show’s humor came from the general reactions to this. Can the fun be sustained? I want to see. – Mordecai Luchins


Person of Interest (TBD – CBS)
Fellow GeekParent Corrina Lawson has basically shamed me all year for not watching POI, so I binged it over the summer. Oh my stars and garters, what a wonderful show. Great writing (well, from the first season finale on), good acting (any show with Enrico Colantoni gets me). The show went from a crime show where they try to prevent crimes before they happen to being a show about privacy and artificial intelligence to become, well, no spoilers for the non-watchers. Season four ended with our heroes in an absolute no-win scenario, as they are basically forced into an Alamo situation. Right now there is no news on whether the season will be the last or not, but the writers are treating it that way. I’m hoping it brings their A game. I may have missed the first four seasons, but I won’t miss any more. – Mordecai Luchins

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