Clear your DVRs and make some room; it’s Fall TV Season! From android cowboys and “He-Man” in real-life, to way too many spinoffs and superhero shows, here’s a look at five of the more intriguing newcomers hitting screens this season.
Designated Survivor (ABC)
This new political thriller imagines what would happen if a terrorist attack claimed the lives of the POTUS and all but one member of his/her Cabinet. Oh, and did I mention it stars Keifer Sutherland as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development turned POTUS? If the Secretary of Education could protect the colonies in Battlestar Galactica, I’m sure the Secretary of Housing can take care of one little country. Designated Survivor premieres on Wednesday, September 21st.
Why Watch: Fans of 24, myself included, can’t wait to see Sutherland leading a new political thriller. With a strong supporting cast, including Natascha McElhone, Kal Penn, and Maggie Q, Designated Survivor looks like a step up from the cookie-cutter procedurals currently ruling network primetime.
Son of Zorn (FOX)
Imagine if He-Man had a family in suburban America. I mean the 2D, cartoon version of He-Man. That’s precisely the premise on which this new, half-hour, single-camera comedy exists. Zorn, the defender of Zephyria, conqueror of the tribes of Agon, decapitator of the dark herdsmen of Grith, returns home from his animated fantasy realm to raise his human, teenage son in suburban Orange County. Son of Zorn premieres on September 25th.
Why Watch: It’s simple. This show is the brainchild of two of the most original, out-there producers working today: Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The same guys responsible for The LEGO Movie, the upcoming Han Solo film, The Last Man on Earth, and another, promising upcoming FOX series, Making History.
Luke Cage (Netflix)
The newest Marvel series to hit Netflix is also the most socially relevant and timely. In a recent interview with The Undefeated, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker said, “This is a great era for a bulletproof black man to exist.” I find that superhero stories work best when they are grounded in some kind of reality or hard truth. Will Luke Cage be the hero we need in 2016? We’ll see when the entire first season premieres on September 30th.
Why Watch: I could say you should watch simply because the other Netflix Marvel shows, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, have been so great. But honestly, you should watch because the trailer does its job so well in selling the humanity, brutality, and honor of this incredibly strong character.
From MacGyver and Lethal Weapon to The Exorcist, there are a ton of remakes and film to TV adaptations hitting screens this Fall. But there is one spinoff among the herd that I’m 100% ready and waiting for. Westworld takes a 1973 film from Michael Crichton and turns it into what looks to be a dark, sexual, and tense sci-fi series like only HBO can produce. The film showed us what happens when a theme park caters to its guests’ most violent desires, and the androids masking the illusions become sentient. As a series, Westworld‘s writers will be able to delve deeper into the desires and god complex of the creators of this world, and truly capture something original and unique in the realm of sci-fi storytelling. Westworld premieres on October 2nd.
Why Watch: We need a great, adult sci-fi series on television. With an Ex Machina vibe, J.J. Abrams producing, and a stellar cast led by Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, and Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld will hopefully be just that.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America)
Based on the “Dirk Gently” novels by Douglas Adams and written by Max Landis, this new BBC America series follows time-traveling “holistic detective” Dirk Gently, and Todd Brotzman, his reluctant partner played by Elijah Wood. This show just looks like a fun ride, a strange cross between two other BBC greats, Doctor Who and Sherlock. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency premieres on October 22nd.
Why Watch: There is one line Elijah Wood says in the trailer that sets the tone and has 100% sold me on the show already: “I am not your Watson, asshole!”