6 New TV Shows Heating Up This Season
Here are the shows that have been impressing critics so far this fall.
Showtime’s new drama The Affair has a pretty boring premise — what drama unfolds when two people married to others engage in an extramarital affair? It makes it interesting through super smart writing and a fractured storytelling technique that looks at the affair alternating between the male and female perspective. The show has a 95% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86 Metascore on Metacritic. “There is probably nothing as banal as someone else’s extramarital affair. So part of the dazzle of The Affair… is that it puts a puzzling, almost maddeningly enigmatic frame around the least mysterious impulse in the world,” said a review from The New York Times.
Transparent is Amazon’s major new entry into the world of original programming for its online streaming service offered through Amazon Prime. The show is about a 70-year-old man played by Jeffrey Tambour who transitions from a man to a woman and how his adult children deal with that change. The show was created by Jill Soloway, who’s also the woman behind series like Six Feet Under and The United States of Tara. Soloway based the show on her own experiences when her father came out as transgender several years ago, though she’s long been preoccupied with gender issues. Netflix has had great success taking big risks with its original programming and now Amazon is making the same formula work. Transparent has a 98% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 91 Metascore.
How to Get Away With Murder
How to Get Away With Murder was one of the most anticipated shows of the fall season. Coming from Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, who has been lauded for her portrayals of black women on television, and starring Viola Davis, the legal thriller follows a law professor teaching a class titled “How to Get Away With Murder” in which she chooses four of her most promising students to put the skills she teaches them to the test. The show has an 84% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 68 Metascore. “Rhimes is not one for caution or restraint, and the story jumps to the forefront from the get-go, with the frenetic, sexy melodrama reminiscent of Scandal at the height of its powers,” said The A.V. Club. If you like Rhimes’ other series Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, then give this one a shot.
Jane the Virgin
Surprisingly, The CW, not a network typically known for offering quality television, has produced one of the best new shows this fall. Jane the Virgin is about a young, overachieving Latina who has been saving herself for marriage in an attempt to not end up like her mother, who gave birth to Jane when she was just a teenager. Jane’s plans to wait to have sex with her fiancé are slightly derailed when she becomes accidentally impregnated by her gynecologist. After being told her entire life by her influential grandmother about the importance of retaining her virginity, Jane suddenly must tell her family about what happened and decide what to do about the pregnancy. Critics are saying that the somewhat kooky premise works due to great writing and the performance of actress Gina Rodriguez. The show has a prestigious 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 80 Metascore.
Another hit from The CW, the Arrow spin-off The Flash is getting great reviews with critics, saying that it can appeal to both fans of the superhero genre and those who don’t consider themselves comic book fans. The Flash follows the DC character, who has appeared briefly on Arrow, as he goes from scientist Barry Allen to a superhero with the gift of incredible speed through a freak accident in his lab. The show as a 96% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a 73 Metascore, and has been praised for taking a lighter tone while many comic book adaptations have been choosing to go dark. “In the ’60s through the early ’80s, the Flash always had the goofiest storylines and most colorful villains in the DC Universe, and in the early going, the show looks to be honoring that tone,” said The A.V. Club.
This sitcom explores the worries of the patriarch of a black family that moves to an all-white upscale suburb. Comedian Anthony Anderson plays that father who’s afraid that his children will lose touch with black culture, but also wants to provide them with the safety and opportunities they can have living in that neighborhood. Critics are saying that Black-ish stays funny while tackling weighty issues. The show has an 85% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 77 Metascore. “More than anything else, however, Black-ish has something to say about cultural identity and parenting and the changing world around us. Those are universal issues, and Black-ish is a true bright spot in a bleak fall TV landscape,” said The Hollywood Reporter.
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