Each fall season brings a slew of new television shows, some of them are here to stay and others will be canceled before the year is even up. With so many options for quality TV spanned across so many networks and streaming services, it’s a difficult task keeping up with even the very highest quality programs modern TV has to offer. This is why one must be especially discriminating about which shows to watch and not watch.
Luckily, there are a few shows that make it easy to not watch. These are the recent additions to the recent fall schedule that have already lost us as viewers from the trailers alone.
1. The Great Indoors
You know those alarmist New York Times feature articles that stereotype millennials as spoiled tech-obsessed artists who have never done a day’s work in their life? The Great Indoors is the sitcom equivalent, trafficking in cheap shots about the younger generation that might appeal to CBS’s generally older audience. Based on trailers and reviews, it looks like a tired fish-out-of-water sitcom, an unfortunate step down from star Joel McHale’s previous show, the late cult-favorite, Community.
2. Stan Against Evil
Fans of Ash vs. Evil Dead might recognize something rotten about IFC’s new horror-comedy series, Stan Against Evil just from its title. The John C. McGinley profile looks a lot like Showtime’s Evil Dead spinoff series Ash vs. Evil Dead — only, judging from the trailers and promotional clips, a whole lot worse.
John C. McGinley is an entertaining presence (Scrubs provides ample proof of that), but even he can’t elevate the awkward pacing or sell unfunny one-liners like “anybody ever tell ya you look like a barrel of assholes?” The substitution of witches for deadites just isn’t enough to warrant this premium cable copycat of a series.
3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again
A TV sequel rather than a full series, the new movie spinoff of campy midnight favorite, The Rocky Horror Picture Show looks to be nothing more than Fox cashing in on the cult popularity of a movie they don’t really understand. Let’s Do the Time Warp Again looks to be the same story told in the same way, only worse, sanitizing the movie’s weird eroticism to better cater to families and kids who shop at Hot Topic. It looks like a bad high school theater production, except with horribly overproduced Glee-style covers of the movie’s original songs. [Update, 1/3/17: ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again’ aired on October 20, 2016 to mostly poor reviews. It currently has a “Rotten” 28% rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.]
4. Kevin Can Wait
I don’t need more Kevin James in my life, but the marketing for his new CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait seems to bank entirely on the so-called funnyman’s appeal. The current clips of the show available online do little to inspire more confidence — it just looks like another tired laugh-track-laced sitcom with no new ideas. I’m honestly a little confused that this show exists. I know some people must have liked The King of Queens, but there are more than 200 episodes of it — are there really audiences in 2016 clambering for more four-camera sitcoms about a doofish patriarch and a long-suffering wife?
5. Pure Genius
The man behind such touchingly human series as Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, Jason Katims, has somehow gone and made Pure Genius, a new CBS series (do people still watch CBS, by the way?) that looks about as soulless as they come.
The series follows a skeptical surgeon employed by a young Silicon Valley tech-visionary to oversee his technologically ambitious new hospital, which is populated mostly by touch screens and flat supporting characters who deliver irritating speeches about their tech “saving the world.” Dispensing with compelling conflict or strong characters, Pure Genius looks to be a series with all the warmth and humanity of an Apple commercial.
[Update, 1/3/17: Per TV Line, CBS has declined to order more episodes of this poorly received series.]
6. The Exorcist
Apparently determined to both emulate the success of FX series, American Horror Story and to make use of an old property they haven’t used in a while, Fox decided to turn the 1973 standard for movies about possession into a TV series also about possession. Otherwise, the show seems to have nothing to do with the original film. Aside from the unnecessary tie-in title, The Exorcist looks to offer nothing more than some basic character beats and glimpses of standard haunted-house scenes that are identical to those you see in every horror movie released today.
Follow Jeffrey Rindskopf on Twitter @jrindskopf
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