Casual (now streaming on Hulu) – A bachelor and his divorced sister raise a teenager together and support each other through the trials of the dating world in this dramatic comedy. A funny, interesting and engaging view of dating and family life in 2015 with strong performances by the lead actors. This Hulu original is produced by Jason Reitman.
Saturday Night Live (NBC) – Somehow SNL has managed to stay relevant (relatively) after 40 years. My favorite is still Weekend Update (although I do miss Tina and Amy). The never-ending presidential election cycle should give them lots of humorous, satirical fodder this year. Check out the October 17th skit on the first Democratic debate.
Quantico (CBS)- A drama about FBI trainees at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., one of whom is a sleeper agent who will engineer a major terror attack on the U.S. I have watched the first couple of episodes and am intrigued. The story arc looks like it will encompass the full season with lots of interesting individual story lines.
The Affair (October 4) – This show had a compelling premise in the first season – the first half of the show was from the male protagonist’s perspective and the second half from the female’s. The second season will include perspectives from an additional two characters. I am a couple of episodes into season 2 – remains to be seen if the show will be able to hold my attention through a second season.
The Good Wife (CBS) – Still one of my favorites after six years. A great cast headed by Julianna Margulies but also includes Chris Noth, Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming. Must see TV.
American Horror Show: Hotel (FX) – I have a love-hate relationship with American Horror Show. Loved the first season (Murder House) and season three (Coven) but the others not so much. I love the cast (Jessica Lange was amazing). I have high hopes for this season – although Jessica Lange dropped out at the end of last season the cast for Hotel includes Lady Gaga, Cheyenne Jackson and Matt Bomer (got to be hot, right?). Jury is definitely out after the first episode though.
Fargo (Fox) – Coming off a great first season I am hoping the show will maintain its momentum. The cast is promising – the season 2 reboot includes Kirsten Dunst, Jean Smart, Patrick Wilson and Ted Danson.
Supergirl (premiers October 26, 8:30PM CBS) – While I confess to a bit of super hero fatigue (enough Marvel, enough!) I will probably check out this female-driven take on the genre.
Indian Summers (September 27, 9pm PBS) -Drama set in 1932 following the final years of British colonial rule in India. Think Downton Abbey in the Himalayas.
Blood & Oil (September 27, 9pm ABC) – A couple looks to cash in on the modern-day oil boom in North Dakota. Stars Don Johnson. If the show is half as sexy as the posters it should be worth a season or two.
Quantico (September 27, 9pm ABC) – A look at the lives of young FBI recruits training at the Quantico base in Virginia. Another procedural show? Remains to be seen if worth the time.
The Last Man on Earth (season 2 premiers September 27, 9:30PM Fox) – Almost 2 years after a virus wiped out most of the human race, Phil Miller only wishes for some company, but soon gets more than he bargained for when that company shows up in the form of other survivors. Stars Will Forte, January Jones and Kristen Schaal. I watched the first few episodes of the first season and wasn’t impresses. But since it achieved a second season maybe I will give it another chance.
CSI (September 27 9PM CBS) – tonight is the finale with a few of the departed series regulars returning.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (premiers September 28, 11pm Comedy Central). Will Trevor help us move beyond Jon?
The Grinder (premiers September 29, 8PM Fox) – Television lawyer Dean Sanderson moves back to his small home town after a stint in Hollywood thinking his time on TV qualifies him to run his family’s law firm. Stars Rob Lowe and Fred Savage.
Code Black (premiers September 30, 10PM CBS – The staff of the LA County Hospital emergency room treat patients under difficult circumstances. Another emergency room show but stars Marcia Gay Harden. . .
The fall TV season almost got away from me. Below are a few September premier highlights (in handy and convenient chronological by premier date order).
You’re the Worst (season 2 premiered September 9, 10:30PM FXX) –Centers on two toxic, self-destructive people who fall in love and attempt a relationship. “Sharp dialogue, winning performances and recognizable and ranchy portrait of thirtysomething life.” My cable subscription doesn’t extend to FXX but after buying the first episode on Amazon I would agree. I may have to pony up for the rest of the season.
Doll & Em (season 2 premiers September 13, 10:40PM HBO) – A sitcom in which English actress Emily Mortimer heads to Hollywood, closely followed by best friend Dolly Wells as her assistant.
The Mindy Project (September 15, Hulu) – formerly on NBC The Mindy Projectmoved to Hulu this season. A young Ob/Gyn doctor balances her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office. Love the show and love Mindy Kaling.
Best Time Ever (premiers September 15, 10PM NBC) – While NPH is a personal favorite, the I am not so sure about the variety show genre. After watching the first episode the jury is definitely out. Worth watching episode two though.
The Bastard Executioner (premiers September 15, 10PM Fox) – from the Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter. Bastard Executioner tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward The Third’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again, he is forced to pick it up again.
Minority Report(premiers September 21 9PM on Fox) – 10 years after the end of Precrime in Washington DC one of the three PreCogs attempts to lead on a normal life while still suffering from visions of the future. Will they be able to hold it together or mentally breakdown and give up?
Gotham(season 2 premiers September 21 9PM on Fox) – The story behind Commissioner James Gordon’s (played by the square-jawed Ben McKenzi) rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.
Blindspot (premiers September 21 10PM on NBC) – A Jane Doe is found in Times Square with no memory and mysterious tattoos on her body. Could go either way – intriguing, interesting and cool or completely predictable.
Scream Queens (premiers September 22, 8PM Fox) – stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. After a 1995 sorority pledge gone wrong, someone is out for vengeance when a college campus is rattled by a series of murders at the twentieth anniversary of the crime. Horror (even with dose of comedy) but with Ryan Murphy as showrunner and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. . .
Limitless (premiers September 22 10PM on CBS) – A man gains the ability to use the full extent of his brain’s capabilities. A television adaptation of the 2011 film, ‘Limitless’.
Empire(season 2 premiers September 23 9PM on Fox) – A father, who runs a successful music business, is diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and has to choose one of his three sons to take over when he dies. Taraji P. Henson is amazing as Cookie, the matriarch of the family – chews up every scene she is in.
Rosewood (premiers September 23 8PM on Fox) – Miami pathologist, Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr., finds secrets in people’s bodies using his state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. Not sure about this one – feels like I have seen it many times before but will probably give it an episode or two.
Modern Family (season 7 premiers September 23 9PM on ABC) – Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways. I thought season 6 was strong – after a few seasons I was thinking it had jumped the shark but season 6 renewed my interest in the show.
How to Get Away With Murder(season 2 premiers September 24 10PM on ABC) – A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives. The first season was great, Viola Davis is terrific – eager to see what they do in season 2 to top the first season.
Heroes Reborn(premiers September 24 8PM on NBC) – A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.
Scandal(season 5 premiers September 24 9PM on ABC) – Kerry Washington stars as former White House Communications Director starts her own crisis management firm only to realize her clients are not the only ones with secrets. What will happen this season with Mellie kicked out of the White House and Fitz and Olivia reconciled.
The Player (premiers September 24 10PM on NBC) – starring Wesley Snipes. A former intelligence officer works as a security expert in Las Vegas.
Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (opens July 31) – Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns for yet another top-secret assignment to eradicate the Syndicate – an International rogue organization committed to destroying the IMF.
I ventured out in the muggy New York City heat to see it today (and froze in an overly air-conditioned theater). An enjoyable summer popcorn flick – maybe all the better for its familiarity? Expect a few twists in the plot, exotic locations and some interesting exploits from the 53 year-old Mr. Cruise. Also stars Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin and Simon Pegg.
Ricki and the Flash (opens August 7th) – Meryl Streep plays a musician who leaves her family of three to follow her bliss and play in a rock cover band. When her daughter’s marriage hits the skids she returns home to try to make things right. She may not be a guitar god, but she had a true deity (Neil Young) to teach her. Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme.
Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix, July 31) – Wet Hot American Summer finally gets its long-awaited coming. David Wain and Michael Showalter revive their beloved teen flick as an eight-episode miniseries. And they bring back the original cast, so many of whom went on to stardom — Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd — as well as newcomers like Jon Hamm, John Slattery and Kristen Wiig.
Ant-Man (opens July 17) – Another Marvel hero (and lots more on the way from what I hear), with Paul Rudd playing a thief who shrinks himself to ant size and wears an ant suit designed by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). My interest in Marvel hero movies as pretty well run its course but I have always liked Paul Rudd. He is interesting choice as a superhero which might send me to the theater this weekend. I liked his self-deprecating comment to David Letterman: “I guess we all can’t wait to see how stupid this will be.”
Mr Holmes (opens July 17) – Ian McKellen playing Sherlock Holmes? Count me in. The movie received a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Teaming again with director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) “to create something brilliant, mysterious and lyrical.”
Trainwreck (opens July 17) – Written by and starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader and directed by Judd Apatow Trainwreck seems like a home run. It took me awhile to develop an appreciation for Amy’s humor. But now I find it hard to look away. . .
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll(Thursday July 16, FX) – Denis Leary plays Johnny Rock – a has-been rock star with an opportunity at a second chance with the help of a younger singer. Did I mention Denis Leary stars?
BoJack Horseman(Friday July 17, Netflix) – Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris and Aaron Paul star in the second season of Bojack Horseman.
Tangerine (opens July 10) – Directed by Sean Baker, Tangerine was shot on Apple iPhone 5s cameras and is a “visually innovative knockout.” The gritty and groundbreaking tale of two transgender L.A. hookers (Mya Taylor, Kiki Kitana Rodriguez) grabs you from the first frame.
Minions (opens July 10) – Despicable Me‘s minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world. Features the voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm.
Rectify (third season premiers July 9 on SundanceTV) – Rectify is the story of Daniel Holden (Aden Young), an ex-con in a small town in Georgia who is released from prison after spending twenty years on Death Row. Daniel was falsely accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend as a teenager but was cleared thanks to technological advances in DNA evidence. Aden Young plays Daniel with a quiet dignity that builds and strengthens the character from episode to episode.
Magic Mike XXL(opens July 1) – Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello star with all of those lovely abs in the sequel to Magic Mike. Three years after Mike (Channing Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game he finds himself missing the excitement of being on the stage. He and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance at a stripper convention. If anything like the first movie, the eye candy is worth the price of admission. But just.
Terminator Genisys (opens July 1) – He’s baaaaack. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this reboot to the Terminator series. In the year 2020 John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin. An unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline and instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Terminator Genisys is supposed to be the first of the start of a new trilogy. With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 40% it remains to be seen whether the sixty-seven year old Schwarzenegger has what it takes to credibly star in an action flick and draw theater goers into the theater.
Zoo (June 30) – Based on the novel of the same name by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Violent animal attacks upon humans are occurring all over the world. Jackson Oz, an American zoologist who offers safaris in Africa, begins to notice the animals’ strange behavior and takes it upon himself to solve the reason why before these attacks become more coordinated and ferocious.
The Rag & Bone sample sale is back – it starts this Wednesday June 24th at 10:30am and runs through Sunday June 28th. 410 W 16th St in New York (Chelsea Market).
Ted 2(opens June 26th) – Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law. In 2012 Seth MacFarlane racked up half a billion dollars by having a cute bear talk shit to Mark Wahlberg. Will he get lightning to strike twice? Let me know as I probably won’t be first in line.
Big Game (opens June 26th) – A timid Finnish boy serving a rite of passage by spending the night alone in the forest must protect the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) from terrorists who have shot down Air Force One in order to hunt the most powerful man on the planet. The movie has a great cast – in addition to Samuel L. Jackson the movie stars Victor Barber, Felicity Huffman, Jim Broadbent and Ted Levine. Maybe they can rescue what sounds like a movie I have seen many times before.
Humans (June 28, AMC) – A new AI concept. Robots are among us, tasked with simple jobs like babysitting and house cleaning. They’re part of the family. They look mighty convincing, too. Of course, every machine malfunctions every so often…
David Chang opened his new casual fine restaurant Fuku this week to general acclaim and hour-long lines around the block. He aims to do with the fried chicken sandwich at Fuku what Danny Meyer did with the burger at Shake Shack. I haven’t been yet but plan to go this weekend – early to hopefully avoid the lines. Eater NY had few on-scene write-ups and first impressions you can find here: http://ny.eater.com/fuku-first-look-chicken-sandwich-review
Deutschland 83 (June 17th, Sundance) – an eight-part thriller, Deutschland 83 is Germany’s answer to The Americans — a Cold War thriller set amid the nuclear paranoia of 1983. According to reviews, the series captures well the mood of the divided city of Berlin, with the backdrop of the United States and the dying Soviet Union playing chicken with the threat of nuclear war.
True Detective (June 21st, HBO) – The hotly anticipated second season of the hit show debuts next weekend with a new cast and new storyline created by Nic Pizzolatto (who also wrote and created the first season). Taylor Kitsch stars as a war veteran and motorcycle cop who enlists two detectives (played by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams) to help investigate a strange crime in California. Vince Vaughn also stars. If the review from Stephen Marche of Esquire is an indication the second season will be as popular as the first: http://www.esquire.com//tv/reviews/true-detective-season-2
Ballers (June 21st, HBO) – stars Dwayne Johnson (who seems to be everywhere these days with two movies currently in theaters) as a Spencer Strassmore, a retired football player well as a financial manager. This “Entourage for athletes” series would not normally be my type of show but the previews with the fast cars and fast money are strangely compelling.
Owen, the men’s and women’s fashion boutique located in the Meatpacking district is discontinuing its mens business and is discounting all spring summer styles 70% from designers that include Philip Lim, Acne, Alexander Wang and Tim Coppens. Shop the store at 809 Washington Street in New York or from the comfort of your own home online: http://owennyc.com/men-sale
The Overnight(opens June 19) – Written and directed by Patrick Brice, The Overnight stars Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godréche as two couples who have a wild night of drinking and debauchery after their children go to bed following a playdate. The dysfunctions of one couple threaten to destabilize the other.
Infinitely Polar Bear (opens June 19) – Mark Ruffalo stars as Cameron, a man whose breakdown from a bipolar disorder forces him to leave his family. When his wife (Zoe Saldana) decides to go to business school in New York they decide that he will move back in to take care of their two daughters. I haven’t seen the film but I can imagine the scenes that come next . . .
Last chance! – The Vince sample sale ends this weekend – last day is Sunday June 7 (10am – 5PM) – at Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave, New York). As of yesterday the men’s assortments included leather jackets for $279 down from $1,250, sweaters from $69 to $99, knits from $29 to $49, woven shirts $59, jeans $69 and shorts $59.
Jurassic World (opens June 12) – Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features the fully functioning dinosaur theme park originally envisioned by John Hammond. In need of a new attraction, with visitor rates declining, the park’s geneticists create a hybrid dinosaur. Shockingly, the hybrid escapes, goes on a rampage and needs to be contained. Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio and B.D. Wong.
Live From New York! (opens June 12) – “Saturday Night Live” has been reflecting and influencing life in the United States for 40 years. Live From New York! explores the early years of “Saturday Night Live” through its evolution into a comedy institution. The film encompassing decades of American politics, media, tragedy, and popular culture as seen through SNL’s irreverent filter. Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from SNL legends, journalists, hosts, musical guests and crew.
Orange is the New Black(season 3 releases on June 12 by Netflix) – for the few of you who have not yet seen OITNB binge on seasons 1 and 2 now. The first season was ground-breaking in many ways, the second was good – let’s see if writer and producer Jenji Kohan (Weeds) can keep it up for season 3. And for those of you not in the know OITNB is the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a straight-ish WASP-y woman in her thirties who is sentenced to prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (June 13 BBC America) – Harry Potter meets Pride and Prejudice? A tale of magicians helping 18th-century England defeat Napoleon, full of wizardly spells and political intrigue. The show is based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 bestseller, and pairs the gallant young Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) with Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), the grumpy coot from the York Society of Magicians.