2015-2016 Fall/Spring TV Preview

2015-2016 Fall/Spring TV Preview

In a little less than two months, new seasons of TV shows will be returning to the networks.  Re-boots are the next big thing these days, but many brand new shows will also be making their debut alongside the lucky shows that got renewed for another season. (Condolences to the fans of the cancelled shows that didn’t make it to another fall premier.)

These days, the cancellation ax comes quickly – sometimes even just after two aired episodes if ratings are bad – and it’s hard to decide which of the new crop of freshmen shows to invest in. No one wants to watch an entire season of something, become attached to the characters, then suffer the disappointment of an unresolved ending thanks to a network cancellation.

So how do you choose? Some may wait to see if a show gets buzz, then catch up and finish out the season if it looks like a sure thing. Others might wait until at least a second season is guaranteed before binge-watching the first. I’ve done both, but after looking at the crop of new shows and reboots for the up-coming season, I’ve  found a handful that I’m interested in watching right away.

Here’s my list of shows I’m excited about for the 2015 – 2016 TV season:

Heroes: Reborn

The first season of the original Heroes series is exceptionally good. Then the writer’s strike in Hollywood happened and season two got cut short, ratings fell and it was all downhill from there. I stuck it out and found that by the end of season 4, it was getting interesting again, but it was too late for the show to be saved. Heroes: Reborn is a re-boot of sorts, although most of the original cast will not be returning. Zachary Levi stars and it’s being billed as a 13 episode mini series and premiers September 24th on NBC.

Scream Queens

I like American Horror Story and I liked Glee up until the last couple seasons, and Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens seems like it might be a mash up of both his shows. Each week there’s a new murder with the killer to be revealed at the end. The casting is also pretty solid: Lea Michelle, Emma Roberts, Nick Jonas, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ariana Grande, just to name a few. Sounds like a soapy, guilty pleasure kind of show! Airs on Fox, beginning September 22nd. 


Comic book adaptations are hot right now for both the TV networks and movie studios. I’m more of a Marvel fan myself, but really enjoyed Melissa Benoist on Glee and the trailer for this show looks really good, so I’m going to give it a shot. Plus, CBS is usually pretty solid with their programming. SuperGirl premiers on Monday, October 26th.

You, Me and the End of the World

The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and Community are all long gone from NBC’s comedy line-up and in a world where everyone is searching for the next Breaking Bad, good comedies are hard to come by these days. You, Me and the End of the World looks promising though. Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Rob Lowe (Parks and Rec) star, with a release date TBD on NBC.


This one won’t be on until 2016, but is brought to you by HBO, Martin Scorsese and Mich Jagger. Vinyl centers around the music industry in New York in the late 1970s and stars Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and Bobby Cannavale. I enjoy almost anything music related, so I’m pretty excited about this one!

The X-Files


The truth is still out there…The X-Files returns to Fox on January 24, 2016. Right now, there are only six episodes scheduled in this limited edition mini-series (mostly due to the actor’s tight schedules) but if it’s a hit, we can probably expect Fox to order more in the future. I want to believe this will happen. Don’t disappoint me Mulder and Scully.

Movie Review: American Hustle


On the surface, American Hustle has the makings of a great movie: an all-star cast, early Oscar buzz and the promise of a fun romp through the 1970s world of glitz, glamour and the underground world of political scandals. What we get though, is a dark dramady loosely based on a FBI sting operation-turned-scandal from the late 70s/early 80s called Abscam.

The story centers around con-artist Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) as they take a local scam operation to new heights. Along the way, the pair catches the attention of FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), who promises to let them walk away from their prior crimes if they help him with an undercover sting operation. The targets: Camden, N.J. mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) and a group of senators and congressmen, thrown in for good measure. Things are going along smoothly until mobsters get involved, Rosenfeld’s wife falls in love with one of them and the plan starts to unravel.

Sounds great right? Unfortunately, though, the story is just so-so and without the help of terrific actors like Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, the movie probably wouldn’t be getting the kind of attention the critics are giving it.

The biggest problem with American Hustle is a lack of action and the movie’s very dialog driven story line, which at times, causes the film to meander. It’s not suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat storytelling either, so many people will probably find themselves bored and wondering when the movie is going to end. Some humorous interjections into the dialog help revive the sluggish moments, but they are few and far between and it’s not nearly enough to save it.

The  real draw and main reason to watch the movie is the performances. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are outstanding in the film – especially Lawrence, who plays Irving Rosenfeld’s zany wife – but their characters are so similar to ones they played in Silver Linings Playbook (also directed by David O. Russell), which overshadows their performances in this movie just a bit. If anyone is deserving of an Oscar though, it’s Amy Adams. She fully embodies her character, mixing saucy with sweet and you’re never really sure who’s side she’s on until the very end.

American Hustle  is a prime example of a director’s vanity piece. It’s over-indulgent, thinks it’s better than it is and critics will love it. It may even win several awards. But a typical movie goer probably won’t get into it. If you do go see it, don’t let American Hustle con you into thinking it’s one of the best movies of the year – because it’s definitely not.

American Hustle: Comedy-Drama. Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner.  Directed by David O. Russell. (R. 138 minutes.)

Warm Bodies: Twilight for Zombie Lovers


R (played by Nicholas Hoult) lives in an airplane at an abandoned airport filled with hundreds of other moaning zombies just like him. Day in and day out he shuffles through life with no pulse and no memory of his life before he was dead, thriving on a regular diet of brains. But all that changes the day he meets Julie (Theresa Palmer).

There’s just something about her – nevermind that he ate her boyfriend’s brains. Just being around her causes him to feel alive again and it’s contagious. Other zombies start waking up too, proving love really can conquer all.

Warm Bodies looked to be be a quirky, zombie rom-com filled with laughs. Unfortunately, we pretty much get a zombiefied version of Twilight. Guess that should come as no surprise since Summit Entertainment is behind both films and the trailers began running before Breaking Dawn, Part 2.

Julie is eerily similar to Bella Swan and even sort of resembles a blonde version of Kristen Stewart. She has very little personality throughout the movie. R is pale, dark and brooding – very much like Edward Cullen. All the main characters are high school aged and the film is definitely aimed at a Twilight-loving audience, which is a bit puzzling since the book most definitely is not.

Also lacking is the humor. The film tries, but the laughs just aren’t there and the jokes come across as forced attempts at humor. This is probably the most disappointing aspect of the whole film.

One bright spot in an otherwise unremarkable film is the fantastic soundtrack. R is a record collector of sorts and music from Bob Dylan, Feist, Guns and Roses and John Waite is played throughout the movie.

Warm Bodies made $20 million at the box office over the weekend, so I guess some people were enjoying it. But for those who found it lacking, I suggest watching Shaun of the Dead, a perfect zombie comedy if there ever was one.