The Weekly Round-Up – 21/09-27/09

So here we are, once again. The Fall TV Season is back and well underway. It’s good to be back! This week, FOX newcomer Gotham has its eagerly anticipated series premiere, and is joined by season premieres from returning favourites: The BlacklistThe Big Bang Theory and Agents Of SHIELD. Elsewhere, the fifth episode of the (so far very promising) eighth season of Doctor Who hits this Saturday, rounding off the week’s entertainment.

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The big attraction is of course Gotham. Will The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller be able to capture the successful elements from Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy, and Ed Brubraker’s outstanding ‘Gotham Central’ comic run? Or will the show’s early naysayers prove to be correct as the show fizzles out from a lack of Batman?

Interestingly, it’s joined this week by another comic-book show that has known all about the huge expectations – and how heavy they can be. Agents Of SHIELD stuttered to life in a very unimpressive fashion this time last year, something the Gotham showrunners will surely want to avoid. The show now enters its second season, having dramatically improved over the course of last year – and fans now once again expecting big things.


Sunday, 21/09


No shows aired this week.


Monday, 22/09


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The Big Bang Theory, CBS – The Locomotion Interruption – TV’s most popular show returned with a fizzle rather than a bang on Monday, as Chuck Lorre and his writing staff delivered another dose of ‘more of the same’. The season premiere featured a few decent gags involving a trouser-less Sheldon, but for the most part struggled with the laughs. Howard struggles to get to grips with Stuart’s ‘relationship’ with his mother, while a short-haired Penny attends an actual job interview – and neither situation is particularly funny.

With all three scenarios weak on substance or wit, this opening episode frustrates more than it entertains, bringing nothing new to this long-running show’s plate – 7/10


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The Big Bang Theory, CBS – The Junior Professor Solution – Now that’s a little better. The second of the two-part season premiere focuses on Sheldon and Howard’s longstanding rivalry of wits – and the jokes come thick and fast. Highlights include the latter lodging a spitball in the former’s throat, and a welcome return from Regina King, who’s chemistry with Jim Parsons is excellent. Elsewhere, Amy has a solid side-plot as a wannabe gossip girl: “It’s taken 15 years, but high school is finally awesome!”

While this makes for a more entertaining episode, the show clearly needs to spice things up to retain audience’s my interest for a full 24-episode season – 8/10


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The Blacklist, NBC – Lord Baltimore – This excellent serialised procedural continues to improve with a fantastic season opener. Red’s rivalry with Berlin further intensifies when his nemesis targets his wife, while the task force struggle on without Malik and Cooper, hunting down a razor sharp cyber bounty hunter named Lord Baltimore. Krysten Ritter is truly superb in her guest role, while Peter Stormare is as frightening as ever as the big bad. Elsewhere, Lizzie and Ressler struggle with their own personal demons.

The most impressive drama from the back-end of last year returns with a worthy premiere episode that sets a very dark tone for the season ahead – 9/10


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Gotham, FOX – Pilot – It’s not terrible, but it’s nothing special either… yet. As with most pilot episodes, Gotham gets off to a slow-start, burdened by corny dialogue and frequent heavy-handed Batman references. Once it gets into the swing of things, however, it livens up, with likeable lead in Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, and a fascinating tale of corruption within the police force and the city of Gotham itself. Elsewhere, Robin Lord Taylor stands head and shoulders above everyone else as the conniving, cowardly Oswald Cobblepot.

A solid, if unspectacular, episode that is not without a lot of potential. A crowded episode that suggests an intriguing season ahead for the comic book procedural – 7/10


Tuesday, 23/09


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Agents Of SHIELD, ABC – Shadows – Wow. Well who saw that coming? Last season’s often disappointing MCU TV show returns with a vengeance in this outstanding season premiere. The Absorbing Man was visually superb, while the show looks to have found its big bad in the sinister Dr. Whitehall.. Returns from Peggy Carter, the Howling Commandoes, Glenn Talbot and Ward added further excitement, but topping them all, was Fitz, and his struggle to overcome the brain damage he suffered last season.

With a darker tone, and some interesting new faces thrown into the mix, Shadows establishes an exciting new dynamic for the season ahead – 9/10


Wednesday, 24/09


No shows aired this week.


Thursday, 25/09


No shows aired this week.


Friday, 26/09


No shows aired this week.


Saturday, 27/09


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Doctor Who, BBC – The Caretaker – Three good episodes in a row. How many times can you say that about the Moffat run? This was a character-driven episode, boosted by superb performances from Coleman, Capadli and Anderson, with the latter pair bouncing off one another to great effect. The comedy had me laughing throughout, while Courtney and the Doctor look like a dynamic duo in the making. Add in a Chris Addison cameo and it almost makes the weak initial concept and forgettable villain irrelevant. Solid stuff.

Perhaps not the most eventful or exciting Who episode, The Caretaker still manages to flesh out the three leads in an entertaining and funny way – 8/10


2014/15 Ranking

# Show N E R
1 The Blacklist NBC 1 9.0
2 Agents Of SHIELD ABC 1 9.0
3 Doctor Who BBC 6 8.2
4 The Big Bang Theory CBS 2 7.5
5 Gotham FOX 1 7.0

Key – N = Network; E = # of Episodes; R = Average Rating


Summary

Well whaddya know? Agents Of SHIELD came good in the end. Easily one of the most entertaining episodes of the week, Shadows has raised genuine hope for the season ahead. Also impressive, for the third week in a row, was Doctor Who, suggesting progress is being made on the consistency front. But trumping all was the return of James Spader’s The Blacklist, which could not be beaten.

Far more disappointing was The Big Bang Theory. As the sole pure comedy I watch currently, the show shouldn’t really have a problem with laughs, but the season premiere ended up feeling more grating than funny. Meanwhile, Gotham had a largely mixed start, despite showing potential. Only time will tell if we have an Arrow-sized hit on our hands.

Best Episode: The Blacklist – Lord Baltimore

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About Minty

Writer for @ComicBook_Movie & @MoviesTVComics. Professional procrastinator. Real human bean.
This entry was posted in TV Season - 2014/15, TV Shows, Weekly Round-Up and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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