Happy TV Season, friends! Yes, I know plenty of shows have already started up, but this week is the big time (only some disrespect intended to The Mysteries of Laura.) After two full weeks of watching nothing but football, we can enjoy more variety as we spend hour after gleeful hour turning our brains into oatmeal.
Since I'm so geeked about this TV season, I've decided to post weekly power rankings. This will not be remotely scientific. It's ALL bias. Especially this week, as none of these premieres have even aired yet. But I'd still recommend you argue with me in the comments or on Twitter. Have a show I'm not even watching? Feel free to state your case. There's always room for more TV.
1. Agents of SHIELD
I know, I hear you, casual fan. "That show is terrible. I stopped watching after three episodes. Where's Iron Man?" Let me assure you, the final six episodes of the first season were absolute fire. The showrunners got everything on track: faster moving storylines, more appearances from Marvel Comics characters and GREAT guest stars (lookin' at you, Bill Paxton.) And now that momentum is poised to spill over into the new season. Not only does the premiere promise an appearance from Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter from the Cap movies) but XENA FRICKING WARRIOR PRINCESS is going to guest star. 'Nuff said!
2. Sleepy Hollow
2013's craziest, stupidest premise turned into a must-watch. Fish out of water comedy, a preposterous fictionalization of the American Revolution blending in the apocalypse, different supernatural bad guys every week and time-hopping through lines have somehow combined to make a hell of a show. On top of all that, season one's cliffhanger ending has left me eagerly anticipating this return. You've got John Noble doing the hellfire and brimstone thing, one lead trapped in purgatory and the other being buried alive when the screen goes black and "Sympathy for the Devil" starts playing. I'm beyond ready for some resolution.
3. South Park
South Park is my favorite TV show of all time. Public perception may not be what it once was, but the show is still as topical and hilarious as ever.
I'm already on board for what this clip promises to deliver, and I'm sure the skewering will extend well beyond Washington given how things have gone in the NFL the last couple of week.
Green Arrow in comics? Could not care less. He's no Hawkeye. Green Arrow on TV?? CAN'T WAIT. Season one was a great surprise. Season two was the best season of comic-book-based television in history. The characters are fleshed out, the action is great, and they're not afraid to pull in characters from the books no matter how ridiculous they may be (Captain Boomerang coming this season, by the way. CAPTAIN. BOOMERANG.) The only thing setting SHIELD apart in my mind right now is Lucy Lawless. That's a trump card, right there.
5. Saturday Night Live
Yes. I watch SNL religiously. If you're in the "I remember when that show used to be funny" camp: A. Shut up. B. Get on the bandwagon. The female cast right now is perfect. I have every confidence Kate McKinnon will be a Top Five All-Time cast member when her stint is over. Weekend Update was weak after the departure of Seth Meyers last season, but I think bringing in Michael Che is a great way to fix that. And, most importantly, Starlord himself is hosting the premiere. Oogachaka.
Honorable Mentions (mostly because I haven't seen a single episode of either yet)
Another comic book I never cared about, but I'm open to the TV incarnation. The lead, as introduced in last season of Arrow, is likeable enough, and the show already promises to have more super powers than any series in recent memory. I'd have to turn in my nerd badge if I weren't a little bit excited.
A Batman show ... with no Batman. But if there's one universe in which that might fly, it's this one. Batman has long been lauded for having the best rogues gallery and now that we have a TV show to focus on them (and Jim Gordon) the bad guys will get a chance to really stretch their legs. Color me hopeful. Also, listen to me talk about it with Matthew Coller in our new podcast.