Best Show of the New Crop Plus More that Don’t (and Do) Stink

Credit Richard Cartwright/CBS
Credit Richard Cartwright/CBS

Life in Pieces gets my vote for best freshman series. People who complain that it’s too much like Modern Family must have forgotten that Modern Family is consistently really funny. Laughter is all I can ask of a TV comedy and Life in Pieces is bringing the goods. Who knew Betsy Brandt was so hilarious? She and Dan Bakkedahl are my favorite of the three interlinking couples whose lives the show follows. Of course, the entire cast is star-studded, including James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, Colin Hanks, and Zoe Lister-Jones. The only false note they have struck so far is having Jordan Peele holding a little fluffy dog to make him seem more endearing. Jordan Peele doesn’t need anything but his face to melt hearts and dogs pull focus.

Credit Justin Stephens/FOX
Credit Justin Stephens/FOX

In other comedy news, Grinder and Grandfathered, Fox’s new comedy line up, are basically the same show: Sexy 50-something man is a “fish out of water” in a regular family. Both shows are watchable but Grandfathered actually made me laugh a few times, mostly courtesy of Paget Brewster’s dry delivery.

MV5BMTEzNDQ4NzM4MjFeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDI4NjY0MDAx._V1_SX640_SY720_Speaking of smoking hot man meat, another new show I don’t hate is Blindspot. I was sure I was going to hate it, based on the opening scene, where a tattooed woman climbs out of a duffle bag in the middle of Times Square. She has lost her memory — and her clothes. But so far, I’ve been mostly impressed. I actually care about the female amnesiac who popped out of the duffle. And in the world’s cutest meet cute, she has the name of a hot FBI agent tattooed on her back and he’s the only one who can help her regain her identity. Somehow it doesn’t feel as sexist as it sounds because the female character is a total badass and (mostly) the writing is pretty sharp. See left for co-lead Sullivan Stapleton, one of those Australian actors we are forced to import when we want someone to play the strong, silent type that American actors used to own back in the day.

Hard Pass

  • Heroes Reborn. Tim Kring, the creator, said he was going to lose the whole wonderment/isn’t it amazing? vibe that made the first show so good. He promised the reboot would be much darker. While it is and he lost me. Three women were abducted in the pilot alone.
  • Minority Report. Violence against children? Check. Liked the movie, the TV show, not so much.
  • Bastard Executioner. Sons of Anarchy — only violent. Sorry Alex!
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