Leftovers Season 2 (HBO) Justin Theroux stars in this supernatural and psychological thriller, set in Jarden, Texas, a town renamed “Miracle” because it was the only town that did not have mysterious disappearances. Theroux portrays a tortured former police sheriff who is haunted by Patty Levine, the late leader of the Guilty Remnants, an ascetic cult that worships the practice of smoking, more than anything else. The irony of the latest episode (October 11) is that unlike everybody suggesting they’re ok, nobody’s ok. Nora (Carrie Coon) is not the only strong female lead in this series. In the first season, we see her evolve from a repressed grieving woman who’s lost her husband and two children in the mysterious “departures,” in which many people vanished into thin air with no explanation whatsoever; to a woman who embraces her new family and leads them, (pioneer style) after selling her house for four times its price enabling her to purchase another in this dystopian town that borders on the absurd at times.
Sundays at 9pm on HBO
Mindy Project Season 4 (Hulu) Mindy Kaling’s 4th season started airing on Hulu on September 15th. Her second memoir proves to be a valuable companion to this new season. The perk of Mindy’s new home is that it can be watched much sooner than before. Pros: Mindy’s feminist side in not easily resigning to her new role as a “stay at home mom.” It’s relatable, sassy, and humane. Cons: Missing Mindy’s usual dynamic with the workplace…but since she’s going back to work this is a non-issue.
Tuesdays on Hulu.com
Angel from Hell (CBS) The premier of this fantasy sitcom has been pushed to February 2016. It follows the adventures of “guardian angel” Amy, who looks out for a woman named Allison. The two women form an eccentric friendship. Given Jane Lynch’s past roles and range as a comedic actress, this is something to watch out for.
Air date TBD
Blindspot (NBC) The show opens with a mysterious, unattended bag left in the middle of Times square. So, of course, the premises is immediately evacuated. Our protagonist, the equally mysterious and intricately tattooed “Jane Doe” (Jaimie Alexander) emerges from the bag. Her tattoos provide a sort of “treasure map” to figuring out her identity, and the the who/what/where/why of the plot. It’s a procedural drama with a tattoo twist. So far, I’m more intrigued by her tattoos than the storyline.
Mondays at 9pm on NBC
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW) Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) harbors a decade-long crush/obsession on Josh, her short-lived, Glee-camp summer fling. Her super-crush causes her to give up a promising career as a lawyer in order to move to West Covina on a whim, after running into him in New York, as an adult. This wannabe Glee version of Lena Dunham’s – Girls is compelling in a mesmerizing kind of way. It’s so campy, cringe-inducing, and bordering on cliche, it should get a Razzie – if there were Razzies for television. While the anti-patriarchal suggestions of Rachel Bloom’s various musical numbers might resonate strongly with us ladies it’s hard to say where the show will go. Is it more of a musical parody series, worthy of Youtube (where Rachel Bloom began), or will Rebecca’s earnestness parallel Kimmy Schmidt’s (Ellie Kemper) and be picked up for a second season? Only time will tell.
Mondays at 8pm on CW
Crowded (NBC) A sitcom starring Carrie Preston, produced by Sean Hayes (Will and Grace‘s, Jack), about a couple of empty nesters who find their plans to relive their youth thwarted by their families returning to live with them. We all know how chaotic “family time” can be, so this is bound to be a wild ride of a show.
Air date TBD.
Life in Pieces (CBS) Another sitcom centered on family. This focuses on the multigenerational Short family, told in a series of stories from different perspectives. Like Crowded, this also features grown-up children living at home with their parents…we will have to wait and see which show prevails.
Air date: Until November 5, 2015 on Mondays at 8:30pm, then Thursdays at the same time.
Superstore (NBC) Starring America Ferrera, this show takes place in a megastore. The plot may appeal to millennials dealing with a tough job market. This might seem like Reaper from a few years ago, minus the supernatural edge. This megastore, unlike a dystopian store, is called “Cloud 9.” There’s a bit of romantic entanglement thrown in, not unlike Ferrera’s previous series Ugly Betty.
Air date TBD.
iZombie, (The CW), October 6 Rose McIver stars as Liv Moore, a “zombie” medical examiner who eats brains to stay alive, and help solve crimes. By absorbing the memories and personalities of the murder victims she provides both insight into the crime, as well as comic relief. This quirky zombie-procedural is loosely adapted from a graphic novel of the same name. McIver proves her acting chops and range by playing a cantankerous old man in-spirit one week, to portraying “bro” the following week. It’s compelling, fun, and last season proved itself in actually getting audiences to root for the zombie.
Tuesdays at 9pm on CW
Supernatural, (The CW), October 7, Wednesdays at 9pm Back in it’s 11th season, Dean accidentally unleashed darkness – a female entity in the finale of last season. Now we begin the new season discovering the devil named Crowley (brilliant actor Mark A. Sheppard) is still among us, darkness is in the form of a cute little baby, and its caretaker is literally little darkness’s, “pistol packin’ mama.” This show has had strong compelling heroines who can take care of themselves as well as some wicked women like Rowena (Ruth Connell) who was fun to watch last season.
Wednesdays at 9pm
Jane the Virgin, (The CW), October 12 This is a twist on the telenovela genre and adds some relatable comedy. The series centers around Jane, a virgin and aspiring writer, who becomes accidentally pregnant in a major switcheroo in the fertility clinic. This pregnancy leads Jane, her love life and family into a whirl wind that keeps you glued to the screen every week. There are shocking and unexpected moments that pay tribute to novelas.
Mondays at 9pm on CW
The Knick, (Cinemax), October 16 If you like medical dramas, Downton Abbey, and period pieces, then this is the show for you. It’s been compared to Mad Men and Call the Midwife. The Knickerbocker hospital is full of surgeons and staff trying to lower the high mortality rate of the era. Between issues of outdated medical practices, drug addictions, racism, and fratternizing, all played out by an excellent cast (Clive Owen), this show is a great addition to your weekly schedule.
Fridays at 10pm on Cinemax
SuperGirl (CBS), October 26 Finally a woman takes the lead in the latest fad of male-driven Marvel comic-inspired TV shows, and it’s gotten positive buzz. The heroine, Kara Zor-El is Superman’s cousin, and like her famous fam, the girl can fly (great genes). She’s spent the greater half of her life on Earth, hiding her special talents in an attempt to fit in. Her basic facade is interrupted by an accident where she comes to the rescue of innocents, revealing how “special” she actually is, and setting the course for her new life.
Mondays at 8:30pm on CBS
Grimm (NBC), Fridays at 9pm Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Grimms are hunters who possess the ability to “see” what normal people cannot: others’ true nature. Based on legends and Grimm fairy tales, this procedural drama borrows heavily from folklore and has characters drawn from the “Big Bad Wolf” (Blutbad) to Mexico’s chupacabra as “monster of the week.” This show opens with Juliette, Nick Burkhardt’s (a grimm) ex-girlfriend’s funeral. Juliette, through a complicated plot twist, became a witch or “hexenbiest” hellbent on revenge against her former lover, whom she blamed for essentially ruining her life.
Air Date: October 30 – On Fridays at 9pm on NBC