Published on September 4th, 2017 | by Clint Davis
2017 Fall TV: 10 shows that look promising
The Fall TV season is upon us and in addition to keeping up with ongoing favorites from last fall and beyond, I’ll be checking out a handful of new shows this year.
Listed below are the 10 new shows that I’ll be giving a chance this season, based solely on trailers, cast/crew credentials and gut feelings. I hadn’t seen a single episode of any of these shows as of writing this preview. They could all suck but I’ve got high hopes for these series.
The shows are ranked in order of premiere date.
American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
Debut: Sept. 5
The Gist: The 2016 presidential election brings a woman’s buried fears to the surface.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: Listing a new season of American Horror Story in a preview of new fall shows may be a copout but I felt compelled to add Cult because it looks like the most instantly intriguing season of the show in years. The 2016 election is a major focal point and apparently the catalyst for a Michigan man’s (Evan Peters) rampage. In addition to Peters, other AHS favorites like Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts and the great Frances Conroy are all coming back to the cast. New cast members include Allison Pill, Lena Dunham and Billie Lourd, who was fantastic in Fox’s kindred spirit show Scream Queens.
The Deuce (HBO)
Debut: Sept. 10
The Gist: Pimps, hookers, pushers, cops and hustlers coexist in 1970s New York.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: On the surface, The Deuce looks like a TV version of P.T. Anderson’s classic Boogie Nights, following the legalization and rise of the porn business in 1970s New York. But since this show comes from writers David Simon and George Pelecanos of The Wire, it’s likely going to involve much more than just stag films. I’m expecting a look into New York’s rampant crime and drug culture from that day, as well as policing, prostitution and presumably the victims of all these things. The cast is led by Hollywood heavyweights James Franco (who plays twins) and Maggie Gyllenhaal but based on the trailer, plenty of Wire alums will show up, including Method Man, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. and Chris Bauer.
American Vandal (Netflix)
Debut: Sept. 15
The Gist: A student documentarian investigates a shocking act of vandalism in a high school parking lot.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: This looks like the kind of show that only Netflix would take a chance on. It’s a parody of true crime documentaries like the network’s own hugely successful Making a Murderer. In American Vandal, the shocking crime is that a series of dicks were spray-painted on dozens of teachers’ cars at a California high school. One documentarian, also a student at the school, tries to prove the innocence of the prime suspect. The trailer for the series is simply fantastic, using stylistic cues and plot twists that we’ve seen a million times in real true crime docs. Will it have enough juice for eight episodes, or is it just one long dick joke?
The Vietnam War (PBS)
Debut: Sept. 17
The Gist: America’s most beloved documentarian takes a deep-dive look at the Vietnam War.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: When Ken Burns and Lynn Novick team up, it’s a guaranteed winner. This time they take on America’s involvement in Vietnam in 18 hours that’s sure to be relevant and depressing as hell. Burns says it’s the most ambitious project he’s ever done, which is quite a statement from the guy who brought us the definitive story of The Civil War. I’m especially intrigued by the hiring of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to compose the score and pick the film’s soundtrack. Make no mistake, this will be one of 2017’s major events in entertainment.
Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus (Cinemax)
Debut: Sept. 22
The Gist: Classic country music stars tell their wildest stories and cartoonists bring them to life.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: I haven’t heard many details about this show but the idea of Mike Judge returning to animation is enough to have me hooked. Apparently, Tales from the Tour Bus will bring to life some of the craziest stories from some of country music’s most legendary stars. Cinemax has never done an animated series but if you’re going to jump into the game, there’s hardly anyone better than Judge to steer the ship.
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Debut: Sept. 24
The Gist: Klingons are the enemy once again in a new iteration of the classic sci-fi series.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: Come on, it’s Star Trek. This new series is a prequel of sorts, being set about a decade before The Original Series with William Shatner and company. Discovery looks to be heavily influenced by the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies (which is a good thing, in my opinion because the franchise’s TV offerings all look very dated at this point) and it looks to be heavy on CGI effects. Few shots in the trailer are set on a ship’s bridge so I’m guessing it’s a lot more about exploration on other planets and battles in space, rather than tactics and strategic chess playing. Looks like I’ll finally have to pony up some cash for a CBS All Access subscription.
Liar (Sundance TV)
Debut: Sept. 27
The Gist: Two adults go on a date and something terrible happens. Accusations, mystery ensue.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: A show that centers around a date rape could be very icky but I’m willing to take a chance on this one. I don’t know many details now but the (very brief) trailers for Liar make it look like two people go on a date and their lives are changed forever by something terrible that happens. Further information is scant. It looks like a mystery thriller but it’s on Sundance so I’m hoping it’ll pack more dramatic meat. It’s a six-part series co-starring Joanne Froggat from Downton Abbey and Ioan Gruffudd who played Reed Richards in the truly awful Fantastic Four movies from the mid-2000s.
The Gifted (Fox)
Debut: Oct. 2
The Gist: A family comes to grips with its children having mutant superpowers.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: It’s another stab at an X-Men TV series, following the critical acclaim of Legion (a show which you can hear my season one review of here). But compared to that series, The Gifted looks much easier to digest. Based on the trailer, this show looks to mix some coming-of-age drama with superhero origin stories. Stephen Moyer from True Blood leads the cast.
I Love You, America (Hulu)
Debut: Oct. 12
The Gist: Sarah Silverman tries to heal our fractured country.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: Sarah Silverman says she’ll be befriending her trolls and uniting the nation in her new Hulu series. This topical show will completely depend on the kinds of “real people” she’s able to get for her segments. Silverman is going to do little focus groups with disagreeing people like what you’d see on CNN after the election and she’ll apparently do comedic field pieces, like having dinner with a family who says they’ve never met a Jewish person. Silverman is always sharp and interesting so I’m willing to take a shot on another political comedy series with her leading the way.
Debut: Oct. 13
The Gist: The FBI’s first criminal profilers investigate the initial instances of what would become known as textbook serial killers.
Clint’s Gut Feeling: This essentially looks like a TV mashup of David Fincher’s brilliant Zodiac and NBC’s stunning Hannibal. Fincher directs and produces the series, which follows early FBI criminal profilers, inspired by real-life agents and killings. The trailer makes this show look like a film, with outstanding production values. This show looks to be more about the psychology of killers than the mystery of a whodunit.
For anyone keeping score, Clint’s 10 2016 Fall TV picks were:
- Atlanta (FX) — Renewed, winner of 2 Emmys
- Better Things (FX) — Renewed, nominated for 1 Emmy
- One Mississippi (Amazon) — Renewed
- Fleabag (Amazon) — Renewed, winner of 1 BAFTA
- Pitch (Fox) — Canceled
- Westworld (HBO) — Renewed, nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America) — Renewed
- Goliath (Amazon) — Renewed
- Wolf Creek (Pop) — Renewed
- Chance (Hulu) — Renewed