If there’s a silver lining to be found in the end of the summertime—besides the opportunity to retire our flip-flops!—it’s that we are on the precipice of the fall television season. Thank goodness. In an effort to get you and your DVR prepared, here’s the Observer’s fall TV preview. We’ve already covered CBS and NBC. Now onto Fox!
Glee (Wednesdays at 9 p.m., premieres September 9)
What Fox says: “Glee is an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. The show follows an optimistic high school teacher, as he tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the high school’s glee club and challenging a group of outcasts to realize their star potential.”
What we say: While we’ll readily admit the pilot episode that aired back in May didn’t make us go gaga, there are plenty of things to like about Glee. Despite being more derivative than the hype machine would have you believe (this is Election: The Musical!, after all), the series is one of the more original television entries to find its way to air this fall. That the cast—specifically Lea Michele as Glee’s resident Tracy Flick—is spot on, too, doesn’t hurt either.
What we’ll say six months from now: “We still aren’t sure if we like Glee, but we’ll be damned if we haven’t watched every episode.”
Brothers (Fridays at 8 p.m., premieres September 25)
What Fox says: “Starring Michael Strahan (Fox NFL Sunday) and Daryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell (Ed, Veronica’s Closet), Brothers is a new half-hour comedy about a former NFL hot shot who learns that even though you can always go home again, the trip back might be tougher than you think.”
What we say: If you’re looking to bet on the first series to get canceled this fall, you might want to put some money down on Brothers. As if this premise didn’t sound bad enough, must we direct you to the timeslot: Fridays at 8. Why even bother?
What we’ll say six months from now: “Fox should have given a sit-com to Pac Man Jones and not Michael Strahan. Now that we would watch.”
The Cleveland Show (Sundays at 8:30 p.m., premieres September 27)
What Fox says: “The Cleveland Show is a new animated series that follows everyone’s favorite soft-spoken neighbor, Cleveland Brown (from Family Guy), to his hometown in Virginia.”
What we say: Fans of Family Guy will no doubt find The Cleveland Show hilarious. For the rest of us, it will reside in that nether region of shows we know exist, but have never actually seen (hello, American Dad!). That the animated series is one of the only shows this fall to feature an African-American in the lead (joining Brothers)—and that the character is actually voiced by Mike Henry, who is white—certainly says something bleak about the state of race on television in 2009.
What we’ll say six months from now: “Why doesn’t Seth McFarlane just give Stewie a spin-off and get it over with?”