"The New Atlanta" (Bravo). "Real" young money-seekers of the South, mixed up in fashion, business, music and "event planning." And still they find time to go out at night and drink doubtlessly expensive cocktails. And probably have sex, and sometimes feel sad, and argue.
Friday, Sept. 20
"Great Performances: The Hollow Crown" (PBS). Four Shakespeare history plays, in order of succession: "Richard II," "Henry IV Parts I & II" and "Henry V." With Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Simon Russell Beale, Michelle Dockery, David Suchet, Patrick Stewart, James Purefoy, John Hurt. Someone deserves a thank-you.
Monday, Sept. 23
"Mom" (CBS). Could Chuck Lorre be atoning for eight years of Charlie Harper with this relatively serious (relatively, I said!) multi-camera sitcom about addiction, responsibility and motherhood? Anna Faris is the recently recovering alcoholic at the center, with Allison Janney her more-or-less-sober semi-reformed wild-thing mother and Sadie Calvano her alienated daughter. Funnier than it sounds.
"Hostages" (CBS). In which the dour Dylan McDermott takes prisoner the family of surgeon Toni Collette to force her to do something bad to someone important. I can pretty much guarantee you that not only is all not what it seems but that what it appears to actually be will also not be what it seems. To be.
"The Blacklist" (NBC). In which the strange James Spader plays an international criminal mastermind who coerces rookie federal agent Megan Boone into becoming his cop-buddy. (Reasons: mysterious.) I can pretty much guarantee you that not only is all not what it seems here, etc., etc., unless the obvious thing is really the thing and they're serving you a key on a silver platter. Oh, I don't know. We'll talk later.
Tuesday, Sept. 24
"The Goldbergs" (ABC). It's like "The Wonder Years" for the generation that grew up on "The Wonder Years," with a spritz of seltzer and a complementary plate of pickles, plus yelling and cursing. In 1985. Jeff Garlin is grumpy dad, George Segal foxy grandpa. This is one of the shows I mentioned where a kid talks about breasts.
"Trophy Wife" (ABC). Now, gods, stand up for blonds! Malin Åkerman is the hot young stereotype married to older-guy lawyer Bradley Whitford, who comes with three kids and two ex-wives, one of whom is Marcia Gay Harden. Plus Natalie Morales, endorsed by this department.
"Lucky 7" (ABC). New York City working stiffs, deserving and not (in the moral and narrative senses), share and don't share in a big lottery prize. (Nice to see working stiffs, even if they're made rich.) Characters, complications galore.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (ABC). The season's most controversial series, among copy chiefs: Periods in the title, or periods out? Apart from that, the fact that none of the main characters in this Joss Whedon-created comic-book series is named Nick Fury is not necessarily a deal-breaker. But I will complain a little.
Wednesday, Sept. 25
"Back in the Game" (ABC). James Caan and Maggie Lawson are failed father-and-daughter ballplayers, uncomfortably back living together (with her son) after her divorce. But read the title, man. It's a "Bad News Bears"-type series, actually about baseball.
Thursday, Sept. 26
"The Crazy Ones" (CBS). Robin Williams returns to series TV to test your tolerance for Robin Williams, as a genius madman advertising executive, with Sarah Michelle Gellar as his more grounded daughter. (She'd have to be.) The pilot plays as a gigantic product placement for a certain worldwide hamburger stand, which may or not indicate a "strategy."
"The Michael J. Fox Show" (NBC). Fox's new series has been precision molded to exploit both his gifts and ailment, with the former Alex Keaton as a beloved TV newsman back in the saddle after getting his Parkinson's disease under control — it's analogous! Katie Finneran and Wendell Pierce are among the excellent support Fox doesn't need to stay upright. Cynical about its own sentiment, a way of having its cake and refusing it too.
Friday, Sept. 27