Though in recent years the concept of a “TV season” has pretty much fallen by the wayside, the traditional start of new episodes of broadcast shows has typically been in September. And while Netflix can launch Stranger Things in July, October, or whenever it feels like, really, the old networks still rely on this tried and true release schedule. Kids are back in school, the summer months give way to a chill in the air, and new episodes start airing. This fall, in addition to the return of broadcast TV, we the viewers have several new streaming services, several of which have “+” in their names, and in this era of #PeakTV, a slew of new shows on which to obsess. Here are some new and returning shows that I’m looking forward to seeing this fall.
The Mandalorian | Disney+ | November 12th
In recent years, Star Wars has become a somewhat embattled franchise. The Last Jedi debuted to mixed reviews, and the furor over new entries in the Skywalker saga has certainly seemed to wane. On the television side, animated fare such as Star Wars: Rebels has seemed to garner overall praise for expanding the canon and scope of the space opera. I’ve been a Star Wars fan though it all, and I’m looking forward to The Mandalorian, and have been since I heard it would be a Boba Fett-focused series. Nixing that particular bounty hunter in favor of a generic one, the new series aims to fill in some gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens while telling a unique story of a guy (?) just trying to make a living in the wide galaxy of blasters and light sabers, and hopefully no midichlorians. Taking a break from the Jedi/Sith conflict seems to be a step in the right direction, and I have faith that showrunner John Favreau can finally bring a successful live-action Star Wars to the small screen.
Living With Yourself | Netflix | October 18th
It’s Paul Rudd, and… Paul Rudd?! Yes, Netflix did use that hokey credits shtick in their trailer for this new comedy. Rudd plays a man named Miles who undergoes a procedure to better himself, but ends up with a Miles clone – a clone who is better at being Miles than Miles – and hijinks undoubtedly ensue. Have we seen this premise before? Sure. Do I think Paul Rudd can bring something fresh to this concept? Absolutely. His comedic timing and ability to bring pathos and likability to his characters make this series worth a look.
Arrow/The Flash/Batwoman | The CW | Oct 15th/8th/6th
The Arrowverse is about to be shaken to its core with its version of legendary comic book tale Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the comics, Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El (aka The Flash and Supergirl) are sacrificed to save the multi-verse; however given the events of Arrow season 7 and the show’s cancellation, it’s safe to assume Green Arrow Oliver Queen will be stepping in so the other shows can continue. I’ve always enjoyed the Arrowverse crossovers – some much more than others – and this season’s seems to be the most ambitious, and will likely have the most lasting effects on the characters.
I’m hoping The Flash can shake things up a bit after last season; the villain (a woefully miscast Chris Klein) was laughable, and the writers really struggled to keep that conflict going (I mean, the heroes can only have the villain dead to rights so many times before you start rooting for the villain). Adding future kid Nora to the mix, and her relationship to a certain evil speedster was such a great idea, though again keeping up the mystery and intrigue for the whole season got tiresome. And the less said about Sherloque, the better. It seems they will split the season up into arcs, which is usually a good idea – as network TV seasons are quite long and fans (especially this one) don’t have great attention spans. I’m cautiously optimistic The Flash can catch that lightning in a bottle again.
New to the ‘verse is Batwoman, the Ruby Rose-fronted series that re-introduces the titular Gotham City heroine after her appearance in last year’s Elseworlds crossover. Though the show seems to have a similar dark tone akin to Arrow‘s first season, I’m not entirely convinced it will be unique enough to stand out from the pack. Will there be a Bat-team? Probably. Will there be young-adult soap-opera-y themes? It’s the CW. Unlike her contemporaries, Batwoman is arguably the least-known of the DC superheroes, although everyone is familiar with her cape and cowl-ed cousin. If any show or hero were to replace the departing Arrow, Batwoman certainly seems to fit the bill, but time will tell.
And there is so much more! Watchmen, Letterkenny, Disenchantment, FutureMan, Runaways, Always Sunny, and Silicon Valley are all on the Watch List. How can fall not be everyone’s favorite time of year?