The “Almost Best” New Shows Of Fall 2014

These four shows deserve a special shout-out. They may not have made the “best” list but they still rise above other runner-ups and solid new shows. They are the almost best!

“Scorpion”

Scorpion-Wikia_Titlecard_001

My Rating 8.5 out of 10 Stars

Walter O’Brien and a team of outcast geniuses are recruited by Cabe Gallo a federal agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to form Scorpion: a team that is the last line of defense against complex and high-tech threats around the globe. The team is led by O’Brien, one of the smartest people in the world with an IQ of 197, and his friends: Sylvester Dodd, a “human calculator” who deals in statistics; Happy Quinn, a “mechanical prodigy”; and Toby Curtis who is a “world-class shrink” (a Harvard-trained enthusiast). Paige Dineen, a former waitress whose interaction with people translates the real world to these geniuses, rounds out the team, and in exchange they translate her mentally gifted son, Ralph, to her.

I have to say, I am in love with this show. I debated on if it should be on the “Best” list, so it was no question that it was the first runner-up. The show is smart, and different from any other show I have seen, and while I don’t like to admit it, I have been a TV whore in my day. A group a unique young geniuses who are experts in their respective fields, but are absolutely clueless about the real world and how to deal with people (an epidemic in the real world) are brought together to help save countless lives. The first few episodes dealt with landing several planes after a bug in new traffic control software shuts down ground communication systems, biohacking and random bombings that are actually acts of terror with a little espionage thrown in for good measure. I love watching such brilliant, different and smart people thrive, and yet also act amazingly stupid. That is where Paige comes in, who the team encounters in the pilot. It becomes clear that while they do not understand how to translate the world around them, Paige breaks through and is able to act as that translator. And a nerve is struck as they see her struggle to communicate with her son, who is a budding genius.

The complex plots and action are thrilling and the reason people may tune in, but the interpersonal dynamics of the team, both with each other and the outside world, are even more captivating than the problems they have to solve. Watching people genuinely care for one another, but unable to understand how to convey it or what it means is intriguing and the real magic of this show.

“Forever”

Forever_(U.S._TV_series)_Title_Card

My Rating 8.5 out of 10 Stars

Dr. Henry Morgan is a New York City medical examiner who studies the dead for the criminal cases presented to him, as well as to solve the mystery of his own immortality. Since his first death 200 years ago, Morgan disappears almost immediately when he dies and returns to life naked in a nearby body of water. Having also stopped aging, his long life has given Morgan a broad knowledge and remarkable observation skills, which impress most of the people he encounters, including NYPD Detective Jo Martinez. Flashbacks depict events from Morgan’s life, during which he has fought in wars, been married, dissected and even hanged for heresy when he was exposed. Only antiquarian Abe, whom Morgan and his former wife Abigail found as a newborn in a German concentration camp during World War II, knows that he is immortal. That is until Morgan is stalked by a murderer who calls himself Adam, who has learned Henry’s secret and claims to have had the same “curse” for over 2,000 years.

I liked this show from the very beginning and yet at the same time I didn’t think it would last because it was very interesting and yet seemed somewhat undeveloped at the same time. The idea of a man who lives forever and doesn’t know why is interesting. His deaths and rebirths are also interesting and could be the beginning of an entire mythology, but the show doesn’t do much with it, perhaps because Henry still doesn’t understand any of it. The cases each week are interesting enough, and the flashbacks add something extra to make them pop, but what this show has going for it the most is “Adam” a killer who has all the time in the world to get to Henry because he has been living with Henry’s immortality “affliction” for more than 2,000 years. Adam has tried to kill Henry and has saved him, and his taunting phone calls give the series an arc for the first season. Who is Adam? And what is the secret to his and Henry’s immortality? And of course, why? I hope the show is smart enough to play with this and develop it well as the show goes on.

“Forever” is full of potential, some unrealized and some that it really taps into after a few episodes. It is still a little lost in finding its stride, but I hope that it does soon, because right now it’s good, and I know it can be great. Right now it’s just lucky it has so much potential, because it is coasting on it.

“Benched”

benched-usa-title-premiere-2014

My Rating 8.5 out of 10 Stars

A comedy about Nina Whitley, a high-powered corporate attorney who has a nervous breakdown after being passed over for partner at her firm, and dumped by her fiancé, Trent Barber. Following her hilarious fall from grace she begins working as a public defender with hopes of proving herself and getting back into corporate law. On her first day in court, she is up against more than she bargained for when her former fiancé Trent turns out to be the ADA she will be squaring off against every day in court.

This show is one of best new sitcoms of the season (there are two, see directly below this). First of all the meltdown is hilarious, but Nina just keeps pulling those comedic punches. The polarity of rich corporate lawyer power player to overworked, underpaid and unappreciated public defender is a culture shock that the viewers get to revel in, from job expectations, to how she is treated by others and what she thinks of herself, to her new digs; life is unapologetic regarding the place Nina finds herself, and in the first few episodes she is just beginning to actually find herself.

Of course the show is at its best when she is putting her extremely attractive yet full-of-himself former fiancé in his place in the courtroom. Because at her core, Nina is a powerful, smart and capable woman who will put anyone who gets in her way, in their place. For our viewing pleasure! 😉

“The McCarthys”

the_mccarthys

My Rating 8.5 out of 10 Stars

This series revolves around the McCarthy family, a close-knit working class Boston clan whose sports legacy runs deep in the family. But when outspoken father Arthur, a dedicated high school basketball coach, decides to take his athletically challenged, and openly gay, son Ronny under his wing as his new assistant, Ronny’s other siblings who are more passionate about sports start crying “foul” over their father’s choice.

This show is the “other” best new sitcom of the season (it was a tie). The show is supposed to focus on the entire family, but it really seems to revolve around Ronny, and his crazy family are just (powerful) supporting players. I love the family dynamics in this show from the mother who can’t say the word “love” to his bonehead brothers, scrappy sister, and his father who wants to get to know the only kid he feels he doesn’t, and that is why Ronny is offered the role of assistant-coach in a sport he knows nothing about.

Another thing I love about this show is that the main character is gay, and it really isn’t a big deal. And by that I mean it really isn’t a thing period. This show doesn’t just have an “in name only” gay character – in the second episode Ronny has a new boyfriend. And yet the comedic romantic plot in the episode focused on Ronny terrified for his new beau to meet his crazy family, because they were crazy. Gender and sexual orientation never entered the picture. And as far as his family, it was never about his new boyfriend being a guy or gay, but about his incredibly sunny demeanor that made them think he was in a cult. The point is, this is how gay on TV should be portrayed. It is just one aspect of a person. I like that the show doesn’t shy away from this aspect, and yet the plot, jokes and dynamics could be completely interchangeable with a straight counterpart. Sweet! 🙂


I talk too much so I had to split up this post, but this was perfect because these four shows are the “almost best” of the group. I seriously considered putting many of them on the “best” list and at least having a “Top 10” so this is a way that I get to do that (all right I guess it would be a “Top 11” list). 😉

The remaining shows are still great, but I didn’t lose any sleep declaring them clear runner-ups. 😛 Until next!

-DMW

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One Response to The “Almost Best” New Shows Of Fall 2014

  1. Pingback: New Shows Of Fall 2014: The Runner-Ups And Some Filler | Just A Little Red

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