Critic's Choice: Freshman TV Series That Made the Cut and Made the DVR
THR's chief TV critic on what gets watched — and what will never be seen again.
The freshman crop of television shows have been on long enough now -- save for a few -- to make the cruelest cuts.
I made an ever-evolving list of what sticks on the DVR, what gets watched if there's enough time left over (there isn't) and what will never be seen again, barring a miraculous upgrade.
So here we go:
Mom (CBS): Nope.
Hostages (CBS): What started out as a great pilot with a dubious premise is now a series stuck in neutral and becoming more pointless by the week. I've kept watching but have, more than once, turned the episode off midway (or before). About to be deleted from the DVR.
The Blacklist (NBC): Full season pass on the DVR (despite a couple of clunkers -- James Spader is enough to overcome those). Solid entertainment -- a show I look forward to watching each week.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox): Full season pass on the DVR. The weirder and more ridiculous it gets, the more I like it. Escapist entertainment.
Almost Human (Fox): It hasn't aired yet, but I gave it a favorable review and look forward to more episodes. But that doesn't really mean anything permanent just yet (see: Hostages). Still, the promise is there.
Agents of SHIELD (ABC): Still on the DVR but in grave danger. The series just isn't compelling enough to watch immediately. And if too many episodes stack up, you know that's a precursor to deletion. At this point, hanging on, but the episodes need to get better fast.
The Goldbergs (ABC): Full season pass on the DVR. Love it.
Trophy Wife (ABC): Yep, still hanging in there. I'm not as in love with it as some others, but it's very good and isn't in danger of being marked for deletion so far.
Dads (Fox): Oh God no.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox): Oh hell yes. Full season pass. Love it.
The Originals (The CW): You should know better.
Super Fun Night (ABC): Wanting to like something and actually liking it is where hopes get dashed. This show didn't make the cut. But if there's a creative rebound before cancelation, a second chance will be granted.
The Tomorrow People (The CW): You're kidding, right? I guess I could watch now and again when I need a side-searing laugh.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC): Despite the debacle of getting the show out so late, I haven't given up yet -- but this is one of those series I mostly watch when the other options have dwindled. And yet, I'm hanging in there so far.
The Millers (CBS): I just can't.
The Crazy Ones (CBS): Not at all crazy for this. See what I did there? Yeah, it's on that level. A nonstarter.
Sean Saves the World (NBC): Sean is saving me some room on the DVR, because there's barely a minute of this show that's bearable.
The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC): I tried. I really did. But the hook didn't get set. Nor did the DVR.
Reign (The CW): Don't be stupid.
Dracula (NBC): Despite Jonathan Rhys Meyers, this show can't overcome the "Why?" factor. Hours are precious. And while it's true that a handful of average to pretty-good shows can make and have made the to-record list, there's a limit.
Betrayal (ABC): A show that seemed pointless from the very first minute. No.
Getting on the DVR is hard -- as it should be, since there's so much great television out there. It doesn't guarantee a show will stay there (time = precious). But for a not-very-strong development season at the network level, I'm more than a little surprised by those that are still around. Nice job to those that are.