Every week, the Criticwire Survey asks film and TV critics two questions. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?” can be found at the end of this post.) Send suggestions for future questions to sam at indiewire dot com.
Q: Although they’re edging away from the traditional September-May season, the networks are still rolling out a steady stream of new series and season premieres over the next several weeks. What are you most looking forward to in the fall TV season?
Jason Osder, director, “Let the Fire Burn”
Without a doubt, the final season of “Boardwalk Empire.” Moments of questionable acting aside, This show seems chronically underrated to me. It has the potential to reach the rare air of a scripted drama with five seasons or more that never precipitously falls off at any point.
Liz Shannon Miller, Indiewire
If you haven’t already heard the buzz, hear it here: “Jane the Virgin,” on the CW, promises to be really fun, with interesting characters, a unique premise and some great acting talent. It’s brightly colored telenovela glee, which means it’s not for everyone, but it could definitely become a fan favorite.
Kristy Puchko, Cinema Blend
Writing about superhero movies day in and day out, you’d think I’d want something else for my TV time. But man, there’s just something about “Gotham.” The Fox series locked in my interest as soon as the first picture of their teenaged Catwoman hit. The curly hair and slight smirk of Camren Bicondova suggested not just another “gritty” reboot, but an origin story with some attitude. Batman’s origin story is one we’ve seen a million times before, but by weaving his narrative into those of The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and Jim Gordon, “Gotham” seems to be offering an enticing new take on this mythos. And it’s one I’m stoked to dive into.
Monica Castillo, Movie Mezzanine
“Jane the Virgin”: The premise is silly: a girl in for a routine checkup is accidentally impregnated though she’s never had sex. At first, I was afraid Jane the Virgin would take some stereotypical religious route, but the trailer (and I hope the series) goes in a different direction. Led by Filly Brown’s Gina Rodriguez and based on a popular Venezuelan novela, I’m hoping this will fill the Ugly Betty gap in my schedule.
Sean Axmaker, Cinephiled, Parallax View
The schedule is oversaturated with superhero, fantasy, supernatural, and science fiction shows, yet given that, for some reason I am most excited about seeing if they can get that “Batman: Year One” and “Gotham Central” vibe in “Gotham,” the TV prequel that imagines Gotham City before Batman. It’s a natural comic book noir show.
Adam Batty, Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second
I don’t watch much television, generally speaking, but am bracing myself for the final season of Boardwalk Empire. It’s the kind of show that makes me wish I had more time and interest in the television medium, which is as high a compliment as I can pay any show, given that I’ve only ever watched two shows through to the end before now.
Nell Minow, Beliefnet
Viola Davis is my favorite actor. I’m clearing out my DVR for double-watching every episode of “How to Get Away With Murder.” And I’m hoping hoping hoping “Madam Secretary” will be everything the completely wonderful Tea Leoni and her devoted fans deserve.
Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat, Film Racket
I’m not a huge TV watcher, but “Community” coming back for another season is undoubtedly a highlight for me. Few shows make me laugh as consistently. I also admire how this scrappy little program has held on for six years. It’s the thing that (fortunately) just won’t die. “Community” had a rocky season that one year that Dan Harmon wasn’t on board, but when he came back last season, the show regained a lot of its momentum. My hope is that, in the upcoming season, it continues to ride that wave and maybe even go to some new, unexpected places. That would, in the parlance of Abed, be cool cool cool. As far as new shows, I’ll definitely check out “Marry Me,” because of the awesomely funny Casey Wilson.
Joanna Langfield, The Movie Minute
“Black-ish”: wouldn’t it be great if a TV sitcom could accomplish what so many politicians and talking heads could not?
Josh Spiegel, Movie Mezzanine
For TV, I’m (now purposely) waiting to binge-watch the entire first season of “The Knick,” directed by Steven Soderbergh. Honestly, he could direct a season of Clive Owen just twiddling his thumbs in turn-of-the-century garb, and I’d watch.
Richard Brody, New Yorker
The reason to eagerly anticipate TV series created by directors of good movies is that those series are likelier to be good. Calling TV a writers’ medium is like calling novels an editors’ medium. Editors are essential; so are screenwriters; but when the balance of influence tilts too far, the result, in television (or, for that matter, in movies) is like those series of novels churned out for kids, in which a mastermind comes up with the plots for the books that other writers are hired to flesh out; it’s as if the directors at work on them were painting pictures while jumping on the hopscotch board that the rigid plotting dictated; they do the best they can but what’s mainly visible is the mandatory pattern they jump to. I’m sure (he says with a Socratic smile) that there will be many fine series premiering on TV this fall, and I’ll take good advice from the critics on which ones to sample, but the series I’m most looking forward to is the World Series; it would be good to see the inspired and ripened Montreal Expos (I mean, the Washington Nationals) or the Dodgers, with their freestyle flair, take on the Angels’ powerhouse.
Tony Dayoub, Cinema Viewfinder, Slant Magazine
I must admit that the only new show I’m even remotely interested in is one of the many comic-book based series debuting this season, “The Flash.” It just looks like a lot of shameless fun, something missing from so many of these self-important superhero films. And of course I’m eager to see how two of my long-running favorites, “Boardwalk Empire” and “Sons of Anarchy,” wrap up their final seasons.
Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit, First Showing
The TV show I’m most looking forward to is actually “The Newsroom.” I’m apparently one of the few who don’t actually hate watch and legitimately enjoy the program. It’s a small club, but I’m happy to be a member.
John Keefer, 51 Deep
Since John Mulaney is one of the funniest people on Earth at the moment I’ll say “Mulaney.” To be honest I just found out that this show is happening so my anticipation is like a newborn; I don’t know if it counts. So I’ll say “Houdini” too just to be safe.
Ethan Alter, Film Journal International, NYCFilmCritic
I’m eager to see whether Fox’s surprise hit “Sleepy Hollow” comes back strong like “The X-Files” Season 2 or stumbles and fumbles like “X-Files” Season 6. My hopes are also high that the constantly improving “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” stays on track to become a satisfying replacement for the soon-to-exit “Parks and Recreation.” Over on cable, I’d be thrilled if “American Horror Story: Freak Show” were more like “Asylum” and a hell of a lot less like “Coven.” And the return of “The League” will hopefully remind everyone that FXX is (slightly) more than just a place to watch old “Simpsons” episodes.
Gary M. Kramer, Philadelphia Gay News
I don’t watch much TV but I’m eagerly awaiting the last season of “White Collar.”
Luke Y. Thompson, Topless Robot
When it comes to TV I’m more boringly pragmatic. I look forward to the comics-based shows my readers and I will enjoy complaining about every week, like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Gotham,” “Arrow,” “Constantine” and so on. And of course “The Walking Dead,” which I think I like better than they do.