Early fall TV impressions

Almost two months into the new TV season, there are some clear winners. I already have my favorite, and below I have listed my favorite new drama, comedy and most surprising new show. Granted, there are a few shows that have yet to air, but I have full confidence that they would not have made my list anyways.

Viola Davis in 'How to Get Away with Murder"

Best New Drama

“How to Get Away With Murder”

Viola Davis lured me here, and she has not disappointed. Actually, the whole cast has not disappointed. Of the five episodes that have aired, not a single one of them has failed to make me gasp, think intuitively and crave more. Getting back to the cast, Viola Davis simply does not disappoint in her role as professor Annalise Keating. She joined the show because she wanted a meaty, juicy role that film was not necessarily offering her. Well, she got that and more. She absolutely kills it in this leading role. She is so commanding when she is on screen, and her take on her character is intimidating. Come award season time, if she’s not nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama, well, it’ll be a travesty. Her supporting cast excels at driving the show toward greatness. Jack Falahee’s portrayal as Connor, one of Annalise’s students, is particularly captivating. Falahee’s dark, witty and sneaky portrayal of the character easily steals a lot of scenes. It’s refreshing that creator Peter Nowalk and the show’s writers are not afraid to “go there” with Connor’s personal life and endeavors. I’m not sure a broadcast series has ever fully explored a character like this before. He is not the only fascinating character though. Every other cast member portrays their role extremely well and can also potentially steal a scene when least expected. Side note, can I say it’s such a pleasure to see Liza Weil on television every week again. That being said, every week the show ups the intensity more than the previous episode. The series has already been picked up for a full season, but it will be just 15 episodes. I suspect’s Davis’s film career obligations probably intervene. Nonetheless, the show dares to push the limits each week with sophisticated writing, top-notch drama and one hell of an ensemble cast. As the ABC tagline for Thursday night goes, “Thank God It’s Thursday.” But also thank god for Shonda Rhimes. “How to Get Away with Murder” airs Thursday nights at 10/9 CDT on ABC.

Best New Comedy

“Marry Me”

Have I mentioned I miss “Happy Endings”? Yeah, ABC, that’s still not sitting well. Thank goodness for NBC, though, because they have brought me the next best thing. Starring in this hilarious new show is “Happy Endings” alum Casey Wilson. Her, along with co-star Ken Marino, are such fun to watch together. It’s only aired for two episodes, but the chemistry is undeniable. Over two episodes I have cackled a lot, and I do mean a lot. The writing is sharp, extremely funny and the entire cast gives the dialogue such justice. It’s been awhile since NBC has produced a really good comedy, minus last year’s “About a Boy” which is amazing and you should watch it and love it. Of all the comedy shows in the past years, that one and this new one feel right to me and are great starting points for the network to build upon. Good thing they both air on the same night, in the same hour. “Marry Me” airs Tuesday nights at 9/8 CDT on NBC.

Biggest Surprise

“The Mysteries of Laura”

Yes, I said it. Everybody was such a hater with this show coming into the new TV season, and most of them still are. I saw complaints calling it “mom-cop show,” “Debra Messing deserves better,” and that “it’s so old-school.” I believed the hype in the beginning, but it’s Grace Adler, uh, I mean Debra Messing, and I was going to give it a shot no matter. So I did, and guess what? I loved it. So what if it’s a little bit old school? I love old school, and to me, this is a perfect fit for the 7 p.m. hour on Wednesdays. And to say Debra Messing deserves better, well wouldn’t Debra Messing know when something was not a good fit for her? This is a great role and her portrayal is goofy, at times poignant and just plain hilarious. The show itself is a fun time and the supporting cast makes it even more enjoyable. It’s doing well in the ratings, averaging almost 9 million total viewers an episode, which for any network other than CBS is stellar. The all-so-important 18-40 age demographic is averaging around a 1.5, which for NBC is rather good. I’m with this show for the long haul. So if it’s just me and a bunch of 60-year-old people watching, I don’t care. I like what I like, and, in my opinion, this is a great show that has the potential to last some time, if the ratings hold. “The Mysteries of Laura” airs Wednesday nights at 8/7 CDT on NBC.

Honorable Mention


I really do love this show. It’s smart, funny and fast-paced. I have been really impressed with it every week. The odd-ball cast meshes together extremely well and creates an exciting atmosphere. There is a great element of mystery to the show, which makes it even better. “Scorpion” airs Monday nights at 9/8 CDT on CBS.

These new shows are great additions to each respective network. I expect them all to continue to be successful as the season progresses. The TV season is still young, and a lot can happen between now and then. Keep an eye out for trailers, commercials and other ads for new shows because there are a lot of new shows still set to premiere during the mid-season. Both broadcast and cable channels are offering up some great new things.