Fall television lineup: What to look out for this season

By: Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor

Fall is here and to me that doesn’t mean pumpkin spice lattes or new fashion. It means a whole new wave of offerings are about to hit (or return to) the small screen.

I’m going to keep it simple and talk about the programs I’m looking forward to, new and returning, and the shows that people should be watching. The easiest place to start is premium cable.

The top choice here is Homeland on Showtime. This American political thriller captures the attention of audiences with a strong storyline of a prisoner-of-war who was rescued and dropped into the public eye. In the past seasons, the story kept you guessing by never really telling you whether Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was a hero returned from battle or a spy sent by the enemy. This year they are cutting that storyline, a bold move that will allow growth for the transfixing character of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) beginning on Oct. 5.

The other big returner is Boardwalk Empire on HBO. This drama set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era has incredible visual style and is surprisingly historical for a high-action show. The final season started on Sept. 7 and promises to finish the series with an intense final season. The “new kid on the bluff,” so to speak, is The Affair on Showtime. It’s a show about an affair that delves into the psychology of two married couples with a half from each forming the affair. It has a great cast and word on the street is that they have a very unique way of storytelling that is going to be riveting for fans starting Oct. 12.

AP Photo
AP Photo

There are plenty of fresh new ideas on the way. Here are some new shows that have caught my eye: Black-ish on ABC, Gotham on FOX, How to Get Away with Murder on ABC, Red Band Society on FOX, Scorpion on CBS, and Z Nation on Syfy. One of these shows is bound to become a household name by season’s end. But since they won’t all hit I will leave it up to you to find out more about them. I will say this though: this is a strong lineup that appeals to a wide variety of audiences.

A void was left by shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter and True Blood. A show that hopes to fill that void is AMC’s The Walking Dead. This is by far one of the best shows on TV. The zombie thriller puts viewers into the apocalyptic world better than any other show has. The journey has been addicting and this season has the potential to take the show to new heights with the crew still trapped in Terminus. The zombie adventure continues on Oct. 12 with 16 fresh new episodes.

Another show that could come close to this upper tier of TV is Sons of Anarchy on FX. The explosive two-hour season premiere hinted at TV gold for the show’s final season. This rough around the edges drama about a biker gang that will stop at nothing in pursuit of the almighty dollar has pushed the boundaries for years. The interplay between characters and the internal struggle that becomes outwardly visible are just a few of the many things that make this show great.

Some of the top shows this season will be comedies. These are some of the top returners. Wednesdays offer two different kinds of comedy. ABC’s Modern Family continues to be one of the most watched comedies around, following the life of an extended family dealing with today’s issues. Meanwhile on Comedy Central South Park continues to poke fun at some of the hottest issues in the news. Both premiered last night. Another fun animated comedy from Comedy Central is Brickleberry. The show, which premiered on Sept. 16, is the brainchild of comedian Daniel Tosh, which, as you might expect, means the show can be very offensive and crude. If that’s your style this show does it better than anything else. The Big Bang Theory kicked off their newest season Sept. 22. The show is still great even if Penny’s new haircut isn’t.

Finally there are a few other dramas that should return with strong seasons. CBS’s Person of Interest is a great crime-fighting drama. Nashville, on ABC, has the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but with the southern twang of the city it is set in and named after.

Lastly, I don’t watch many reality shows. If there is one that I enjoy it would be The Ultimate Fighter on Fox Sports 1. Stay with me here. Sure there is grotesque violence and the heart of the show is a sport, but there is still a lot of reality show here, considering it’s the first all-women season. It will give you the drama of reality and brutality that is mixed martial arts.

The fall lineup is solid, although a bit behind the spring lineup. The fall lineup offers a bit more diversity. Whatever you’re looking for there is something out there for you. So, put down the pumpkin spice and load up the DVR.