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Fall TV: Fresh Meat

Mandy C. and new FYA contributor Emily brave screwing up their own permanent records and break into the principal’s office to get the 411 on TV’s newest students.

Fall TV: Fresh Meat

Although the first love of most FYAers is the written word, from time to time we all enjoy letting our imaginations take a little siesta and vegging out the good ol’ fashioned way: with a TV show.

The start of every new TV season, however, brings with it more shows than one can feasibly watch in a week—if they need to work, sleep or read, that is—and it can be hard to decide which show(s) to devote precious DVR hard drive space to recording. Don’t fret, though! We’re here to help.

I’m excited to be joined in this mini-series by new FYA contributor Emily, a pop-culture fiend who you’ll certainly be seeing more from soon. But as a brief intro: Emily is thankful she grew up in small town Texas or she might never have had the time to read every The Baby-sitters Club, Sweet Valley High and Judy Blume book published during her childhood. Now, she lives in Austin (oh, big city life), where she watches a lot of television (that mostly revolves around high school students), still makes mixtapes (full of sappy love songs and boy bands), and fantasizes about falling in love with a vampire (with a soul … not a sparkly one).

We hope the following info will help you decide which new shows you’ll make friends with this year—and which shows you might want to avoid when you pass them in the halls.



Name: Sleepy Hollow

Rap Sheet: While on a military mission in 1790, during which he cuts off the head of the dreaded Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane “dies”—but then wakes up very alive in Sleepy Hollow ... in 2014. Unluckily for him, the Headless Horseman has traveled forward in time, too, and has picked up his nefarious deeds where he left off. In order to stop him, Ichabod partners with new Sleepy Hollow sheriff Abbie Mills.

First Class Starts: Monday, Sept. 16 on Fox

Clique: Tom Mison (Lost in Austen’s Mr. Bingley!) as Ichabod Crane, Nicole Beharie (42) as Abbie Mills, Clancy Brown (Carnivàle, a billion cartoons) as Sheriff August Corbin, John Cho (Star Trek Into Darkness, Harold & Kumar) as Andy Dunn and Orlando Jones (MADtv, Drumline) as Captain Frank Irving.


Emily—Bang. It’s a new spin on the same police, detective, law enforcement duos we’ve seen over and over and over again. I, however, enjoy those shows. A little banter, a little time travel, a villain without a head. I think it’ll be entertaining enough to keep my attention, just probably not (intellectually) stimulating in a way that makes a fulfilling relationship.

Mandy—Bang. I, too, love cop dramas, and I would love for this show to stick around for a while—I enjoy the supernatural vibe and the fish-out-of-water premise—but I have a feeling the U.S. viewing audience isn’t really going to connect with it. I do think the tag-team producer duo of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (The Proposal, Watchmen, Star Trek) is promising. And John Cho is in it! John Cho is the best.



Name: Hostages

Rap Sheet: Dr. Ellen Sanders is a dedicated surgeon and mom. When she and her family are taken hostage by a group of men who want her to take part in a plot to assassinate the president, she is forced to make a decision that will have dire consequences either way. All might not be what it seems, however, as the head kidnapper is also an FBI agent.

First Class Starts: Monday, Sept. 23 on CBS

Clique: Toni Collette (United States of Tara, Little Miss Sunshine) as Ellen Sanders, Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story, The Practice) as Agent Duncan Carlisle, Tate Donovan (Damages, The O.C.) as Brian Sanders and Rhys Coiro (Entourage, 24) as Kramer Daly.


Emily—Marry.  Edge. Of. My. Seat. Love the cast, love the concept, love the trailer. Plus, I have an inside source that says it’s amazing, and that the whole “hostage” situation is just the beginning (which relieved my only fear of this being a one season hit).

Mandy—Kill. I think the trailer looks fantastic … if the show was a movie. Although there might be something more to the premise than the hostage situation and the assassination attempt, I’m just not sure if I want to sit through a whole season to find out what.



Name: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Rap Sheet: After the Battle of New York, the world is no longer in the dark about the existence of aliens and supervillains, and it’s up to the agents of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.), led by Agent Phil Coulson (COULSON LIVES!), to keep the peace while the big name superheroes are busy with their own problems.

First Class Starts: Tuesday, Sept. 24 on ABC

Clique: Clark Gregg (the Marvel universe, The New Adventures of Old Christine) as Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen (SGU Stargate Universe, ER) as Melinda May, Brett Dalton (Killing Lincoln) as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet (Nashville) as Skye, Iain De Caestecker (The Fades) as Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge (The Thompsons—“Twilight meets Tarantino”?) as Jemma Simmons.


Emily—Marry. I will follow Joss Whedon to the end of the world (or the hellmouth) and back, just to do it all again. Plus, The Avengers was freakin’ fantastic. What more proof of a good show do you need?

Mandy—Marry. HIS NAME IS PHIL. I left The Avengers not believing for one second that Coulson was actually dead. (I feel very vindicated in my belief now.) I cannot wait to get to watch him on my TV every week. Even though Ming-Na is in the show—she tends to ruin shows for me—I’m super excited about this ensemble and the action that fills in the spaces between Marvel movies.



Name: The Crazy Ones

Rap Sheet: The advertising agency of Roberts & Roberts is run by Simon Roberts and his daughter Sydney. The father-daughter duo have very different ideas on how best to run the business, but often fall back on the elder Roberts’ crazy ways.

First Class Starts: Thursday, Sept. 26 on NBC

Clique: Robin Williams (so many things) as Simon Roberts, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Sydney Roberts, James Wolk (Mad Men, Lone Star) as Zach Cropper, Hamish Linklater (The Newsroom, The New Adventures of Old Christine) as Andrew and Amanda Setton (The Mindy Project, Gossip Girl) as Lauren Slotsky.


Emily—Staying together for the children. Yes, I made up a new category. I want with my entire being for this show to work. I want SMG to finally do something great post-Buffy, and Robin Williams to be in my life weekly for the unforeseeable future.  But I also see that it’s a probably unrealistic dream. Also, I’ve never been on the Kelly Clarkson bandwagon, so there are a few more strikes there.

Mandy—Bang. Some things about this show make me wary, namely the facts that Robin Williams’ tendency to go over-the-top might have gotten to be too much for TV and that Sarah Michelle Gellar really hasn’t done anything good since Buffy. But perhaps two wrongs can make a right in this case?



Name: Betrayal

Rap Sheet: The beleaguered photographer wife of a douchey high-powered lawyer finds herself attracted to another man—who just so happens to be her husband’s rival attorney in a murder case involving a powerful family.

First Class Starts: Sunday, Sept. 29 on ABC

Clique: Hannah Ware (Shame) as Sara Hadley, Stuart Townsend (The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Queen of the Damned) as Jack McAllister, Chris J. Johnson (Against the Wall, The Vampire Diaries) as Drew Hadley, James Cromwell (American Horror Story, Star Trek: First Contact, loads of other things) as Thatcher Karsten and Henry Thomas (E.T.!) as T.J. Karsten.


Emily—Kill. I’ve already got Olivia Pope and Emily Thorne as the current bad asses in my life. I don’t have room for a pushover housewife that’s just going to annoy me even more with every bad decision she makes.

Mandy—Bang. I’m not usually one for this type of show, but something about the trailer has me wanting more. (Perhaps it’s just the Stuart Townsend effect? I tend to enjoy him in things, regardless of how bad they are on the whole.) I’m not planning on giving this a series order on my DVR, but I’ll check it out On Demand while I’m doing my weekend work.



Name: Super Fun Night

Rap Sheet: Three misfit friends, who’ve spent every Friday night in for the last 13 years, decide to take their Friday Fun Night out—and hijinks ensue.

First Class Starts: Wednesday, Oct. 2 on ABC

Clique: Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids) as Kimmie, Lauren Ash (The Ron James Show) as Marika, Liza Lapira (Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, Dollhouse) as Helen-Alice and Kevin Bishop (Muppet Treasure Island) as Richard.


Emily—Bang. I bless the day Rebel Wilson was brought into my life. Just can’t tell, yet, if she’s that friend I want to follow around every week on the edge of my seat for what she’s going to do next, or if she’ll drive me crazy with too much togetherness. Fingers crossed for a rockin’ good time every Wednesday night.

Mandy—Bang (with a high possibility of morning-after regret). The fact that a show about Friday nights airs on Wednesday bothers me. The fact that Rebel Wilson has an American accent bothers me. The fact that the probability of this show being horribly, horribly awkward bothers me. And yet—Rebel Wilson. I have to check it out.



Name: The Originals

Rap Sheet: A spin-off of The Vampire Diaries (TVD), The Originals centers on Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah, the original vampires, and Klaus’ return to New Orleans, a city which he helped build. The city is not “his” city anymore, however—it’s being run by Klaus’ protégé Marcel—and Klaus must fight to get back his position of power.

First Class Starts: Thursday, Oct. 3 on The CW

Clique: Joseph Morgan (TVD, Immortals) as Klaus, Daniel Gillies (Saving Hope, TVD) as Elijah, Charles Michael Davis (Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth) as Marcel, Claire Holt (TVD, Pretty Little Liars) as Rebekah, Phoebe Tonkin (TVD, The Secret Circle) as Hayley and Callard Harris (Dallas) as Thierry.


Emily—Bang. Who doesn’t love a sexy vampire, or wolf, or hybrid (what the heck is a hybrid again?), but I was over most of these characters by the end of this past season of TVD. Yet, my hesitation on the “kill” lies in the fact that I didn’t hate the backdoor pilot they aired this spring. I just want to make sure we’ve all learned that a hot love triangle can only sustain a show for so long … unless it’s REALLY hot.

Mandy—Kill. My opinion’s not really that qualified, seeing as I fell off the TVD bandwagon a couple of seasons ago at the very beginning of the Originals storyline. (DVR issues + getting a bit bored with the show.) But I know that the smarmyness of both Klaus and Elijah was a total turnoff from the get-go.



Name: The Tomorrow People

Rap Sheet: Stephen has long struggled with a sleep disorder and auditory hallucinations that make him feel like—and be treated like—a freak. Until one day when he finds out that he isn’t anything of the sort; in fact, he’s a member of the next level of human evolution, super-humans with special powers who call themselves the Tomorrow People. As such, Stephen must keep under the radar, however, because people like him are being hunted down and killed by a shadowy arm of the U.S. government—led by Stephen’s uncle.

First Class Starts: Wednesday, Oct.9 on The CW

Clique: Robbie Amell (Revenge, cousin of Arrow’s Stephen Amell) as Stephen, Sarah Clarke (The Twilight Saga, 24) as Marla, Peyton List (Mad Men, 90210) as Cara, Luke Mitchell (Home and Away, Neighbours) as John Young, Mark Pellegrino (the US version of Being Human, Supernatural) as Dr. Jedikiah Price, Jeffrey Pierce (Cult, Alcatraz) as Jack, Madeline Mantock (Casualty) as Julie and Aaron Yoo (Friday the 13th, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) as Russell.


Emily—Bang. Hot young adults with superpowers? Yes, please. Just seems to be missing that spark that’s going to keep me excited week to week, feels a little “been done before.” A little too X-Men-ish, maybe?

Mandy—Bang. I agree that this sounds utterly familiar (and I’m not talking about the 1970s UK version of the show, which I’ve never seen), but I’m still really intrigued. I’m excited to see Mark Pellegrino in it—he plays such deliciously evil bad guys—and I’m always down for a “good (but misunderstood) guys against the government”-style plot.



Name: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Rap Sheet: A spin-off of Once Upon a Time (OUAT), Once Upon a Time in Wonderland focuses on some of the other individuals of the magical realms, namely Alice (of In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass fame). Alice’s stories of her many adventures in Wonderland have landed her in an insane asylum, but she is broken out by her magical mates to adventure another day—and find her lost love.

First Class Starts: Thursday, Oct. 10 on ABC

Clique: Sophie Lowe (The Slap) as Alice, Peter Gadiot (Hot Mess) as Cyrus, Michael Socha (the UK version of Being Human, brother of Misfits’ Lauren Socha) as the Knave of Hearts, Naveen Andrews (Sinbad, Lost) as Jafar, John Lithgow (Dexter, Third Rock From the Sun) as the voice of the White Rabbit and Emma Rigby (Prisoners Wives, Hollyoaks) as the Red Queen.


Emily—Bang. Yes, I can be wooed by an amazing trailer, and this one makes me want to live in this world. OUAT has never captured me the way I wanted it to, but this feels like it has a twist that has the potential to suck me in and take me to a new happy place I may want to stay in for a while.

Mandy—Marry. I’ve always wanted to see more of the magical realms in OUAT, so this being set mostly in the other worlds makes me very happy. The Disney lover in me also gets a total kick out the fact that the showrunners (for both this show and OUAT) are mixing classic story characters with Disney ones. Plus, if Michael Socha is half as sassy as his sister, I’m going to have a very hard time rooting for the actual love interest of the show.



Name: Reign

Rap Sheet: Mary, the queen of the Scots, is sent to France to meet and become betrothed to Francis, the future king of France. She soon finds that he's not really that interested in a real relationship with her—and she feels much the same way about him. And, of course, intrigue, secrets and betrayal are the order of the day.

First Class Starts: Thursday, Oct. 17 on The CW

Clique: Adelaide Kane (Teen Wolf) as Mary, Toby Regbo (Treasure Island, young Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) as Francis, Torrance Coombs (Heartland, The Tudors) as Sebastian, Megan Follows (Heartland, Anne of Green Gables) as Catherine de' Medici, Alan Van Sprang (King, The Tudors) as King Henry II, Rossif Sutherland (King, ER) as Nostradamus, Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia) as Lola and Caitlin Stasey (Neighbours) as Kenna.


Emily—Bang. Accents, tortured love, royalty. I can only imagine how the story will be butchered, but I don’t watch TV for a history lesson. I watch it for the teen angst.

Mandy—Kill. I’m not typically a stickler for historical accuracies, but this just looks like something out of a poorly researched fanfic. Plus—if you’ll allow me to be superficial for a moment—when the only guys in the main cast I find in any way attractive are the dad and Nostradamus, I’m pretty sure I no longer fit in the show’s target audience.



Name: Dracula

Rap Sheet: The king of vampires heads to the U.S. disguised as Alexander Grayson, an American entrepreneur. While he works his way into the aristocracy with his worldly ways and new ideas, he keeps his true goal—vengeance upon those who have wronged him—always in mind. When he meets Mina Murray, who is the spitting image of his former wife, however, his plans change.

First Class Starts: Friday, Oct. 25 on NBC

Clique: Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Tudors, Bend it Like Beckham) as Dracula/Alexander Grayson, Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) as Mina Murray, Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Mr. Selfridge, Will & Kate: Before Happily Ever After) as Jonathan Harker, Katie McGrath (Merlin) as Lucy Westenra, Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones) as R.M. Renfield, Victoria Smurfit (The Clinic) as Lady Jane and Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula (2012)) as Abraham Van Helsing.


Emily—Kill. In a world full of a new vampire mythology being born every day, if you’re going to do the King of Kings, you gotta do it right. And I just can’t get behind this. What even is this?

Mandy—Bang. Jonathan Rhys Meyers can, at times, overact (*cough*The Mortal Instruments*cough*), but he’s got a way with the smolder that makes my knees weak. I’m intrigued by how this version of the myth will change things, and I tend to overlook the cheese when there’s good chemistry involved—and the trailer hinted at good things to come between Jonathan and Jessica.

Which of these shows are you most pumped to see? Did we leave off any that you’re excited to check out? Let us know in the comments!

We’ll be back next week with our thoughts on some returning favorites.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.