To watch or not: New TV for September 2014
September is always a tough month for avid TV viewers, but for all the right reasons. Do you stick with what you know, the sure to be fab sixth season of Modern Family or do you try your luck with something new, last year is might have been Dads, how did that turn out…
Anyhow, to help you through the minefield of shows, with a surprisingly familiar set of themes and producers, here a quick view of what’s new in September that is worth your time in our handy To watch or not feature. Bear in mind these shows have just aired their first episode.
Tyrant Fox (UK) Tuesday at 9pm
Kinda like a spinoff of Homeland (unsurprisingly as it’s produced by Howard Gordon) this Middle East based drama has an exiled son of a tyrant returning home for his father's funeral and getting caught up in the middle of a political crisis. Stuck in his homeland trying to guide the new ruler, his brother, through the crisis. It all sounds a bit too topical, isn’t this what we see on the news everyday? Reception for the show in the US where the full season has ended was lukewarm to say the least. Plus there’s the disadvantage of Shrewsbury born Adam Rayner in the lead role as a Middle Eastern man. Hmmmm.
The Last Ship Sky1 Tuesday at 8pm
Pushing high concept to the extremes is this drama is the story of a Navy destroyer safe at sea whilst 80% of the world’s population is wiped out. If you've seen the first episode you'll know that it treads that fine line between cheese and drama that US TV does so well. And a decent set of reviews and viewing figures have led to a second season already being commissioned in the US so this is well worth your time. Plus it already seems better than the last post-apocalyptic US show Revolution.
The Leftovers Sky Atlantic Tuesday at 9pm
Another high concept show of the type that either hits or misses, think FlashForward or Lost (producer Damon Lindelof is a Lost alumni). The basic premise is that 2% of the world’s population (see a theme here) suddenly disappeared with no explanation, the show picks up three years after the event. With a focus on the human drama it’s likely to share themes with Channel 4’s successful import The Returned. More strong US critical reaction and an excellent cast (Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, and more) mean this is one to get your teeth in to. And a second season looks likely. The pilot episode raises plenty of questions, let's see whether there are answers forthcoming.
Legends Sky1 Wednesday at 10pm
It seems a long time since Sean Bean (*spoiler alert*) lost his head, and it’s great to see him back on big budget TV. Another show from a Homeland alumni Howard Gordon, a busy man, Bean plays a spy who may have lost himself amongst the myriad of identities (or legends, hence the title) he’s used. The show itself has received mixed reviews Stateside but the ever reliable Bean is getting mucho props for his performance. That makes it a definite watch for us.
The Strain Watch Wednesday at 10pm
The new horror drama from Guillermo Del Toro is hoping to occupy a similar space to American Horror Story scary and grotesque but watchable. In the US, where the first season is drawing to a close, the critics have loved it. And with a renewal for a second season already in the bag it’s one that you can choose to invest some time in.
So a real winning batch of shows there, all on similar days and similar times, thanks the heavens for the planner. Next up, October’s bunch.