Winter TV Roundup, Week 5

In there weekly posts I take a look at the new shows of winter. I review the pilot and second episode of new scripted series. If you don't see a new series below, check previous weeks.

Monday Nights:
Lucifer, Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX (Premiered January 25)
About: This is the latest drama on FOX, and it's another show based on a D.C. Comics property — albeit one cribbed from the Bible. It imagines that Lucifer got bored ruling Hell and took a vacation to Los Angeles. And in the midst of running a club and running wild among the hedonists of Los Angeles, he buddies up with a cop and helps to fight crime. Yes, a serialized formula added to something decidedly different. Tom Ellis is incredible charming in the lead role, and that kind of helps this series. I wasn't wild about the pilot, but I thought the second episode was a bit more amusing. All that charm is largely due to the show's star. I don't know if this works as a long-term series, but it's not the worst new offering FOX has had in the 2015-2016 broadcast season.
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: C

Recovery Road, Mondays at 9 p.m. on Freeform (Premiered January 25)
About: This latest series from Freeform — previously ABC Family Channel — is about teens living in a rehab center. They have addiction issues, family issues, and just plain issues. But they are at this house — some willingly, some not — to kick their habits. The pilot was a little hard to watch. The second episode was OK. But I still think it lacks the kind of character depth to make it compelling. It's OK, but it could have been so much more with this subject matter.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C-

Tuesday Nights:
Outsiders, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on WGN America (Premiered January 26)
About: For those of you missing "Sons of Anarchy" comes "Outsiders," a series about a rough-and-tumble family living up in the mountains that is up to no good. Thomas M. Wright plays a local sheriff's deputy who is being pressured to push them off the mountain so a mining company can plunder the land. But that is easier said than done. I thought the pilot had some interesting moments, but it's hard to tell where it's going. It will certainly be dark, edgy, and violent. The comparison with "Sons of Anarchy" — which the show makes in its ads — seem to be apt. It remains to be seen, though, if the show will be compelling.
Pilot Grade: C

Thursday Nights:
DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW (Premiered January 21)
About: This is the latest DC series spun off from "Arrow" and "Flash," and is already one of the higher rated shows on the CW. But this isn't like the shows it's spun off from. I thought the pilot was a little slow. The second episode was mildly better, but I'm not sure what this series is going to be like. It's composed of characters that were supporting pieces on other shows, and it's hard to tell how they're going to coalesce as a super team here. It's ratings mean it will likely get a season two, so hopefully it can use that security to find its footing.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C

You, Me, and the Apocalypse, Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC (Premiered January 28)
About: This is the latest comedy from NBC, but it's really a co-production with the BBC. It's about people all over the world preparing for the end of the world. Literally a meteor is headed toward Earth, and people have just about a month to prepare. The cast includes Rob Lowe, Megan Mullally, and Jenna Fischer. The pilot was a bit disjointed and jumped around. There was some amusing moments, too. It will be interesting to see where this goes in episode two.
Pilot Grade: C

Baskets, Thursdays at 10 p.m. on F/X (Premiered January 21)
About: Zach Galifinakis is a funny comedian. He's done some good shows and movies. "Baskets" isn't one of them. This limp series on F/X is about a man wasting his life trying to become a clown only to end up plying his trade at a dead-end rodeo. There was nothing funny about the pilot and the second episode was a bigger chore to watch. This might be my least favorite new show of the year.
Pilot Grade: F
Second Episode: F

London Spy, Thursdays at 10 p.m. on BBC America (Premiered January 21)
About: This series might make you think it's about a spy. While it is set in London, the second part of the title is completely misleading. Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent star in this story. Whishaw is a gay man in London who meets a stranger and falls in love. When that stranger ends up dead, Whishaw's character is led on a mystery to learn who he really was and why he died. That, I guess, is the spy part. But the first two episodes were incredibly dry, and I wasn't drawn to the characters. There's some good performances here, but not enough to keep me coming back.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C-


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