Fall TV Roundup, Week 12

We're almost to December, but new shows continue to debut. In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new series this fall. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Sweet/Vicious, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV (Premiered November 15)
This series from MTV is about a pair of college girls with little in common who find common ground in a common mission to make campus rapists pay. Their initial meeting is fraught, as they commit a murder and have to cover it up. But they decide to press on with their crucial mission, doing their part to battle an epidemic. This is a real issue, and a real issue of concern on college campuses throughout the United States. Given the target demographic for MTV, this is a series that could be construed as educational in bringing this issue to light, in addition to being entertaining. Both the leads have been victims in their own way, too, and the show has offered glimpses in the first two episodes that it plans to deal with the lasting trauma that can cause. That being said, as a pure TV show, this is OK, but I'm not the target demographic. I thought the second episode made great strides, and I could see this really appealing to young adults. The leads are charismatic, and there's plenty to explore here.
Pilot Grade: C
Second Episode: B-

Shooter, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA (Premiered November 15)
This latest USA drama is based on the movie and features a decorated former sniper, Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe), who is asked to help stop a threat to the President, but ends up being framed for the attempt. Phillippe is good in the lead role, and this has an interesting "Fugitive" vibe to it. I thought the pilot was OK, but the second episode really seemed to pick it up, develop characters, and unravel the conspiracy. This isn't a great series, but it's better than I expected, and it could be a nice fill in during a slower time of the TV year.
Pilot Grade: B-
Second Episode: B

Wednesday Nights:
Ice, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Audience (Premiered November 16)
This new series from Audience, the network owned and operated by DirecTV/AT&T, centers on a family of diamond dealers drawn into deeper criminal conspiracies. The first two episodes moved at a glacial pace without offering any characters that seemed interesting. This feels like a pretty stock crime drama series without much of a hook. Given its narrow audience and the plethora of other options, you likely have better shows to watch.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C-

Streaming Series:
The Grand Tour, new episodes stream Fridays on Amazon Prime (Premiered November 18)
About: This series is already a win for Amazon. "Top Gear," with hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, was the top-rated show on the BBC, and one of the most popular in the world. The three hosts left the show and now have essentially re-created the experience for Amazon. And it's drawing audiences in droves. It should. It's a fun show, informative and appeals to those who love cars and those who just love these three guys. The first two episodes have felt like slipping on a comfortable sweater, and I could see this being a big hit for the streaming service.
Pilot Grade: B
Second Episode: B


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