TV

2014 Fall TV Preview: Mondays

We take a look at what new TV series the major networks are offering this fall, starting with the Monday night roster.

Mondays have increasingly become one of TV’s most popular nights. Each major network offers viewers something different, and the strategies these networks have adopted have been mostly successful. This fall sees the premiere of three new series.

Here are official video previews, series rundowns, time slots, and a little critical analysis on their odds of survival. Bookmark this page if you want to keep track of premiere dates and possible schedule changes, because updates will be posted in the comments section.

 
7PM CST

Gotham [Fox] vs. The Voice [NBC], Dancing With The Stars [ABC], The Originals [The CW], and 2 Broke Girls and Mom [CBS].

Watch it if you like: Sleepy Hollow, Birds of Prey.

This DC Comics drama focuses on the future Commissioner Gordon (Ben McKenzie) who polices the dark streets of Gotham City. Rounding out the cast are a preteen, pre-Batman Bruce Wayne and a rogue gallery of villains.

With Gotham, one shouldn’t expect a family-friendly, Smallville-style origin series. There’s plenty of gritty violence and suggestive situations, but the series isn’t too moody for its own good. Gotham has a great time slot and is 2014’s most buzzed-about new series, making it one of the year’s best bets. However, only time will tell whether or not audiences will quickly tire of its novel concept, or if its expensive production leads to cancellation.

 
8PM CST

Scorpion [CBS] vs. The Voice [NBC], Dancing with the Stars [ABC], Sleepy Hollow [FOX}, and Jane the Virgin [The CW].

Watch it if you like: Numb3rs, Leverage.

A government agent (Robert Patrick) recruits a team of geniuses with unique personalities to prevent cyber crimes. Katherine McPhee (in a rare non-singing role) co-stars as a former waitress, who uses her experience as the mother of a child prodigy to act as a sort of social liaison for the group.

It’s an average procedural peppered with technical wizardry, psychological profiling, and NCIS-style cast clowning. Scorpion looks watchable, but it could quickly fade out, just as Intelligence did, because of its competition.

 
Jane The Virgin [The CW] vs. Scorpion [CBS], The Voice [NBC], Dancing With The Stars [ABC], and Sleepy Hollow [FOX].

Watch it you like: Ugly Betty, Gilmore Girls.

In this telenovela-inspired dramedy, Jane is a “good girl” who works hard, listens to her elders, and loves her boyfriend. But after her doctor makes a big mistake during a routine exam, she finds herself accidentally pregnant with the child of her never-do-well co-worker.

Despite the fact that Jane The Virgin often veers into ridiculous slapstick and stereotypes, there are also some heartfelt moments worth watching. The CW usually has low ratings standards, but this show probably won’t make it to a second season. Perhaps a midseason time slot switch (likely to Friday, following Hart Of Dixie) would help.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

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20. Vitalic - Voyager (Citizen)

Pascal Arbez-Nicolas (a.k.a. Vitalic) made waves in the French Touch electro-house scene with his 2005 debut, OK Cowboy, which had a hard-hitting maximalist sound, but several albums later, Voyager finds him launching into realms beyond at his own speed. The quirky, wallflower vocals and guitar snippets employed throughout Voyager drop a funk that brings to mind WhoMadeWho or Matthew Dear if they had disco-pop injected between their toes. "Levitation" is as pure a slice of dance floor motivation as theoretically possible, a sci-fi gunfight with a cracking house beat sure to please his oldest fans, yet the album-as-form is equally effective in its more contemplative moments, like when Miss Kitten's vocals bring an ethereal dispassion to "Hans Is Driving" to balance out its somber vocoder or the heartfelt cover of "Don't Leave Me Now" by Supertramp. Voyager may infect you with a futuristic form of Saturday Night Fever, but afterwards, it gives you a hearty dose of aural acetaminophen to break it. - Alan Ranta


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Since 2003, Earley's band, Blitzen Trapper, have combined folk, rock and whatever else is lying around to create music that manages to be both enigmatic and accessible. Since their breakthrough album Furr released in 2008 on Sub Pop, the band has achieved critical acclaim and moderate success, but they're still some distance away from enjoying the champagne lifestyle.

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Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

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There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

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