Fall TV Recap

Thanks to basic cable networks, HBO, and Hulu or Netflix, there’s more TV to watch than ever before, but picking up a new show can be a time commitment.

With so many TV shows to choose from and limited time in the day, it can be tough to decide what to watch. Here are just a few of the many new shows this fall that, in my opinion, are worth adding to your TV watch list.

Atlanta

Many people may be familiar with Donald Glover. The 33 year old has previously written for NBC’s “30 Rock” and starred in NBC’s Community as the loveable character Troy. Glover has moved to FX for his news series “Atlanta.” Glover created, directs, writes and stars in this new comedy, drama.

Featuring a nearly all-black cast, “Atlanta” follows the lives of two cousins, Earn (played by Donald Glover) and his cousin Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles (Brain Tyree Henry). They try to navigate their lives as “Paper Boi” gains attention as a local rapper. While the show mainly follows the daily activities of Earn and “Paper Boi,” Glover makes sure to develop a love for the supporting characters as well. The show tackles cultural issues in a lighthearted manner, with Glover’s dry humor organically woven into the dialogue. I was hooked on this show from episode one. I was amazed with how fluid the show felt, and I can’t think of another series that’s weaved their jokes as naturally into the dialogue as “Atlanta.”

With only ten episodes, “Atlanta,” which premiered on FX in September and October in the 10 p.m. timeslot, has already completed its first season earning itself an 8.8/10 on the International Movie Database (IMDb) scale and 100 percent on RottenTomatoes.com. FX has confirmed the show will return for a second season in 2017.

Westworld

HBO has become known for its award winning shows, like “VEEP” and “Game of Thrones.” The premium cable network’s newest show, “Westworld,” premiered on Oct. 2, 2016 and is already expected to hold its own against HBO’s top series. Westworld is based off of Michael Crichton’s 1973 movie of the same title, is a one hour drama series premiering on HBO with a ten episode season. The show has already been renewed for a second season, which unfortunately may not air until 2018.

Described by HBO as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin,” the show takes place in a future theme park that emulates the lifestyle of the old west. “Westworld” is a technologically advanced, western-themed amusement park. The park allows its guests to stay in the town and do whatever they wish within the park, without fear or retaliation from the “hosts.” The hosts are synthetic androids (eerily human-like robots) who are programmed to live in a constant loop, like the robots in line at disney that turn on every few minutes for their single line of dialogue. However, when a mysterious guest begins attacking the hosts, looking for something, the hosts begin behaving strangely. After one of the hosts is reprogrammed, and casually kills a fly (hosts are supposed to be programmed not to harm living things) we know that life in the “Westworld” amusement park is about to change.

Executive producers/writers/directors, Jonathan Nolan and J.J. Abrams have led the show to earn a 9/10 rating on IMDb, with the help of A-list actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, along with strong supporting cast members Luke Hemsworth and Thandie Newton. Abrams said of the series “violence is in most of the stories we like to watch, but it isn’t part of what we like to do.”

People of Earth

“People of Earth” comes from TBS, a network that doesn’t have as much of a reputation for big name shows. Though not ranked as high as the other two shows on this list, I urge you to give this show a try. “People of Earth” is a hilarious satire about the people’s attitudes and how we might react when coming into contact with alien life.

The Sci-Fi comedy focuses on the findings of journalist Ozzie Graham while he investigates a support group for people who believe they have been abducted by aliens and “the more he learns, the more confused, intrigued, and seduced he becomes,” according to IMDb. The show follows its ensemble cast as they each go through their daily lives.

We see how each of them might have been affected by the aliens in different ways, through their interactions in the present and the reveal of their abductions in the past. Each person in the group struggles in their own way, and even Ozzie discovers he may have a story to share with the group. The show focuses on the people who attend the support group, juxtaposed with wonderfully funny scenes of the aliens who abducted and are observing them.

I hope the show continues to grow in popularity. It currently airs on Monday nights, and has a strong score of 7.5/10 on IMDb.

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Zack DeLuca

Zack studies Journalism and Film/Media at the University of Rhode Island. He studies
narrative screenwriting and production, as well as documentary production. Zack is the
Entertainment Editor for The Good 5 Cent Cigar, URI’s school newspaper, and has had
articles appear in publications like the Cranston Herald.