Fall TV Season: First Impressions

Today we venture away from the world of books into the new batch of network TV shows, specifically three new shows: Prodigal Son, Evil and Emergence. I’m going to give you my thoughts on those shows after viewing their opening episode.

 

Prodigal Son:

Synopsis: The son of a serial killer works as a profiler for the police, but can’t escape his past.

Review: This show doesn’t know what it wants to be, a drama or a comedy, and tries to tread the middle ground in-between. As a result, it has a wildly uneven tone and is, frankly, a bit of a mess. The first episode veers from serious drama, to satire, to parody (with on very bad and unfunny pun), never catches its breath or allows any quality character development, leaning at times into caricature. Had they picked a tone and stuck with it, say drama with dark comedic moments, it might have potential. As it is, I can’t say it is worth watching.

 

Evil:

Synopsis: A female psychologist joins the investigative team looking into the church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries.

Review: I liked this one, although there were a couple of issues with the first episode. The main characters were well-developed, with some room to expand on their stories and the creepiness factor was excellent (the scenes with “George” were shiver inducing). However, the ending felt a bit more of a rushed bait and switch, then an evolution of the plot and *spoilers* it came down hard on the side of debunking. Which is fine, but it does make me wonder if this will be a pattern, and it detracts from the whole horror/supernatural aspects of the show. If it plans to be an “everything can be explained” show, then why play up the horror aspects in the promos? I hope we get some speculation in future shows, or it will end up another crime/investigation show.

 

Emergence:

Synopsis: A small town police chief finds a mysterious girl at the site of a plane crash and is embroiled in a conspiracy.

Review: I’m reserving judgement on this show. I liked the first episode and it was well done, with good tension, nice characters and room to build. But, as with so many sci-fi offerings lately, it is revolving around the “government conspiracy” a tired old trope that often wears thin. So far, it has handled the conspiracy aspects well, keeping them sinister and mysterious and relatively realistic. I’ll continue to watch and see how it plays out.

There are my mini-reviews on three horror/fantasy/sci-fi shows of the new fall season.

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