TV critics are not always correct. Shocking, right? Looking all the way back to September, I was wrong in my 2018-19 TV season preview five times. Maybe six times. Not wildly wrong, but wrong nonetheless.
Mostly because I underestimated shows; once because I overestimated a show; and once because a show I liked took a turn for the worse.
• “FBI” was indeed “unoriginal,” but it turned out to be a decent, very watchable crime procedural. (Renewed)
• We didn’t get to see any episodes of “Legacies” (CW) until weeks after the fall preview ran, but the premise of this “Vampire Diaries”/”The Originals” spinoff — a boarding school for witches, vampires and werewolves — didn’t sound promising. Surprisingly, it turned out to be popcorn-munching entertainment and goofy fun. (Renewed)
• “The Neighborhood” (CBS) got a lot better than its “lame” pilot — although the writing was consistently better for the male characters than for the female characters. (Renewed)
• I was unimpressed with the pilot of “New Amsterdam” (NBC) — another unoriginal medical drama, I thought — but the show grew on me. After 22 episodes, I’m a fan. (Renewed)
• Writing that “I Feel Bad” (NBC) “just isn’t very good” was too kind. It was seriously bad. (Canceled)
• I still believe that “All American” (CW) produced the best pilot last fall. And for at least two-thirds of the season, it was a good — sometimes very good — show. But it faltered. And the 16th and final episode was a hot mess. (Renewed)
Two things are worth pointing out. First, when it comes to TV series, critics aren’t reviewing a finished product. Shows get better and worse week by week.
And the most critics had seen of anything before the fall preview was three episodes of “All American.” For most series it was one episode; some didn’t have anything at all to preview at that point.
So I’m feeling pretty good about that preview, in which I listed six shows to look forward to; four that were dreadful; and a dozen that were just kind of “meh.”
• Other than “All American” … eventually … I have no regrets about the six I looked forward to. “The Conners” (ABC) worked just fine without Roseanne. “Single Parents” (ABC) turned out to be the best new comedy of the season. “The Kids Are Alright” (ABC) was pretty good — sometimes very good. And, while “The Rookie” (ABC) wasn’t a great show, the presence of star Nathan Fillion did indeed turn out to be “reason enough to watch.”
I enjoyed the return of “Murphy Brown,” but I’m not surprised it didn’t do better in the ratings. I’m kind of sad it won’t be back. The only other one of the six to get the ax was “The Kids Are Alright,” and ratings and renewals are not always synonymous with quality.
In other words, good shows get canceled and bad shows get renewed. All the time.
• “A Million Little Things” and “Manifest” both got renewed; I greatly disliked both pilots and liked the series even less as they continued.
And, as I expected, the sitcoms “Happy Together” (CBS) and “The Cool Kids” (Fox) were both awful. They were also both axed.
• And looking at the rest of the shows that made me say “meh,” three were canceled — “The Alec Baldwin Show” (ABC); “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” (ABC); and “Rel” (Fox). And four were renewed — “Charmed” (CW); “God Friended Me” (CBS); “Last Man Standing” (ABC); and “Magnum P.I.” (CBS)
And I still don’t have any strong feelings about any of them — largely because the only one I stuck with was “Charmed.” My daughter likes it; I got bored and probably won’t watch Season 2.