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9/16/2015

“Blindspot”
Monday, Sept. 21 (NBC)Blindspot - Season Pilot

Series Debut: A naked woman (Jaimie Alexander) turns up in a duffle bag in Times Square, covered in mysterious tattoos and devoid of memory. One of the largest tats is the jumping-off point: “Kurt Weller FBI.” Turns out the ink is a tapestry of clues about future terrorist attacks on American soil, and it’s up to Agent Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) and “Jane Doe” to decode and stop the crimes, and maybe eventually learn her identity. Sure, “Blindspot” is another Quirky Outsider Works With the Law drama, but there are enough twists and tension to almost justify the “next ‘Blacklist’” hype. Alexander is note-perfect, while Stapleton could stand to dial down the tough-guy routine.

 

“Minority Report”
Monday, Sept. 21 (Fox)

Series Debut: Fox’s last attempt at a futuristic crime thriller, “Almost Human,” burned out slowly after an intriguing pilot. “Minority Report” (a sorta-sequel to the 2002 movie) barely even catches fire in its premiere … so, nowhere to go but up? It’s 2065, 10 years after the end of the Precrime program (which used three child “precogs” to see crimes about to happen), but Dash (Stark Sands) still has the visions and tries, with no success, to stop the incidents on his own. Then he meets up with D.C. cop Lara (Meagan Good) and, this is straight out of the Fox PR, an “unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past” begins. Argh. “Minority Report” aims to be “Sleepy Hollow,” but just comes across as — I’m going to hate myself for this, but it’s too easy — sleepy and hollow.

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“The Muppets”
Tuesday, Sept. 22 (ABC)

Series Debut: There’s absolutely no need for this, but here it is: “The Muppets,” a behind-the-scenes docu-type show a la “The Office,” with an equally obvious debt to “30 Rock.” Gonzo admits right away that shaky-cam reality shows with cutaway confessionals are played-out (in a cutaway confessional, of course), but neither that self-awareness or Kermit’s “new romance” with Denise (a pig, natch) warrant a 13-to-potentially-22-episode series.

“Scream Queens”
Tuesday, Sept. 22 (Fox)

Series Debut: Ryan Murphy cross-fades his “Glee” with his “American Horror Story” and hopes “Scream Queens” will make us forget all about his previous Fox bomb, “Red Band Society.” Emma Roberts (“AHS”) and Lea Michelle (“Glee”) head an unusually large cast that’s supplemented further with high-profile guests like Ariana Grande — but at least one sorority sister will be killed off every week, so Murphy needs the spares. The setup is familiar: A Wallace University sorority pledge died mysteriously 20 years ago, and now a devil-masked menace is killing creatively (decapitation by lawnmower, etc.) across the campus on the anniversary. The delivery, however, is a seamless melding of Murphy’s greatest hits, with dashes of “Heathers” and “Scream” (the murderer is one of them). Need I even mention Jamie Lee Curtis? Nah. CV

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on the TV Tan Podcast (Tuesdays on iTunes and Stitcher), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

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