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10/21/2015

“Hemlock Grove”
Friday, Oct. 23 (Netflix)

Season Premiere: Remember “Hemlock Grove”? It was “American Horror Story” Does “Twin Peaks” before “American Horror Story” started doing “Twin Peaks” (seriously, “Hotel,” stop), with a dash of “Twilight” for the kiddies. The Eli Roth-produced series debuted with a bloody splash in 2013, helping Netflix crash the Emmys party for the first time (along with “House of Cards” and “Arrested Development”), but then quietly slinked off into the night. Season 2 righted the storytelling and structure problems — as in, there was little of either — while Season 3 promises to go out with a gloriously gruesome, VFX-fueled bang that finally exposes all the supernatural secrets of the small town of Hemlock Grove.

“Supergirl”Pilot
Monday, Oct. 26 (CBS)

Series Debut: If you’re still asking “Why isn’t this on The CW?” remember that CBS is a co-owner, and “Supergirl” could easily end up there anyway if she doesn’t hit “Limitless” ratings numbers. Creator/producer Greg Berlanti’s take on Kara Zor-El (aka, adopted earthling Alex, played by Melissa Benoist) is more in line with his bright, zippy “The Flash” than his dark, broody “Arrow.” At times, “Supergirl” comes across like a romantic comedy with an absentee boyfriend (Superman is referenced but will never appear here). But, once you get past the comic-lore exposition and Calista Flockhart’s over-the-top “Devil Wears Prada” tribute act as Alex’s media-magnate boss, Supergirl proves herself in action to be as tough as she is enthusiastic about living up to her cousin’s legend. “Supergirl” should be a hit — but, again, there’s always The CW.

“Follow the Rules”
Monday, Oct. 26 (MTV)

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Series Debut: What’s going on at MTV? The Forgotten Music Star and His Wacky Family Reality Show® setup is at least a decade past its expiration date, but here’s Ja Rule (he was an early-2000s rapper who co-starred in the Steven Segal tour de force “Half Past Dead”) dispensing questionable parenting advice like “Son, women make no sense” (OK, maybe he has some insights). If this regression to MTV tropes of the past continues, I demand to see the returns of “Headbanger’s Ball,” “The Grind,” “Singled Out” and “Total Request Live With Jesse Camp” before next summer.

“Wicked City”
Tuesday, Oct. 27 (ABC)

Series Debut: A serial killer (Ed Westwick) is murdering big-haired women on the early-’80s Sunset Strip while the spandex-metal blares and the neon glares — sounds like an exciting show, right? Maybe for Cinemax. On ABC, “Wicked City” feels like a sanitized version of, if not something better, at least something more sensationalized (which is preferable to boring, admit it). It’s not the cast’s fault: Westwick, Erika Christensen (as his equally sociopathic girlfriend), Jeremy Sisto (as a cop working the case) and Taissa Farmiga (as a reporter following the case) are expectedly excellent, but the faux sleaze and half-assed period set dressing is distracting — if I wanted to see a cheap-wigged “band” badly lip-sync the hair-metal hits, I’d hit ’80s Night at the bar. CV

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

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