South of Heaven5/18/2016
“Preacher” makes a hell of a debut; “Wayward Pines” and “Powers” return.
Sunday, May 22 (AMC)
Series Debut: The uninitiated have no idea what the hell “Preacher” is, while the fanboys are
convinced that the 1995-2000 Vertigo comic-book series can’t be adapted for any screen, let alone basic-cable TV. And then there are the concerns about stoner-comedy duo Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg as executive-producers, as well as how an epic heaven-and-hell struggle will be received as a weekly series. While I can’t speak to the fanboys’ worries, “Preacher” will definitely blow some newbies’ minds with its 90-minute premiere, a violent and funny explosion of sharply-written characters (including Dominic Cooper in the title role, obliterating his beloved Howard Stark from the Marvel Universe) and slow-burn exposition (“Breaking Bad” vet Sam Catlin is running the show here, not Rogan and Goldberg). Is the story of a touched-by-God boozehound Texas minister, his berserker ex-girlfriend, his sarcastic vampire pal and a kid named “Arseface” the Next Big Thing for AMC? Let’s pray it is — we don’t need another “Walking Dead” spin-off.
Monday, May 23 (ABC)
Season Premiere: You do realize that you’ve been watching the same show for 12 seasons now, right? “Bachelorette _____ gets a second chance at true love after her shocking rejection by _____ on the previous season of ‘The Bachelor.’ With 20 new men [and one quickly-ejected psychopath] to choose from, this [blonde/brunette/redhead/vaguely ethnic] beauty is ready to find her soul mate and write her own happily-after-after!” ABC has been using this stock press release form since 2003.
Wednesday, May 25 (Fox)
Season Premiere: Fox “Under the Dome”-d us. “Wayward Pines” was supposed to be a one-and-done, closed-end story told in a single season last summer — but then you all actually watched it. Season 2 picks up with the residents of small mountain town Wayward Pines now aware that they’re the last people on planet (but has anyone heard from Phil, Fox’s other “Last Man on Earth”?), flesh-hungry mutants roam the wasteland beyond the forest and sketchy scientists run their lives — naturally, they’re pissed. Jason Patric takes over the Earnest Newcomer role from Matt Dillon, dead Piners Carla Gugino and Terrence Howard appear in flashbacks and Hope Davis continues to shape/manipulate the upcoming generation with a Master Race-ish bent. As with all things connected to Idaho, proceed with caution.
Tuesday, May 31 (PSN)
Season Premiere: “Powers,” which debuted in 2015 (Season 1 is currently available on freebie-streamer Crackle), was the first offering from the PlayStation Network (PSN), and it’s based on the graphic novel of the same name. The “Powers” are superheroes, though not all them are heroic, hence the need for detectives to investigate crimes and murders associated with them (this universe’s superheroes parallel professional athletes and celebrities who think they’re above — waaay above — the law). Sharlto Copely, Eddie Izzard and Michelle Forbes return from the first season; Tricia Helfer, Michael Madsen and Wil Wheaton join for S2 — that’s some serious actor-ly weight for a series streaming through a game console. Now “Powers” needs to step-up its scripting and action games to match. CV
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes, Stitcher and BillFrost.tv), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.