Five Shows I Want to Watch This Fall

Michael J. Fox, The Avengers, and Andy Samberg's return to television lead the way.

It’s August. Some of the summer’s hottest days are still ahead of us. But the end of the month brings Labor Day, which means fall, which means a new school year, which means … a new season of TV.

TV critics spent this week watching pilots and talking about the new shows of the 2013-14 season with their writers, producers and casts. It’s not as easy to get excited about a new season these days, because so much of TV’s creative energy is on cable. Still, there are a few shows I’m looking forward to sampling. And what can I say? It’s the sitcoms that call to me most.


You might think of it as “The Avengers come to TV.” I think of it as “Joss Whedon returns to TV.” Whedon, who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly before making The Avengers, is giving this show it’s push into the world. His work has always involved subverting pop culture cliches while being hugely entertaining. Let’s hope he can do it again.


I liked the Hugh Grant movie. I liked David Walton in Bent and during a guest arc on The New Girl last season. This story of a man who becomes an adult by mentoring an adolescent boy could be syrupy — or creepy — but I’ll give it a shot. For some reason, I can’t find a trailer for this show, so a picture will have to do.


A little Andy Samberg goes a long way. It’s the presence of Andre Braugher that makes me think this show about craaaaayzeee New York cops could have legs. This show would be better, though, if a 30-year-old Bill Murray were playing Samberg’s part, since that’s clearly who the role was written for.


Admittedly, there’s some 1980s nostalgia going on here. But who doesn’t love Michael J. Fox? The trailer makes me laugh, but admittedly I simply want to see Fox succeed one more time.


Wait. Isn’t this the fifth season for Community? Well, yes. But showrunner Dan Harmon — whose guidance made the sitcom a quirky work of art most weeks — was booted before Season 4. And then after Season 4, he was welcomed back. Which means that Community is practically new again, even if this might well be the last season.