Fall TV Preview: Returning Shows on Wednesday, September 18th

fall TV

Yesterday’s Fall TV premieres on FOX were really just a tease because the schedule is particularly light with new & returning shows for the rest of the week. Next week is when the real action begins.

As a matter of fact, you won’t be seeing a TV preview blog from me on Thursday because there’s nothing on that night.

Tonight there are no brand new shows but a couple returning shows that might be worth your time. Let’s jump into the season premieres for Wednesday, September 18th:

Survivor: Blood vs Water

When & Where: 8:00pm on CBS

What: A reality game show where contestants have to outwit, outplay and outlast each other while surviving isolation in the wilderness for up to 39 days. The person deemed “sole survivor” at the end wins a $1 Million reward.

Who: In its 27th installment, Survivor is bringing back a bunch of former contestants paired with their loved ones. Also, Jeff Probst, the show’s host, is simply the greatest host/moderator/instigator in TV history.

Ross’s Take: People tend to be surprised that this show is still going strong after 13 years of being on the air, but I promise you it’s the only reality game show worth watching. The basic rules are still the same—16-20 people compete in physical and mental challenges while roughing it for nearly six weeks in the wilderness, all while trying to make alliances and ensure they won’t be voted out by their tribe mates—but in recent seasons there have been twists to keep the show from getting stale (Survivor All-Stars, Survivor Heroes vs Villains, a twist where you can get back in the game after being voted out if you survive a competition with other exiled contestants on a separate island). It appears this season’s twist is that half the players are former contestants and the other half are their loved ones. Two brothers, a mother-daughter combo, an uncle-niece combo, etc… From what I can tell, the contestants think they are teaming up with their loved ones, but as soon as they get to the Philippines they’ll find out they’re competing against each other.

This show’s major appeal for me is the buffoonery that usually goes on throughout the season. Without fail, someone will get voted off while holding onto an immunity idol (a “get out of jail free”-like object that can save the person who possesses it as long as they play it before that episode’s votes are read by Probst). Or in extreme cases, someone will give up his immunity necklace (which he won with a hard-fought physical challenge) because some woman with attractive breasts convinces him it’s the right move for the tribe. And then that woman will immediately orchestrate that moron’s ouster from the game. More often than not, we’ll get to see a certifiably crazy person start scaring the other tribe members to the point where they’ll keep him around only because they’re scared he will decapitate each and every one of them if he gets voted off.

I give Survivor a solid 4 out of 5 rating, acknowledging that some seasons are better than others.

Julie’s Take: I wasn’t able to get Julie’s opinions before she shuffled off to work this morning, but I know she’s a loyal Survivor watcher, and I have to think she’s going to get extra emotionally invested this season when loved ones are scheming against each other and screwing one another over. She’d probably give Survivor a 3.5 or 4 out of 5.

Key & Peele

When & Where: 10:30pm on Comedy Central

What: A sketch comedy show in the same vein as Chappelle Show. It consists of pre-taped sketches that are introduced by the show’s stars in front of a live audience.

Who: Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are the show’s creators, writers and stars. They were both former cast members on MADtv.

Ross’s Take: It’s a slightly tamer version of Chappelle Show. That’s the simplest explanation. I haven’t seen every episode of the first two seasons, but the ones I’ve seen have been extremely entertaining. There’s a lot of humor about race and stereotypes, but they’re just as likely to spend time breaking down the mechanics of a high five or doing a parody of a flash mob. It’s one of those shows that you have to watch at least once to see if their humor does it for you.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5. It’s one of those shows I’ll tape, not watch for a while, and then plow through four or five episodes in one sitting.

Julie’s Take: She’s tried to watch it with me before and hasn’t enjoyed it nearly as much as I do. I’m guessing she’d give it a 2 out of 5.

To reiterate, no preview on Thursday. Go ahead and enjoy Kansas City at Philadelphia on the NFL Network. I’ll be back on Friday with another short preview of the weekend in TV.

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