It’s finally here. The night none of us have been waiting for. The night where Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox make their glorious returns to TV (separately, not together). And they’ll actually be direct competition to each other as both shows air at 9:00pm. Of course with Fox we’re curious and uneasy about his Parkinson’s disease and how he’ll do as a lead actor expected to carry a TV show. And with Williams, it’s more of a horrific freeway accident that you can’t take your eyes off. How over the top will he be? How quickly can we change the channel?
Lucky for you, if you’re not interested in checking out their new shows, there are still a couple solid returning shows tonight. So you’ve got options.
Let’s see what those options are for Thursday, September 26th:
Parks & Recreation
When & Where: 8:00pm on NBC
What: A workplace comedy that revolves around the government employees of a small-town parks department. Their leader is a hopelessly optimistic public servant who idolizes Hilary Clinton just a tad too much.
Who: Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope but the cast around her is just as famous: Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt. It’s a gold mine of awesome comedic actors.
Ross’s Take: Yesterday I threw around the gold standard tag when talking about Modern Family, but now I feel like I’ve cheated on Parks & Rec. I can’t decide between the two of them, honestly. Maybe I’ll just call both of them the gold standard and hope they don’t find out about each other? When it’s all said & done years from now, this show might be more memorable than The Office (a show it’s often compared to).
Julie’s Take: 4 out of 5 because I can’t be giving out so many 5’s, and it’s not better than Modern Family…but then I did give Dads 4 out of 5…hmm….4.75 for Parks & Recreation.
The Big Bang Theory
When & Where: 8:00pm on CBS
What: A sitcom about a group of socially awkward, nerdy scientist friends who work and hang out together.
Who: Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki play the main characters. Kaley Cuoco plays their normal, social, not nerdy neighbor.
Ross’s Take: After resisting this show for years without ever watching it, I finally gave it a chance last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. For me the humor typically comes from the main character, Sheldon. He plays the socially inept, OCD-ish, asperger-y personality perfectly and just to listen to him deal with certain situations and people is amazing. I’m giving it a 3.5 out of 5.
Julie’s Take: This is a 5 out of 5 for Sheldon, the main character. But 4.5 for the rest of the show in general.
The Michael J. Fox Show
When & Where: 9:00pm on NBC
What: Based on the title and the fact that it’s loosely based on Michal J. Fox’s actual life, you can probably guess what it’s about. But basically “Mike Henry,” who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago, decides to get back to work, where he used to be a news anchor.
Who: Michael J. Fox, Betsy Brandt (Marie from Breaking Bad)
Ross’s Take: The natural reaction to finding out this show exists is to wonder if Michael J. Fox is in good enough condition to be the lead on a weekly TV show. Time will tell, I guess. More important to me is his track record. When has he ever done a bad show or movie? He’s been great in everything he’s ever been in, I’m pretty sure. So I’m giving this show the benefit of the doubt for now, but I’m treading lightly. It’s a 3 out of 5 for me.
Julie’s Take: I give it a 2.5 out of 5. I didn’t realize it was based on his real life so that makes me more interested.
The Crazy Ones
When & Where: 9:00pm on CBS
What: A comedy about a father-daughter ad agency team where the father is the charming, off-the-walls, old-school business type, and the daughter is the tightly wound, overly worried and serious type.
Who: Robin Williams is the father, Sarah Michelle Gellar is the daughter.
Ross’s Take: Part of me thinks this show won’t work because of Robin Williams, but part of me thinks it wouldn’t work without him. He actually made me laugh a few times while watching the trailer, like the part where they make up the jingle on the spot at the restaurant. But his personality is just so obnoxiously big I worry it’ll be a typical “roll your eyes at Robin Williams’ stupid voices and impressions” situation. I can’t ignore the legitimately funny moments in the preview, much funnier than some of the other shows we’ve talked about in this space. I give it a 2 out of 5.
Julie’s Take: I give it a 2 out of 5 because I like Robin Williams but never really liked “Michelle Gellar”, but I’ll watch it.
Homeland returns! But here’s the thing. I’ve only watched season one because season two just got released on Netflix within the last two weeks and I haven’t gotten the discs yet (god forbid they put it on Netflix Instant). I expect to DVR the new episodes because I finally have Showtime, but first I’ll binge watch season two as soon as possible. This show will probably take over Breaking Bad’s place in terms of drama TV show that I get way too into. If season two and beyond is as good as season one, I’m all in on it.