“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (9 p.m. Eastern Fridays, The CW) spends a lot of its Season 4 premiere reminding us where the story is at – and it’s at a very weird place. Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) is in jail, which is where she wants to be as penance for being a horrible person, not necessarily for attempting to murder crazy ex-boyfriend Trent (Paul Welsh) – an act for which she has a strong defense-of-others claim.
It’s that time of year again for my list of favorite TV characters on shows that are currently airing or recently wrapped their season.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” recently marked its 100th song, so it’s a perfect excuse – I mean, reason – to rank every song. (This list goes to 89 because the show counted some reprises and songlets, and I did not – although in some cases, I combined a related songlet or reprise in an entry with a more complete song.)
We’re living in a historical transitional period for TV, as streaming services compete with traditional networks and cable/satellite channels for our entertainment dollar. As such, television has never been better, regardless of how it gets to us. Appropriately, my list of the year’s best shows consists of half network shows and half others, and kicks off with a streaming series.
There are more good TV shows than ever before – so much so that TV overload has become an issue for even the biggest TV geeks – but they premiere throughout the calendar year now. As such, Fall TV ain’t what it used to be. Still, there’s something traditional and nostalgic about getting that Entertainment Weekly Fall TV Preview in the mail. Not willing to wait any longer for mine to arrive so I can research the offerings, here are my picks for one new show and five returning shows to watch (all times Eastern):
These were my 10 favorite shows of 2016:
1. “Atlanta” (Season 1, FX) – Donald Glover’s brainchild is a crazy mix of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-esque wry observations (Earn’s inability to order a kids’ meal), envelope-pushing storytelling choices (the pundit roundtable parody) and outright horrific violence (Earn witnesses a murder, then moves on like it’s just another day in the ATL). It comes together as an on-point – albeit still crazy — portrait of being a dead-broke young adult on the backstreets of a collapsing American city.
The Fall 2016 season is Exhibit A in the case that TV is running low on original ideas: “MacGyver”(8 p.m. Fridays, CBS, Sept. 23) is a straight-up relaunch with a new cast, hoping to capture some of the popularity of the ’80s hit. Even though the movie franchise petered to a close 18 years ago with the fourth entry, “Lethal Weapon” (8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fox, Sept. 21) is coming to TV, complete with the movie’s logo flashed across the trailer every few seconds, apparently to bring up warm thoughts of the films.
As we wind down the traditional season and gear up for some summer shows, here’s a look at 10 TV characters who have my attention:
These were my 10 favorite TV shows of 2015:
1. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (Season 1, The CW) – In blending musical numbers, broad comedy and genuine character drama about a troubled 20-something, Rachel Bloom’s brainchild is the most ambitious show of the year. By doing all three of those things well (particularly the musical numbers, which are consistently clever and catchy in the way they explore Rebecca’s and other characters’ neuroses), it’s also the best show of the year. I’ll be following whatever Bloom does next, but I hope this series defies the low ratings and sticks around awhile, at least long enough for an official soundtrack release. (Here are my 10 favorite songs so far.)
Two new shows I kept on my viewing schedule have already been canceled – “Wicked City” and, for all intents and purposes, “Minority Report,” which had its episode order cut to 10. But the TV networks have kept the best fall show: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” I’m setting myself up for more disappointment, perhaps, as I’m now not only hoping for a DVD and soundtrack, but also for a second season.