First episode impressions: ‘Emergence’ (TV review)

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he pilot episode of “Emergence” (Tuesdays, ABC) is a crisply crafted hour of TV that would set the stage for an excellent series in an alternate universe where there weren’t already dozens of recent series about the emergence of the next stage of human evolution. Still, it’s remarkable how gripping and likable this hour is. Creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas also helmed “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” a couple years ago – that ultimately grew into a lovable series, even though it was much sloppier out of the gates than this one.

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Fall TV 2019: After watching the trailers, I’m bananas for some of these shows, not so much for others (Commentary)

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 watched the trailers of some notable fall TV premieres so you don’t have to (but they are embedded here if you want to). Here are my thoughts on each, along with a “Go Bananas” Level (on a 10-point scale) of how excited I am for the series. All times Eastern:

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10 shows featuring today’s biggest stars … that you can never watch again (TV commentary)

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t’s not as bad as the case of the old “Doctor Who” episodes that were intentionally destroyed after their broadcast, but in this age where it’s easy for a streaming service to make something available to its subscribers, there are still a lot of TV shows you simply can’t see.

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First episode impressions: ‘A Million Little Things’ (TV review)

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 Million Little Things” (10 p.m. Eastern Wednesdays on ABC) is the least bad network newcomer I’ve reviewed so far. If the search for answers to why a guy (Ron Livingston’s real-estate mogul Jon) jumped off a high balcony to his death grabs you – hey, this premise made “13 Reasons Why” a hit – then it might be worth pursuing. This show handles suicide and depression with a defter touch than you might fear, but also focuses on a narrow swath of the population: well-off folks in Boston.

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Fall TV 2018: Thoughts on 8 new shows and how long they will last (Commentary)

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here are more good shows on TV than ever, but the traditional fall season has become the dumping ground for the least exciting new series – perhaps because they need the extra buzz of Fall TV Previews more than something with the cachet of an “Atlanta” or a “Fargo.” Still, some quality series rise to the surface: Recent years have given us “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “This Is Us,” along with glitzy franchise entries like “The Gifted” and assorted MCU efforts (“Iron Fist” and “Daredevil” boast new seasons this fall).

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First episode impressions: ‘The Crossing’ (TV review)

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t the end of the pilot episode of “Lost” in 2004, Charlie asks “Where are we?” Over six seasons, we’d get those answers. At the end of the cold open of “The Crossing,” which premieres at 10 p.m.  Eastern Monday on TV and was available in advance on the ABC app, sheriff Jude Ellis (Steve Zahn) stares at the hundreds of corpses washing ashore in his coastal town and asks “What is this?”

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First episode impressions: ‘For the People’ (TV review)

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or the People” (10 p.m. Eastern Tuesdays on ABC) is competent at what it does, but personally, I’m not wired to enjoy what it does: Through a variety of cases each week, this courtroom drama illustrates the frustrating flaws of the American justice system. We get just enough of a window into the process to feel the same Sisyphean hopelessness as the losing lawyers. The agents, attorneys, judges, jurors – and of course the faceless state — responsible for unjust verdicts aren’t held accountable; we just move on to the next week and the next batch of cases, hoping for a better outcome. It’s real, and it’s frustrating. How enjoyable it is depends entirely on what you’re into.

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‘Invasion’ review

“Invasion” (2005-06, ABC) – Granted, it rained every episode, the sheriff and park ranger were always chasing after some monster and Larkin’s pregnancy advanced as slowly as the hybrids’ did quickly. Still, the last few episodes were great, and when it came down to the cliffhanger – “Will Larkin live? And if so, is she human or alien?” – I was hooked again, and sad to see this seemingly sure-fire hit end up on ABC’s scrap pile.

– John Hansen, “Five shows that’ll be missed,” Brainerd Dispatch, May 25, 2006