Film and TV

10 New TV Shows That Will Absolutely Suck This Fall

Compelling television is a wonderful thing, except when the viewer is compelled to change the channel. The 2016 fall television season has a few promising shows and several, well, that only promise to battle each other for what show will be cancelled first.

While some of the following shows probably will get a full season thanks to star power alone, most of them will be network tax write-offs before Christmas. We've got tired sitcom tropes, cop shows, hospital dreck, and even an imaginary friend. Movies made into TV shows — you name it, this is a banner year for inept Hollywood attempts to suck time from more deserving reality shows and Kardashian re-runs. It seems the days of being excited about the new shows coming out are long, long gone, just like the days of a (cough) new idea.

Kevin Can Wait
There are times when you just sort of know that a performer has shot their wad and there's really not enough left in the tank to get that next hit they all seem to crave. Kevin James is such a performer. Perhaps Adam Sandler rubbed off on James a little too much when they did I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), but James has not really been funny since then. Maybe he was never funny, and unfortunately for him, starring in a family-based sitcom has never been a cure for this malady. It doesn’t even matter who else is in this with him, really, but Erinn Hayes (from the often brilliant Adult Swim comedy Children’s Hospital) will at least get 13 episodes of major network pay for this garbage.

Odds of receiving a second season
: 20-1

Training Day

Bill Paxton as a crooked cop. Uggh. While there have been several Bill Paxton roles worth loving, this will not be one of them. The man has a voice capable of snide inflection like no other. It’s a cross between a drill sergeant and a trumpet permanently stuck in E flat. Could you imagine if he was your dad and you forgot to take out the trash? You’d probably kill him in his sleep. His lectures would be the worst. Ever. Even worse, though, is that Paxton is stepping into a role played by Denzel Washington in the film version, which was just okay, especially in hindsight. Washington's performance was good, for sure, but the movie version of Training Day was not so good that you would want to relive it every week. The thought of Paxton being condescending to his co-star, Justin Cornwell (who had a cup of coffee on Empire) every week is enough to gouge out an eardrum or two. This show is enough to make you miss Paxton's HBO ode to polygamy, Big Love.

Odds of CBS receiving letters from viewers threatening to boycott any future shows with Bill Paxton: 1-1

The Exorcist

TV does not have a great track record of turning classic movies into iconic television shows. There was MASH and that’s about it (sorry, Beastmaster fans). This one just looks like it will suck buttermilk from the get-go. First of all, it feels like it’s jumping on the American Horror Story bandwagon, which is an attractive bandwagon to be sure, but these are some mighty big vials of holy water to fill. AHS has proved that TV can push some pretty weird boundaries, but that’s cable TV. We can’t wait to see how FOX tackles the part where the new “Regan” (who is “Casey” now) masturbates with a crucifix. Geena Davis, who is taking over role as the mom (so masterfully played by Ellen Burstyn in the film), is scary enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies these days. While we’re truly rooting for her to pull off this impending mess of a TV show, there is no way it will live up to the original film and, therefore, will suck not only buttermilk, but probably pea soup, too. Serious prayers are probably needed here.

Odds of Satan himself filing a lawsuit for slander:

Imaginary Mary

“Hey, network president … I have a great new idea for a show. How about we have a personable, yet quirky star do a show where they have these dialogues with someone who no one else can see or hear? And not something silly like a talking horse. No, this is original …” Go to bed, Hollywood, you’re drunk.

Jenna Elfman is quirky and cute and will act ditzy for money, which is always good, and Rachel Dratch as “Imaginary Mary” is comedy gold. Well, it would be if it were actually Rachel Dratch and not some ridiculous stuffed Muppet-like thing … But ABC will undoubtedly screw this up in the same way they screwed up Trophy Wife in 2014. The gist of this show is that Elfman finally meets the “man of her dreams,” who comes along with three kids. The stress of this situation brings back her imaginary friend from childhood, hence “Imaginary Mary” and hilarity ensue. That is, at least until some idiot writer decides to get all sentimental and have “Mary” start giving good advice to Elfman’s character and we all stop tuning in or setting the DVR to record.

Odds of Seth MacFarlane lampooning "Imaginary Mary" on Family Guy next season: 9-5

Pure Genius

Prepare to enhance the oxygen flow to your brain as this yawner gets you ready for bed quicker than a Russian novel about starving in the cold and feeling the pangs of unrequited love. A tech genius with a ticking time bomb in his DNA hires a doctor to run his new hospital that doesn’t quite follow all of the rules. Gag us with a coal-black stethoscope, please. Hospital shows have all kinds of built-in drama, and now that Dermot Mulroney is off of Shameless and done with one of the weirder character arcs in recent pay-cable TV history, why not make him a doctor trying to rein in a billionaire looking to cure his previously incurable disease? Mulroney does “edgy" pretty well and will have a nice short run at using his devilish genius to solve weird medical problems while those of us with a brain say, “Hey, didn’t they try this approach to groundbreaking medicine while they were ruining Grey’s Anatomy?” Oh wait, there was never much to ruin with Grey’s Anatomy, and Pure Genius seems more like pure shit.

Odds of a blatant HIPAA violation in the first episode:

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon