The List: television preview

Courtesy Marvel Television

(Courtesy Marvel Television)

Feeling lost now that there’s no more Breaking Bad to occupy your TV time? Here at The Ryersonian, we feel your pain, but remember, the fall television season has just begun. So here’s a small sampling of new and returning shows to obsess over:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Season 1 on Fox

In the new series from Parks and Recreation creator Michael Shur and producer Daniel Goor, Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) plays an immature but talented police detective who has to work with a new, by-the-book commanding officer played by Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street). The odd couple pairing seems to be fairly formulaic, but the hilarious cast (also featuring Joe Lo Truglio and standup Chelsea Peretti) and talented writing staff (including Canadian and former Kids in the Hall collaborator Norm Hiscock) add the same skewed perspective and wit that makes Parks and Rec what it is.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Season 1 on ABC

The television contribution to Marvel Comics’ cinematic universe sees Clark Gregg’s agent Phil Coulson mysteriously resurrected after his death at the hands of Loki in The Avengers to lead a new team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (pictured above). Joss Whedon will bring his golden touch to the series as executive producer and occasional director/writer. Don’t expect this show’s budget to facilitate many Tony Stark/Thor/Captain America cameos.

The titular agents’ focus is said to be on “new and emerging superhuman threats,” which does leave plenty of room for deep references that comic book readers want — even if they sail over the heads of more casual fans.

How I Met Your Mother
Season 9 on CBS

The focus — and easy, overdone joke — for the average viewer on How I Met Your Mother’s final season is that main character Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) will finally meet the mother of his children in the show’s ninth and final season. But look out for the subtle details that have kept this show interesting: The writers have always taken the standard, three-camera sitcom format and utilized it to its full potential to implement some highly creative and experimental storytelling techniques. The entire final season will take place over the course of one day — the wedding of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) — and show creator Carter Bays said it “will feature some of the most non-linear episodes” the show has ever done.

Downton Abbey
Series 4 on ITV

If you’re not up to speed on the complex connections and interpersonal relationships in this cult favourite, don’t worry — the third season is currently only airing in the U.K., so you have plenty of time before the North American première in January to catch up. But if you have access to shows from overseas, know that besides dealing with the aftermath of the death of some important characters, the series will feature Paul Giamatti as a new character and Christine Carty as author Virginia Woolf as the show explores the 1920s.

Dancing With the Stars
Season 17 on ABC

This show should only be watched in order to see Bill Nye the Science Guy dancing and follow his inspiring journey to greatness after a knee injury suffered during a laboratory-themed cha-cha in the first week. If he is ever to be eliminated, you are to switch immediately to one of the other fine programs on this list.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on October 2, 2013.

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