Bountiful season for TV dramas

Dexter. (Handout)

Dexter. (Handout)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:28 PM ET

This new TV season should be dramatically different, dramatically speaking.

From sci-fi to Sherlock, from superheroes to submarines, from the future to the past, there is a wider array of dramatic subject matter coming up than has existed in a long while.

So many choices. Where to begin? Well ...

REVOLUTION (new, NBC/Citytv)

Starring kick-ass Canadian Tracy Spiridakos, this futuristic series focuses on a post-electric world, where the power went out about 15 years earlier. Personally, I'd be more intrigued by the immediate aftermath of when the world went black, but the creators wanted this to be about the building of a society rather than the destruction of one. Whatevs.

LAST RESORT (new, ABC/Global)

Good actors in a confined space. No, this isn't Big Brother. Rather, it's about the crew of a U.S. submarine that gets some odd orders that could ignite World War III, demands secondary confirmation, and then goes rogue in a manner that would make Sarah Palin blush. Far-fetched for sure, but if you can get over that, it's intense.

ELEMENTARY (new, CBS/Global)

A surprisingly deft - well, surprisingly deft to me, anyway - update of the Sherlock Holmes-Dr. Watson dynamic, with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in the lead roles. Could have been terrible, but the pilot was quite good. And Liu downplays the sidekick element of Dr. Watson, which is a relief.

NASHVILLE (new, ABC/CTV Two)

My favourite pilot of the new season. Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere star as aging and newbie country singing stars, respectively, in the cut-throat world of showbiz, accent on the "biz." The music will be a turnoff for some people, but that's just the setting, not necessarily the focus.

ARROW (new, CW/CTV Two)

Canadian Stephen Amell hits a bulls-eye in the lead role, playing a former high-society playboy who is deserted on a desert island for several years and comes back, well, changed. I am so tired of comic books being mined for TV and movies that I could scream, but this one kind of worked for me.

666 PARK AVE. (new, ABC/Citytv)

Scary shows face an uphill battle on network TV. Usually not enough gets past the censors to frighten anyone. Taking another shot at it are Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams, starring as the creepy caretakers of a New York residence that is cursed by more than outrageous prices.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY (returning, FX Canada)

Speaking of everything being scarier on cable, the new season is set in 1964 at an East Coast asylum for the criminally insane. Jessica Lange was so great in the first season, and this tale centres on her new character, a nun. I honestly cannot wait for this.

VEGAS (new, CBS/Global)

Like scary shows, retro shows face an uphill battle on network TV. The creators of this foray, which is set in 1960s Las Vegas and stars Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, claim the time frame is incidental here, and it's really about strong characters. We'll see.

REVENGE (returning, ABC/Citytv)

Everyone's favourite breakout primetime soap returns for a second season with a lot of questions to answer. Madeleine Stowe's character can't really be dead, can she?

ONCE UPON A TIME (returning, ABC/CTV)

The sophomore campaign is an exciting reset, with the fairytale characters having awakened from their curse.

DEXTER (returning, TMN/MC)

Deb knows. Well, she knows something.

HOMELAND (returning, Super Channel)

Many say this award-winning Claire Danes/Damian Lewis project is the best show on TV. Originating on Showtime in the U.S., if there ever was a reason to check out the Canadian pay service Super Channel, this could be it.

FLASHPOINT (returning, CTV)

Final season for this Canadian series about an elite tactical cop unit. A fitting end would have the team trying to get to the scene of a potentially deadly confrontation, but everyone gets hopelessly snarled in Toronto traffic.

FRINGE (returning, Fox/Citytv)

It's actually hard to believe this show still is on the air, as it has existed on the fringes of ratings success. A 13-episode wrapup season is designed to placate devotees.

CHICAGO FIRE (new, NBC/Global)

On a cold and grey Chicago morn, another TV procedural is born, in the ghetto. You're welcome, Elvis fans.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 

 


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