Sunday, June 15, 2014

Red Dot Diva Readers' Picks for the Fall Season 2014-2015

The networks in the USA announced their TV schedule for this Fall recently. Being a TV series-loving fiend, Red Dot Diva followed the news with much interest.

Last year, the lineup was about monsters - the werewolves, vampires, zombies and terrifying serial killers. This year, the world of comics and superheroes seems set to overtake the primetime airwaves. Following the box office success of Marvel's superhero movies, like "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "X-Men: Days of Future Past", it seems that fans can't get enough of their favourite comic book characters coming to life on screen. But while Marvel is currently ruling the movie box office, DC Comics is determined to stand its ground in the TV series landscape.
Red Dot Diva polled a small number of her readers online on which new fall TV series they were looking forward to most. Out of a total of 31 respondents, shows based on superheroes were in the top 3 picks.

Here are the Top 5 TV series RDD readers can't wait to get on their gogglebox (in order of Highest Level of Squees to the lowest):

Premiere Date: TBC

Barry Allen's (the very likeable Grant Gustin) appearance in the CW's "Arrow" was so photogenic and so charismatic that there was little doubt that the spinoff for The Flash would be going ahead.

The official announcement that the CW had picked up "The Flash" had gotten fans into a tizzy. And the anticipation remains high, especially after the extended trailer was released. Check out the trailer below showing how fast and powerful The Flash is, as well as an introduction to the S.T.A.R. Labs team.

It certainly looks like a fun show to grab on to (if you can!). And Red Dot Diva has little to complain about the pretty and bicepstuous cast members in the series. In addition, having characters making cameo appearances between "Arrow" and "The Flash" is guaranteed to generate more squees within the fandom in general. What's bad about that, right?

Premiere date: October 24th

It is about time a more faithful adaptation of antihero Constantine comes to life from the comic books, if for no other reason than to replace memories of the 2005 movie version, which did not even have Constantine speaking in a British accent.

There have been positive vibes about "Constantine" ever since Welsh actor Matt Ryan was chosen to take on the lead role. As RDD reader Victoria says, "Finally we can see a proper alcoholic, smoking brit Constantine instead of Keanu Reeves. Plus demons, ghoulies and dark humor is always good."

So far, the trailers have proven to be as dark and terrifying as the comic book series, and Matt Ryan's take on the snarky, world-weary sorcerer is pretty much spot on. Although, Red Dot Diva suspects that the chain-smoking habits of Constantine would be toned down significantly on prime-time free-to-air TV. Well, she can live with that.... as long as they don't do the same with his British sarcasm, cynicism and moral ambiguity. Oh, and the scruffiness. Definitely the scruffiness.

Premiere date: TBC

The distinctly noir setting of this origin story about young Detective (later Commissioner) James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie) is one of the main things that is getting Red Dot Diva squeeful about the series.

The other is the gamut of wonderful back-stories and mayhem involving the Gotham characters (Catwoman/ Penguin/ Poison Ivy/ Bruce Wayne) whom many are familiar with.

Understandably, there are a number of people who mentioned of being "cautiously optimistic" about the series, simply because of how invested they are, as fans, with these characters, and how it is generally tricky to get the film noir genre right.

But Red Dot Diva has high hopes for "Gotham". After all, lead actor as Benjamin McKenzie, whom she last saw in "The O.C.", does brooding and conflicted very well, and based on the trailer below, it seems the rest of the characters seem to be just as well cast.

What do you think?

Premiere date: July 2nd

Scifi is another genre which can be iffy on TV. It can either be oh so good, or simply cheesy. Red Dot Diva always felt that there's a silent tussle during production about the direction of such shows. If it went hardcore scifi and too convoluted, the network might not get enough eyeballs to have it remain in its lineup. If it is too dumbed down, the series would simply look and sound silly.

Despite the possibilities of overused scifi tropes, Red Dot Diva feels that if the pace and writing is intriguing enough and/ or the actors encompass their roles with a fresh take or panache, there is a good chance that a scifi series will not get axed too soon. (Although, Red Dot Diva has got to put this out there -- she's still a tad bitter about the early cancellation of "Almost Human".)

"Extant" is a "limited event series" about a mysterious baby in astronaut Molly Wood's (Halle Berry) womb after she was back on Earth from a solo space mission for a year. What "Extant" has going for it are the high-profile people involved with the show. Steven Spielberg is Executive Producer, and helming the series as lead actor is Academy Award-winner Halle Berry together with Goran Visnjic and Camyrn Manheim - both solid actors.

The first look teaser also showcases a believable "near-future" and ramps up the mystery element quite effectively. So Red Dot Diva thinks it may have a very good chance of getting some scifi fan love.

A special shout-out to fan favourite makeup artist Wendi Lynn Avignone (@wendilynnmakeup on Twitter) who is working on "Extant". Many fans have got to know Wendi from her days on the "Heroes" set, and she has always interacted with the fandom at large with lovely tweets during and off production. Do follow her on Twitter!

Premiere Date: TBC (Tues, following "NCIS")

What? Another spin-off?

Well, actually......  this is a spin-off or a spin-off. If you remember, "NCIS" - hailed as the world's No. 1 TV series and now in its 12th season, is a spinoff from "JAG". Together with "NCIS: Los Angeles", the upcoming "NCIS: New Orleans" would be its second spin-off.

Silver foxy Scott Bakula takes on the lead role of NCIS Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride, and leader of his team which consists of newbie agent Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan), medical examiner Dr Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder) and Special Agent Christopher Laselle (resident hunk Lucas Black. Gosh, how Red Dot Diva remembers him from the time he was a small boy in a striped tee from "American Gothic". She is beginning to feel old now.)

In contrast to the uptight all-suits politicking that's prominent in "NCIS", the New Orleans spin-off feels like one big, hang-loose party in the Big Easy.

The first look teaser consists mainly of scenes from the recent backdoor pilot on "NCIS", and seems to be a lack of juicy news concerning production and the premiere episode, but as Red Dot Diva's friend Helen sums it all nicely, "It looks like they'll have fun, plus Scott Bakula *swoon* *oh boy*".

Red Dot Diva's thoughts exactly. ;)

Are any of these shows the ones you are eagerly looking forward to?

Other than the five shows mentioned above, Red Dot Diva has a personal interest for a few more TV series that have been announced for Fall 2014 and beyond. Check out on a follow-up post about this shows coming up next week!

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