Entertainment Television

TV CHEAT SHEET

Will and Grace back on the tube

DENETTE WILFORD, 24 HOURS

(via NBC)

(via NBC)

TOP 5 RETURNING SHOWS

Will & Grace When the show originally went off the year in 2006, Will and Grace had drifted apart, Karen was left with nothing and Jack inherited Beverley Leslie's fortune. It did flash-forward, however, and Grace and Will made up, their children ended up meeting, falling for each other and eventually ended up marrying. But for Season 9, they're going to pretend those events never happened. Rightfully so. Because I'm not sure I'm not sure I'm ready to see them as parents. I just want them to be Will and Grace (and Jack and Karen). So instead, we're picking up with the four main characters 11 years since we last saw them. And things are going to get political - as expected. Can't wait.

Thursday, Sept. 28 on Global and NBC

This Is Us

The best network show returns in time for the Big 3's 37th birthdays. In the middle of it all, Randall and Beth debate adopting another child, Kevin tries to balance his latest gig with his rekindled relationship with Sophie and Kate follows in her mom's footsteps. We'll also see the fallout of Jack and Rebecca's epic fight, and eventually, yes, we'll finally find out how Jack dies. Will we finally stop seeing all the conspiracy theories on his death? I friggin'hope so. Tuesday, Sept. 26 on CTV and NBC

Transparent

Transparent has always been one of those shows categorized as a comedy but leans more towards the dramatic with comedic moments. Season 4, however, is drama-heavy, so if you're looking for the tone from seasons past, that's not what you're going to get. That being said, it doesn't reduce the series by any means; rather, their journey is just gripping. Maura takes a literal one, to Israel; Aly struggles with her identity; Sarah and Len welcome newcomer Sarah (Alia Shawkat) into their lives; and Josh and Shelley's new living arrangement is about what you would expect. While it seems like they're living their lives separately (which is needed at times since the Pfeffermans can be overwhelming), their story arcs lead them back to each other. There's a lot going on, but no moment is wasted. It's another satisfying season; just different. Friday, September 22 on Amazon

The Big Bang Theory

The premiere picks up right where we left off, after a kiss from a colleague sent Sheldon flying to Princeton to propose to Amy. We'll find out her answer around the same time Bernadette gets some surprising news of her own. Big Bang isn't exactly reinventing the wheel so your suspicions on both counts are probably correct. Monday, September 25 on CTV and CBS

The Blacklist

Raymond Reddington is back - and he has nothing. His criminal empire is in shambles and he needs to not only earn some quick cash but deliver a new Blacklister to the group. With a surprisingly carefree Red having nowhere to go but up, it should make for a fun and different season. Wednesday, September 27 on City and NBC

 

TOP 4 NEW SHOWS

Star Trek: Discovery

CBS has kept the latest Star Trek series under wraps, but even without a screener, I'm positive Discovery - set 10 years before the original Star Trek - is must-see. It's the first time the franchise has featured a series lead who wasn't captain. Instead, Sonequa Martin-Green plays first officer Michael Burnham, who reports to the captains of both the Discovery and Shenzhou (played by Jason Isaacs and Michelle Yeoh, respectively). And while it may have suffered from losing its original EP Bryan Fuller and his hopes to turn this into an anthology, it's now going to be more serialized, making its chance of living long and prosper almost certain. Sunday, September 24 on Space and Crave TV.

Me, Myself & I

Watching Alex Riley in three stages of his life sounds like a lot but it works. Played by Jack Dylan Grazer (at 14, in 1991), Bobby Moynihan (at 40, in present day) and John Larroquette (at 65, in 2042), Alex is an aspiring inventor looking for his big break. We see his struggles yet we see his future; not sure if that helps or hinders. But it's endearing as hell and the supporting players at every stage are a delight. Monday, September 25 on CTV and CBS

The Good Doctor

A lot different than his last gig as Norman Bates, Freddie Highmore plays titular character Shaun Murphy. The pilot shows us how good a doctor with autism can be while the people and politics at play around him can be so, so bad. Highmore is great, and seeing the world through his eyes, is quite thought-provoking. And Richard Schiff, as Shaun's mentor, who also happens to be president of San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, can do no wrong. Monday, September 25 on CTV and ABC

The Brave

There are a few military shows premiering this season but this one might be my favourite. If you watch Madam Secretary, and there are those scenes in which the president and all those important people are in a conference room, watching footage of a squadron of military people going into some dangerous area to save/kill/capture someone? Well, The Brave focuses on that elite group. Led by Mike Vogel, the cast is entertaining, the tactical operations are impressive-yet-believable, and the scenes are well-produced. It's in a tough timeslot, however, so it needs eyes on it. Copy that? Monday, September 25 on Global and NBC

TOP 3 SHOWS THAT HAVE POTENTIAL

 

Young Sheldon

Because of its roots, you might be expecting to laugh a lot harder. Or at all. But remember, Sheldon Cooper might be funny now (albeit, borderline annoying), but he does have a serious past. He might have the support of his beloved Mee-Maw and his overprotective born-again Christian mom, but his dad's an alcoholic (who died when he was 14), and his older brother George and fraternal twin sister Missy bullied him. Not exactly a happy household, so while I'm not sure what direction the prequel plans on taking, I'm curious to see more. Monday, September 25 on CTV and CBS

SEAL Team

The other major military drama that debuts this week stars David Boreanaz as the leader of, well, a team of Navy SEALs. Its biggest advantage over The Brave is its timeslot, where it doesn't face any serious threat. Plus, it's CBS. This is the kind of show it does best. I personally just didn't dig it as much. Partially because I'm indifferent about Boreanaz, partly because I didn't buy Jessica Paré as a CIA analyst, but mostly I just preferred The Brave. Sadly, I have a feeling I'll be in the minority. Wednesday, September 27 on Global and CBS

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

The jury's out on Law & Order's latest take on ripping its story from the headlines but because of its pedigree, it's worth checking out. Your thoughts on the outcome of the sensational case - in which brothers Lyle and Erik were charged and convicted of murdering their parents - might determine whether you have any interest on this. But Edie Falco and all the wigs she and the other cast members wear throughout its eight episodes might have you intrigued enough to know more. Tuesday, September 26 on Global and NBC

Applause, applause

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Just when you thought The Good Place couldn't get any better, it returned for its second season with a literal reboot. The show was flipped upside down in the best possible way when we learned that the Good Place is actually the Bad Place. Not that it needed it but it allowed the show to reset and start fresh - but in a believable, flawless way.

In the Season 2 premiere, Michael (Danson) explained his diabolical plan to torture the core four - Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tejani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) - which was "keeping everything from Version 1 that made them miserable and adding a bunch of new stuff they'll hate." What the fork? How much s--can these dearly departed humans take? A s--ton, it turns out. Danson - who played it pretty cool last season (well, right up until the end when the architect revealed the plan he had masterminded) - is a bit of a basket case/wannabe evil genius this time around. He now balances that with his newfound open status as a deplorable being/double agent with a hidden agenda, which makes it so fun to watch. Danson's ability to toss out a line loaded with sarcasm and resentment, while chuckling or shaking with rage, not to mention his interactions with the other characters, is absolutely spot on. Slick motherforker.