The Best (and Worst) Shows Premiering at Mid-Season
By Jackie McMahon, Staff Writer
Another Pennsylvania winter means more cold weather and even less motivation to go outside. Luckily, if you find yourself with some free time but don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your own bed, there are plenty of new shows premiering this mid-season available for your viewing pleasure. With so many options to choose from, it may seem difficult to decide what shows to watch in between your study sessions. What new TV shows are worth a watch, and which can you simply skip?
“American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” –Wednesdays at 10, FX
The second season of this critically acclaimed Ryan Murphy anthology series chronicles the 1997 murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez). With stunning visuals and an all-star cast, Versace provides a haunting and fascinating glimpse at this real-life crime. The role of Andrew Cunanan (the psychopathic serial killer who shot Versace dead that fateful day in Miami) is a potentially career-changing one for actor Darren Criss, who viewers may recognize from his days on Murphy’s Glee. As Cunanan, Criss is able to demonstrate his serious acting chops and proves that he is a mature actor. The series also stars Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz as Versace’s lover and sister, respectively.
“The Four: Battle for Stardom”– Thursdays at 8, Fox
With a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this reality singing competition doesn’t seem to match up to the other widely successful shows in the genre. In The Four, four judges – Sean “Diddy” Combs, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and record executive Charlie Walk – handpick four aspiring singers, with other hopefuls challenging the four each week in an attempt to steal their spots in the group. Despite this twist, the show has been critically panned for contributing little to the genre and for featuring harsh yet simultaneously unhelpful criticisms from the four judges.
“The Resident” –Mondays at 9, Fox
This Fox drama also seeks to revitalize a tired genre, this time the medical procedural. Following resident Conrad Hawkins (The Good Wife and Gilmore Girls’s Matt Czurchy) as he attempts to take on a powerful doctor (veteran actor Bruce Greenwood), The Resident shows the seedy underbelly of the surgical world which you don’t see on shows like Grey’s Anatomy or ER. Though the show – which also stars Revenge’s Emily VanCamp as Conrad’s nurse ex-girlfriend and The Hundred Foot Journey’s Manish Dayal as his disillusioned young intern – provides a new take on the medical drama, some have criticized it for being too gritty in a time when the general public could really use some hope. Regardless, the show does manage to add some innovative new ideas to the ridiculously overplayed format.
“Black Lightning” –Tuesdays at 9, The CW
Superheroes seem to be all the rage these days, with the success of films like Wonder Woman and TV shows like Arrow or The Flash. Yet The CW’s Black Lightning still manages to provide a new and interesting take on super powers, as the show also addresses real world issues like racism and police profiling. The titular hero (played by Hart of Dixie’s Cress Williams) is a high school principal and family patriarch who decides to put his tights back on and come out of retirement on after witnessing the prevalent racial tension in his urban community. Black Lightning boldly goes where no superhero show has gone before.