This year's TV season is unfolding, and the reviews are already coming in. Sadly for those looking for a new favorite show, most range from the middling to the bad. There are "no original ideas, no creative spark, and little to look forward to," says Vince Horiuchi at the Salt Lake Tribune. "I can't remember the last time there was so little anticipation of the new TV season," says Aaron Barnhart at the Kansas City Star. But if you look closely enough, you'll find some glowing reviews, too. Here are five shows critics say are worth watching:
What is it? A conman attempts to lead a double life in Texas in this character-based drama starring newcomer James Wolk and oldtimer Jon Voight. (Watch a promo for "Lone Star")
What do critics say? "The first episode is gloriously good and it's the kind of drama you want to be this good every week," says John Doyle in the Toronto Globe and Mail. This "intriguing" show is worth setting the DVR for, says Aaron Barnhart in the Kansas City Star. "In the spirit of Texas Hold ’Em, I'm all in."
When is it on? Fox, 9 p.m., Mondays
"No Ordinary Family"
What is it? A family survive a plane crash only to discover they now have superpowers. Starring Michael Chiklis of "The Shield." (Watch a promo for "No Ordinary Family")
What do critics say? "Think of a well-executed live-action version of The Incredibles, and you're on the right bound-for-fun path," says Brad Oswald in the Winnipeg Free Press. It's a "terrific cast and formula," says Kristin Dos Santos at E! Online. "Watch it."
When is it on? ABC, 8 p.m., Tuesdays (starting Sept. 28)
What is it? A mysterious thriller in the vein of "Lost" and the (now-cancelled) "FlashForward", this begins with a spectacular assassination attempt on the president and unwinds from there in a highly conspiratorial fashion. (Watch a promo for "The Event")
What do critics say? "The turbo-charged pilot had us intrigued," says Chuck Barney at the Contra Costa Times. "Welcome back to the big leagues, NBC," says Mary McNamara at the Los Angeles Times. The struggling network has "finally located a tent pole, a new show as big, brash, and promising as 'Heroes' was a few years back."
When is it on? NBC, 9 p.m., Mondays
What is it? A "slicked-up" remake of the beloved 1970s cop show. This version stars Scott Caan and Daniel Dae Kim of "Lost". (Watch a promo for "Hawaii Five-0")
What do critics say? "It's pure guilty pleasure, a cheap thrill," says The Washington Post. "You'll never have to scrutinze the plot because it's all done for you." Purists should stay away though, says Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times. This "hyperventilating, trigger-happy remake" makes the original "seem like cinema verite."
When is it on? CBS, 10 p.m., Mondays
What is it? A spoiled billionaire (Will Arnett) attempts to woo his childhood love (Keri Russell), who is now an environmentalist. A comedy from the creators of Fox's much-beloved "Arrested Development." (Watch a promo for "Running Wilde")
What do critics say? It "won't stop you missing the Bluths," says Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times, "but you may laugh." Look, "nothing will ever be 'Arrested Development,'" says Steve Heisler at The Onion's AV Club. But this comedy still "has a lot going for it." Despite a wobbly pilot, we're betting it'll "keep getting stronger."
When is it on? Fox, 9:30 p.m., Tuesdays
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- Why insects are the future of food
- The super-rich are just as miserable as the rest of us
Subscribe to the Week