Fall into these TV premieres

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Kat Shambaugh

Fall television's biggest dramas involve the theme of secrets: who is the anonymous Red Devil on FOX's Scream Queens? Who is the terrorist that hides among the elite on ABC's Quantico?

Anabel Prince, Copy editor

While most tend to see fall as a season for cozy sweaters, crisp air, and apple scented candles, TV fanatics rave in the arrival of the fall television season. With the return of previous TV shows comes the pilots for new programs. Here I review four highly anticipated pilots of the 2014-2015 season:

 

Scream Queens:

A new horror comedy from TV’s favorite trio, Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuk, Scream Queens follows the fictional Kappa Kappa Tau sorority as a series of murders takes place on their campus. Starring almost every twenty-something actor one could think of, the diverse cast includes Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, and Jamie Lee Curtis. As Curtis defined the role of the original scream queen in the 1980’s with her role in the Halloween franchise,  Scream Queens satirically plays off of these cheesy horror films and sorority girl stereotypes. Most of the humor comes from the social commentary given in the character’s ridiculous lines, tip toeing around the offensive line but never quite hitting it in full fledge. The most interesting part of the series stands in who embodies the murderous Red Devil costume (sound familiar, American Horror Story fans?), giving me a reason to tune in next week. Watch Scream Queens tuesdays at 9:00 pm on FOX.

 

Quantico:

Surprisingly, mega producer Shonda Rhimes stands completely uninvolved with ABC’s newest political drama, Quantico. A distant cousin to other ABC dramas Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, the plot follows a group of hopefuls training at the FBI academy in Quantico, particularly focusing on recruit Alex Parrish, portrayed by Priyanka Chopra. While Chopra remains relatively unknown in the US, she has been referred to as “The Angelina Jolie of India” by many. Switching from events happening upon the recruit’s arrival and a terrorist attack nine months later, Quantico answers few questions and leaves many. I predict this show will become one of my new favorites thanks to its sharp dialogue, intriguing characters, and mysterious plotlines. Quantico airs Sundays at 10:00 pm on ABC.

 

“Best Time Ever” with Neil Patrick Harris:

Think of this new live variety show from NBC as a mix between The Ellen Degeneres show, Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. Harris takes the role of an atypical talk show host, running around the audience and interacting with viewers at home. By the thirty five minute mark, Harris had already “been to a wedding, a football game, gone undercover at The Voice, climbed a skyscraper, and given out thousands of dollars in prizes,” as recapped by on-air correspondent Reese Witherspoon. In addition, Harris presents a completely star-studded guest list, with appearances by Nicole Scherzinger, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams,  and Carson Daly. The 42-minute rollercoaster thrives on Harris as its host; without him, its charm and wit would vanish. Too fast paced for daytime, and not quite boundary-pushing enough for late night, Best Time Ever rightfully holds its spot at 10 PM. While exciting, the show definitely may overwhelm some. If anything, come for a dose of NPH fun and leave with a laugh. Watch Best Time Ever Tuesday’s at 10:00 PM on NBC.

The Grinder:

FOX’s newest sitcom, The Grinder, stars Rob Lowe and Fred Savage. Lowe portrays Dean Sanderson, an actor who after eight years of playing a lawyer on TV, decides to pursue a law career, much to the dismay of his brother (Savage), an actual lawyer. The Grinder marks Rob Lowe’s return to television since his departure from Parks & Recreation in early 2014. Despite the interesting premise, the jokes tend to fall flat. The episode picks up midway but still fails to offer anything we haven’t seen from Rob Lowe before. If anything, The Grinder serves as a sitcom families can watch together when Modern Family isn’t on. The Grinder airs Tuesdays at 8:30 on FOX.