Watch, Skip, or DVR?: All the New and Returning Geeky Shows Coming This Fall

Sunday, 21 August 2016 - 12:17PM
Luke Cage
The Walking Dead
Sunday, 21 August 2016 - 12:17PM
Watch, Skip, or DVR?: All the New and Returning Geeky Shows Coming This Fall
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As usual, the schedule is chock-full of sci-fi and comic book shows this season (especially on Sundays, which is going to be super-crowded). In this age of peak TV, it's important to prioritize the shows that you need to watch live, the ones to record for later, and the ones to skip because there's just too much good TV out there. Here's our rundown of every geeky show—new and returning—in the fall 2016 season, and whether they're worth your time (or DVR space).


Westworld season 1 - 9pm on HBO

Described as "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin," the series tells the story of a futuristic theme park called Westworld.
Premiere date: October 2
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch! It has a ridiculously star-studded cast, an HBO pedigree, a fascinating premise, and creative talent like J.J. Abrams, Person of Interest's Jonathan Nolan, and up-and-comer Lisa Joy on its side. And since it's on HBO, it will probably have lots of violence and controversial decisions that will have everyone talking the next morning. Yes, it's competing with Walking Dead, but we'd suggest going with this one, since TWD is way past its prime.

The Walking Dead - 9pm on AMC

Premiere date: October 23
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch, but only the first episode so you can see who died. Then you might want to give up on this show in favor of Westworld, because it's been relying on shock value and recycling plotlines for at least two seasons now. 

The Last Man on Earth season 3 - 9:30pm on Fox

Premiere date: September 25
Watch, skip, or DVRDVR. This offbeat apocalyptic comedy was made even better by Jason Sudeikis' acclaimed performance in its second season, and we won't want to miss the third. But that being said, it's on at the same time as Westworld and The Walking Dead, so record it until after TWD's plot twists are spoiled by Twitter's trending hashtags.

People of Earth - 9pm on TBS

A sitcom about an alien abduction support group. Wyatt Cenac plays a journalist who is skeptical of the abduction claims at first but comes to suspect that he's had his own close encounter.
Premiere date: October 31
Watch, skip, or DVRDVR. This comedy about a journalist who is writing a scathing feature on an alien abduction support group, only to discover that he may have been abducted himself, was hilarious and unexpectedly poignant. (Read our review from SDCC here.) But there's no urgency, so you're better off watching Westworld (or Walking Dead) live.


Supergirl season 2 - 8pm on The CW

Premiere date: October 10
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch! In spite of some flaws, it's worth watching for Melissa Benoist alone, and especially now that she's joined the other DC heroes on The CW, we can expect lots more adorkable Barry/Kara crossovers in the future.

Gotham season 3 - 8pm on Fox

Premiere date: September 19
Watch, skip, or DVR? Skip. If Gotham's brand of cheesy/crazy is for you, you're probably already watching it. For everyone else, just watch Supergirl instead.

Lucifer season 2 - 9pm on Fox

Premiere date: September 19
Watch, skip, or DVRDVR. Like Gotham, Lucifer has more than a healthy dose of ridiculousness, so there's no urgency, but its self-awareness and originality make it deserving of the benefit of the doubt.

Timeless season 1 - 10pm on NBC

A time traveling criminal steals a time machine in order to change history and destroy America, while a trio of scientists uses the machine's prototype to try to stop him.
Premiere date: October 3
Watch, skip, or DVRDVR. It's hard to tell with this one, but it comes from the Blacklist producers and has reportedly been characterized as a "hot pilot" for quite a while at NBC. It could be good, or it could be silly, so record it and see what the reviews say.


The Flash season 3 - 8pm on The CW

Premiere date: October 4
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch, of course! With only a slight sophomore slump after a stellar first season, The Flash continues to be the best superhero show on network television. And with Flashpoint turning everything topsy-turvy, you don't want to be spoiled on all of the twists and reveals.

No Tomorrow season 1 - 9pm on The CW

A risk-averse quality control assessor falls in love with a man who believes an asteroid will destroy the Earth in eight months.
Premiere date: October 4
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch. This quirky romantic comedy is already getting lots of positive buzz, and has the potential to be the best sci-fi rom-com we've seen in quite a while.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 - 10pm on ABC

Premiere date: September 20
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch! After that huge character death, the ripple effects from Captain America: Civil War, and Daisy going on the run, we can't wait to see what happens to our agents next. (Plus, it's on at ten now, so there's no competition anyway.)

Aftermath season 1 - 10pm on Syfy

Premiere date: September 27
James Tupper and Anne Heche star In Aftermath, which follows the Copeland family (parents Karen and Joshua, and their children Dana, Brianna and Matt) as they battle for survival when civilization comes to an apocalyptic end, triggered by massive storms, meteor strikes, earthquakes, a plague – and the rise of supernatural creatures.
Watch, skip, or DVRSkip. The cast is intriguing, but the premise sounds way, way too generic.


Arrow season 5 - 8pm on The CW

Premiere date: October 5
Watch, skip, or DVRSkip. Arrow hasn't really been good since the second season, and with the Olicity drama and flashbacks both making a comeback this season, it doesn't look like it's going to get much better.

Frequency season 1 - 9pm on The CW

Based on the feature film of the same name, Frequency follows Detective Raimy Sullivan as she discovers that she is able to speak to her deceased father over the radio. 
Premiere date: October 5
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch. Against all odds, the pilot was actually halfway decent, with solid performances and an enjoyably twisty plot (although completely incoherent time travel rules), and it doesn't have any geeky competition in its time slot. Read our review from SDCC here

Incorporated season 1 on Syfy

Set in a future where companies have seemingly unlimited power, Incorporated centers around Ben Larson, a young executive who risks everything to infiltrate the all-controlling corporate world and save the woman he loves. In the process, he will take on the entire system — with deadly consequences.
Premiere date: November 30, time TBA
Watch, skip, or DVR? DVR. The Affleck/Damon dream team carries a lot of weight, but Syfy has been a bit hit-or-miss recently, and not every tilting-at-windmills anti-establishment TV show can be Mr. Robot. Record it, and wait to see what the reviews say.


Legends of Tomorrow season 2 - 8pm on The CW

Premiere date: October 13
Watch, skip, or DVRDVR. The first season was pretty muddled and uneven, but sometimes shows improve in their second season, so wait to see if the critical reviews pick up.

Falling Water season 1 - 10pm on USA

Falling Water tells the story of three unrelated people who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. And the deeper they dig, the more they come to realize that the visions found in their common dream just might hold the key to the fate of the world.
Premiere date: October 13
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch. This trippy, dream-centric drama from Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd looks very intriguing, and like it could be very good or very bad. Let's all just hope it's more Inception than Sense8.


MacGyver season 1 - 8pm on CBS

Young Angus "Mac" MacGyver creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government, relying on his unconventional problem-solving skills to save lives. A remake of the popular 1980s TV series.
Premiere date: September 23
Watch, skip, or DVR? DVR. It's definitely not in the "can't miss" category yet, since we have no idea if it will be a worthy reboot, but it's a classic franchise that at least deserves a look (eventually).

Z Nation season 3 - 8pm on Syfy

Premiere date: September 16
Watch, skip, or DVR? Skip. It's decent enough, but not worth getting into when there are so many other great shows to catch up on/try out.


Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency series 1 - 8pm on BBC America

Premiere date: October 22
Watch, skip, or DVRWatch. With Elijah Wood co-starring and Max Landis on board to write, this is sure to be a faithful and entertaining adaptation of the classic character.

Star Wars Rebels season 3 - 9:30pm on Disney XD

Premiere date: September 24
Watch, skip, or DVR? Watch! Between the arrival of Thrawn, the return of Darth Maul, and (hopefully) the reveal of Ahsoka's fate, this will be a can't-miss season.


Marvel's Luke Cage season 1 - September 30 on Netflix

Former convict Luke Cage uses his superhuman strength and unbreakable skin to fight corruption on both sides of the law in the MCU's version of Harlem. 
Watch, skip, or wait? Watch immediately! Not only is it the MCU, but Mike Colter's performance as Luke Cage is already fan-approved after Jessica Jones. We have no reason to doubt that this will be another top-notch Marvel/Netflix collaboration, and one that will be binge-watched by everyone you know within the first weekend.
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