Big stuff this week – two new shows starting, one of which is a masterpiece, and neither of which will be bad. Also the return of the only show that is categorically bigger than Game Thrones, some non-Marvel superhero TV shows are also making their way back, and all of this is topped off nicely by hands-down the best contestant-style show rearing it’s great, big, capitalist head once more. There is nothing bad here, which is, I think, a first. God I love autumn
Getting the big’un out of the way first, I like that, it’s efficient. The Shambling Deceased, The Eloping Corpses, Butch Cassidy and the Zombie Kid – AMC’s The Walking Dead, the only show that can make the guys at HBO scared, the biggest post-apocalyptic thing-a-madoo in the world, the only zombie show that never uses the word zombies. Tune in to see your favourite characters continue to run for their lives all covered in dirt: Rick ‘Scruffy McBeard’ Grimes; Darryl ‘Florida Man’ Dixon; Glen ‘Lost Child’ Rhee; Carol ‘Resting Bitch Face’ Peletier; and Michonne (who’s too cool for superfluous names, be they nick or last). The Walking Dead returns for its sixth season on Fox (UK), at 9pm Monday night.
Up next is one of those superhero TV shows. “Oh, like Agents of SHIELD?” “No.” “Agent Carter?” “Nope.” “Daredevil?” “No, it’s The Flash.” “Who the fuck’s that?” One of them DC superheroes who is neither Superman nor Batman, The Flash is a show about a guy who can run real fast, and I suppose he faces some kind of conflict, maybe goes on a journey, or develops as a character. Or maybe he just runs fast, and that’s it. Joking aside, the show’s first season did quite well, getting good reviews and ratings and all that jazz. The show’s second season premieres at 8pm on Tuesday over on Sky1.
No week is complete without a detective show, and this week is of course no different. On the up-side, the BBC’s latest offering, River, might make up for its lack of originality by being excellent in every other department. Starring Stellan Skarsgård as the eponymous John River, a police officer who suffers a major psychotic break when his partner dies, the show is created by Abi Morgan (The Hour, Shame), and it’s a part of BBC One’s autumn lineup. All of these things point towards a potentially brilliant piece of TV. If only it weren’t a police procedural. The show premiers at 9pm on Tuesday.
This week sees the return of a second DC superhero show, Arrow, which follows a billionaire playboy who fights crime and corruption under the guise of a secret alias. I’m sorry, Batman called, he wants his story back. No but actually, this is what the show’s about. The only difference being that Batman is, ya know, Batman, whereas this guy (Green Arrow) is running around with a bow and arrow (at the very least Green Arrow was a thing before Hawkeye, so there’s that). Receiving slightly less exaggerated praise than its younger brother (The Flash, see above), Arrow has done consistently better than okay, and is now entering its fourth season, which has to say something. The show airs on Sky1, premiering at 8pm on Wednesday.
The second biggie of the week is the return of the BBC’s annual wanker competition, where it’s never entirely clear whether the biggest wanker is the winning contestant or the guy in charge. The Apprentice is back, with its appropriation of classical music, shots of Canary Wharf, boardroom table that is simultaneously way too big and a little bit too small, and the winning formula of putting a bunch of arrogant, incompetent dickheads in a room together and letting the people at home shout abuse at them. Having suffered a major blow in losing Nick and his eyebrows, Alan Sugar has replaced him with one of the most abrasive people ever put in front of a camera (and this is a world where Kanye exists). Grab some biscuits and stick the kettle on. This gon’ be good. The Apprentice starts at 9pm on Wednesday.
Wrapping things up this week is the start of one of the best shows you’ll see all year: Mr. Robot. Like Fight Club, but with hackers, morphine addiction, and a ten-hour run time, I don’t know when I’ll get tired of explaining just how good this show is. Probably when everyone’s seen it, and are forced to agree with me. If you like well-acted things, or well-written things, or well-shot things, or well directed things, this is for you. If you like intelligent television, this is for you. If you like gritty drama, corporate espionage, twisty-turny plots, House of Cards style manipulation, and serious fourth-wall action, this is for you. Just…just watch it. The first season is released in its entirety on Amazon Prime Instant Video on Friday.