By Zane Fletcher, Culture Editor
The Walking Dead
Premier Date: October 12
Intrigue. Suspense. Action. Plot. All of these components are critical for a television program to succeed in the current drama-saturated market. Oh, and it helps to set the drama in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will enter its fifth season following a dramatic and suspenseful season four finale. The Golden Globe-nominated series left its last season in a tremendous cliffhanger, with nearly all of the main characters trapped in the same trailer car with a band of possibly cannibalistic survivors as their captors.
Fair warning: “The Walking Dead” is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. The characters’ mad scramble for survival include the slaying of a score of zombies (or “walkers”). One of the shows’ main attributes is their diverse array of walkers. The special effects team goes so far as to plan the backstory of each walker, including how they died, how long they’ve been reincarnated and the environment they’ve encountered in their second life.
Apart from special effects, the tremendous acting of the main characters really bring the story to life. Andrew Lincoln, who portrays Rick Grimes (debatably the lead character), has been noted by many critics for his accurate representation of a man living life on thin ice while caring for his child and his friends.
Premier Date: October 7th
Since the era of comic book heros, people have been fascinated by superhuman men who spend their time as vigilantes for their respective hometowns. That era, begun a handful of decades ago, still maintains its relevancy in literature, cinema and television alike.
A spinoff of CW’s “Arrow,” “The Flash” is poised to rush into viewers’ weekly schedules with the speed of its main character. A vessel for the story of Flash, the speedy superhero, this new program is buying into the recent trend of superhero cinema.
The trailer emphasizes the backstory of Flash, and paints him against a depressing backstory of murdered parents (a la every superhero ever). It follows him through his transformation from Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a forensic assistant, to Flash—the aforementioned superhuman speedster.
The trailer highlights incredible special effects, and what seems to be a well structured story arc. Due to the success of its predecessor “Arrow,” this show will not only have the legs to become a perennial hit but should contend for some awards. As long as “The Flash” can generate new story lines as it continues, and can stay away from the darkness other superheroes have fallen into (see: Batman), “The Flash” will be a success.
Premier Date: September 28
What started out as merely a vehicle for Andy Samberg’s departure from “Saturday Night Live” has slowly come into its own as a bona-fide force to be reckoned with in the comedy world. Samberg stars as an affable policeman who gets into a considerable amount of sticky situations. The supporting cast came into its own as the season progressed, allowing Samberg to take a more reserved role and deliver more sound jokes, rather than the seemingly desperate and forced ones of the show’s inception.
After winning Golden Globes for both the show and Samberg, “Brooklyn 99” looks forward to having a successful sophomore season, building upon the solid foundation the previous season left. With a rapidly growing fanbase, this Fox Cinderella story should make a splash on airwaves come fall.
Premier Date: October 12
Set in the Hamptons, a ritzy vacation hotspot on Long Island, “The Affair” depicts the effects of marital infidelity on two different relationships. With a stellar cast (featuring veterans from beloved shows such as “The Wire” and “ER”), and an excellent stable of writers, “The Affair” has garnered a significant amount of advance praise.
Shown through a postmodern lens of flashbacks from multiple sources, the show allows for much interpretation on the topic of cheating and love. Because of this, the Showtime product has become one of the hottest new dramas for the fall slate. Look for intense drama, fantastic acting and above average writing out of this emotional roller coaster.