We’re almost through the first week of the 2017-2018 television season with premieres of new and not-so-new shows popping every night. Some series including CBS newbies Young Sheldon and SEAL Team and Fox’s The Orville have had strong starts, and then there is NBC’s returning heavyweight This Is Us, which bopped up to an all-time ratings high Tuesday.
Then there are the shows that you wonder how, besides through sheer cynicism, they ever saw the light of day. Which is polite way of introducing CBS’ October 1-debuting Wisdom of the Crowd and ABC’s October 3-premiering Kevin (Probably) Saves The World.
Based on an Israel format of the same name, Crowd is an extremely untimely exercise in mob rule. Reminiscent of several failed series over the past year in concept and execution, the series topped by Jeremy Piven, Monica Potter and Richard T Jones lurks under the veneer of real-time, app-driven, crowdsourced crime solving but goes to far more sinister places as I say in my video review above.
As for the recast and renamed ABC show starring Jason Ritter and Kimberly Hebert Gregory — it was originally titled the very biblical The Gospel of Kevin — it involves meteors hitting the Earth and some sort of ill-defined spiritual quest for Ritter’s almost suicidal and certainly selfish Kevin Finn character. It’s a world-saving quest full of good deeds driven by Gregory’s sort-of angel. To makes this all more nebulous, it turns out Kevin is the last of the 36 righteous humans who keep the planet humming along.
To employ an almost unavoidable cliché, let me cut to the chase and tell you that Crowd basically tosses a lot of the U.S. Constitution to the curb and mainly serves to splatter another one of those ugly, mean-spirited shows like 2015’s cancelled Stalker on the small screen. Kevin, at least from what I’ve seen, lacks narrative nutritional value and, when it comes to spirituality, mainly serves to reinforce just how good Touched By An Angel was when it was aiming high.
Keeping in a more contemporary spiritual small-screen context, and in contrast to this duo of regrettable debuts, Fox’s The Exorcist returns for a second season starting tomorrow and it is rather excellent, from what I’ve seen. One of my favorite shows of 2016, the series led by Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels and based on William Peter Blatty’s infamous bestseller now moves to the Pacific Northwest with new visions, horrors and truths. With Star Trek alum John Cho and Deadpool’s Brianna Hildebrand having joined, the series created by Jeremy Slater and showrun by Sean Crouch is a deep dive worth plunging into.
So, check out my video review of Wisdom of the Crowd and Kevin (Probably) Saves The World for more of why I think these are two shows to miss. And think about not missing The Exorcist when Season 2 debuts September 29. Also, what have you liked that has already premiered this season?