Staff Picks: 10 TV Shows We’re Excited to Watch This Fall

by Preston Burt

Now that the kids are back in school we can move down the checklist for another thing we’re excited to experience this September — the return of the fall television schedule! While streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have certainly lessened the sting of the dearth of quality programming over the summer, many of the GeekDad and GeekMom writers have been anxiously anticipating the return of their favorite shows for months. Here are a few of our favorite TV shows airing this fall that we think you’ll enjoy.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Tuesday, September 20 on FOX)

When crew from Brooklyn’s 99th police precinct last left us, we found out that Sargent Jake Peralta and Captain Raymond Holt needed to be placed in witness protection. Season 4’s comedy picks up far from the city with the two leads living under their new identities in sunny Florida. From the surface, this senior comedy looks like just a cookie-cutter sitcom, but much like The Office, the individual characters shine to make an absolutely hilarious ensemble. There are no weak links in the cast, but Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher provide guaranteed laughs. — Preston Burt


The Goldbergs (Wednesday, September 21 on ABC)

I absolutely can not sing the praises of this show more. The Goldbergs is a nostalgic comedy steeped in retro ’80s goodness, but grounded in hilarious and sweet family dynamics. Known for its brilliant send-ups to iconic ’80s movies with past episodes devoted to everything from The Goonies to Say Anything, season four kicks off with the Goldberg family taking on the John Hughes classic film The Breakfast Club. Each (mostly) family-friendly episode is like a funnier The Wonder Years, and there’s heart behind each episode. The fact that this show hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy is criminal. — Preston Burt


Longmire (Friday, September 23 on Netflix)

Longmire was not a show I expected to like. My mom loves the show and when I took a solo vacation earlier this year she convinced me to take the first 2 seasons on DVD along with me. I was hooked from the first episode. The show centers around Walt Longmire who is the sheriff of a remote county in Wyoming and they shoot on location, high altitude and all. The cast also includes geek favorite Katee Sackhoff as a deputy and Lou Diamond Phillips as Walt’s best friend. The show keeps the action to a minimum mostly and concentrates on the people and the crimes and my favorite part the interaction between Walt and the leadership of the Cherokee Indian reservation that is in his county but not under his jurisdiction. Last season ended on a cliffhanger with Walt finally connecting with a woman after his wife’s murder and then the two of them being attacked in his home. All of the first four seasons are available on Netflix so tune in now so you’re ready for season five later this month. — Samantha Fisher


Star Wars Rebels (Saturday, September 24 on Disney XD)

Season 1 was awesome. With twice as many episodes to work with and the tension-laden duos of Ahsoka/Vader and Ezra/Maul, Season 2 headed into “amazing” territory and stayed there pretty consistently. A perfect balance of character study episodes and the continuing saga of the Rebellion, Season 2 ended with a life-changing event for one of our beloved rebels and a new, dangerous purpose for another. I, for one, have been worried, really, truly concerned, for Kanan, Ezra, and the rest, since the closing moment of the Season 2 finale, which is, in my mind, an indication of the series’ excellent writing staff and voice talent. Season 3 looks like it’s going to delve even more deeply into Ezra’s well-intentioned but misguided flirtation with the Dark Side and Kanan’s adjustment to his new… circumstances. Sounds like we’re also getting more of Sabine, Zeb, and Hera’s backstories, which were the impetus for some of Season 2’s strongest, deepest, and funniest episodes. Counting the days (at the time of writing, there are only 11 more). — S.W. Sondheimer


U.S. Presidential Debates (Monday, September 26, Sunday, October 9, Wednesday October 19)

In my household, the debates are clearly the most anticipated nights of TV this fall. With an enormous amount at stake and with a more unpredictable outcome than in recent memory, the debates are must see TV for every American. Even though my 5 year old son is a bit young for politics, we are set to watch these evenings together, as I think its important part of his civic education. I deeply hope for nights of substance over entertainment, but in this cycle — who really knows what will happen? They will undoubtedly be the most watched TV events this fall. Fingers crossed that it will live up, and not down, to expectations. –Kishore Hari


The Fall (Thursday, September 29 on BBC2)

The Fall features Gillian Andersen as Stella Gibson, an inspector with the Belfast police. She is pitted against the serial killer Paul Spector who is played by Jamie Dornan. Both are strong actors who play strong characters. What sets this show apart from other crime dramas for me is how impressive Stella’s portrayal is. She’s written and performed as the lead (not the ‘female lead’ but the lead) with such assuredness that you may not realize the show doesn’t have a male protagonist. Since we already know this is the final season of the show now is a great time to catch up on the first two seasons which are available on Netflix ahead of the final season this fall. — Samantha Fisher


Luke Cage (Friday, September 30 on Netflix)

Marvel has been talking the diversity talk and writing the more diverse… story but, with the exception of James Rhodes and Sam Wilson, the focus of Marvel Entertainment’s visual media has been predominantly white and male. It was only this past spring, after all, that we were given the female-led (and to a great extent supported) Jessica Jones. The field widens more in a couple of weeks when Netflix drops Luke Cage, S1. Complete with reference to the tiara. Previews suggest an initially reluctant, but ultimately butt-kicking, powerful, take-no-prisoners incarnation of Cage who also manages to have some believable emotions of the “kinder, more gentle” variety, suggesting a male character far deeper than we’ve yet seen on screen (while Matt Murdoch and Frank Castle are both well nuanced, they’re still, in many ways, the epitome of the stoic, standard hero). Still, it doesn’t look like there’s any way Cage is letting anyone do to Harlem what Fisk did to Hell’s Kitchen. Plus: MISTY KNIGHT! Can’t. Wait. — S.W. Sondheimer


Ash vs. the Evil Dead (Sunday, October 2 on Starz)

Warning! Trailer is NSFW.

This recommendation comes straight from our GeekDad editor-in-chief. When asked how the first season of the series based on the classic Sam Raimi horror movie was, our man of many words was surprisingly succinct: “Awesome. So much fun! Tons of blood.” Sounds just like every other Evil Dead production. My guess is if you love Bruce Campbell AND tons of blood, you better not miss this horrific delight.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Friday, October 21 on CW)

One of the few truly original network shows returns in October. Delve into the bizarre mind of Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), as she tries to win the affection of Josh Chan while also making sense of her life. Amidst the story, the show breaks into hilarious, bizarre, original musical numbers illustrating the mental narratives of the characters. I was charmed by the insanity of Rebecca Bunch and am deeply rooting for her to find solace in Season 2. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has always been a critical darling that has struggled to find an audience, even after a Golden Globe win for Rachel Bloom. A switch to Friday night doesn’t bode well. Yet, the show is brash, unexpected, dark, and still touching. No doubt that actress/writer/comedian Rachel Bloom is massive talent to watch. — Kishore Hari


The Walking Dead (Sunday, October 23 on AMC)

Season six ended with a huge cliffhanger. As a reader of the comics, this has been extra agonizing for me since its unknown if the cliffhanger will resolve the same as in the comics or not. Regardless of how it ends, it will be painful to watch I’m sure, but it will be nice to have that release of anxiety and anticipation over and done with and to get more Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan. They did a perfect job with that casting and Morgan will surely continue to scare us and creep us out all season long. The Governor can’t even hold a candle to Negan. — Will James

Preston Burt

Preston is a writer and graphic designer. He lives outside Atlanta, GA with his awesome wife and two amazing daughters (6 and 10). The host of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, he has an affinity for VHS tapes and an obsession with arcade games and pinball machines. He has written for Paste and RETRO Magazines and is a founder of the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo.

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