This week just happens to be the biggest TV week of the year. That isn't to say that there is necessarily anything especially amazing new or returning this week. But in a volume game, it is the biggest.
Some of the biggest shows in the world returned over this past week, alongside new series and franchise extensions. NCIS returned for its 19th(!!!) season alongside new extension NCIS: Hawaii (it's more of the same - only with more board shorts). There's also a new FBI series with FBI International.
Easily the best new series to debut this past week was Netflix series Midnight Mass. The latest horror series from Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Doctor Sleep), the show is, as with all his works, a deliberately paced, quiet drama that knows how to ratchet up the tension.
The biggest title this week is Star Wars: Visions. It is nine animated shorts (up to about 30 mins in length) from Japanese animators who are offering their own interpretation of the Star Wars mythos. It is fun, but mostly inconsequential. The two highlights are The Duel and The Ninth Jedi.
The most gorgeous show this week is Foundation - Apple TV+ doing an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's books. It is an incredible spectacle, the likes of which I haven't really seen on TV. But also, the show is incredibly talky and does very little to engage the audience.
The biggest misfire of the week is Ordinary Joe. Starring TV's most watchable guy James Wolk, the show is a sliding doors affair showing the life of a man in three different timelines, each spun out of a moment when he graduated college. If after graduation he spent the day with his college girlfriend, his life would have gone in one direction. If he hung out with the cute girl he met at the ceremony, his life would have gone in another direction. But then there's also the timeline he may have gone on if he left his graduation with his family. The production is handsome and the cast is really great, but the premise of it has zero dramatic weight. Ordinary Joe asks you to emotionally invest in three stories - none of which have any dramatic resonance as mere 'what if?' tales. It is frustratingly weightless melodrama.
Manhunt (s02), NCIS (s19), 9-1-1 (s05), The Neighborhood (s04), Bob Hearts Abishola (s03), FBI (s04), The Resident (s05), FBI Most Wanted (s03), New Amsterdam (s04), Dear White People (s04), The Goldbergs (s09), Chicago Med (s07), The Conners (s04), Home Economics (s02), Chicago Fire (s10), Chicago PD (s09), A Million Little Things (s04), Law & Order: SVU (s23), Creepshow (s03), Doom Patrol (s03), Law & Order: Organised Crime (s02), Goliath (s04), Blood and Water (s02)
Star Wars: Visions - Disney+
Star Wars anthology series that will see some of the world's best anime creators bring their talent to this beloved universe.
NCIS: Hawaii - Paramount+
Midnight Mass - Netflix
Foundation - Apple TV+
Jaguar - Netflix
Stars: Blanca Suárez, Iván Marcos, Óscar Casas
In the 1960s, Spain became a home to hundreds of survivors of the Mauthausen camp. Isabel, a young Spanish woman, is one of them. She is looking for Skorzeny, Europe's most dangerous man, but she is not alone.
Ganglands - Netflix
Stars: Sami Bouajila, Carlos Schram, Geert Van Rampelberg
Mehdi, a qualified robber, and Liana, an apprentice thief, get involved in a turf war between drug dealers, and have to collaborate in order to save their loved ones.
FBI International - Paramount+ (US)
Ordinary Joe - Peacock
Stars: James Wolk, Natalie Martinez, Elizabeth Lail
Centers on Joe Kimbreau as he makes a pivotal, life-changing decision at his college graduation and follows him on three parallel timelines: as a police officer, as a music star, and as a nurse.
The Wonder Years - Hulu
The Big Leap - Fox
Stars: McKenzie Chinn, Karen Rodriguez, Sammy Arechar
A group of diverse underdogs from all different walks of life who compete to be part of a competition reality series that is putting on a modern, hip remake of "Swan Lake."
Our Kind of People - Fox
Stars: Yaya DaCosta, Nadine Ellis, Lance Gross
Single mom, who risks it all and moves her family to a vineyard with hopes of taking her natural hair care line to the next level by infiltrating the African American elite in Oak Bluffs.
Let's be careful out there.