Not much was expected of Marvel’s Inhumans (series debut Friday, Sept. 29, ABC), and the two-hour pilot doesn’t … not? … deliver on that lowered bar. Like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with more ridiculous outfits, or dollar-store X-Men, Inhumans Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Medusa (Serinda Swan), Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), Triton (Mike Moh), Karnak (Ken Leung), Crystal (Isabelle Cornish), Maximus (Iwan Rheon) and supersized teleporting-dog Lockjaw are a royal family of don’t-call-them-mutants who flee the moon for Hawaii to establish a persecuted-superheroes-as-Dreamers narrative. An underwritten, obscure Marvel property dumped on Friday night doesn’t really need to perform, but it should do … something.
Craig Robinson and Adam Scott in a paranormal comedy? Sounds like Adult Swim material, but Ghosted (series debut Sunday, Oct. 1, Fox) fits nicely into the Sunday-night broadcast between The Simpsons and Family Guy, maybe even better than The Last Man on Earth (which also returns tonight, Tandy fans). Cop-turned-mall-security-guard Leroy (Robinson) and professor-turned-bookstore-clerk Max (Scott) are recruited into a secret government agency to find a missing agent and track alien/supernatural activity in Los Angeles, because, why not? Ghosted is ridiculous, and Robinson and Scott go all in (as does Ally Walker as their hard-ass boss). A rare bright spot in 2017’s fall TV.
Remember last season, when there were several new shows about philanthropic tech billionaires with troubled pasts buying and operating hospitals, police departments and Waffle Houses for the greater good? (I made one of those up; good luck guessing which one.) Wisdom of the Crowd (series debut Sunday, Oct. 1, CBS), starring Jeremy Piven as a Silicon Valley heavy rallying millions to use the info-sharing app he created to—wait for it—solve his daughter’s murder, is another CBS procedural with pretty techies, just with bonus constitutional and privacy concerns. Even with Piven in vintage Ari Gold/Entourage mode, Wisdom of the Crowd is innocuous enough to skate by on CBS for years.
When we last saw Larry (Larry David) six years ago, he’d split the country for France with Leon (J.B. Smoove) to avoid spending any time with sick children—totally understandable. Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 9 premiere Sunday, Oct. 1, HBO) doesn’t need gimmicks like “character development” and “change,” only Larry! Larry! Larry! (Thanks, Leon.) In addition to Smoove, Curb regulars Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines and Richard Lewis are back, and the Season 9 guest list includes Carrie Brownstein, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston and Lauren Graham, among others. Awkward Larry moments to look forward to: “Larry offends Jeff’s barber” and “Larry bribes a funeral usher.” Curb always delivers good blurb.
Attention Marvel’s Inhumans: This is how you do a not-really-but-totally-X-Men series. Also, The Gifted (series debut Monday, Oct. 2, Fox) is nowhere near as bizarre as FX’s Legion, so relax. Suburban couple Reed (Steven Moyer) and Caitlin Strucker (Amy Acker) learn that their teen kids possess mutant abilities, go on the run from the mutie-hating government, and meet up with an underground mutant network; action and/or adventure ensue. In the hands of X-Men vet Bryan Singer and X-Men fan Matt Nix, The Gifted nails both splashy superheroics and emotional undertones (because, you know, teens), and is easily the best new show of the new fall season. Which is saying little, but watch anyway.
In sitcom The Mayor (series debut Tuesday, Oct. 3, ABC), a young rapper (Brandon Micheal Hall) runs for the mayoral office of his city as a publicity stunt to bolster his flailing career—and guess what happens? The title probably gave it away. Later, in one-hour dramedy Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (series debut Tuesday, Oct. 3, ABC), miserable Texan Kevin (Jason Ritter) is drafted into a mission to save humanity by a “guardian angel.” Neither of these series are cheesedick Throwback Tuesday gags from Fox circa 1987; they’re premiering right damn now on current-season ABC. And these aren’t even the lamest shows of the Worst Broadcast Fall Season in recent memory—2017, you may just kill me yet.