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New Shows (2013): October 7-13

Although the networks have premiered (and, in at least one case, already canceled) most of their new shows, some are still trickling in. This was a fantastic week for documentaries. If you like that type of show, read on. The color code: red means don’t bother; blue means maybe; green means good; magenta means great.

Mighty Med (Disney XD at 8:30pm)
Two best friends, comic book nerds, discover and end up working at a secret hospital for superheroes. Although I fall well out of the desired demographic, I didn’t hate it. The comedy can be a bit forced, but my guess is that kids will love it and it will leave them laughing. I’ve seen much worse shows aimed at younger audiences.

Valentine Road (HBO at 9:00pm)
Marta Cunningham’s documentary is one of the most profoundly disturbing things I have ever seen. Telling the story of the 2008 murder of Larry King, a transgender 15-year-old, by a 14-year-old classmate, the film takes an amazingly balanced approach to the story. This film haunted me and I watched it again a day later, unable to convince myself that people could honestly believe that the kid who pulled the trigger should be excused because he was “only solving a problem.” If you believe that LGBT issues are a thing of the past, or if you know someone who is struggling with these issues, don’t miss this. If I had my way, it would be required viewing in every middle and high school in this country.

Dream School (Sundance at 10:00pm)
A reality show based on a UK premise. Fifteen at-risk kids are sent to school for thirty days where they are taught by the best in their respective fields. I thought this was going to be really interesting, but it ended up being too much like a reality show with manufactured drama and too much talking to camera.

League of Denial (PBS at 9:00)
A Frontline documentary about the link between brain damage and playing football. It was very interesting, especially around the allegations that the NFL has known about and covered up this problem for years. The film, however, was a bit long and could have said in an hour what it took two to say. Still, worth a watch even if you are not a fan of the sport.

Tiny Commando (Yahoo! Screen Streaming)
Criss Angel: BeLIEve (Spike at 11:00pm)

The Tomorrow People (The CW at 9:00pm)
Billie reviewed the pilot. Neither she nor I were overly impressed with the show, but neither did we think it was horrible. Personally, I have seen much worse pilots.

Full Circle (DirecTV at 9:00pm)
Big Tips Texas (MTV at 10:00pm)
Preachers of LA (Oxygen at 10:00pm)
Best in Chow (Cooking Channel at 10:30pm)

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC at 8:00pm)
Panda wrote an excellent review of the pilot. I had decidedly mixed feelings about this show and, most likely, will wait to see if it picks up its game before committing to a weekly viewing of it.

Filthy Sexy Teen$ (Adult Swim at 12:15 am)
Alaska Gold Diggers (Animal Planet at 8:00pm)
Million Dollar Shoppers (Lifetime at 10:30pm)

Made in America (Showtime at 9:00pm)
I am a huge fan of music and I love listening to artists talk about their work. Add this to a documentary filmed by Ron Howard, and I was really excited to see this. Unfortunately, my vision and Howard’s are two different things. Made in America is a two-day festival that has been performed in Philadelphia over the past two years. The film does not have enough music. What it does have is a lot of wealthy music types talking about how hard they worked to get where they are and giving little or no credit to those who helped them or the sheer luck that being successful in the music business is. There were some good moments, but overall, a huge disappointment.

Gold Fever (Discovery at 9:00pm)

Sabrina, Secrets of a Teenage Witch (Hub at 12:00pm)
Signed, Sealed and Delivered (Hallmark at 9:00pm)
Pearl Jam Twenty (VH1 at 10:00pm)
Vanilla Ice Goes Amish (DIY at 10:00pm)

Killer Profile (Lifetime Movie at 8:00pm)
Chasing Rhinos with Billy Bush (National Geographic Wild at 9:00pm)


  1. Valentine Road sounds upsetting, but it also sounds like an absolute must watch. It's sad that the people who really need to see things like this usually don't.

    The more I thought about The Tomorrow People, the more it just left me cold. I'm not sure I want to watch another episode. Dan does, though, so I probably will. Maybe it will be cooler than it appears after it got the establishing pilot out of the way.

  2. I ended up watching Mighty Med (long story) and, while it had its moments, I didn't like it much. But, like you Chris, I'm not an eleven year old boy, so the show really wasn't geared for me. Doesn't the main kid look like a young Fran Kranz?

  3. I did not watch Mighty Med either, but having young, Disney channel watching kids, I have seen the ads for it. The two lead kids are on other Disney channel shows that my older daughter watches, and, sunbunny, you are absolutely right that the one looks like a young Fran Kranz! It never occurred to me before, but he always seemed familiar to me, and I'll bet that's why. Too funny!

  4. Just out of curiosity, which network show was canceled? I'm behind in catching up with them, and don't want to waste my time if it was on my "to watch" list.

  5. We Are Men on CBS (M, 8:30) and Lucky 7 on ABC (T, 10:00 p.m.) were cancelled. I think that's it so far, but I'm not 100 percent sure. There's a number of other "dead show walking" candidates, but none have been pulled as of yet. Speculation is that Welcome to the Family on NBC (Thur, 8:30) will likely be pulled soon and replaced with Community.

  6. The two that have been cancelled deserve to be, in my humble opinion. Welcome to the Family had potential, but I'm not surprised it is wavering as it is a premise that has been done.

  7. I hate to put recs for other sites here, but this isn't something we really cover extensively, so...TV by the Numbers has a great feature called Bubble Watch, where they track what's been renewed, what's been cancelled, and what's likely to be renewed/cancelled.


    They update every week!

    Chris, what is the significance of the kitten with red and green yarn? I know you try to make them relate to something in your post...

  8. sunbunny -- I was looking for a kitten dressed as Alice in Wonderland (OUAT in Wonderland), but couldn't find one I liked. This one popped up at the bottom of the page and I thought the red and green were appropriate.

    I looked for one that had red, blue, green and pink balls of yarn, but failed. I settled for this one.


  9. Thanks for the info, Jess. I hadn't invested any time in those two shows, yet, I'm happy to say. Thanks also for the link, sunbunny. I hope they're wrong in some of their predictions for cancellation!


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