It's fall, which means a ton of new shows are arriving right now. But how to decide which ones to watch? Read more about the shows we're into and also discover other diversions you'll love in the coming months.
The pilot episode of Timeless, debuting tonight on NBC at 10pm ET, opens with a special-effects-heavy staging of the Hindenburg disaster, but the show really begins with a dick joke.
The line arrives as crowds of men swarm across mud-covered grass holding ropes, members of the press fawn in eager anticipation of the ill-fated Zeppelin, and a very serious-looking title card informs us that it's May 6th, 1937 -- an ominous date for anyone who paid attention in history class. "Can you believe something this big actually flies?" asks a scruffy sailor to a plucky young female reporter. "Men," says the reporter, shaking her head. "Always obsessed with how big something is."
It's a true groaner and an awkward opening to the series -- especially because we're about to watch people die in a big explosion -- but it effectively signals what makes Timeless a spry anomaly in the current television landscape.
Last night, HBO aired the first episode of Westworld, a riveting and psychologically rich science-fiction series about a robot theme park that also arrives with a much-discussed $100 million price tag. To put it in aviation terms, it's serialized storytelling as blimp-making. Yet Timeless, which was created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Eric Kripke (Revolution), is more like a scrappy bomber jet. Half the fun of watching the pilot is in watching Ryan and Kripke, two experienced television writers, make this thing fly through sheer elbow grease, tenacity, and, yes, dick jokes.