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What to Watch on Television This Week: September 29-October 5


The television season kicks into high gear this month, with dozens of premieres for new and returning shows each week. With such an onslaught of questionable new programming and a packed slate of returning gems all overlapping with each other, planning out your TV schedule can get overwhelming. So for the next few weeks, Flavorwire is here to help you out with the week’s best — and worst — bets by telling you which shows to watch, DVR, or just ignore.


Watch: Unfortunately, Mom got pushed back to an October 30 premiere date, so that leaves tonight’s premieres pretty scarce. But that just means it’s a good night to watch Gotham‘s fun second episode.

DVR: Castle (ABC, 10 PM) — Out of all the identical crime procedurals on TV, Castle is the most consistently entertaining — mostly thanks to Nathan Fillion’s always-welcome presence. It’s not a show you need to watch every week, but it’s always good to keep a few episodes on your DVR for lazy afternoons.

Ignore: NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 10 PM) — This spinoff falls firmly between the original NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans, but let’s be honest: none of them are worth watching.

Bianca Santos as 'Lucy' & Shane Harper as 'Ian' in costumeTuesday, September 30

Watch: Happyland (MTV, 11 PM) — MTV continues its newfound addiction to soapy teen drama with Happyland, a mixture of Adventureland (as it centers on teens working at an amusement park) and of Game of Thrones (as the twist involves incest?). It’s always hard to tell which way an MTV scripted show is going to go, but either way, you’ll want to watch the pilot.

DVR: Selfie (ABC, 8 PM) — Selfie had one of the most irritating comedy pilots of this season so far, but there is so much built-in promise in the cast, writers, and My Fair Lady-like premise that it still might end up being one of the good ones. It’ll take a while to get there, though, so maybe just DVR until mid-season when it gets really good.

Ignore: Manhattan Love Story (ABC, 8:30 PM) — There are so many rom-com sitcoms premiering this year. Most are boringly unimpressive, but Manhattan Love Story is aggressively bad. Only watch if you want to know what women and men really care about (purses and boobs, respectively).

105086_D1999bcWednesday, October 1

Watch: After last week’s Wednesday premieres, there isn’t much left for this week except for CBS’ “torture is cool!” double feature of Criminal Minds and Stalker. So really, just pick any show from last week and watch that instead. You’ll thank me.

DVR: Girl Code (MTV, 11 PM) — 90 percent of Girl Code episodes are nearly unwatchable, but the other 10 percent makes them kind of worth it.

Ignore: Stalker (CBS, 10 PM) — If I had to place bets on the first drama to be canceled this season, I’d go all in with Stalker — if only because of wishful thinking. It was already met with a ridiculous amount of controversy at the TCAs, and the show itself is a terrible execution of a terrible premise. It shouldn’t be watched; it should be ignored until CBS rightfully cancels it.

GRACEPOINT: Cr: Ed Araquel/FOXThursday, October 2

Watch: Gracepoint (Fox, 9 PM) — This mystery series has been done before — it’s a remake of the UK show Broadchurch and even borrows its star, David Tennant. Gracepoint revolves around the mysterious death of a 12-year-old boy and the ways in which it affects the town. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than your average crime shows.

DVR: A to Z (NBC, 9:30) — Did you watch How I Met Your Mother? Do you like cheesy romantic comedy sitcoms? Do you like excessive voice-over and cute bookends and attractive people making eyes at other attractive people? Then A to Z is for you! It’s acceptable TV, but it’s not worth dropping everything to watch.

Ignore: Bad Judge (NBC, 9)  — Kate Walsh is both wonderful and funny in Bad Judge, so it’s a shame that the show fails to live up to her performance. It’s a rough pilot, and the entire premise has longevity issues, so it’s perhaps best to ignore this sitcom until its inevitable cancellation.


Unless you’re really into back-to-back episodes of Last Man Standing (ABC, 8 PM) or On the Menu (TNT, 8 PM), a reality competition hosted by Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington, then Friday is a good night to take a break from television and leave the house. You deserve it.

Saturday, October 4

Watch: Jerrod Carmichael: Love At The Store (HBO, 10 PM) — Jerrod Carmichael is a great, gifted stand-up who deserves his own show (and might finally get one!), but before he enters coveted sitcom-land, watch his first televised stand-up special directed by none other than Spike Lee.

DVR: Survivor’s Remorse (Starz, 9 PM) — Starz’s original programming has been very hit (Outlander) or miss (everything else), and this week begins its new basketball-centric comedy Survivor’s Remorse. It’s a likable cast and has some solid jokes, but it’s still trying to find itself.

Ignore: Pit Bulls & Parolees (Animal Planet, 10 PM) — This ridiculous show is on Season 6 and still has not featured the rapper Pitbull, so what’s the point?

414_03_06_tk1-0065_hires2Sunday, October 5

Watch: Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 7:30) — The Belchers have been the best family on television since this show began, and every episode of Bob’s Burgers is a must-watch. Consistently hilarious, adorably touching, and featuring the Internet’s beloved Tina Belcher — there’s no reason for you should miss the Season 5 premiere.

DVR: Mulaney (Fox, 9:30) — John Mulaney is a gifted stand-up and a great writer, but both of these talents seem wasted so far in Mulaney. This Seinfeld-esque blend of stand-up and sitcom is one of the most disappointing shows of the season because it was almost guaranteed to be perfect. It’s not bad enough to ignore, but you’ll want to see if it gets better before committing.

DVR: Homeland (Showtime, 9 PM) — Homeland has been struggling in recent seasons, but it is still a fan favorite (if only because it’s gone completely off the rails). Still, you may not want to commit to two full hours of Claire Danes crying on a Sunday night so DVR it for a better time.

DVR: Bar Rescue (Spike, 9 PM) — I’m well aware that I am possibly the only person who counts Bar Rescue among my favorite shows, but I promise it’s good — it’s Kitchen Nightmares but in gross, fly-infested bars with too-drunk owners! — and certainly the perfect show to put on when there’s nothing else on TV. Just never, ever watch it before going out to a bar.

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