September is not just the time for a new school year, it's also the time for a new season of television! Lets take a look at how some of the shows fared on their first week back.
Big Bang Theory (CBS)
The nerds (and Penny) are back for Season 9 ... which might be one season too many, despite the fact that the show's been renewed until June 2017. The main problem it faces is the same as any other long-running show: the characters start out incredibly unique but get more and more watered down and generic as the years go by. It's not to say that there still aren't laughs to be had here, but it's nowhere near as interesting.
The season premiere shows that they've given up on the nerd/science angle in their comedy, and have just resorted to your basic comic-soap opera. So sad.
Modern Family (ABC)
The return of this multi-generational comedy was weaker than expected. Instead of providing a deep story, the show did a sort of "What happened on my summer vacation" montage, where they showed how things developed over the course of the summer. That meant a few quick gags in a very frantic storyline that just wasn't as funny as some earlier seasons.
Just like Hongkongers struggling to define what make them unique, Black-ish follows the story of Dre Johnson, who is trying to find his identity. He grew up in a poor, violent black neighborhood, and is married to a woman who is half-white-half-black. He loves his family and his new life in a nice part of town, but he always questions whether he is being true to himself, his roots, and to the black people who came before him and fought to change the world so he could get where he is today. This comes to a head in the season premiere when his eight-year-old son is expelled from school for dropping the "N-bomb". It's pretty hilarious watching the family justify and argue for and against using the racial slur. Good stuff.
The (sort of) true life story of Eddie Huang returns! Eddie Huang is the man behind a series of successful restaurants in New York City, but this show takes us back to the early '90s, when Eddie was 13 and his Taiwanese family moved from a black neighborhood in Washington DC to Orlando, Florida.
Eddie faces all the stereotypes of being the only Asian kid in his school, but he rarely meets them: he's terrible at maths, never does his homework, doesn't know how to play an instrument, and is super into hip hop (which gives the show a great soundtrack of classic '90s tunes).
Season 2 started just a couple of weeks ago, with Eddie's cheap mom trying to get the most value out of the family vacation - even if it makes it terrible for everyone. A good show that makes me look forward to the rest of the season.
The Simpsons (Fox)
This summer Simpsons producers dropped the major bombshell that Homer and Marge would be separating this season. They even played it up with a YouTube segment.
Will they or won't they?
First of all, this is not a bombshell. Homer and Marge have been separated a few times: once when Homer gave away family secrets during a class he was teaching, again when Homer moves out after an argument, and a third time when Marge has amnesia and can't remember being married to him. There's more too - the point is, it's not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last time.
Secondly, instead of bothering to build this up into a multi-story arc, the writers weaseled out by returning things to normal because it was all just a dream. Lame.
On the plus side, there were a few good jokes in it, and it was still funnier than most of their offerings from the last few seasons.
Life in Pieces (CBS)
Remember a few weeks ago when I said networks take a successful show and then make another one exactly the same but slightly different? Well get set for Life in Pieces! Life in Pieces is pretty much what you would get if you bought Modern Family at the Ladies market in Mong Kok. It's exactly the same show but they've taken out the "talk to the camera segments" (a good decision because that idea is getting old) and added title cards before each scene (which doesn't do much).
See the difference? Nope, neither could I.
Really, there's no point in watching this show unless you absolutely love Modern Family but you have already watched every episode multiple times and are desperate for more.
Bob's Burgers (Fox)
Bob Belcher has no relation to Hong Kong's famed Admiral Sir Edward Belcher. In fact, the two are pretty much opposites, as Bob is a guy who constantly struggles to pay the monthly rent on his family burger restaurant. His family doubles as his staff, though the kids usually end up being more of a drawback than a plus.
This season started out as a trilogy, where each of his kids present their version of events. It's a format the show follows at least once each year, and while it wasn't the best one they've done, it still had plenty of laughs.
Disagree with my opinions on these shows? Leave a comment and let me know! Share this with your friends and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @YPSamGus!