She’s back! Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is returning to Amazon for its second season on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Season 2 will see Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) dealing with the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon, making her climb up the comedy ladder even more challenging — especially since she’s still keeping her new career as a standup comedian a secret from her family.
Recently added (updated 12/3): History Remembers George H.W. Bush (Dec. 5), Mysterious Islands (Dec. 26), Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration (Dec. 28)
Thursday, Dec. 20 Timeless91%: Series Finale, 8 p.m., NBC
Friday, Dec. 21 Marvel's Runaways: Season 2(2018)87% Hulu Vanity Fair: Miniseries(2018)89% Amazon Bird Box(2018)64% Netflix
Perfume: Season 1, Netflix
38Below: Tales of Arcadia, Netflix
Derry Girls, Netflix
Tales By Light, Netflix
Bad Seeds, Netflix
Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski, Netflix
Last Hope, Netflix
Sirius the Jaeger, Netflix
Back With the Ex, Netflix
7 Days Out, Netflix
The Casketeers, Netflix
American Dream/American Knightmare, 8:30 p.m., Showtime
Monday, Dec. 24
Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam, Acorn TV
Hi Score Girl, Netflix
Wednesday, Dec. 26
41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors, 8 p.m., CBS
Mysterious Islands: Georgia’s Island of the Geechee People, 11 p.m., Travel Channel
Mysterious Islands: Islands of Eternal Life, 11:30 p.m., Travel Channel
Friday, Dec. 28
Into the Dark: New Year, New You, Hulu
Instant Hotel, Netflix
Murder Mountain, Netflix
Selection Day, Netflix
A Twelve-Year Night, Netflix
When the Angels Sleep, Netflix
Yummy Mummies, Netflix
Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration, 9 p.m., PBS
Sunday, Dec. 30 The Orville: Season 2(2019)100% 8 p.m., Fox
The Lake Erie Murders: Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic?, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery
Monday, Dec. 31 Taylor Swift reuputation Stadium Tour, Netflix
Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square, 8 p.m., Fox
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, 8 p.m., ABC
NBC’s New Year’s Eve, 10 p.m., NBC
Thursday, Nov. 8
Bureau of Magical Things: Season 1, 7 p.m., Teen Nick
Shahs of Sunset: Season 7, 9 p.m., Bravo
How Far is Tattoo Far?: Season 1, 9:30 p.m, MTV
The Return of Shelby the Swamp Man: Season 1, 10 p.m, History
Friday, Nov. 9
Marriage Boot Camp: Season 13, 9 p.m., WE The Contender: Season 1(2005) , 10 p.m., Epix
Little Big Awesome: Season 1, Amazon
Saturday, Nov. 10
Knight Squad: Season 1, 8:30 p.m., Nick
Fatal Vows: Season 6, 10 p.m., ID
Tuesday, Nov. 20
Keep It Spotless: Season 1, 8 p.m., Nick
The Impeachment of Bill Clinton: Season 1, 9 p.m., A&E
Flipping Out: Season 11, 10 p.m., Bravo
Tosh.0: Season 13, 10 p.m., Comedy Central The Jim Jefferies Show: Season 2(2018) 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central
Monday, Dec. 17
Fake the Great Masterpiece: Season 1, 1 p.m., Ovation The Great Christmas Light Fight: Season 7(2019) 8 p.m., ABC
Christmas Cookie Challenge: Season 2, 10 p.m., Food Network
Who Do You Think You Are?: Season 9, 10 p.m., TLC
We’ve come to the end of another TV season, and the big news is the surprising specials and new series that dominate the top 5 of our Spring-Summer TV Scorecard. Click on to learn more about those cheeky upstarts as we rank new and returning series and films on TV or streaming that premiered from mid-March through August by Tomatometer.
Seasons and films must have at least 10 reviews to be included. Certified Fresh scores indicate that the title has gotten a Fresh rating by more than 20 reviewers for series and more than 40 reviewers for TV or streaming films; in each case, at least five reviews must be from “Top Reviewers” to be Certified Fresh.
The final ranking reflects an adjusted score calculated based on the number of reviews a series has; for example, if one title has 10 reviews and a 100% score, while another has 45 reviews and a 99% score, the second title ranks higher because of the larger pool of critics’ opinions used to form the score.
Final Update:Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert ; America to Me, season 1; Aggretsuko, season 1; John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City; Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife; Hannah Gadsby: Nanette; Making It, season 1; and Random Acts of Flyness, season 1; Insatiable, season 1; The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time; The Package; Deep State, season 1; Archer: Danger Island; Alone Together, season 1; Disenchantment, season 1; Ozark, season 2; Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, season 1; Snowfall, season 2; One Strange Rock, miniseries; Ghoul, season 1; Orange Is the New Black, season 6; The Innocents, season 1; Ordeal By Innocence, miniseries; Bobby Kennedy for President, season 1; Crime + Punishment; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; Insecure, season 3
Critics Consensus: By deviating from its source material, 13 Reasons Why can better explore its tenderly crafted characters; unfortunately, in the process, it loses track of what made the show so gripping in the first place.
Critics Consensus:Splitting Up Together tries to make light of divorce, but its commitment to genre tropes keeps it from being very fun or funny, despite the always charming Jenna Fischer's best efforts.
Critics Consensus:Deep State is dense with terrific actors and slick action, but it's disappointingly shallow in dramatic depth as it fails to get to the bottom of its characters or offer much insight into the geopolitical arena.
Critics Consensus: Though long-time fans may be frustrated by this slim diversion from Archer's main narrative, Danger Island gleefully colors outside the lines of 1930s serial tropes while incorporating many of the series' treasured jokes into a self-contained story.
Critics Consensus:Troy: Fall of a City never tries to reinvent the bronze wheel but succeeds in engaging audiences with both royal and divine intrigue, making for a highly enjoyable romp in the lost kingdom.
Critics Consensus:One Strange Rock contains enough visually sumptuous imagery to remind viewers of Earth's cosmic uniqueness, although this Will Smith-narrated series falls a stone's throw short of being a definitive account on the blue planet.
Critics Consensus:Motherland pulls no punches, creating an honest and hilarious portrayal of parenthood buoyed by brilliant performances from its seasoned cast -- though for some viewers it may hit a little too close to home.
Critics Consensus: Brutality and humor continue to mesh effectively in a season of Orange Is the New Black that stands as a marked improvement from its predecessor, even if some arcs are more inspired than others.
Critics Consensus: In its second season, Marvel's Luke Cage delivers a satisfyingly complex narrative and a solid ensemble cast led by Alfre Woodard's standout performance as the archvillainess Black Mariah.
Critics Consensus: As a quirky courtroom satire Trial & Error continues to delight, but its best motion may be allowing the singular Kristin Chenoweth to shine in all of her whimsically manic glory as the titular Lady, Killer.
Critics Consensus:The Affair's captivating character study returns with fewer kinks than its previous outing, resulting in a more emotionally grounded season that regains much of the show's initial allure.
Critics Consensus:Cloak & Dagger blends soapy drama with superhero grit to create an exciting, surprisingly thoughtful addition to the genre -- even if it falls prey to a certain amount of narrative bloat.
Critics Consensus: Beautifully shot but dishearteningly relevant, The Handmaid's Tale centers its sophomore season tightly around its compelling cast of characters, making room for broader social commentary through more intimate lenses.
Critics Consensus: Ali Wong emerges a mother still perturbed in Hard Knock Wife, a hilariously honest hour of comedy that highlights the joys and oh boys of motherhood with fearless energy and just the right amount of squirmy detail.
Critics Consensus: Uniquely bleak for a Sanrio property, Aggretsuko balances biting corporate satire with adorable characters and absurdist comedy to create a surprising, insightful addition to the world of animation.
Critics Consensus:America to Me confronts hard questions through candid moments in a Chicago high school, crafting an exploration of race and class relations in America that is as insightful as it is inspiring.
Critics Consensus: Shaking up traditional religious and musical iconography, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert is a sight to be heard, superbly infiltrating the classic source material with originality, rock legend star power, and soulful depth.
We ranked new and returning series and films on TV and streaming from January 1 through mid-March by Tomatometer (seasons and films must have had at least 10 reviews to be included).
The final ranking reflects an adjusted score calculated based on the number of reviews a series has; for instance, if one title has 10 reviews and a 100% score, while another has 45 reviews and a 99% score, the second title ranks higher because of the larger pool of critics’ opinions used to form the score.
Critics Consensus:Dynasty's revival retains enough of its predecessor's over-the-top allure to offer a glamorous guilty pleasure in its first season, even if it never quite recaptures the magic of the original.
Critics Consensus: Refreshingly lewd humor and funny, relatable characters are crammed into LA to Vegas alongside pacing problems and a dearth of punchlines, leaving this sitcom's high-flying potential stuck in an amiable holding pattern.
Critics Consensus:Rise's admirable aim to inspire audiences with a grounded depiction of high school theater is undercut by stock characters and an off-putting presumption that it is more moving than it ever manages to be.
ABC’s The Good Doctor proved itself one of the biggest hits of the fall – a top 5 scripted series for all of 2017 by Nielsen ratings.
And series star Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), who plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, found himself nominated for a Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, an award that ultimately went to Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us. Highmore was, however, in very good company, which, in addition to Brown, also included Jason Bateman (Ozark), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan).
When you’re from Rotten Tomatoes and you visit the set of The Good Doctor, there’s an elephant in the room when you meet the series’ stars: the show’s Tomatometer score, which, after the series’ September 25 debut, hovered in the 30%-40% range.
The season has since recovered to a 58% Tomatometer and will likely move higher as the season goes on and new reviews perhaps lose a certain level of cynicism around this story of an autistic doctor trying to succeed in a world that is often hostile to his needs and to his unique, often brilliant, sometimes completely wrong perspective.
In a recent episode, Dr. Murphy learns the trifecta of flirting from another surgical resident at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas): a touch, a giggle, and a hair sweep. Such are his social limitations currently.
“The interesting thing about playing Shaun,” Highmore told Rotten Tomatoes, “is that he’s experiencing the same breadth and width of emotions that your typical person would be, but they’re expressed in different ways and perhaps it lends itself to him being more internal at times, not so immediately accessible. But of course we still want to connect with him, and we still want to understand what’s going on in his mind.”
With The Good Doctor’s midseason return on Monday, “Islands, Part 1,” the series will continue to portray Shaun’s exploration of his limitations and his stuttering attempts to create a life he fully controls – whatever the good intentions of Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), who is president of the hospital.
Dr. Glassman pressed Shaun too far in the fall finale, “Sacrifice,” trying to get the young doctor to see a therapist.
Highmore said of Shaun’s relationship with Glassman: “That’s something that will continue to be unpicked and unstitched, if you like, as the season goes on. I think what’s interesting there is, of course, not only what’s been happening in the present but the back story. And we’ll continue to find out more about their history together and how he and what role he played in Shaun’s journey to getting to the hospital in the first place.
“I think Glassman is a nice bridge between Shaun’s life at work and life at home. Glassman feels responsibility to protect Shaun and to try and help Shaun in all areas of his life. But Shaun of course also wants a certain amount of independence and I think they’re will be a friction between the two of them because of that,” said the British actor, who adopts an American accent for the role.
Also in Shaun’s workplace orbit are fellow resident Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu), cardiothoracic surgeon Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez), and hospital board member and Chief of Surgery Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper), each of whom at different times have had their doubts about their autistic colleague.
“He’s definitely not prejudiced against Shaun – the fact that he happens to have autism,” Modu explained. “He’s just highly ambitious, so it could be anyone in the team, male, female, and he would try and ostracize them a bit because he wants to be the man. Melendez quotes, ‘You’re all quarterbacks. By the end of the season, there’s only gonna be one starter.’ And, in Jared’s head, that’s him. Also the fact that Shaun has quite a good relationship with Claire; I think he feels a little bit threatened by that.”
But Shaun may not be equipped to navigate aggressive professional ambition, particularly when it’s coming from more than one direction; in addition to Kalu, doctors Melendez and Andrews each have their own agendas, and each began the series harboring extreme doubts about Shaun’s ability to function in the high-pressure hospital environment.
“He still has his goals,” Harper said of his character. “He believes he should be in control of this hospital and he believes he will, but at the same time, he has a certain standard of practice of the way he likes to operate and work and he believes in hierarchy. I guess I see him much like the general who understands that he’s the general, and wants to have people have an experience of going through the ranks.”
Harper said the story is set up for the audience to experience growth in those relationships from episode to episode as more of each is revealed.
“I have a line in [an earlier] episode where Murphy actually questions me and says, ‘How come he got to do that and I didn’t?’ And I explain to him a couple of things: I say “No. 1: It’s a teaching hospital. No. 2: He’s been here longer. And No. 3: I told him to do it, and I didn’t tell you to do it, so shut up.’ Now that’s not the line, but that’s basically what it is, right? And that has nothing to do with his condition; that has everything to do with him being a brand new resident. I love that.”
Gonzalez spent a lifetime watching his father and brother, both surgeons, work in the medical field, so when he has a question, he just makes a call to get guidance on portraying Dr. Melendez.
“You go through different trials and tribulations in a friendship and a work relationship and this is no different. In a hospital there’s a lot of high-energy, seat-of-your-pants, in-the-moment things that need to be done,” Gonzalez said. “So, if I can speak as Dr. Melendez, then when I’m in the operating room, I want eliminate everything that’s the unknown. I wanna take out anything that’s unpredictable. And right now Shaun isn’t predictable.
“At the same time I hold him to the same standards as I do the rest of the residents,” he continued. “When care for the patient is No. 1 and then after that is respect levels for my residents. But that love and that respect means I’m going to teach them and teach them well. It’s not about holding their hand and trying to define their emotions.”
One of the most powerful figures in the St. Bonaventure Hospital setting is Allegra Aoki (Tamlyn Tomita), chairman of the foundation and vice president of the hospital, who is a decision-maker.
“She is a person who is held accountable,” Tomita said, without being “for lack of a better word, a ‘B.’”
Tomita, who has friends with kids who are autistic, offered high praise for Highmore’s performance: “He works so hard at portraying Shaun Murphy as correctly, as righteously, as sensitively as possible, because knowing that, first, he is not on the autism spectrum, [and] he doesn’t represent everybody who has autism, he is in a tricky balancing position, so he has to really make sure that his heart really reads.
“Having to portray a person with autism, they don’t communicate in the ways that neurotypicals do. He’s just finding a new language, a new mode of communication, and he’s really quite wonderful to watch. And work with,” she said.
Highmore promises much more of Shaun’s complexity will be explored in the second half of the season, including personal relationships like the one with his extrovert neighbor, Lea (Paige Spara).
“It’ll be interesting to see where that relationship goes,” he said. “And I think there is a battle between Shaun having a confidence in his abilities and feeling more and more that he does have a voice in the hospital and does have a role to play. And I think that’s exciting for him, but at the same time, as we’ve already seen, he’s not some superhero who gets everything right.
“I think Shaun to the rest or majority of the people in the hospital still has to prove himself, and that’s not going to be something that comes quickly or easily,” he continued. “I think Shaun’s an optimist. I think that’s what people are attracted to in him. I don’t think there’s a lot of negativity that he — he doesn’t have ill feeling towards anyone in the hospital. I think he’s happy to be there, excited to be there, happy to contribute in whatever way he can or is allowed to. I think that’s what makes him attractive, or potentially has been attractive to audiences about him is that he’s always seeing the good in people.”
Speaking of good, The Good Doctor‘s audience score? A healthy 88%.
2018 Midseason TV Survey: Winter’s Most Anticipated New and Returning Series
We surveyed TV fans and asked which midseason returning and premiering series they were most looking forward to in the first quarter of 2018. The top series, according to 623 Rotten Tomatoes users (out of 1,359 total survey respondents), include The Walking Dead (returning from its midseason break), The X-Files (returning for its 11th season), The Alienist (a new TNT miniseries), and, in the reality category, American Idol (getting reboot treatment).
Click through to find out which other series made the top 10 in each category.
Critics Consensus: Although it takes an episode to achieve liftoff, Star Trek: Discovery delivers a solid franchise installment for the next generation -- boldly led by the charismatic Sonequa Martin-Green.
Critics Consensus:Brooklyn Nine-Nine's final year with Fox pops with such joyous affection that it could have been a satisfying closer for the series, but the ensemble's unflappable chemistry continues to gel so well that viewers will be glad that these cops will live to fight crime again.
Fall TV 2017 is done, and The Good Place has triumphed — at least, by straight Tomatometer score. We’ve updated our fall TV by Tomatometer scorecard each week all season, registering every new season and TV movie (starting September 1) that got at least 10 critic reviews.
The Good Place took the top spot with a 100% Tomatometer score on 28 reviews. It’s worth noting, however, that Alias Grace, the Margaret Atwood adaptation from Netflix, has a 99% score on 69 reviews — significantly more reviews than the 13-review average of the 20 series boasting a 100% final score for the season.
So while The Good Place is perched atop the list by straight Tomatometer score, it comes in fourth after Alias Grace, Mudbound, and Stranger Things by adjusted Tomatometer score, which takes into account the number of reviews that make up the final score. Season 1 of Mindhunter rounds out the top 5, proving Netflix’s dominance over fall TV by adjusted Tomatometer.
Just added (12/27):The Last Post, Bright, Peaky Blinders, Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Christmas, Gunpowder, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Great News, Exorcist, The Halcyon, Nathan for You, and No Activity
Critics Consensus:Dynasty's revival retains enough of its predecessor's over-the-top allure to offer a glamorous guilty pleasure in its first season, even if it never quite recaptures the magic of the original.
It’s that time of year: leaves are falling, football is in season, and your favorite TV shows are headed back to the air after loooong summer hiatuses. Here’s a list of premiere dates for your returning favorites — and new obsessions! Time to get your DVR priorities in order.
Having to visit the emergency room is no laughing matter — it frequently means a life-or-death situation. But sometimes it’s just fate reminding you to be less clumsy.
Because the cast of The Good Doctor spends their work days recreating life in the emergency room, we asked them if they had any stories that fell into the goofy category.
What is the dumbest reason you’ve ever gone to the hospital?
Chuku Modu: Where I’m from, everyone’s pretty hard. You know, we’re English. We’re hard as nails. You don’t go unless you’re dying. Dumbest reason? I was boxing with my stepdad. Sparring, which is like you’re fighting, but you’re taking it easy on each other. He headbutted me by accident, and he cut my eyebrow open. There’s the scar right there. I had to get stitched up, so that’s probably the most — you know, fighting your stepdad…I think it’s just years of angst against us, and he took it out on me.
Tamlyn Tomita: You know what, I’ve never had to go to the hospital except to get my tonsils out. I’m really super lucky. That was when I was seven, was to get my tonsils out. So I’ve never had to go to the hospital. I’ve always had to go to the hospital with other folks, and I’m always the designated driver.
Debbie Day for Rotten Tomatoes: OK, so — what’s the dumbest reason you’ve had to go to the hospital?
Tomita: Probably alcohol poisoning. I think we all go through that when one of our friends [overindulges] … Yeah, they just basically make you throw up. You know, fluids, fluids, fluids.
Nicholas Gonzalez: I think it was when I was a lot younger. I was a kid and one of my friends had stuck a bean up his nose. I think my dad [who is a surgeon] was the one who was there when they did it. But we got to go to the hospital there on base. We were in Fort Huachuca in Arizona at the time.
Hill Harper: The dumbest reason I guess is when I broke my hand. I was playing a pick-up football game. It’s not a very good story, I mean I just broke my hand.
RT: Did it end your football career?
Harper: No, I still play. I still played.
Freddie Highmore: There was a little plastic — it’s sort of hard to describe — like a plastic weight with a hole in it, and that became stuck around my finger. It was sort of like — it’s going to be very hard to describe in print without some sort of image — but it was sort of a rectangle, and there were these plastic 10-gram weights, sort of, and you’d like hang them on — they’d sort of go on balance scales at school. And then I just stuck my finger through one of them, and it became stuck and wouldn’t come off. So I think we may have gone to hospital as a way of chopping it off of me. Or maybe we did it at home — I can’t remember.
RT: That’s the best dumb hospital story — you win.
Bonus question: Was there ever a time you should have gone to the hospital, but you didn’t?
Modu: There was a time I dislocated my little finger, moved it directly to one side. I caught a ball and it just went “chrrrrk.” And I guess I didn’t go because instantly I ran my other hand over it and straightened it out, and I was like, “Oh, it’s back to normal again,” as you do when you’re 15 years old — you just go about your day. So, probably should have went then, but I didn’t go.
Tomita: No. I’m really blessed. I’m really, really healthy … No, so yeah, No, no. So my father was a man of good health. My mother is a picture of good health. We are just blessed with good, healthy genes, so I’m kind of scared of the hospital, because it doesn’t mean good things, usually.
Gonzalez: I had a herniated disc for the longest time and didn’t really realize-slash-wanna really deal with it until I had to. You know it was pretty stupid to not go for a long time. I also had a gaping head wound. My brains were seeping out. I didn’t go to the hospital.
[He’s joking — we think.]
Harper: I’ve only been to the hospital twice. No, three times. I went to the hospital when I broke my hand, when I had thyroid cancer. I had surgery on my thyroid. And then, I was there when my son was born. So it’s only three times. Even though my parents were doctors, I don’t like hospitals. I don’t like the way they smell. They’re scary to me. That’s what makes the show so fun. There are ghosts in here.
RT: What kind of ghosts?
Harper: Well you know people die in hospitals.
RT: There are no ghosts here.
Harper: San Jose State Bonaventure has a bunch of ghosts. Season 2 will be all about ghost stories.
Tom Cruise has scored hits in a variety of genres, but audiences have always loved him best when he’s playing to the type that made him famous: a rakishly charming good guy, with just enough of a cocky rogue’s personality to allow for some fun one-liners and an interesting character development arc. American Made, which reunites Cruise with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, doesn’t quite hew to that formula — but according to critics, it comes close enough to scratch that nostalgic itch while smartly subverting a number of expectations. Cruise stars as Barry Seal, the real-life airline pilot who flipped from drug smuggler to DEA informant, and Liman (working from a script by Gary Spinelli) takes full advantage of a setup that puts the Top Gun hero back in the cockpit and calls for all manner of toothy grinning along the way. Whether you’re after a thought-provoking real-life story or just in the mood for that vintage Cruise control, it looks like American Made is a pretty safe bet.
The philosopher George Santayana told us that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it — words of wisdom clearly lost on Dr. Courtney Holmes (Ellen Page), who triggers the events of this weekend’s new Flatliners by trying to perfect the death-defying experiments performed by med student Nelson Wright (Kiefer Sutherland) in the movie’s 1990 predecessor. Determined to discover what lies on the other side of life, Holmes and her cohorts follow in Wright’s footsteps… and just like before, it isn’t long until stuff starts to go supernaturally awry. Unfortunately, just as we can’t say for sure whether there’s an afterlife or tell you what might be waiting there, we’re unable to inform you whether the critics have signed off on the 2017 Flatliners, because it wasn’t screened for critics. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for those of you who head out to any Thursday night showings; meanwhile, as we’re waiting for a consensus to develop, let’s all gather ’round for a game of Guess the Tomatometer.
It can be easy to feel discouraged about how far we have to go in terms of truly achieving equal rights for all American citizens. But we’ve also come a pretty long way — just over the last few decades — as this weekend’s Battle of the Sexes ably attests. Inspired by the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), this dramedy from Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris looks back with bemusement on the rampant sexism that produced the deep financial inequality leading to King and Riggs facing off, but it isn’t all laughs; although King won the match, a number of the issues she faced then are still with us now, and critics say Battle draws some strong, subtle parallels between its period setting and the present day. Topping it all off are strong performances from a solid cast, led by a fearlessly buffoonish Carell and what some scribes are calling career-best work from Stone.
Whatever else you can say about A Question of Faith, there’s no doubt that it stars this week’s most eclectic ensemble. Facts of Life vet Kim Fields and ’80s heartthrob C. Thomas Howell head up the cast of this drama, in which the lives of three families collide after a series of mishaps that leave dreams in doubt and convictions tested. Actually, that is all we can say about A Question of Faith, because it wasn’t screened for critics. You know what that means: it’s time once more to play Guess the Tomatometer!
What’s the difference between being held up as a hero and simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time? For Jeff Bauman, a 2013 Boston Marathon spectator who was among those maimed in the terrorist attack that marred the event and gripped the city in fear, there might not be much difference at all — which is what makes Stronger, an adaptation of Bauman’s memoir starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the author, such a compelling biographical drama. Critics say that in refusing to shy away from the real-life Bauman’s flaws — or turn a blind eye to his tumultuous relationship with Erin Hurley (Tatiana Maslany), the on-again, off-again girlfriend he was at the marathon to support — the movie does its audience a service by trusting them to identify with its protagonists as recognizably human beings, not to mention giving its stars an opportunity to shine. Working from a screenplay by John Pollono, director David Gordon Green delivers his most affecting drama in years; even if you haven’t run a step since high school P.E., Stronger lives up to its name.
Top Cat Begins (2015) , offering the origin story of the animated cat, is at 17 percent.
No one likes seeing the doctor. It usually means you’re sick or worse. The last thing you want to worry about at a hospital is the doctors fighting amongst themselves, but the creators of ABC’s The Good Doctor hope you’ll enjoy watching that behind the scenes drama from the comfort of your living room, in good health.
The Good Doctor is based on a Korean medical drama that Daniel Dae Kim saw and decided to produce for English-speaking audiences. The creator of House, David Shore, adapted The Good Doctor which stars Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel) as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. Shaun’s mentor Dr. Ira Glassman (Richard Schiff) wants Shaun at his hospital, but board members like Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) and Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) don’t feel Shaun’s skills are worth the liability he poses to the hospital.
Highmore and Hill spoke with Rotten Tomatoes before the premiere of The Good Doctor. They prescribed nine things to prepare viewers for The Good Doctor treatment this fall.
1. LOOK CLOSELY AT SHAUN FOR HIS TRUE REACTIONS
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
One of the manifestations of Shaun’s autism is that it may appear he is not reacting to an emergency, or even to a scolding, but he is. Neurotypical people, people without autism, may expect more external reactions.
“I think it would be misunderstanding Shaun as an individual to think that he’s not reacting in those moments,” Highmore said. “I think the range of emotions that he’s experiencing is just as great as a neurotypical person would be in a given scenario.”
It does throw those intense surgeons off. They’re used to underlings backing down to intimidation. It never occurs to Shaun he’s supposed to back down to intimidation.
“Your normal things that you would use to try to manipulate people aren’t necessarily working so you have to take a different approach,” Harper said. “What do you do?”
2. KEEP THE EGOS IN CHECK
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
The doctors who question Shaun’s ability have problems of their own. Dr. Andrews has a big ego that could be just as harmful to patients’ as Shaun missing social cues.
“David has written it that every character sees the world in their own way because of whatever they’re bringing,” Harper said. “My character brings a lot of ego to the table so sees the world through his own ego, and therefore makes decisions based on that. But he’s also a doctor who took a Hippocratic oath that wants to save people and makes decisions based on that.”
Being a group of surgeons only makes the egos bigger.
“From my research, ego is most common in surgeons actually because surgeons are considered the top,” Harper said. “Then you go down a pecking order: radiologist, OB-GYN, family practice. The top, top people, the best doctors are considered surgeons so they have a lot of ego. There’s even pecking order within surgeons. There are people who do bone, then you have plastic surgeons, then you have neurosurgeons who do brain surgery.”
3. DON’T SCOLD SHAUN EVERY WEEK
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
Shaun certainly has his detractors, Dr. Andrews leading the pack. However, The Good Doctor is not just a series of Shaun’s weekly scoldings.
“I think the show will change and evolve over time as shows do,” Highmore said. “I think what will be interesting to see in the first season not necessarily to what extent Shaun adapts to his new surroundings and become different in order to fit into the world of the hospital, but at the same time, to what extent the other people who maybe the detractors or those who supported him from the beginning, are able to gain an understanding of Shaun’s world, the way that he experiences it. Instead of Shaun needed to adapt, hopefully others will as well.”
Actors like Harper want more to do than just scold Shaun every week too.
“You also want to make sure that he is learning and growing, just as anybody and all of our characters grow,” Harper said. “Just because I begin the series as the bad doctor on The Good Doctor, when I see him perform well or do something, does that impact me in a way that hopefully evolves my opinion of him in whatever way that is?”
4. TAKE TWO BAD DOCTORS WITH EVERY GOOD DOCTOR
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
As Harper implied, if Shaun is the good doctor, that makes Dr. Andrews one of the bad doctors. And really, how good can Shaun be unless there are bad doctors making it difficult to be good?
“I think the two doctors that are the naysayers, myself and Nick Gonzalez’s characters, we have different reasons why we don’t want him there, but they evolve,” Harper said.
That means some victories for Shaun, but they won’t be easy.
“He will do something that impresses but at the same time do something that hurts,” Harper said. “There’s no easy victory for Shaun but at the same time, since he’s backed up by the president, there’s no way to get rid of him either.”
5. DON’T EXPECT SHAUN TO BE PERFECT
(Photo by ABC)
It would make things a lot easier for Shaun and Dr. Glassman if Shaun just kept proving the haters wrong. That wouldn’t be very realistic though, and certainly wouldn’t be very good drama.
“He’s going to make mistakes,” Highmore said. “He isn’t a machine. Of course, he’s a human being so he will get things wrong.”
Every doctor makes mistakes though. That doesn’t disqualify Shaun from a surgical rotation.
“I think that’s where he feels most at home and I think he does deserve to be there,” Highmore said. “Shaun has given his life to this and this has been his obsession and the thing he enjoys the most. This excites him the most and he loves the most in the world. He’s more than earned his right to be a surgeon.”
6. LOOK FOR ROMANCE ON THE GOOD DOCTOR
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
The Good Doctor primarily deals with the hurdles autism creates for functioning in the workplace. However, there are rich stories in seeing a man like Shaun learn to love too. Highmore said he and Shore have talked about a love interest for Shaun.
“Yes, I think that’s certainly something that will be explored in the first season,” Highmore said.
7. DON’T JUDGE ALL AUTISTIC PEOPLE BY SHAUN
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
It could also become unfair to expect The Good Doctor to speak for all autistic people. Autism manifests in myriad different ways, and Shaun can only represent one form.
“We’ve had a continuous dialogue, not just me and David, but with specialists and experts in autism in the field, who have shared and watched documentaries, shared pieces of literature that we found interesting,” Highmore said. “[We] try to create Shaun as an individual character that’s compelling, interesting and unique and celebrating his difference.”
Some of those helpful books included Temple Grandin’s The Autistic Brain.
“I really like the way that she focuses on fostering unique contributions and focusing on strengths as opposed to talking about weaknesses,” Highmore said. “The highly visual world that she inhabits I think is also a world that Shaun is part of and experiences.”
8. REMEMBER PLAYING DOCTOR
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
Actors are likely to find themselves playing doctors frequently. Doctors, cops, and lawyers are especially popular on episodic TV shows. Harper has played doctor before, and though that show was short-lived, he hasn’t forgotten.
“Of course I recognize on some level that I’m playing a doctor, but at the same time, the way we approach doesn’t always make it clear in my head that it is a medical drama,” Highmore said. “Because it’s focused on this one individual character and how he perceives the world, the way in which he interacts with people and changes people, and other people change him, that’s what’s interesting to me.”
9. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK YOUR MOM FOR HELP
(Photo by ABC/Liane Hentscher)
Viewers may have shows like House and ER to help keep them up to speed with hospitals. The actors do even more research. Some, like Harper, have medical professionals in the family.
“My mom is an anesthesiologist,” Harper said. “She’s one of the first African-American female anesthesiologists in the country, so I call her and she helps me. She loved City of Angels because it reminded her of being a resident.”
The Good Doctor gave Harper another chance to speak with real medical professionals, not only his mother, and combine everything he’s learned from them.
“I think there’s a lot of people in real life that you can reach out to that feel flattered that you’re going to take the time to learn from them and that’s been my experience,” Harper said. “When I call people that are surgeons or reach out or someone recommends me talking to somebody, they’re happy to share their wisdom. They’re the real heroes and I want to portray them as accurately as possible.”
The amount of TV out there these days can be truly terrifying. And, no, you’re not going to get to all of it. But Rotten Tomatoes is here to help you cut through the clutter with our 15 most-anticipated series, genres, and other programming options of fall — from the roughly 1 billion comic book–based shows (give or take) to the return of broadcast titans new (This Is Us) and old (Will & Grace), and everything in between, including football! Read on to find out what programming deserves your attention when you have an embarrassing wealth of choices.
1. Return to the Upside Down
“Nothing’s going to go back to the way it was,” warns David Harbour’s Chief Hopper in the trailer for season 2 of Netflix’s retro thriller series Stranger Things, which returns for more supernatural adventures in the Upside Down just in time for Halloween.
The gang is back for an eleventh season, and there is one major cliffhanger to resolve in the premiere: will Amy (Mayim Bialik) accept Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) proposal? The episode picks up immediately where the finale left off, so you’ll get the answer ASAP when the series returns on Sept. 25.
If 22 minutes a week isn’t enough Sheldon Cooper for you, get a second dose on Thursday nights beginning in November. CBS’ single-camera BBT prequel series Young Sheldon follows, well, young Sheldon as he grows up a misfit in East Texas. It’s a very different feel from its multi-cam parent series, but Jim Parsons’ narration should help bridge the format gap. Premieres at 8:30 on Sept. 25, immediately after BBT.
There’s no stopping The Walking Dead as it enters its eighth season — even with slightly lower ratings, it’s still the biggest show on television (hence its own place on this list, despite falling under the umbrella of TV with roots in comic books). And if you weren’t a fan of the scattered nature of season 7, the cast and producers have promised the characters will come together again (presumably to fight the evil Negan — and those pesky walkers).
Ah, fall — time for changing leaves, pumpkin spice–flavored everything, and football. Take your pick: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, professional, collegiate — there’s a game for everyone. The NFL’s regular season begins Thursday, Sept. 7 with the Kansas City Chiefs versus the New England Patriots, and will conclude on New Year’s Eve. The post-season will start on Jan. 6, 2018, and Super Bowl LII will air from Minneapolis on Feb. 4.
Time to head to your preferred warehouse club to buy some tissues in bulk, because This Is Us is returning to make you cry on a weekly basis. While the present-day storylines will pick up several months after the events of the season 1 finale with the Big Three turning 37, the past storyline with Mandy Moore’s Rebecca and Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack will resume almost immediately where it left off.
The highly anticipated, much-delayed latest Star Trek iteration is finally hitting screens — but not necessarily your TV. While the debut of Star Trek: Discovery, which takes place 10 years before the original series, will air on CBS proper, the subsequent episodes will live on the network’s streaming service, CBS All Access.
7. A Blast from the Past
They’re baaaaack! Roommates Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) find themselves single and living together once again, a decade after the show’s original series finale (the final scene of which will be ignored — so much for that flash-forward). Expect many hijinks, especially from sidekicks Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally).
The seventh season of FX’s horror anthology begins on Election Night 2016 and features Evan Peters as a charismatic cult leader and Sarah Paulson as a woman being terrorized by clowns. (It’ll all make sense soon…)
The latest Law & Order spinoff is no thinly veiled retelling of a ripped-from-the-headlines story — it’s actually following a real case, a la FX’s American Crime Story. The first installment revisits the 1994 Menendez murder trial, in which brothers Lyle and Erik were convicted of killing their parents.
11. Comic Book TV Thrives
There are four new Marvel series headed to the small screen this fall (Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix, Marvel’s Inhumans on ABC, Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu — we get it, Marvel — and The Gifted on Fox) along with new seasons of your favorite DC dramas (The CW’s Riverdale, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, plus Fox’s Gotham). Get the full rundown on the page-to-screen series here.
The theme for season 3 of USA’s hacker drama Mr. Robot is democracy — at least that’s what the first, mysterious trailer for the new season implies. The show will pick up after the events of season 2’s cliffhanger finale, and will explore the disintegration between Elliot (Rami Malek) and Mr. Robot.
David Fincher and Charlize Theron are the executive producers behind this period Netflix drama, which follows two FBI agents in 1979 (played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) as they attempt to solve current cases with insights gleaned from interviews with imprisoned serial killers. The show, which also stars Fringe‘s Anna Torv, is inspired by the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.
14. Lords, Ladies & Vikings
If costume dramas tickle your fancy, take your pick from any era. In addition to the three returning series below, there’s also Versailles and The Halcyon on Ovation this fall, while The Crown (Netflix) returns in December and Victoria (PBS) in January 2018 for their second seasons. Serial killer event series The Alienist is also expected soon from TNT.
After an ultra-long Droughtlander, the third season of the Starz time-travel drama, based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, is finally coming back. But star-crossed lovers Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) are still living apart in different times. How long will it take for them to find their way back to each other?
The fifth season of History’s scripted drama will return with Ragnar’s sons embroiled in a civil war. Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen) killing his brother Sigurd (David Lindström) will do that to a family, you know? Jonathan Rhys Meyers, introduced as the naughty Bishop Heahmund in last season’s finale becomes a force to reckon with in season 5.
Freddie Highmore stars in House creator David Shore’s newest medical drama, The Good Doctor. Based on a South Korean series of the same name (and co-developed by Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim), the show follows a young pediatric surgeon who has autism and savant syndrome and lands a job in a prestigious pediatric department at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.
Disagree with our recommendations? Which series are you most looking forward to? Share your picks in the comments!