On Day 11 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, the CW and Showtime introduced their new programming and revisited one of their returning shows. The following is a snapshot-look at their presentations.
JANE THE VIRGIN
“Jane the Virgin” is a delightful confection of comedy and light drama about a young girl who finds out that she was accidentally artificially-inseminated by her doctor during a routine medical exam. Told in hilarious telenova fashion, there is a voiceover running-commentary comparing Jane’s life to some of her favorite soap opera shows. It is used to show how even real life can be as outrageous as a television show and how when confronted with those situations one can feel quite conflicted about what the options are and what the best thing to do is. There is a lot of heart-warming moments and poignancy that runs throughout the show. It will tug at your heart. Starring Gina Rodriguez, Jane is a character that will make you laugh and smile and root for her to make the best choices in the face of her crazy life. Point of interest: Creator/executive producer Jenni Snyder Urman also created the CW series “Emily Owens, M.D.” which is another fun, poignant show that I miss dearly. (Premieres Monday, October 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm on the CW.)
“The Flash” is one of the most wildly anticipated shows of the Fall 2014 season and it has every reason to be — the pilot lives up to the hype. “Arrow” fans who watched the 2-episodes in which the character Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) guest-starred in Season 2 will be better prepared for the introduction of Barry in his own world and will appreciate the fun cameo by Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in the first episode of “The Flash.” But new fans can also jump right into “The Flash” as it does a fine job reintroducing Barry and the world his lives in back in Central City. Barry is struck by lightning and when he awakes from a coma, he discovers he has the supernatural ability of super-speed. Guided by his own strong sense of morality and inspired by Oliver Queen’s heroic actions, Barry whole-heartedly embraces his new destiny to help people in jeopardy and help fight crime in his own unique way. The show radiates good-humor with heart-felt characters and a hero whose passion to help people encourages everyone to live better lives. One of the notable differences between “Arrow” and “The Flash” is that Barry Allen is not instilled with the darkness and pain that Oliver Queen brought back from his experiences on the Island. So “The Flash” feels light a more light-hearted show due to Barry’s own joy and effervescence for life. This will be a show you are adding to your “must watch” list for Fall and it deserves to be. First point of interest: John Wesley Shipp, who starred in an earlier version of “The Flash” back in the 1990’s, co-stars in this series as Barry Allen’s father. Second point of interest: Robbie Amell (“The Tomorrow People”) guest-stars in episode 3 as Firestorm. Third point of interest: “The Flash” pilot/first episode was directed by David Nutter, who has directed some of the CW’s best pilots for such shows like “Roswell,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Arrow.” (Premieres Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm on the CW.)
“Ray Donovan” returned for its second season on July 13th on Showtime. All the morally ambiguous characters have returned to attempt to resolve their soul-conflicted journeys and help their fractured family relationships. Starring Liv Schreiber and Jon Voight, the father-son relationship of Ray and Mickey Donovan is at the center of the growing fissures in their tortured family tree. Sins of the past, wrongs of the past and lifetimes of bad choices are catching up with them. Yet underlying all the turmoil and uncertainty and anger are bonds of love. So Ray and his brothers, as well as his wife and children, are all trying to find a way to peacefully coexist and encourage healing for them all. But somehow there is an overshadowing fear that they are all too damaged and their best intentions shall cave under their deeper, self-interested natures. There is a saying: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” That perfectly describes the Donovans. (Season 2 returned on July 13, 2014 and airs Sunday nights at 9:00 pm on Showtime.)
“The Affair” is a close-up look at two couples whose lives collide and become ensnared when there is an illicit affair amongst them. Starring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Josh Jackson and Maura Tierney, they are absolutely riveting to watch. The show shines the spotlight on the idea that there is nothing is sweeter than forbidden fruit. Yet when a line is crossed, lives are on the line — and when one life is cut short, the investigation threatens to destroy all their lives. Point of interest: The show is conceptualized as a 10-episode stand alone season. Second point of interest: “Luther” fans will be ecstatic to see Ruth Wilson bringing her duality, last seen in Alice Morgan, is in fine display in “The Affair.” (Premieres October 19, 2014 on Showtime.)
That is a wrap on Day 11 at TCA. Look for more upcoming snapshots from TCA Summer 2014 on the new shows and TV specials coming up for Fall 2014.