Rapid-Fire Reviews: Is Katherine Heigl's Return to TV Worth it? Does A to Z Charm or Bore? Our Takes on NBC's New Shows

All this week, our TV Team is offering their takes on fall's new shows. Today, they're looking at A to Z, State of Affairs and more

By TV Scoop Team Sep 05, 2014 2:00 PMTags
NBC fall showsNBC

We're already getting exhausted thinking about how much TV we're going to have to watch this fall. Between all our favorite returning shows finally coming back after the longest summer ever and all the new shows that are about to premiere, there just isn't enough time to watch it all.

That's why, this year, we're judging all the new fall shows of each network with no filter. We're telling it to you like it is. If we hate a show, you can bet we'll let you know. If we love a show? Yeah, we're going to gush about it. We're not sugar-coating anything.

All this week, we've been bringing you rapid-fire reviews of all the new shows premiere this fall, and today we're offering you our takes on NBC's six new shows, including How I Met Your Mother's mother Cristin Milioti's new lease on life on A to Z, Katherine Heigl's return to TV with State of Affairs, comic book series Constantine, and three other offerings. Find out which shows you have to watch this fall, and which ones you can totally ignore!

Marry Me
Premiere Date
: Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition
: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC), NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), Supernatural (the CW), New Girl/The Mindy Project (Fox)
Stars: Casey Wilson, Ken Marino

Kristin Dos Santos: Loved this pilot so hard I want to marry it and have a million of its teeny-tiny babies. Marry Me, which comes from the brilliant minds who brought you Happy Endings, is funny and fast-paced and fierce…and completely loveable. My only concern is that Casey Wilson and Ken Marino are perhaps my favorite side players of all time, so I'm not quite sure how they'll pan out as the series leads, on a show that is much less of an ensemble, but if the pilot is any indication, this marriage is going to last.  Let's put a ring on it!

Tierney Bricker: It's like Happy Endings' Penny got her own spinoff, which is an amazing thing…for now. The strength of HE (Still missing you everyday, Show!) was the ensemble, so I'm curious to see what Marry Me looks like on weekly basis. Still, there are so many jokes that land and Casey Wilson and Ken Marino have such a relaxed chemistry, you totally buy them as a couple.

Chris Harnick: From the people who brought you Happy Endings and Penny Hartz, one of the (soon to be) classic TV characters, Marry Me is everything you want it to be. Mix in a healthy dose of Party Down's Ken Marino, some quality comedy misunderstandings and you have the funny pilot for this NBC comedy. Get ready to make some GIFs!

Sydney Bucksbaum: Just call this the Year of Penny 2.0! As an avid Happy Endings fan, you can bet your life I'll be watching this every week. And hey, even if you made the biggest mistake of your life by not watching Happy Endings when it was on (which you can fix by binge-watching it now, and you absolutely must do that right this minute), you'll still enjoy this hilarious comedy.

A to Z
Premiere Date
: Thursday, Oct. 2 at 9:30 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition
: Scandal (ABC), The McCarthys (CBS), Reign (the CW), Gracepoint (Fox)
Stars: Cristin Milioti, Ben Feldman

Kristin: THIS is the bliss-inducing storyline I wanted to see Cristin Milioti do on How I Met Your Mother. (And for the record, I did like that "awful" series finale, but still feel an emptiness and want to see this mother happy!) A to Z is adorable and heart-warming and even laugh-out-loud funny at parts. Along with Marry Me, it's my favorite new comedy of the season and I will watch every episode.

Tierney: Love, love, love. Did I mention LOVE? By far my favorite new comedy of the year, I am totally ready to DTR with this unabashed and unapologetic romantic comedy. I know, I know, I should play hard to get, but Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti are just impossible to resist. As they say in Sleepless in Seattle, it's like…magic. And A to Z wins best random celeb cameo of the fall TV season. (Oh, just wait, Back to the Future fans. Just wait.)

Chris: Fans of romantic comedies will eat up A to Z. It's charming and the leads are adorable. Not sure if this will be weekly viewing for me, but it's definitely one of the strongest comedy offerings this fall. Plus, Katey Sagal should narrate everything!

Sydney: A quirky rom-com with a twist, starring the most adorable woman that ever had the misfortune of being with Ted Mosby? Yeah, I'm all in.

The Mysteries of Laura
Premiere Date: Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition
: The Middle/The Goldbergs (ABC), Survivor (CBS), Arrow (the CW), Hell's Kitchen (Fox)
Stars: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Laz Alonso

Kristin: Oh, Debra. You are so fantastic, but we need to talk about some of your choices.

Tierney: …I'd like to use a life line now, Regis.

Chris: The real mystery here is how and why is The Mysteries of Laura a show? The pilot was one of my least favorites of the fall across any network. Sorry, Debra Messing, we love you, but not this show. Fitting that the network has been using Bleachers' hit song "I Wanna Get Better" to promo this series.

Sydney: Debra Messing deserves better than this. Come on, even the promo is terrible. I'm going to go with a hard NOPE on this one.

Bad Judge
Premiere Date: Thursday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition
: Scandal (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS), Reign (the CW), Gracepoint (Fox)
Stars: Kate Walsh, Tone Bell, John Ducey, Ryan Hansen

Kristin: Having a hard time stretching out my fingers to type while balled up in this cringe. So, no comment.

Tierney: It's like the word meh came to life in the form of a TV show. Unlike Kate Walsh's gorgeous mane of hair, BJ (Hehe, I am a child!) is pretty forgettable.

Chris: Another swing and a miss for me.

Sydney: Instead of watching Bad Judge, let's all just watch reruns of Kate Walsh's amazing role of Addison Montgomery on Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice. Your time will be much better spent that way, I promise.

State of Affairs
Premiere Date: Monday, Nov. 2 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition
: Castle (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Adam Kaufman, Leslie Odom Jr.

Kristin: The first episode has a truly great (dare I say Shonda-esque?) twist. And while I'm not sure this will be appointment viewing for me, I'm also not ready to jump on the Heigl-hating bandwagon. I'll watch more.

Tierney: Definitely NBC's strongest new drama offering of the fall, I can see fans of Scandal and The Blacklist totally digging this show…which is why I did. And while it seems like hating Katherine Heigl has become trendy, I quite liked her in this role. I also loved her dynamic with all of her co-workers, which felt refreshingly realistic. I'm in!

Chris: I didn't hate it. If you have a Katherine Heigl problem, which we all know some of you do, then this show isn't for you. But aside from one ridiculous line (you'll know it when you hear it), State of Affairs isn't the worst offering this fall. It's also not the best. There are twists to keep people (including me) interested, but this one has potential to either be your go-to show or a show that piles up on your DVR until you quickly feel catching up will be a burden.

Sydney: I am all for any show that stars Katherine Heigl (kiss my behind, all you anti-Heigl maniacs!). With the twists, high-stakes drama, and best of all, a powerful, female-led White House, this is one of my favorite new dramas this fall. Setting my DVR season pass now!

Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 24 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition
: 20/20 (ABC), Blue Bloods (CBS)
Stars: Matt Ryan, Harold Perrineau, Angelica Celaya, Charles Halford

Kristin: Based on the DC Comic Hellblazer, this new drama has all kinds of possessed people and demons and trapped souls and all the things I have to watch with both eyes shut since being traumatized by The Excorcist as a kid.  If you're into that kind of thing, this could be your favorite new show. As for me, I'll just say that I do love seeing Harold Perrineau in a pair of badass wings!

Tierney: I went into Constantine really hoping to love it, and just didn't. I found myself paying attention to anything--my nails, my food, my timeline--other than what was going on. Bummer City, population: me.

Chris: Matt Ryan is charming, but it's hard to get a feel for this series after a pilot that centers around a character who will be written out come episode two.

Sydney: Let me see if I can put into words just how much I love this new show...I. AM. ABSOLUTELY. OBSESSED. Now, that doesn't mean that I'm going to actually stay home Friday nights to watch it live, but I'm setting my DVR season pass now and will watch it when I wake up every Saturday morning. I love anything having to do with angels, demons, and their battle for control over humanity, and Matt Ryan is so swoon-worthy as the troubled, doomed-soul-searching-for-redemption Constantine. Plus, the pilot was retooled and they changed the big bad villain at the end entirely. I won't spoil who/what it is, because it's just that juicy, but you definitely want to watch when it premieres.

Get our rapid-fire reviews of The CWABCCBS and Fox's pilots too!

And give us your thoughts in the comments below!

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