The school year erupted with excitement as Blue Keys cheered, new students arrived and old friends rejoiced and reunited. The sun shined, the skies blued, the lawns greened… and then nighttime happened. Back in the dorms and, specifically, back in bed, another old friend rejoiced.
Yes, that’s right. Your laptop — and its endless hours of late night TV — is back with a relentless need to destroy your GPA and social life alike. So what should you waste your late nights on this fall? Here are three promising new shows, and three others on Netflix that should keep you busy (or not busy) week-to-week between episodes.
**GOTHAM (Sept. 22, FOX)**
First up: Batman’s favorite dark, broody, crime-ridden city is back and bleaker than ever in DC and the Warner Brothers’ newest comic-book adaptation. “Gotham,” however, does not follow our favorite crusader. Instead, this is Commissioner Gordon’s backstory. Benjamin McKenzie (“Southland”) stars in what promises to be the fall’s biggest show. Even without Christian Bale’s Batman voice, this one promises some grit. While it may not be the show we deserve, “Gotham” could just be the show we need to make it through Fall Term (here’s looking at you, Uppers).
_If you like “Gotham,” you may also like…_
**ARROW (Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix, Season 3 Premiere: Oct. 8, the CW)**
Want more of your superhero-centric fix? Check out “Arrow,” DC’s series based on comic-book archer Green Arrow. “Arrow” nails the back-story element, moving between Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) vigilante justice and his time lost at sea after a yachting accident killed his parents and left him stranded. There’s no sunshine and flowers here; don’t expect Spider-man–esque fun or Superman-esque heroics. This is an angry archer getting angry justice on the angry people who did him in. It is tense, taut and terrific.
* * *
**BATTLE CREEK (Premiere TBA, CBS)**
Another big showrunner, Vince Gilligan, the creator of “Breaking Bad,” returns to TV this fall. If you have not heard of or seen “Breaking Bad” at this point, just stop reading and find a computer. Otherwise, “Battle Creek” stars Josh Duhamel (“Transformers”; Fergie’s husband) and long-time TV man Dean Winters (“Oz,” “30 Rock” and tons of Allstate commercials) as a detective duo with clashing ideals in a “battle” to clean up the streets of Battle Creek. Yeah, so not exactly the most promising premise ever… But then again, how do you feel about watching a show about a chemistry teacher’s meth-cooking escapades?
_If you like “Battle Creek,” you may also like…_
**TRUE DETECTIVE (HBO Go)**
Details on “Battle Creek” have been kept to a bare minimum. Buzzwords like “detective,” “crime” and “partners who don’t get along” are really all we’ve got. Assuming you’ve seen “Breaking Bad,” “True Detective” fits the same bill with a production that surely won’t disappoint. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson give career-defining performances as detectives investigating murders and kidnappings of the occult nature. It’s surreal, unique and thrilling. It’s safe to say it was robbed in just about every category at the Emmy’s this year… courtesy of some guy named Walter White.
* * *
**HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (Sept. 25, ABC)**
Yeah, I agree, not the most appealing title ever. But hey, with TV’s most talked about executive producer, Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), at the helm, how wrong can this one go? Oscar-nominee Viola Davis (“The Help”) stars as a brilliant criminal-defense professor who, along with a handful of students, gets involved in a scandalous murder plot. “Murder” promises Rhimes’ trademark drama and shout-inducing tension, but do not be surprised if it is not up to her best work – I have a feeling most of her time will be devoted to keeping “Scandal” the hottest show on TV.
_If you like “How to Get Away with Murder,” you may also like…_
**SCANDAL (Seasons 1, 2 and 3 on Netflix, Season 4 Premiere: Sept. 25, ABC)**
Speak of the Devil… or is it the Pope? Olivia’s back in white this fall, and there is no better time to catch up. Kerry Washington continues to dominate as White House “gladiator” and problem-solver in this immensely popular political soap. Social media, friends and family will be talking… it’s time for you to give Olivia Pope a call.