Not much was expected of Marvel’s Inhumans (series debut 7 pm, Friday 9/29, ABC), and the two-hour pilot meets that lowered bar. Like ridiculously dressed dollar-store X-Men, Inhumans Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, Triton, Karnak, Crystal, Maximus and supersized teleporting dog Lockjaw are a royal family of don’t-call-them-mutants who flee the moon for Hawaii to establish a persecuted superheroes narrative. An underwritten, obscure Marvel property dumped on Friday night doesn’t really need to perform, but it should do something.
Remember last season, when there were several new shows about philanthropic tech billionaires with troubled pasts buying and operating hospitals and police departments for the greater good? Wisdom of the Crowd (series debut 7:30 pm, Sunday 10/1, CBS), starring Jeremy Piven as a Silicon Valley heavy rallying millions to use the info-sharing app he created to solve his daughter’s murder, is just another CBS procedural with pretty techies, with bonus constitutional and privacy concerns. Even with Piven in vintage Entourage mode, Wisdom of the Crowd is innocuous enough to skate by on CBS for years.
When we last saw Larry (Larry David) six years ago, he’d split the country for France with Leon (J.B. Smoove) to avoid spending any time with sick children—totally understandable. Curb Your Enthusiasm (season premiere 9 pm Sunday 10/1, HBO) doesn’t need gimmicks like “character development” and “change,” only Larry! Larry! Larry! In addition to Smoove, Curb regulars Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines and Richard Lewis are back, and the Season 9 guest list includes Carrie Brownstein, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston and Lauren Graham, among others. Awkward Larry moments to look forward to: “Larry offends Jeff’s barber” and “Larry bribes a funeral usher.”
Attention Marvel’s Inhumans: This is how you do a not-really but totally X-Men series. The Gifted (series debut Monday, Oct. 2, Fox) also is nowhere near as bizarre as FX’s Legion. Suburban couple Reed (Steven Moyer) and Caitlin Strucker (Amy Acker) learn that their teen kids possess mutant abilities, go on the run from the mutie-hating government, and hook with an underground mutant network. Action and adventure ensue. In the hands of X-Men vet Bryan Singer and X-Men fan Matt Nix, The Gifted nails both splashy superheroics and emotional undertones (because you know, teens), and is easily the best new show of the fall season. Which is saying little, but watch anyway.
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.