True TV: Binge on 'South of Hell'; Remember 'Unforgettable'; (Re)meet 'Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce'Written by Bill Frost
South of Hell (Friday, Nov. 27, WE tv), series debut: Either WE tv (it’s a real channel, promise) is embracing the binge-watching model by dropping all seven episodes of South of Hell tonight, or they’d just rather get it over with and hope no one notices. This likely one-season-and-done horror series, about a Southern demon hunter (Mena Suvari) who herself has a demon inside fighting for soul custody, is co-produced by Eli Roth (Hemlock Grove, Hostel) and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and, even scarier, Jem and the Holograms), and it’s just as over-the-top-of-the-top insane as you’d expect from that unholy union. The sex and scares are served up buffet-style, and Roth’s visual flare is in full effect—but South of Hell lacks the humor of an American Horror Story, as well as the, oh, story. And isn’t this about a month late?
Unforgettable (Friday, Nov. 27, A&E), season premiere: The crime procedural once actually titled The Rememberer (!) was canceled twice by CBS before it inexplicably wound up on A&E—here’s hoping they step in to save the doomed CSI: Cyber, the most unintentionally hilarious cop drama on TV, too. Unforgettable isn’t quite as funny, but it is ridiculous: Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, an New York City police detective with hyperthymesia, a rare medical condition that allows her to remember every detail of everything she’s ever seen or heard, like, ever. How, exactly, does this help in solving cases? The writers somehow find a way every week, so they’re the real heroes. Montgomery can really rock a tank top and leather jacket, so don’t think too hard, and just chill. No wonder it’s made it to Season 4.
Superstore (Monday, Nov. 30, NBC), series debut: Even though it won’t technically begin its regular run until January, NBC is premiering new comedy Superstore now because … no one really understands NBC’s programming strategery anymore, probably not even NBC. On the upside, at least it’s not another laugh-tracked sitcom, and it’s nice to see America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) back on TV. But, despite the should-be-hilarious cast (which also includes Mad Men’s Ben Feldman, Super Fun Night’s Lauren Ash and Kids in the Hall’s Mark McKinney), this sorta-Walmart workplace comedy feels as played-out and lazy as TBS cable filler. (Not even Carrie Wells remembers 10 Items or Less from 2006.) Just rename it Chicago Superstore, and slap “Dick Wolf” on it, and it’ll be fine.
Real Rob (Tuesday, Dec. 1, Netflix), series debut: Just because Aziz Ansari surprised the hell out of us with Master of None doesn’t mean that errybody needs to be awarded their own Seinfeld/Louie-esque vehicle. As you don’t recall, Rob Schneider attempted to make a sitcom out of his life a few years ago with ¡Rob!, a laugh-tracked tire fire that lasted all of eight episodes on CBS. Real Rob isn’t entirely a misstep in Netflix’s hot streak of original programming: In addition to directing, Schneider financed this himself, which means Netflix is as culpable for this as they are, say, ¡Rob! reruns (which, probably for point of comparison, are also available on the service). A mix of Schneider’s “real life” (which includes a “stalker” and an “incompetent assistant,” neither of which seems likely) and the occasional stand-up bit (only slightly more likely), Real Rob does have moments of uncomfortable celebrity-vs.-civilian comedy … lifted directly from Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Tuesday, Dec. 1, Bravo), season premiere: Expectations were low for Bravo’s first scripted-drama debut last year because, well, Bravo. But Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce turned out to be a fizzy, winning series, thanks to star Lisa Edelstein’s commanding charisma (all those years wrangling Dr. House have paid off) and scripting that played it smart by only occasionally dumbing it down (because, again, Bravo). The Woman of a Certain Age Navigating the Newly-Single Life ante has been dramatically upped by Hulu’s Casual (go watch it hard—now), but Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce has a lighter touch, as well as a serious fashion advantage that even a straight dude notices (guilty).