25 of the most buzzworthy new shows for Fall 2018

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The Kids Are Alright – ABC

What you’re watching: A throwback family sitcom set in 1972, in which the working premise is that kids these days are soft and modern parents are morons. The show follows a traditional, working-class Irish-Catholic family with eight boys, a clueless dad, and a hardened, no-nonsense mother. Michael Cutlitz plays the dad, Mike Cleary, and the put-upon mother Peggy, is played by Mary McCormack.

Set in a time before cell phones, WiFi, and the Kardashians, most of the action and jokes, for that matter – come at the expense of how over-worked and under-appreciated Peggy is. The boys range in age from early twenties, all the way down to elementary school, and the show will make any mother exhausted just watching.

What it reminds you of: It’s Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Hates Chris wrapped up in a 70s look and feel. We need more shows about working-class families, and The Kids Are Alright seems to be picking up where Roseanne left off before things got super racist. There are a lot of moving parts, so it might be hard to keep up with everything going on.  However, the action in the first few episodes centers on the eldest son, Lawrence, returns home from seminary to announce he’s “changing the world.”

Long-term potential: ABC does pretty well with a family sitcom, and it has some of the longest running shows in this genre – looking at you The Middle and Modern Family. With some strategic timing and clever lead-ins, it will probably have a solid start. There are exceptions, though. ABC is quick to pull a show, despite its charm, and I have a feeling The Kids Are Alright might go the way of the other Irish-Catholic half-hour show, The Real O’Neals.