25 of the most buzzworthy new shows for Fall 2018

13 of 26

Manifest – NBC

What you’re watching: A sci-fi(ish) show about the passengers on a routine flight. While in the air, Montego Flight 828 suffers some major turbulence and is forced to land. Once they do, they realize five years have lapsed on the ground, while only a few hours have gone by in the air.

Once Upon A Time’s Prince Charming Josh Dallas plays a father separated from his family, and when reunited one of his twins remains a young boy, while the other is well into her teens. All the passengers have to deal with the consequences of the time passage, some are more jarring than others.

What it reminds you of: You can’t watch the pilot of the series and not think about Lost. Mysterious plane crashes and weird time loops are synonymous with that show since it debuted in 2004. But the added tension of the lost time and the various homecomings recalls the French show Les Revenants. It’s sort of an inventive take on zombies, without the whole rotting flesh and dragging legs bit.

Long-term potential: It has teeth, but only if writers can find a good balance between the continuing mystery and the emotional element. It’s my experience that people root for characters and a show’s success is mostly dependent on that connection. Audiences don’t love a complicated web of intrigue that drags on and on without tidy resolution.