TV Upfronts: Trailers and Analysis of the NBC New Pilots
I’ve read through all the synopses, examined the cast lists and noted who the assorted creators and writers are, and then, when my preliminary, face value snapshot opinion had almost begun to crystallize, I watched generously cut trailers for shows that I won’t see for another 4 months.
Where do I stand now? Nowhere sturdy, see from here it seems like we’re in for a bumpy, bumpy ride next season thanks to a lot of old, washed up ideas coming ashore and a lot of talent saddled with what looks to be some lackluster concepts. With that said though, I’m sure I’ll be really, really wrong on some of these shows just as I’m sure I’ll fall in love with a few shows that I’m outright dismissing now.
Last year, for instance, I said that the pilot episode of New Girl made me want to take a wet fork to a light-socket and I wound up succumbing to the adorkable charms of that show as the season went on and it became more about the ensemble and less about the main characters teeth gnashing awkwardness. So in short, here’s my best guess on what some of next years shows will look like, take it with a grain of salt, form your own partial opinion, and then we can all roll our eyes next season when we see some of these shows pleasantly surprise us.
The RESCUE ME comparisons will be endless, but this show looks a little bit different. For one thing, it looks like everyone is extremely attractive (no Ken Shea in this bunch) and for another, and this is based mostly on Dick Wolf’s involvement, I’m concerned that we’ll only see a one dimensional portrayal of fire fighters and heroism. Say what you will about LAW AND ORDER‘s longevity and quality, but it was about the cases and little else and this show needs more or people will write it off as a hollow pretender to the RESCUE ME throne.
From JJ Abrams and Jon Favreau, REVOLUTION is one of the more buzzed about pilots, particularly, I imagine, for its grand concept and spectacular visuals. My opinion keeps changing on this one, on one hand it’s Abrams, but he has as many hits as he does misses, and it isn’t like he’s usually much more than a name over the title after a time. I love big ideas but, can they evolve into more than that? I loved the big idea that brought TERRA NOVA into this world, and we know how well that went.
I like how the trailer boasts about Mathew Perry’s return to NBC since they cancelled the last show he had on the network, STUDIO 60. This looks like a more serious version of Judd Hirsch’s DEAR JOHN and a pretty hard sell despite Perry’s presence, and the last time he had a sitcom, ABC’s MR.SUNSHINE he at least had Allison Janney on his side.
Ugh, Justin Kirk and Tyler Labine deserve more than HOUSE in an animal hospital, the monkey? Not so much. The best part about this show? The monkey is listed on the cast page on NBC.com.
Ryan Murphy has a very specific type of humor that usually fairs best when it has it’s teeth out. Will this allow him the opportunity to be his snarky best like he was in the early years of both NIP TUCK and GLEE before it was suffocated to death by camp and saccharine? Time will tell, but the potential exists for all of those things to grow in this petri dish. Also, Ellen Barkin, why?
For more on the slate of shows for ABC, NBC, and FOX check out our TV section.