TV Upfronts: Trailers and Analysis for the CBS 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.
Starting off we have ELEMENTARY, the Sherlock Holmes in modern day America procedural. I’ll be honest, Jonny Lee Miller seems like he fits this role nicely but I can’t get over the stunning lack of creativity in the premise. Sherlock has been done perfectly by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman embodies Watson on Steven Moffat’s SHERLOCK, so there is no call for a US version, or another take right now. Furthermore, the off-kilter genius detective thing has been done to death with LIFE and RAINES.
The trend toward period pieces, and specifically the 60s is not new. MAD MEN inspired PAN AM, THE PLAYBOY CLUB, and MAGIC CITY, and while VEGAS looks like it might have more than a few things in common with MAGIC CITY, and while some may think a show about keeping order in Vegas after CSI and the departed LAS VEGAS is an overdone concept, I am intrigued.
The premise, which feels like a more modern western clashing with a mob drama, is a major reason for my interest but I’m also hooked by the cast, despite the fact that big names only go so far and the freshman graveyard is littered with ill conceived projects staring big time talent. With that said though, I’ll watch almost any serious project with Dennis Quaid in it and Jason O’Mara just has to be due for a hit.
Remember the NBC hospital drama about a nurse from Jersey trying to balance her families expectations and her work life… this is that in a law firm. That is a teeny bit unfair, and I have a lot of respect for the work producer Kevin Falls has done on WEST WING and JOURNEYMAN, so I’ll likely give it a shot.
I enjoy David Krumholtz and Brandon Routh has been extremely funny in small doses like his cameos in the unfortunate ZACK AND MIRI and SCOTT PILGRIM, so I’m willing to give this show from Max Mutchnick and David Kohan a chance. The show, which centers on the relationship between a gay man and a straight man who are business partners and best friends as they deal with each others significant others. I’m not a big fan of multi-camera, laugh track infused sitcoms but Mutchnick and Kohan created WILL AND GRACE, so they have a track record of excellence, and on a personal note, I can relate to the premise. That won’t be enough to hold me if the show feels lazy though, and Mutchnick and Kohan have a track record of some pretty lackluster shows as well.
For more on the slate of shows for ABC, NBC, and FOX check back over the next few days. You can also check out Marcos’ coverage of the CBS upfronts here.