Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Underthinking Pilot Season: 2016 Meh Trailers


So you came back. Yes, we're continuing to analyze the trailers for the 2016 TV pilot season. This round is a kind of nebulous grouping of all the shows that fall in the middle. The trailers weren't so boring or uninformative that I completely wrote them off but they also weren't enough to guarantee that I'd watch the show. There were things in all of these trailers that I liked. And also things that I didn't.

Quantico (ABC)
So I know I rejected Code Black which is a similar shows about a group of newbies plunged into a competitive environment, blah blah, formula. There's something about this ensemble show that grabbed me a little more. Maybe it's just that it's not in a hospital. Granted, there's not a lot that I'm drawn to right now but if it's done well, I could see myself liking this one. Certainly more than Covert Affairs.

Scream Queens (FOX)
So the good news, at least for me, and you if you like reading my thoughts on TV shows, is that the horror doesn't seem gory enough to make this a hard pass. It feels more like Pretty Little Liars than American Horror Story. The bad news is that this trailer was not that impressive and there's a lot of, erp, not quite A level talent, that are making me question the quality of this project. Oliver Hudson from Nashville? Nasim Pedrad? All the stunt casting? Why is Lea Michele in headgear?

The Real O'Neals (ABC)
I'm cautiously optimistic about this one. I won't jump to saying it as good as the family comedies that ABC delivered last season but it feels like one of the better family comedies... maybe one of the ones I never watched like The Middle or Raising Hope. Were those good? Obviously I don't know.

Uncle Buck (ABC)
This trailer was fine. I don't think I'll get far past the first few episodes but it seems like a decent TV movie or a lower tier feature.

Life in Pieces (CBS)
They put together a good cast including Zoe Lister Jones (Whitney), Colin Hanks, James Brolin, and Dianne Wiest. Yes, I watched Whitney. Don't judge me. This is what I imagine Parenthood was like never having watched it. I don't think I'll watch this show either.

Of Kings and Prophets (ABC)
I'm not a big fan of Biblical dramas and I still haven't watched Rome or Game of Thrones, epic ensemble dramas in this vein. Nothing in the acting or story I can see in the trailer is compelling to me. So why is this in the "meh" group? Look, this could very well be that ancient Egyptian (?) show from last season that they cancelled before it even aired. But it does look like they spent the money to bring a pay cable style epic ensemble drama to network so I'm at least a little interested.

The Player (NBC)
Why isn't this show about Wesley Snipes? If this show was just about Wesley Snipes I would have put it in the good category. It's not even about a team including Wesley Snipes and that lady with an accent. Instead it's about another capable white guy and his dead prop wife and... nope. It looks good for what it is but what it is isn't a show I'm going to watch.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow (CW)
There was no way I was going to watch Arrow but I fully intended to cover at least the trailer for The Flash. It got away from me. I saw it. My general impression was... this is very conventional and somewhat lacking in depth and heart. Legends of Tomorrow looks like more of the same except I do like the fact that there's a clear team and not just a star and all his sidekicks. My heart hasn't forgotten Leverage and apparently I haven't lost hope that I'll find another team show again. I got my hopes up for Alphas but that didn't pan out. And it's nice to see a team with diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender, and age (shout out to Victor Garber). I will try to cover the pilot but I doubt that it'll be a show I keep up with.

The Frankenstein Code (FOX) 
Is it wrong that I don't hate this? I feel like I should hate this. That's not to say that I like it either but yeah, I could watch it.

Heartbreaker (NBC)
This is another perfectly fine trailer. It doesn't look awful. I'm sure someone will like it. But I've definitely seen this show before and I'm not interested in watching it again.

Grandfathered (FOX)
I think I like Josh Peck and John Stamos but this premise is entirely uninteresting to me. Otherwise, it was a decent trailer.

Rosewood (FOX)
These crime-fighting male-female team-ups live and die on the actors they cast and I'm not feeling it from the trailer. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Underthinking Pilot Season: 2016 Bad Trailers

Hi there,

Cat here. No idea why you're still with me on this weird diversion we've been taking for much longer than I thought we would but I'm glad you're here. Like the misguided Married at First Sight, we're going to be taking another crack at analyzing pilot season for 2016 so let's take a look at the shows that may or may not be occupying our time. I'm getting the bad news out of the way first by starting with the trailers for shows I will most likely not watch, at least past the pilot.

Blindspot (NBC)
Based on her role in Kyle XY, Jaimie Alexander seems to be perfect casting for this show. That said, I'm not excited by the idea of this completely objected nonperson female protagonist. However, Agent Carter made me realize I might be more into fight sequences that I thought I was so I will at least watch the pilot for this.

Code Black (CBS)
This show doesn't look terrible at all. It just looks very, very boring. Marcia Gay Harden has not grabbed me with her presence in the last two shows I've seen her in, Trophy Wife and How to Get Away with Murder, and yet she's the strongest member of the cast from the trailer and that has me worried. I've also just found it difficult to care about medical dramas since House ended. Luis Guzman is an interesting addition but Octavia Spencer wasn't enough to get me past the first dreadful episode of Red Band Society so I don't imagine he'll do much better. Plus, we've got Raza Jaffrey who I'll contend ruined the first season of Smash more Katharine McPhee. Yeah, I said it. I may watch the pilot if I have the time.

Containment (The cw)
This show doesn't look bad. Actually the quality seems rather good for the cw. Or at least the cw before all the DC comics properties. I'm just not interested in this show at all. I also didn't watch that Contagion movie. There's a reason why Titanic was successful. There are too many people in this trailer and I don't care about any of them. I have no idea where this show is going. Are they just going to force you to watch large-scale human suffering every week? Sure, that sounds fun.

Limitless (CBS)
I did not watch the movie with Bradley Cooper though it looked better than this. This started off annoying with the same goddamned voiceover that plagued me throughout the 2015 pilot season and then quickly became the same procedural where a male and female lead solve crimes. I need really compelling actors if I'm going to sit through that again and I don't think Jake McDorman (Manhattan Love Story) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) are those actors.

The Family (ABC)
What is with all these bland titles? I know it worked for Friends but do you want it to be impossible for your show? Are you just counting down the days until it gets cancelled? I was burned by that Impostor documentary, which you absolutely should not watch, and I just don't find these kinds of things compelling. It's nice to see Allison Pill and Andrew MacCarthy and Liam James (Psych) but I don't like any of them enough to suffer through this.

The Catch (ABC)
I wasn't grabbed by the acting in the trailer. I don't really care about the mystery. And I was burned by my first Shonda show, How to Get Away With Murder. I'll pass.

Dr. Ken (ABC)
I don't hate sitcoms. Last season ABC did well with Blackish, Fresh Off the Boat, and Cristela. But I'm not just going to watch a show for the sake of supporting diversity if the show's not any good. This show seems to lack the heart, solid acting, and writing of those other comedies. You have Ken Jeong (Community), Dave Foley, Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife and Kids), Suzy Nakamura (Go On), and Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife, Fresh Off the Boat) who I've liked in other things but I don't know if I'll even watch the pilot.

The Muppets (ABC)
I'm certainly not saying this show will be terrible. What I'm saying is that as a non-fan this trailer did nothing to sell me on the show.

Oil (ABC)
The premise and the world of the show do not appeal to me. I didn't watch the original Dallas and I didn't watch it when it came back on TNT. Also as a loyal viewer of Gossip Girl I have absolutely zero faith in Chace Crawford's ability to carry a show.

Heroes Reborn (NBC)
I did not watch Heroes when it originally aired and while I do like Zachary Levi I did give up on Chuck a season or two before it was cancelled. The trailer gave me nothing to go on. I will probably pass on this.

People Are Talking (NBC)
I'm not sure if the situation in the trailer is just limited to the pilot or if that's supposed to be the premise for the entire show. Regardless, while this wasn't awful, there was nothing here that made me want to watch this show. It's another bland comedy that will either be cancelled immediately or amaze me when I realize it's still on the air in a couple of years. It does have Mark Paul Gosselaar in it but then so did Franklin and Bash.

Bordertown (FOX)