Every year at this time the networks roll out their new fall shows and every year it gets harder and harder to figure out which ones are worth your precious time!
At the Paley Center, they host Fall Preview days and Derek headed down to check out some of the new fall shows so you don’t have too! He’s done an awesome recap touting some of the new offerings, including which ones to Stream and which ones to Skip!
Check it out below!
Paleyfest Fall Previews
For the last 8 years the Paley Center for Media has had an annual Fall Preview event where for several days they premiere new shows for the upcoming TV season. Each event is reserved for a specific network to debut their new shows and accompanied by panels with selected cast and producers. Here’s the shows I caught and a quick review of each pilot episode.
Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly) plays Katie (really thought out of the box) a wife and mother of three trying to raise her not- so- perfect family in a town filled with fitness fit moms and all their perfect families. But so what?! Who cares what other people think, right? Well unfortunately then we wouldn’t have this show. The obvious point is not always worrying about “fitting in” and being like everyone else. Katie is continually self-conscious about being plus size in a town where all the other moms look like models. Her husband (Diedrich Bader) tells her how beautiful she is but it’s still not enough. The three kids offer many possible storylines but also plenty of laughs that go with the dealings of growing up. In particular the youngest daughter is pure enjoyment in just the same way as the youngest girl on Life in Pieces. I’m down for a spinoff with those two already. Much of the humor is about PC subjects like weight, race, and money which is not exactly breaking new ground but with the show having a plus size lead character who is not a “hot career mom” the jokes seem to deliver more of a message than just trying for chuckles. I was not falling out of my seat with laughs but I was still entertained.
A big TV news producer Julia George (Covert Affairs’ Piper Perabo) and an ambitious defense attorney Jake Gregorian (Rescue Me’s Daniel Sunjata) help each other out to boost their careers through sharing information and trying to control the media. There’s a whole lot more going on in this show but everything comes back to those two characters. The chemistry of the give/get between Julia and George drives the story well as they use the supporting cast of the show in helping with a client who is up for murder in the pilot episode. Well “helping” as in giving themselves the most ratings and exposure they can from the case. One of my favorite things about this show is the cast. Not only do you have the two fantastic leads but also Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights) and J. August Richards (Agents of SHIELD) who will hopefully be big supporting characters. The pace of the show is good with the story equally having scenes that personally develop the characters and focusing on the murder case. Of course they have the cliché flirting between Julia and Jake which already has us with wondering of WHEN they’ll sleep together. I really like the concept of the show because with the news reporting aspect there is an enormous amount of stories to be told. My only concern being that in dealing with murder, affairs, and all the guilty pleasures of TV that they could easily turn into another show like Scandal. I know that’s a lot to judge of one episode but it’s easy to see coming.
Did you see the movie from 2000? Okay well good for you because I had no interest. Which means you can imagine how excited I was to see this new made-for-TV-series version. It’s different when they take a massively successful franchise and make it into a TV show but FREQUENCY?! Anyways so if you don’t know the show takes place in two different timelines with one being present day and starring Peyton List (The Tomorrow People) as Raimy Sullivan who is a police detective and her boyfriend finds this old radio in her garage thinking it will be a good surprise to show her. Since it turns out it’s her deceased father’s radio that she holds a lot of resentment towards it ends up being a bad idea on his part. One night lighting strikes (oh boy) the garage and travels down and brings life to the radio. SOMEHOW this makes it possible for her to communicate with her deceased father in 1996?? Who randomly contacts her while he’s playing around with the radio in his timeline. And I’m just gonna stop there. If you’re not rolling your eyes already then maybe you should give it a try. I just can’t buy this concept. It’s just ridiculous to me and watching the pilot did not make it better. How are they even going to make this a show? Are they going to solve cases in the past or the present? If she needs clues is she going to radio Dad for help? The way that Raimy finds out clues about her case she is solving and jumping on the radio to try to change history just doesn’t work. I give all the credit to Peyton List for being the lead on this show plus co-stars Mekhi Phifer and Riley Smith (as her dad in the past)are well cast but they can only do so much with the material they are given.
I have to be honest with you all. I don’t know what this show is. Oh, I did watch it! I’m just not sure what I saw. Evie (Tori Anderson) works in an office as a quality control assessor when she meets carefree Xavier (Galavant’s Joshua Sasse) and is somehow smitten with his love of living life to the fullest. But why is the show called No Tomorrow? Because Xavier seriously believes the world is soon coming to an end so why bother with worrying about life’s everyday problems. Yeah…sounds like a stable guy to get in a relationship with for sure. But Evie is under his hipster beard spell so this romantic comedy of a show goes on. They go from scene to scene with Colgate smiles and bunny rabbit cuteness as they’re in that wonderful beginning of a new found relationship. Are you falling asleep reading this?! Sorry. Let’s cut to the chase. This show has nothing new to offer at all. It’s not funny. It has no interesting concept. The characters are generic and one dimensional save for Evie’s ex-boyfriend who has this really stupid character choice where he talks continuously in a whisper. So they put subtitles on the screen when he talks. No, I’m NOT making this up. I can’t even possibly imagine what this show has to offer for an entire season and I don’t care. Maybe if you’re the type where Love Actually and EVERY Kate Hudson movie is your jam then maybe this is the show for you. Go nuts. I’m out.
From mega talented producer Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) comes his latest TV offering where this time he’s taking us into the world of medicine. A very wealthy Silicon Valley tech wonder boy James Bell (Augustus Prew) has reached out to a veteran doctor named Walter Wallace (Shameless’ Dermot Mulroney) to come join his medical group Bunker Hill. This hospital focuses on very rare and difficult cases that other facilities pass on because of lack of knowledge or funding. Backed by the philanthropy of Bell the staff is given all the resources they need to combine with their intellect to help their patients. If you’re a fan of medical procedurals than I think this show will do you fine as it’s full of unique cases, hi-tech gadgets, and emotionally charged life threatening drama. If you usually don’t care for these type of shows I would still say to give this a try. Yes, the pacing is at times slow but not only do I trust in everything Katims does but the strong supporting cast of talent that he has brought on board (Brenda Song, Reshma Shetty, and Odette Annable) gives me much confidence in being able to deliver solid performances to back what he must have planned. The problem with medical dramas is finding that balance between too grim and depressing to over the top tearjerker. The pilot episode did have a moment or two where they tried to pull on your heart strings a little much but there is a welcoming amount of humor thrown in periodically to keep your spirits up. I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Bunker Hill but I’m down to look around for a while.
This is Us
Saving the best for last even though technically this was the last night of the Fall Previews. From producer/creator Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love and Pitch) comes a story that is centered around individuals in different storylines but having one thing in common. They are celebrating their birthdays. A young couple expecting a child (singer Mandy Moore and Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia), a depressed actor(Revenges’ Justin Hartley), an overweight woman(AHS’ Chrissy Metz) trying to conquer her problem, and a successful businessman(People vs. OJs’ Sterling K. Brown). But what sets this show apart so far is the humor. Yeah, at first watch of the trailer you’re thinking another weepy show about families but the continuing drops of jokes in the script are hilarious! I was laughing so much while watching this. There’s an obvious comparison to Parenthood but I fail to see why that’s a bad thing since how successful that show was. If for some reason you disliked Parenthood don’t let that keep you from watching. The tone of this show I feel is different with its own take on human interest stories. Now let’s not forget the dramatic element is still there. But it’s done in a way where Fogelman presents you with struggles in these characters lives that makes you understand and relate to their problems. He’s not just giving you random issues to fill the show with but, you like the characters and you want them to beat what they are feeling at odds with. I think I just made it simplest right there. Why will you like this show? Because you’ll like the people and you will want to be there with them. I don’t want to go on because honestly if I tell you anymore it’s just taking away from seeing it for yourself. Best pilot of the season thus far. Not to be missed.