Even though on-demand options and streaming services have rendered the premiere dates of TV shows irrelevant, New Fall TV Season is still a thing. While 2016 has not been great for movies, TV is having a banner year. With dozens of brand new series hitting the airwaves over the next few weeks, CTBoom has you covered with previews of the shows you should keep your eyes peeled for both to binge and to avoid.
Earlier this week we covered Non-Hit Hits and shows deserve space on your DVR. Today we examine the underdogs. These are the shows that we hope get the chance to find their audience because we really want these to be good.
I Want These To Be Good
These shows are right up my alley because they are either trying something different or executing on tried and true tropes with sharpshooter-like precision. I do not think the rest of America will agree with me.
After hearing about a Lethal Weapon TV series going into production, I rolled my eyes pretty hard. Not only is the film series nearly untouchable from a pop culture standpoint, the movie-to-TV road is paved with failed attempts of recapturing cinematic magic on the small screen. The mismatched partners / odd couple dynamic is as old as recorded media itself, and almost always works in a cop show. Why handicap it by slapping existing intellectual property on it?
But therein lies the reason why. Good TV shows rarely wind up really being about what they are about during pilot season. Good shows have a way of evolving and building on what got it greenlit in the first place. The American version of The Office began with a line-for-line recreation of the first episode of the British version and quickly morphed from there. What made the film series work was the chemistry between Riggs and Murtaugh. If Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford can capture even a fraction of that, this show may be the first big-to-small screen adaptation to get a second season.
Hard to not root for this one.
If you don’t see why this show should make it, watch the trailer again. There is so much emotion packed into that three minutes I am not even sure it should be classified as a comedy, which of course, is the hallmark of a great comedy.
Arguably, TV has never been as good as it is right now, and while I don’t know yet if Speechless is going to make the Mount Rushmore of television, the boundaries that have been pushed all over the place by shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, It’s Always Sunny, Arrested Development, Modern Family, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The space created by these shows has allowed for a show like Speechless to get made. Hopefully, ABC’s viewing audience and the network itself gives it a chance to push a few boundaries of its own.
The Good Place
…Well… I want this to be good.
I’m going to withhold judgement on The Good Place until at least episode five based on its pedigree alone. From creator, Mike Schur — one of the producers of The Office, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine — comes The Good Place, a single-camera half-hour about a woman, Kristen Bell, who goes to heaven by mistake. That’s a mighty big ‘oopsie’ and a mighty big concept for an NBC – a network who has actively stepped away from doing comedy on purpose.
In addition to staying in the Mike Schur business, NBC has brought the aforementioned Bell and maybe the greatest sitcom actor of all time, Ted Danson, back to TV for this project. That has to count for something, right?
Am I selling too hard?
The big problem with high concept shows is that the audience needs to be able to see all of the potential endings as soon as they start to watch the pilot. If Kristen Bell is dead in the pilot and mistakenly sent to heaven, by the end of the series, we have to see her earn her wings. The question is how long, and how many hijinks, is the audience of the National Broadcasting Channel going to sit through?
My gut tells me that this show is worth a shot because I’m not going to bet against Veronica Mars or Mayday Malone. My brain tells me I could very well be alone on this island.
Better Things– Louie CK’s frequent collaborating partner gets to stretch her legs in a show of her own.
Insecure– The awkward experiences of an African-American woman navigating race, culture, and life. HBO wins again by investing in talent Issa Rae.
Coming later this week, Fox bets big on making a TV show out of the scariest movie of all time, I completely lose my voice yelling at CBS, and NBC goes back to the Chicago well AGAIN.