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SNAP JUDGMENT: UPFRONTS 2015: NBC

NBC’s Upfronts are Monday morning; but fortunately, news came out today about their new 2015 Fall Schedule.

Our gut reaction: Wow. Didn’t see this coming.

No, seriously. In a lot of ways, we really didn’t. That adds to the excitement of the Upfronts, I guess. Don’t you love this time of year?

Our Top Three “Wow”s: 1) the low-rated Mysteries of Laura returns for a season 2 (which shocked us all). We really had that one cancelled. 2) Undatable will be moved to Friday (shocked us) to have the entire 3rd season premiering live episodes (incredibly shocked). And to top it all off, NBC only has two comedies in the fall.

Two. Comedies.

It’s been 47 years since NBC even had less than 3 comedies at a time. This doesn’t bode well for About A BoyMarry MeOne Big Happy, etc.

Okay, that’s enough about the old shows. So here’s our gut reactions to NBC’s new series, starting on Mondays:

Blindspot: A woman turns up in Times Square, with no memory and a body completely filled with tattoos which (surprise!) has clues to her past and some secret, lurking conspiracy (Mondays, 9p).

What We Liked: Jaimie Alexander is involved. And if you remember her from her Kyle XY days, this is definitely a throwback to that. But of course, she’s mainly know as Sif from Thor 2. So we know she got skills. And boy, does she have skills, people. Plus, this show is EP’d by Greg Berlanti, who helped produce these little known shows called Arrow and The Flash. Oh yeah, and they’re backed by The Voice. So NBC has high hopes for this one.

What We Don’t: The whole thing smells of gimmick. In the trailer, someone’s trying to blow up the Statue of Liberty. The main character is found in a body bag in Times Square. Now, while I work in Times Sqaure, and found an empty Time Square was slightly eerie: Gimmick, gimmick, gimmick. While I liked Kyle XY, many, many others didn’t. This definitely has a Bourne Identity feel too, but we’ve gone through that so many times already. And we get it: her clues are all over her body. But does she have to be naked all the time? Sullivan Stapleton has the lead: meh.

Overall: We’ll watch it. People will watch it. We probably won’t stay. People will probably State of Affairs their way out of it.

Heartbreaker: A female transplant surgeon (one of the very few) does her job. Insert hospital politics, personal life, and some male-skewing personality traits, you got Dr. Pantierre (Tuesdays, 9p).

What We Liked: This girl is balls-y! I guess NBC got the memo people like strong, independent women and BAM!: Here’s one right after The Voice on Tuesdays. Melissa George does a pretty convincing job (trailer-wise, of course) pulling off the intelligent, cocky, only slightly-insane Dr. Pantierre. She’s not girly, but she’s no House (as in self-destructive…we think). She’s aggressive, but in the “oh, that’s just Dr. Pantierre” sort of way. I liked her immediately.

What We Don’t: There’s still some cliche women stuff: there’s two men in her life – Dr. Harrison (Dave Annable from FOX’s recently-cancelled Red Band Society) and Dr. Shane (Don Hany). Quite an overused issue. Also, while we understand most shows use the entire pilot for their trailer, they ruined what would have been an incredible part of the pilot. If they didn’t say anything and people had seen that live, the pilot could have been more critically-acclaimed. But, we know now. Still a wow point in the story, but kind of upset they ruined it.

Overall: We’ll watch this too. Definitely helps the main character is interesting enough to watch. NBC’s going very female their first two days (Monday and Tuesday). Not a bad thing. Just interesting. (cough*ABCisGainingOnYou*cough)

Heroes: Reborn: I mean, do you really need a description here? (Thursday, 8p).

Heroes Tease:  //player.theplatform.com/p/NnzsPC/widget/select/media/EK2GyK4tTwQY

What We Liked: Well, there was no real trailer, which is so Heroes of them to leak as little information as possible. All we care about is: 1) Tim Kring (original creator of Heroes) is back, and 2) Zachary Levi (Chuck, Thor) is also back on NBC, and 3) Masi Oka (Hiro, aka “He-KA!!”) is back, and 4) Jack Coleman is back too. So many people are back.

What We Don’t: I mean, this is the 19-billionth series reboot. So. Things can go very wrong. Also, I know Hayden Pantierre was annoying, but won’t it be weird with her not around? “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World”. Right? How can we save her if she’s in Nashville?

Overall: We’ll watch it. If not for fandom, for curiosity. High hopes with Tim Kring back.

The Player: Top security consultant Alex Kane (better than the Secret Service, apparently) becomes “the player” in a crime-betting gambling ring. Yeah, that’s right. People are betting on crime (Thursdays, 10p).

What We Liked: I mean, Wesley Snipes. He still got it, people. Also, I gotta say, this premise is absolutely intriguing. I’m asking myself how does this game work? What are the rules? And I’m like, duh, the rules are simple. Either Alex gets the criminal before they kill innocent people, or he gets killed. Money flows in when Alex wins, since the odds are so not in his favor; and of course, the House always wins. So all we gotta do is sit back, and enjoy the oncoming disaster.

What We Didn’t: This premise could also be flipped on its head. Not a lot of people gamble, so that alienates some viewers. Also, while this is from EP of The Blacklist John Davis, throwing in his wife being killed is as cliche as it gets. Also, who the heck bets on freakin’ crime? That’s just weird, and slightly tapping into the issue with The Playboy Club (morals and all..didn’t help the show was uninteresting too).

Overall: Interested enough to give it 3 episodes. A Blacklist lead-in will make it interesting for the year. But I don’t see the show being innovative enough to survive past a season. But NBC should market their new Thurday lineup as High Stakes Thursdays. A lot of people dying on Thursday nights.

People Are Talking: Two neighboring couples are best friends and say all the things you think about, but never say out loud. NBC’s attempt to do a NBC-like, cutsy, multicam version of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Friday, 8:30p). At least, that’s the first thing that popped into my mind.

What We Liked: The Executive Producer is DJ Nash, who EP’d the grossly-underrated Growing Up Fisher, so he already wins with me. Also, I’d be silly to not mention Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved By The B-oh, you know him).

What We Didn’t: Everything. Else. I don’t have a problem with “no-filter” comedies. But that’s the problem with this show: it doesn’t identify with NBC audiences. Would it have fit on FX? Yes. On Comedy Central? Yes. On Spike? Probably. On NBC? A big no. Also, can we state this is probably the worst tile of the new pilots so far?

Overall: It won’t even last a season. This must mean NBC’s comedy slate was not good this year. But really, I feel bad for its lead-out Grimm, who has to deal with the challenge of getting high ratings while consistently getting low lead-ins. Unfair to them, Grimm has been a solid performer despite the garbage timeslot.

So, to wrap up: Heartbreaker (also another ho-hum title) takes the lead as our favorite pilot of the bunch. The Player seems intriguing enough to get a viewer from us. Blindspot might not be mysterious enough for multiple seasons, but we’ll give it a try. Heroes will be watched, and People are Talking will not. But then again, just a gut feeling.

What do you guys think? What’s new NBC pilot are you favoring right now?

Remember, we’re starting a new webseries, and we’re mere days away from starting our Kickstarter! So learn more here and stay updated by liking our Facebook Page. And you should. It’s in the spirit of The Upfronts.

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