It’s another Upfront to talk about, and this time, it’s the red hot ABC.
Their new schedule didn’t surprise us too much. Their Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are all exactly the same (and really, why would they even change it?).
One thing we did find surprising was the decision with Secrets and Lies. The show had done surprising well during in its Sundays slot this year. But ABC decided to move it to Wednesdays when Nashville heads to hiatus during the winter months. In its place, ABC landed two new dramas on Sunday, led by Sunday vet Once Upon A Time. While this is a “promotion” for Secrets, you have to ask, “Is it really?”. Empire will be during the same hour, so we wonder if ABC was trying to counter-program. ABC doesn’t want to put one of its better shows against Empire, yet it doesn’t want to put a new show against a powerful show either. We understand the decision, and it makes sense (and a tough one to swallow). But it’ll hurt the now-sophomore show.
One could argue Dr. Ken (Ken Jeong’s new comedy) being on Friday was a surprise, since Friday is a show’s Dead Man Zone of TV shows, and the show hasn’t even started. But we think it’s more likely ABC just didn’t have anymore room in the schedule. You’re not going to put The Muppets revival on Friday, Fresh Off the Boat fought hard this year to keep their show on Tuesdays, and everywhere else is full but Sunday (and ABC ain’t gonna put comedies there). So where else do you put it? So this time, we think a Friday placement isn’t such a bad sign of the show’s quality.
But onward to the new shows, shall we?:
The Muppets: Come on, you know The Muppets. It may be a slightly more adult-version of what you’re thinking, but you pretty much know what you’re getting (Tuesdays, 8p).
What We Like: It’s the same old Muppets, and everyone is returning. We laughed a lot at the trailer, but that’s its job. We really liked jokes about Fozzy’s kids going to the bathroom in the woods (you had to watch it to find that funny). Kermit saying the band “is happy now….legally” got a big laugh out of us. So it still has its zing…
What We Didn’t: …for now. I mean, the thing about The Muppets is while they’re nostalgic, exactly how funny can they be week-to-week? We think at some point the nostalgia will wear off and we’ll see them for who they really are: puppets using old gags.
Overall: You bet your bottom dollar we’re watching this! But as far as predictions: we throw up our hands. We just don’t know.
Quantico: Okay, imagine a FBI school or academy. We follow one of their students as they go through the academy. BUT, she gets set up as a terrorist after an attack, and we’re pretty sure the actual terrorist who set her up is one of the students of her class (Tuesdays, 10p).
What We Like: Okay, this is just vintage conspiracy theory. And we like it. We’re not completely sure how they’ll structure this (we think she’ll try to find who set her up, with flashbacks to her recent days at the Academy; or perhaps vice versa with flash-forwards?). But this is a concept we find interesting: the inner-workings of a FBI training academy. Plus, it has freakin’ Jenny Matrix! Um, we mean Johanna Braddy of Video Game High School fame (if you haven’t watched that webseries, you seriously missed out on the most fun web series ever. In our opinion).
What We Didn’t: Another strong women in the middle of a conspiracy. That doesn’t sound like the entire Thursday Night lineup at all! While we don’t mind shows like this, this is what happened to NBC years ago: you stick with too much of one type of genre, and it burns you fast. Plus, with an Agents of SHIELD leading in, we’re not entirely sure the show will get the lift needed for a 2nd season. Plus, while Executive Producer Joshua Safran is a successful one (Gossip Girl, Smash)…yeah, those shows don’t really connect with a terrorist thriller genre. So can he pull it off? We also see potential patterns of “pretty faces, bad acting” here too.
Overall: We’ll be watching this, and we’ll be cheering for it too. Not too many thriller shows out in Network TV.
Dr. Ken: Ken Jeong was a doctor before he became an actor. So of course, he plays a doctor in this show. He has a family. Just…imagine every 2000s family comedy and that’s what this is (Fridays, 8:30p).
What We Liked: Suzy Nakamura is in it, and she does well as the straight character (although it’s a complete waste of her talents, but hey, you can’t be funnier than the lead). Also, it’s nice to see Tisha Campbell-Martin (the wife from My Wife and Kids) back on TV again (although she didn’t say anything in the trailer). We did chuckle when they arrested Ken for paying for Molly (Ken thought he was paying to find his daughter named Molly…again, you have to watch it to find it funny).
What We Didn’t Like: Ken Jeong, unfortunately. He felt watered-down. We sort of knew this was going to happen because it’s not the character we want to see (bring us The Hangover K.Jeong, or even the one from Community). We didn’t find the show all that funny. And this is not to say he’s not funny overall: it could easily just be his writing staff. But, again, since all the jokes were from the pilot, maybe this will get better later.
Also, quick sidebar: while we’re okay with the younger kid finding what he likes (while it weirds Ken out), the teenage daughter doing typical teenage daughter things was so…let us put it this way: MORE MALE WRITERS NEED TO WATCH FREAKS AND GEEKS OR MY SO CALLED LIFE. FOR PETE’S SAKE, NOT EVERY TEENAGE GIRL IS THE FREAKIN’ SAME. (cough). Stereotypes bother us. More than anything.
Overall: We’ll give this three eps, but we’re pretty sure the show won’t do any better than its lead-in Last Man Standing. I think people will tune in at first (name recognition!), and tailor out once they know what the show really is.
OIL: Two people with nothing try to start a new life starting an oil company, and they meet hard resistance. Also, the top oil millionaire kicks out his irresponsible son from the family business. High stakes. Per usual (Sundays, 9p).
What We Liked: None of us could decide honestly.
What We Didn’t: First off, there’s a car accident and they lose everything. How did they really? No insurance? Did all their stuff get stolen? And also, how in the world do two semi-trucks take up the entire road?! Shouldn’t those companies be paying for damages? Wait, we’re a minute into this trailer already? What’s happening!?!
Then we went back and watched it again. I mean, it’s Dallas. And if you liked Dallas, then it’s right for you. But honestly, it’s just rich people trying to be powerful, poor people trying to win as the underdog, and loads of sex. Just not great to us. And also, this is a not a good show to put right after Once Upon A Time. In our opinion. They don’t fit demo-wise.
Overall: We don’t think the show will last, and chances are, we’re not watching this.
OF KINDS AND PROPHETS: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the sexed-up version of The Bible’s Book of Samuel! (Sundays, 10p).
What We Liked: We get really nervous talking about biblical shows. If we say we don’t like them, we’re judged. If we say we like them, we’re biased. So instead, we’ll just say this: this show is better than A.D.: The Bible Continues. Also, Samuel killed a lion with a rock. I mean, that’d be pretty cool to see, right?
What We Didn’t: Have to say, the production design should have been way better. Honestly, it felt like a failed attempt at Game of Thrones. King Saul doesn’t even look wealthy, none-the-less the King of Israel. Also, the King shouting every 10 seconds in the trailer, “I am the king!!!” got annoying. And that’s just the trailer: how many times does he say that in the actual episode. Also, you chose this show to follow Oil? Either programmers are seeing something we’re not (which is most likely the case), or they really had issues in drama development this year.
Overall: Either way, I think we’ll watch the pilot. We don’t have high hopes for this show, especially with Oil leading it in.
BONUS ROUND (Here are the midseason replacements, and our quick thoughts):
The Catch: A women who’s the best at finding con men gets conned. By her boyfriend. Yikes.
Overall: Did you hear us stutter? It’s Shonda. Forget Hulu, we’re watching this live.
The Real O’Neals: A comedy about a devout catholic family…who aren’t as devout as you think. Mainly follows a teen boy who’s actually gay. But they don’t know that. Yet.
Overall: This show looks hilarious (definitely has a current-day The Goldberg feel to it). We’re watchin’. “I’ll let her order for me too, but then I’m just going to turn it to whatever I want”. Best. Line. Of. The. Upfronts.
The Family: A mayor’s family is rocked when their son returns…after he was presumed dead for 10 years. But is it really their son?
Overall: We’ll watch anything with Allison Pill (The Newsroom) and Rupert Graves (Sherlock). Yes, we’ll give it 3 eps.
Wicked City: A guy murders women in Hollywood, set in 1982.
Overall: No. Just. No. And we’re sad because we love Julia Stiles.
Uncle Buck: A black couple leave their kids (reluctantly) to the husband’s brother when they go away for a weekend. Hilarity ensues.
Overall: There were legit funny moments. There were legit unfunny moments. But we like it enough to watch this show.
What do you guys think? What new shows are you looking forward to?
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