Monday, May 16, 2011

NBC Upfronts: New Pilot Previews

It's that time of year again. When new TV series roll out their previews in the hopes of being the Next Big Hit come fall. Today, NBC started off the network upfronts with a long list of new shows for the fall and mid-season.
Here are a look at all of them and my first reactions:

FALL PILOTS:

The Playboy Club:
This show has been getting a lot of "Mad Men-esque" comments, which is easy to see. It's in the 60s and there is a lot of smoking and drinking. But while Mad Men is often quiet and understated, this has about 20 girls in the Playboy Bunny outfits and a guy getting killed with a stilleto. So, not so understated. More "Mad Men meets Las Vegas." I'm interested to see it, but wary of the cheese-factor.



Up All Night

This one has me ready to tune in. It's a concept I understand - parenting. And cursing in front of your baby. To be honest, any comedy that beeps out cursing works for me on some level. I'm easy like that. (I miss you, Middleman.) Christina Applegate is effortlessly charming in this - and it is probably easy for her to play a first time mom heading back to work since she is a first time mom heading back to work. Maya Rudolph is always brilliant. Brilliant, I say! And Will Arnett is playing, get this, a guy who is not a total douche! I'm excited, because I love him and it will be nice to actually love his character too. Comedies are hard to judge, but so far, I'm interested.



Free Agents
Ok, before I get to how I feel about this show - it stars, Anthony Stewart Head who played Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, I'm feeling almost obligated to give it a shot. One of my life goals is to have Anthony say something wise and fatherly to me while cleaning his glasses. That being said, I think it looks.....okay. I giggled a few times, but I'm not sure if it is going to bring the funny enough to compete with some of the other amazing comedies out there right now. I think Hank Azaria is very funny, and I'm happy to see Kathryn Hahn in something other than the "best friend" role for once. The concept isn't exactly new (comedies hardly ever are, though) but if it is done right, it could be great. Is this one done right? We'll see, I guess!



Whitney
No. Just, no. First of all, I do not enjoy laugh tracks. Please, show, I'm smart. Don't tell me when I should be laughing. Or worse, "woo-ing" at something that is meant to be sexy. Plus, I just didn't find 95% of this funny at all. I'm not watching.



Prime Suspect
This one I am excited to see. The original series, starring Helen Mirren, was wonderful. Helen, being Helen, leaves incredibly large shoes to fill, and I think Maria Bello is a great choice. She is a subtle actress who can pull off just about anything and hold her own against some actors who often chew the scenery. I also think the large male supporting cast is full of actors that are talented, and I'm excited to see on TV. Here's my worry: playing the "woman being harassed in the boys club" angle too hard. It's 2011, we get it. Being a female detective in the NYPD, especially running Homocide, is a tough gig. I don't expect warm and cuddly, but I don't want it hitting that cliche so hard it gets annoying. I'm also a little sick of cop shows.... But despite that, I will be giving this a shot.



Grimm
This genre show follows the decendent of the Grimm Brothers. He's basically a Winchester now - hunting the demons and such. The cast is good and I love a supernatural/mythology show. Plus, it is produced by a Buffy alum, so of course I will give it a try. But I'm nervous for it - for some reason the fine people at NBC thought it would be a good idea to schedule it in the same time slot as Fringe and Supernatual. Ummmm.... the target audience is already committed to TWO other shows, people! Sigh...



MID-SEASON PILOTS:

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me Chelsea
My, that title is cumbersome, isn't it? I'm thinking they are going to need to shorten that sucker. AYTVIMC doesn't really roll off the tongue either.... This one has laugh tracks too (boo) and the comedy is broad to say the least. I'm not very interested, despite enjoying several members of the cast. I don't know.... Chelsea Handler is funny, but I don't see myself enjoying this one a lot.



Awake
So this one.... looks like a trip. To sum up, a guy, his wife and his son get in an accident. When he wakes up he is in one reality where his wife survived and his son died. Then he closes his eyes, and opens them to enter a reality where his son lived and his wife died. Cheerful, no? It looks very well done, the cast is full of amazing actors. BD Wong and Cherry Jones, two fantastic actors who have done a lot of theater work, play his two therapists, which is should be wonderful to watch - they will be great at the subtleties of a scenes where there is only dialogue. I'm not sure how this is going to do - shows like this tend to lose viewers quick - but I am definitely curious to see it.



Bent
Meh. I adore Amanda Peet. I think David Walton is cute and funny, but this 4 minute teaser could barely hold my attention. I felt like it was the same, incredibly broad, 2 jokes over and over.



Best Friends Forever
First of all, big blow to this show: Adam Pally's charater will have to be recast because Happy Endings was picked up (YAY!). He is delightful. I think this clip looks pretty lame. I barely laughed. But, it doesn't really show much, so I'm still reserving judgment.



Smash
First of all, no, this is not just another Glee. Yes, there are people singing. But it a completely different show. This is about a Broadway production which is a bit more cuthroat than the world of a high school show choir. I'm excited for this because I am a sucker for anything musical, especially musical theater. And one of the stars, Christian Brole, was in the original cast of Legally Blonde (he was Emmett). I can't wait to hear him sing. Plus Jack Davenport is just dreamy. The funniest thing to me is the last moment says "And Introducing Katherine McPhee." Ummm.... I think we've already been introduced to her on a little show, you  may have heard of it, American Idol. Silly NBC people. (Of course, if this show was about a guy and it starred Taylor Hicks, I think the introducing would have been completely acceptable.)



So.... what do you all think? What will you be watching? What are you absolutely staying away from?

Fox shows up next!

1 comment:

Katie said...

"The PLayboy Club" looks meh. Im not a huge fan of Eddie Cibrian. Might try to give it a shot.

"Up All Night" looks funny and cute. I will give anything will Will Arnett a shot.

I have no interest in "Free Agents", "Bent", or "BFFs".

I hate laugh tracks. So much. "Whitney" looks blah but better that "Chelsea Vodka". That doesn't look good at all. Laura Prepon was never my fave but she is just bad in this.

"Prime Suspect" is worth a shot.

"Grimm" will have to be on the DVR. I will not miss "Supernatural"!!!!

"Awake" looks very very interesting. I like that its got Malfoy from Harry Potter.

"Smash" looks cool. Worth a shot.

Those are my thoughts on NBC :)