Recently in Fall TV Category
Every network has at least one (and usually more) bench-warmers hidden amidst their fall line-up, the shows that you know are only on the air to pad out the schedule until a better series -- or, at least, one with more salable elements -- comes along. The baseball-themed Back in the Game then, is the bench-warmer amongst ABC's new comedies (Lucky 7 fulfills the same slot amidst its collection of dramas), a show that gives the network something to put in between Wednesday night hits The Middle and Modern Family besides dead air. It's not that Game is actively bad per se, but last night's season premiere revealed a series that's so half-hearted in its ambition and execution one gets the feeling that the writers don't think they're ready for the big leagues either. We call the pitches the show's pilot threw as we saw 'em.
Much ink has already been spilled about the way the Fox sitcom Dads has pissed off Asian-American groups with its "jokes" about sexy Asian schoolgirls and Chinese businessmen with strange sexual peccadilloes. Based on the jaw-droppingly unfunny pilot, though, there are plenty of other demographics that can and should be offended by this fall's worst new comedy series, co-created by Seth MacFarlane during, we're assuming, whatever downtime he had while directing his sophomore feature film, A Million Ways to Die in the West. (The show's laziness and general absence of humor certainly suggests that his attention was elsewhere.) Here are the various lobbying groups Fox should expect to hear from any minute now.
When I first heard the news over the weekend that Peter Capaldi would be taking the reins as the twelfth Doctor on Doctor Who all I could think was: fuckety fuck, that is bloody fucking inspired casting, you fucks.
Hot tip: If no one is watching your network comedy, slate it for a slow and painful Friday night death.
Turner has a winning formula: Use a lot of ampersands, play a ton of sports and, when in doubt, take creative teams, actors, plots and sometimes entire series (new episode or syndicated -- either will do!) from other networks and air that. It may feel cheap, but based on the number of completely original new shows that bombed from the 2012 development slate, it's not the worst idea in the world... that would be cancelling Southland. Anyway, my personal bitterness aside, some of the new series really do look great. Below are the ones the upfront audience actually got to see, in order of best to worst:
This season hasn't been the best for new comedies, but Go On stands out as one that is actually funny and enjoyable. Most of this is due to Matthew Perry, who's universally beloved by audiences because... well, he was Chandler. Now he's bringing all of that comedy to Ryan King, a widowed sports radio host forced to attend group therapy with some equally entertaining weirdos. In a recent media call he discussed what's ahead for Go On and reminisced a little about the classic Friends. Here are some of the highlights.
When thinking about all of this fall's new shows, most of them stick out in our minds either because of their quality, or sheer awfulness. But Chicago Fire falls somewhere smack in the middle -- it's one of those shows that is so generic, we almost thought that it had started airing weeks ago and had been canceled already. It isn't a truly terrible series, but it treads on so much familiar ground that it's impossible to care strongly about in any way.
Well, this show's a nightmare. And not even a fun way. Lifetime is trying to extend Abby Lee Miller's 15 minutes of fame, first by putting her on Drop Dead Diva and now by giving her another show where she can torture small children. The problem here is not really that it's like So You Think You Can Dance for babies, but that it's actually mostly appalling.
When I first watched the pilot for this show early in the summer, I thought it was annoying, but that it might be fine for Friday night. But on second glance over the weekend, I just can't condone watching more of this show. There's just so much grating and terrible about it that even the promise of more of Donna Murphy's insanely arched eyebrows can't keep me tuning in. This show is like the anti-Good Wife.
Sitcoms are usually the first to get cut when the networks decide to start offing unsuccessful new shows, and I expect Fox to get rid of Ben and Kate sometime in the next few weeks. From the basic plot to the acting to the editing, this whole series is a mess. Maybe if it had been a 90-minute movie, Ben and Kate could have been tolerable -- but anyone who thinks this is going to last more than a few episodes is going to be sorely disappointed. Here's why:
MOST RECENT POSTS