26 May, 2012

2012-2013 PILOT SEASON - NBC: Review (Fall and mid-season schedule)


NBC may have the fewest viewers but they often have the best shows... that no one watches. In this upcoming season, they have picked up some interesting and some not-so-interesting shows, and at least one potentially great one.

Here are my quicky opinions on each.

Comedies

1600 PENN (mid-season)
A show about what it would be like if the president of the United States had kids who didn't know how to behave themselves properly. It is actually funny (though dumb) and instantly has likable characters. 87 out of 100

ANIMAL PRACTICE (fall)
SCRUBS meets season 2 of BREAKING IN meets animal doctors. It has a few fun moments and I suppose it could become funnier but the pilot is very predictable. A monkey steals the whole episode. 75 out of 100

GO ON (fall)
Horrifically realized show about a man dealing with loss, who ends up in a support group for people dealing with loss. There is virtually nothing original here --and when there is a dash of it, it feels contrived- and Matthew Perry is mostly unlikable in the role. Perhaps it gets better but this was picked up because of the star and nothing more. I can't see any way this will do well unless people really like depressive shows about a dude with a douchie attitude. 50 out of 100

GUYS WITH KIDS (fall)
Lame multi-camera laughtrack show about guys with kids, that is another NBC attempt at making bad CBS type television that interests the masses. I'm not sure the people who watch NBC will find this kind of thing interesting. Though I found it painful to watch, there is some fun chemistry/dialogue between the couple with four kids, but otherwise... lame. 60 out of 100

THE NEW NORMAL (fall)
I guess this is NBC's answer to MODERN FAMILY that has a somewhat ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT feel, about gay men finding a surrogate mother for their baby, with Ellen Barkin as a bigotted grandmother scene-stealer. A very good pilot episode that feels very much like something Ali Adler would write (after writing that I checked... she is one of the creators... man, I'm good). It has potential (though that scene in the park where people talk to the camera like they are making a commercial should be cut). I will be checking it out. 88 out of 100

NEXT CALLER (mid-season)
A show about a satellite radio show. The host is a caveman and the co-host is a liberated woman. Dane Cook's in it so naturally some will flock to it while others will never watch it and claim they saw it anyway and that it sucked. The second group would be closer to the truth. It's just not that funny... or well acted... and lacks likeable characters. 65 out of 100

SAVE ME (mid-season)
When a woman has a near-death (or death) experience with a sandwich, she turns from a psycho alcoholic to a sober and euphoric prophet of god. Very well acted. Too interesting for network TV and will likely die in the ratings because of it. 90 out of 100

Dramas

CHICAGO FIRE (fall)
The opening of this show, about rescue services, is so dumb it should be on CBS. The rest of the episode does get somewhat better but I can't seem to shake the feeling that these guys watched a lot of RESCUE ME and thought to themselves "this would be so much better if it wasn't as much fun!" The fire fighting scenes are exciting but you know subsequent episodes will be filmed for less money and therefor the fire fighting stuff will start to look cheap. 75 out of 100

DO NO HARM (mid-season)
This show is about a doctor who has a split personality problem. One personality is a seemingly nice guy. The other is bad boy who gets laid a lot and hurts people. The two can kind of see/feel the others' perspective but are distinctly different. It has that guy from RESCUE ME in the lead role and that chick from LAW & ORDER. I will be surprised if it does well on NBC. Should be on USA. Still, it is a very interesting show, especially when their worlds collide. 84 out of 100

INFAMOUS (mid-season)
A crime drama where the cop is old friends with the filthy rich people she's investigating. Blahblahblah. So bored. I'm sure someone will find it interesting, just not me. 60 out of 100

REVOLUTION (fall)
WALKING DEAD meets LOST minus the zombies and island. It feels epic. Great acting, music, pacing, writing, cinematography, story and whatever else goes into making a show awesome. Unlike some pilots where you are left thinking "this could be good once they get comfortable telling the story" this one feels excellent from beginning to end. J.J. Abrams (LOST, FRINGE) and Eric Kripke (SUPERNATURAL) may just have created the next big thing. Please, TV gods, let this be successful. 98.4 out of 100



46 comments:

  1. Wow you thought Revolution was that good? I only saw the trailer preview and didn't think much of it but you were really that impressed? Can you tell us more about it or do you not want to spoil it? I'm intrigued.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... I don't really want to spoil anything but I do know they are replacing one of the actors for the regular season... and another one of the seemingly main characters will go away after a few episodes (I guess focus testing revealed some glaring problem with characters/actors I saw no problem with).

      I don't think they should touch a thing. It doesn't need any changes.

      One of my favorite things about the pilot episode is that it quickly thrusts unlikely characters into the starring roles. I was actually surprised by how effective that part was and how quickly I was invested in their story. Also, and I can't stress this enough, casting is sooooooo important and they more or less nailed it (you could nitpick about one or two actors if you like).

      Not to mention that I couldn't really pick apart any performance as being anything but good to excellent.

      Delete
  2. I've seen Revolution. Unlike "Alcatraz" and "Terra Nova" last year where I had to will myself to give those shows a chance after seeing them because I love the "scifi" genre and hope for it to succeed, this one made me want to watch the 2nd episode immediately.

    It's as good as HGF says.

    Some TV "experts" aren't crazy about the timeslot, but I think in this DVR age, the whole idea of audience flow and lead-in--it follows The Voice on Monday nights--is "old school". I think people who like this stuff should find the show.

    Record "Castle" or "Hawaii-5-0" if you must see them, but watch this "same day".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just read. Interesting to see what you liked and disliked. Hoping to check them out this month as well. Sad to hear about "Go On" though. Matthew Perry is great, but keeps getting involved in the wrong projects post-Friends. Despite my love for Studio 60, I knew it was DOA because it was premiering post-Heroes and wouldn't attract a similar audience. I'll still give it a chance, and for his sake, I hope it succeeds even if I don't like it.

    Trailers are deceiving, and this year's new shows on NBC looked, well, meh. So it'll be interesting to see how I feel about them after seeing the pilots. I'm most surprised by your grade for "Save Me" though. I think Anne Heche is a great actress, but that premise makes me cringe. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The premise is ridiculous. But so is the premise of many great shows.

      Though, I feel this won't get an audience simply because it doesn't feel anything like a network show. Should have been on HBO, maybe.

      Delete
    2. I've never seen it, but I'm pretty sure HBO already has their own version called "Enlightened" that no one watches either! "Go On" looks like an unintelligent version of "Community" in a therapy environment to me. Am I wrong?

      Also... have you seen any other network's pilots yet?

      Delete
    3. ENLIGHTENED is nothing like SAVE ME. I've seen every episode.

      I suppose you could compare GO ON to COMMUNITY. Minus all the genius, likeability, and fun.

      Delete
    4. Hmm... interesting. That's what I figured about "Go On."

      Ugh. Someone give Matthew Perry a good script!!

      Delete
    5. I just feel like the character he plays on the show, at least in the pilot, isn't likeable enough to get people to tune in again. Sure, by the end he is more likeable, but will people care?

      I think Matthew Perry fans will tune in and stick with it. I don't see myself doing it, though.

      Delete
    6. I thought "Go On" was better than HGF did. It's probably a '70' to me, instead of a '50'. But, I watch very few comedies.

      I just watched "New Normal" and it was very cute. If the test of a comedy is having a smile on your face afterwards, it gets a "thumbs up". I might go with a '90' on that one.

      I didn't know Ellen Barkin could be so funny.

      Delete
    7. "I thought "Go On" was better than HGF did"

      YOU ARE FIRED!

      Ellen Barkin wasn't in enough of NEW NORMAL, though. I think they should put her in every other scene.

      Delete
    8. Wait until you see "Partners" on CBS. Now, that's a '50' to me.

      It makes "Go On" look brilliant.

      Delete
    9. Nothing could possibly make GO ON look brilliant.

      Even CBS.

      Delete
  4. Until I read your review I had absolutely zero interest in Revolution. Since I always agree with your taste I'm psyched to see it! Been fiercely missing Lost. Do you think Revolution will fill that void?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is more focused than the LOST pilot was. More of a personal/specific story. I don't know where it will go, but I'd say they are not trying to recreate LOST. Instead, they are trying to streamline it.

      At least that's how I felt watching the pilot.

      Delete
    2. I can't wait to see it!

      Delete
  5. I watched all the trailers of every pilot last week and Revolution looked by far the best one.

    Now that i have a review from Magnus saying how good it is i'm more excited to see it.

    I thought 1600 Penn has a good premise as does Animal Pratice.

    I like the premise for Do no Harm so i'll be checking it out.

    To me Infamous sounds too much like ABC's hit show Revenge.

    I can't wait for Bryan Fuller's Hannibal Lecter which will also air in midseason but it still casting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awake was considered the best pilot of this last season and look what happened to it's ratings. Fuck! I hope NBC actually tries to promote the fuck out of Revolution and actually give it a decent timeslot...shit...please do not make the same mistake as you did with Awake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. REVOLUTION will get the kind of push THE EVENT got. NBC knew AWAKE was fucked from the beginning.

      Delete
    2. Every NBC show will get extra promotional push from the Summer Olympics. A few will get more than others.

      Delete
  7. That's interesting.

    I really liked Awake the last 5 episodes were great.

    Did NBC think it was too sophisticated for network television?

    The show would have been better off on a cable network that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously NBC hoped it would do well but no one there had any real expectation it would. I think it was one of those things they thought would at least receive positive buzz from critics and that it could translate to something positive for the network (and it could, if Emmy voters can figure it out).

      I don't think they figured it would do as badly as it did, though. And when that happens, you get a little punchy about other daring shows.

      Delete
  8. I have zero interest in Revolution . But if NBC see this as somewhat of a savior to them , why did not they not put it on in January so there would be no repeats ? They could ave aired after the NFL wild card game for a HUGE lead in then air back to back eps the next night and continue for the rest fiber season following the Voice with no repeats ?

    When the EVENT went on hiatus , by the time it came back no one was interested in it anymore . Then NBC could have used the Monday @ 10 slot this fall for something else to in traction and could have been moved during the winter somewhere else .

    At least NBC didn't put any new shows this year on Thursday . Now with NFL games every Thursday night , ratings are going to be hard to come by for a lot of shows .

    ALL HAIL COMMUNITY !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THE EVENT was a boring piece of shit, though. For the most part. So, when it went away, its audience had time to realize how shitty it was.

      Based on the pilot, REVOLUTION murders the dick out of THE EVENT in every way possible. So, going on hiatus shouldn't do anything negative to its numbers.

      You see, despite what fans think, going away for a bit doesn't hurt shows that are doing well in the ratings. Cable has proven that.

      Delete
    2. How long was Mad Men off? HGF is right. Many cable shows have proven that hiatuses aren't a bad thing.

      If this show is a success, there's no reason NBC couldn't run all 13 episodes in the Fall, and continue this show in the Spring.

      That's not a huge hiatus.

      Delete
    3. That argument is kind of apples to oranges though . What are the ratings for Mad Men again ? That's right , 0.8 − 1.0 . So if Revolution gets those numbers its going to be a success ? I kid .

      There is NO WAY a network show would survive with the ratings most cable shows pull in . With the exception of WALKING DEAD and a few others . The audience for cable knows that their show will run 13 , 12 even 10 eps straight through a season . No breaks , no repeats . With network ( 22 eps or a full season ) how many people rave that every episode was excellent ? Not many . I think NBC had a good idea this year with ordering more shows with shortened seasons . Less repeats . Though we'll see if that idea pays off here over the course of next season .

      Delete
    4. Taking a year off between seasons didn't hurt Lost and that was a network show.

      The point is if people really like the show they'll wait a little longer to see it again.

      If a couple months break stops them from ever watching the show again then they weren't that invested in it in the first place.

      I think Revolution will start with a 13 episode order and then if the ratings are good they'll order more.

      It's not necessarily 13 episode seasons.

      Delete
    5. Every network show goes on hiatus. All of them. If your favorite show tanks after it, then it is because it didn't have a very strong following. The general audience just wasn't that passionate about it. They were easily distracted away from it by shiny stuff.

      Delete
    6. I should say... every show that doesn't get cancelled before it can go on hiatus. ;)

      Delete
  9. I was going to check out Revolution anyway, but after hearing your thoughts on it, its a definite now. Can't wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only an idiot won't like it... and you are clearly not an idiot, so you will love it!

      Delete
  10. What if Revoulution has a great pilot like you are saying but then turns really shitty afterward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if the planet blows up before September? What if aliens invade? What if conservatives who call Jesus their lord and savior actually followed his teachings?

      None of these things will happen.

      Delete
  11. BTW--

    They are replacing the female lead in "Animal Practice". Since she was in about 60% of the pilot, I think most of the pilot will be re-filmed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or they just start episode with her having been replaced. You know, like Coach on NEW GIRL.

      Delete
  12. Saw your exchange with Jace Lacob and the fact that he hates Revolution makes me excited. I never agree with that tool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how Jace got this reputation for being a "tool" as I have read it a few times over the years. I like his perspective on things. But not everyone is going to like the same things. I just find it puzzling how he could say he "hated" it when I could only count a handful of actual problems with the episode.

      1. There is a ridiculously animated death scene for two or three people early in the episode.

      2. One of the characters has an asthma problem that is kind of conveniently tossed out there at one point as a plot device one could find contrived. Though this is used in so many shows that I couldn't even nitpick it too much when I watched it.

      Other than that, they don't linger on anything corny for long.

      Delete
    2. I agree with anoymous. Jace is a tool.

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. If someone else wants to cover those other network pilots, they can be my guest. :)

      MediaSavant?

      Delete
  14. Well thanks HGF I thought I was pretty much done with network t.v. after this year, since they're ending every show I have any interest in. And then you got my intrigued enough to check out a trailer for Revolution, and get my mind pumped for a show I can't even watch until Dec. when I get back from work. So thanks alot.

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least by December you will have a whole bunch of episodes to watch.

      Granted, by then, the show could have gone completely of its rails and started to suck.

      Though, cable is really where good TV is these days. Some really good stuff coming up this summer.

      Delete
    2. "of its rails"?

      That's what happens when you post at 4:39am... OFF ITS RAILS!

      Delete