ABC, FOX, CBS and The CW aren’t the only networks with shows premiering this upcoming Fall. NBC has six new shows, some I think are worth checking out, others not so much:
Summary: Criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington has suddenly surrendered himself to the FBI, and he’s offering them a ‘blacklist’ of how to catch the rest of the FBI’s most wanted – but he’s not going to give it to them for free.
Starring: James Spader, Megan Boone, Harry Lennix, Diego Klattenhoff
I loved James Spader as Alan Shore in Boston Legal, but I’ve been pretty lukewarm about everything else he’s been in since. The trailer for his latest show falls in line with that feeling; it isn’t exactly an awe-inspiring watch. The premise of “criminal mastermind helps cops catch other criminals for nefarious purposes” has been done many, many times before, and there’s only so much of that I can take. However, the mystery of why he chose rookie FBI agent Elisabeth Keen could be interesting if done well, and the glimpses we get of Spader and Boone’s performances are pretty good. The scene where Boone’s character confronts Spader in his hotel room and shoves a pen into his neck was unexpectedly awesome.
Verdict: I’ll most likely tune in for the first few episodes. If the intrigue/character interactions hold up throughout multiple episodes I could see this being something I’d regularly watch, but I’m not overly hopeful.
Sean Saves the World
Summary: When a divorced gay man’s teenaged daughter moves in with him, he finds himself struggling to juggle his responsibilities for her, a loving but overbearing mother, and a highly demanding job.
Starring: Sean Hayes, Sami Isler, Linda Lavin, Echo Kellum
This one is pretty much a feel good family show. Sean’s relationship with his daughter is a sweet yet believable one (she is a teenager after all, and she’s gonna want to have interests other than hanging out with her quirky dad). The gimmick of Sean’s mother popping up at inopportune times to offer her commentary seems like it’s going to get old pretty quickly, as is the idea of Sean’s boss being the weird, demanding one who doesn’t understand why Sean would rather spend time with his daughter rather than do overtime at his job. The chemistry between all the actors and comedic timing is somewhat present, but nothing is overly memorable about this particular trailer.
Verdict: Meh. I’m not really shopping around for a cutesy sitcom right now, plus the humor showcased in the trailer isn’t really my style.
The Michael J. Fox Show
Summary: A popular news anchor goes back to work after taking some years off to spend time with his family and focus on his health after getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Betsy Brandt, Wendell Pierce, Katie Finneran, Conor Romero, Juliette Goglia
Michael J. Fox stars as Mike Henry, a cheerful and highly involved stay-at-home dad whose family really, really just wants him to go back to work. So does his old boss, Harris Green, and so begins the sneaky plot to plant the idea into Mike’s head. When he gets that job back, he’ll be right back to juggling his family and his career and injecting his particular brand of humor into everything he’s in.
Verdict: I might tune in for a few episodes here and there. Michael J. Fox is always awesome, and there were a lot of funny moments in the trailer.
Summary: Detective Robert Ironside, New York’s toughest and grittiest cop, works fearlessly to bring criminals to justice even after his spine was shattered by a bullet two years prior.
Starring: Blair Underwood, Spencer Grammer, Kenneth Choi, Brent Sexton, Pablo Schreiber, Neal Bledsoe
I’m usually wary of police procedurals because there are just so many of them out there and the typical case-of-the-week set-up can get a little boring if it’s not done well, but the premise for this show – which is a remake of a highly successful 1960’s series that also aired on NBC – looks really interesting. There’s a nice balance of dark humor (the first thirty seconds of the trailer had me in stitches) and drama. Plus, a black actor as the leading man in a show is a rare enough thing in Hollywood; add that to the premise and what looks like solid performances (based on the few clips we got from the trailer), and this will hopefully be a great new show.
Welcome to the Family
Summary: A high school valedictorian gets his slacker girlfriend pregnant. When the couple decides to get married and raise the baby together, their families have to learn how to get along.
Starring: Mike O’Malley, Ricardo Chavira, Mary McCormack, Justina Machado, Ella Rae Peck, Joseph Haro
The differences between the Yoder and Hernandez families are highlighted a lot in the trailer, which makes sense, since that’s pretty much what the show’s concept and humor boils down to. Junior Hernandez is a valedictorian headed for Stanford; his girlfriend Molly Yoder barely even graduated from high school. Junior’s dad owns a gym and is fit and healthy, while there were several jokes made about Molly’s dad being really out of shape. Naturally, everyone is going to be thrown together into wacky situations and forced to hash out their differences in ‘fun’ and ‘amusing’ ways.
Verdict: I’m not all that interested in this one, to be honest.
Summary: Sometime in the late nineteenth century, Vampire Dracula poses as an American entrepreneur bringing the science of technology to Victorian London, in order to take revenge on the people who cursed him with immortality.
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica De Gouw, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Katie McGrath, Nonso Anozie, Victoria Smurfit
Dracula is the most well known of vampire literary characters (or at least he used to be until Twilight came on the scene), and this re-imagining of his persona is… interesting, to say the least. A metaphorical wrench is thrown into his epic plans for revenge when he comes across a woman who is the spitting image of his long dead wife. I sense a lot of angsting coming on.
Verdict: Hahahaha. No. This looks like it’s going to be terrible, and besides, I’m just about done with the whole “mysterious vampire” thing.