2016 Fall TV Preview: Monday

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As a public service I am going to provide this preview of the upcoming slate of mostly terrible upcoming tv shows. May it help you avoid watching some bad tv.

Man With a Plan (CBS) — Fans of Matt LeBlanc might be excited to see him returning to the live studio audience with multiple cameras format that “Friends” had. I see these as signs of doom. Comedy has evolved over the past 20 years, as it always does. Nostalgia works better when you do not go back. Not that I blame LeBlanc for taking a well-paying job.
Verdict: I will not give this show a chance, and neither will America. It goes a full year, because LeBlanc’s name has value to it.

Kevin Can Wait (CBS) — Kevin James is back on TV playing public fictional Kevin James again. I mean, if it works for Tim Allen, why not?
Verdict: Because it will be terribly unfunny. Canned laughter will float this by and it sticks around for at least two years.

Lucifer (Fox) — This is apparently not a new show. That is quite a sweet spot to be successful enough to get renewed, but not successful enough for me to remember hearing of you.
Verdict: No clue. Why ruin the surprise after so long?

Timeless (NBC) — [Overheard at NBC] Okay, so “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is pretty successful. And Peggy Carter was moderately successful, but did not get enough viewers. Hmm. Maybe the problem was just having a darling, badass female main character? Let’s give her a rakish white guy and a less cool than you would expect black guy. But what to have them do? Eh, “Quantum Leap” was on for years, let’s do that again.
Verdict: This show looks very expensive, so it will need real high ratings to be financially viable. NBC does not get really high ratings. One season only.

Mary + Jane (MTV) — *Tries to remember the last time MTV had a good show* … ahh! Jackass!
Verdict: Awful. But MTV airs stuff for years, so expect 3 seasons.


Conviction (ABC) — Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) plays a former-president’s daughter, well, I mean, the president is a former president, she is still his daughter… In any event, this has a very cheesy premise—she is blackmailed into joining a special government legal unit. But it has promise. Wrongful convictions might be a hot news topic now, but they are genuinely an important issue in our country. Plus, Atwell is a wonderful actress.
Verdict: This sounds promising and has a cheesy hook, so I say it lasts for years and years. Just kidding, Atwell is not a big enough star for this to work, canceled by February. But I can hope!



2014 Fall TV Preview: Thursday

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How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) — I would rather sit through an actual lecture on criminal law than watch this. Much of the main cast portrays law students? Punch me in the stomach, that sounds just awful. If they get it right, that sucks. If they get it wrong, that sucks in a different way. The main character gets to start the first episode by saying, at arraignment, “How are we to know if the confession was coerced or not, your honor?” to which the judge makes bail $1,000,000. That is stupid because if the confession was coerced, she should say so. If it was not coerced, then why imply that it was? The show is supposed to get a little raunchy for primetime ABC, but…it is helmed by Shonda Rhimes. She is the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy”—trashy, briefly interesting medical soap opera—and “Scandal”—classy madness in a series of unethical decisions made by bad people soap opera. No thank you!
Verdict: With a name this bad, I would say canceled quickly, but with Rhimes and Viola Davis this probably makes it two years, maybe three.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) — It’s still on the air.
Verdict: Seriously, this is like the Law & Order of medical programs. Unless that was ER, in which case this is the Law & Order: SVU, soap opera style, of medical programs. Another five years on the air.

Gracepoint (Fox) — I never watched “Broadchurch” (BBC), but I do like David Tennant so I plan to give this American remake a shot. I did the exact same thing for the underrated—and now canceled—”Low Winter Sun” starring Mark Strong. But that was on AMC, which has a better record with dramas than Fox.
Verdict: I plan to actually watch this show, and thus it will most likely be canceled half-way through this first season.


Kate Walsh, on NBC's Bad Judge.

Kate Walsh, on NBC’s Bad Judge.

Bad Judge (NBC) — Where to begin? With the open robe? With the purple top? How it is unbuttoned half way? Or with the black miniskirt? Let’s begin nowhere: the title sucks, Kate Walsh has only successfully done medical soaps, and the promiscuous judge whom I am going to assume is magically brilliant at her job will be an annoying premise.
Verdict: Canceled after one season.

A to Z (NBC) — I was going to say, yay for Parvesh Cheena getting a paycheck, since I have not seen him since “Outsourced,” but Cheena works. A lot. It took like five swipes to get to 2010 on his IMDb page. Oh and each episode is theme around a different letter. If that is what NBC wanted, why did it cancel “Community”??
Verdict: Quickly canceled. Not a judgment on its quality, just its chances for success.

The McCarthys (CBS) — This comedy targets CBS’s main demographic—old white people who love procedurals and Jay Leno humor—with a period piece about Joe McCarthy and how his poor family dealt with the crazy senator as a husband and father in Milwaukee, WI! If only that were true. Instead Laurie Metcalf–”Roseanne”–plays a “passive-aggressive matriarch of a New England clan learning to navigate life with their newly out gay son.” Here’s to waiting for some bland attempts make politically correct gay jokes. Cheers.
Verdict: Renewed late, but then canceled mid-season 2.

2014 Fall TV Preview: Wednesday

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Life got busy so I could not find time to keep up my preview. For that, I apologize. Continuing on…

Red Band Society (Fox) — Child cancer ward? Makes me feel like I should avoid making some jokes.
Verdict: Show fails in one season due to the odd title name.

Laz Alonso, Debra Messing, Charles & Vincent Reina, and Josh Lucas, © 2014 NBC.

Laz Alonso, Debra Messing, Charles & Vincent Reina, and Josh Lucas, © 2014 NBC.

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC) — The ad for this, above, is a smiling Debra Messing with arms open to cuff a perp and to hold onto the hoodies of her kids while Josh Lucas does not give a shit. There is so much to analyze here! First, Laz Alonso on the left, is he police? Is he a confidential informant? Is he a repeat criminal? Then we have casually dressed detective Debra Messing, with a trenchcoat on with the sleeve rolled up. Who rolls up the sleeves of their coat? No-one. Ever. Then we have aloof Josh Lucas, whom I thought was the father, but now seems to just be her partner? Or her Captain? Is he as interested in having sex with Messing as Alonso clearly is?
Verdict: I will never find out. One season, then canceled. Too bad Josh Lucas’ “The Firm” got canceled, it was an okay show.

The Goldbergs (ABC) — This made it to a second season! Hopefully I give it a shot this time.
Verdict: Canceled at the end of this season.

Stalker (CBS) — Dylan McDermott stars in…who cares. After “Damages” I doubt he can rebound from the TNT-ification of his career. In five years he will be on NCIS: Washington, D.C.
Verdict: Well, he will have to be free of this horror show in order to get back to what America wants, middle aged white guys leading teams without showing emotion on CBS!

blackish (ABC) — The ad for this is the cast laughing, which is not something the audience will be doing!
Verdict: I can only assume that if the show had any funny material that the commercials would have shown it. Canceled after one season.

Chicago P.D. (NBC) — it’s NYPD Blue for firefighters, but for cops. The ad has three faces, including that one guy who always plays the cop or soldier who will kill the suspect in spite of what the protagonist cop/agent says.
Verdict: Did not realize that this had already been on for a season, or I would have said less than one season…

2014 Fall TV Preview: Tuesday

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And now for part 2…

Jo Ch and Karen Gillam.

Jo Ch and Karen Gillam.

Selfie (ABC) — The ad for this horribly named show is Karen Gillan, airbrushed into unrecognizable territory, and half of John Cho’s face. While it may not be racist to only show half of John Cho’s face, it is stupid. This sucks too because those two scifi supporting actors could be doing something good. They were in Guardians of the Galaxy and the new Star Treks, respectively, as Nebula and Sulu.
Verdict: It’s got no chance. No chance in hell.

Utopia (Fox) — it is the reality tv version of the Pauly Shore movie Bio-Dome. Reality tv is the dumb version of things, so this is the dumb version of one of the dumbest movies of all-time. Why couldn’t Fox do a reality show of In The Army Now?
Verdict: While I will never watch it, this may fall into the adage of being stupid. Stupid as a fox! (Homer Simpson)

Manhattan Love Story (ABC) — I have not seen any ads for this, so it will probably be pretty good and have no viewers.
Verdict: Canceled before the end of season one.

NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) — While I do not watch NCIS, I did catch the episode that functioned as the pilot for this show. And I immediately could tell it was just that because it broke free from the formula that NCIS uses to structure its episodes. America does not need another damn NCIS, but I do love Scott Bakula.
Verdict: CBS & their crime procedurals are unstoppable, even when they are terrible. Get ready for this taking up space on their schedule for years.

The Flash (The C.W.) — Why do they always have to change the costume? If people will tune into a show based on a comic book character the costume does not need to be as black as possible. Flash gets the Daredevil treatment and I do not approve. This will be an expensive show to run, with so many special effects in each episode.
Verdict: This probably has the same run as whatever “Arrow” will have.

Chicago Fire (NBC) — because the creator of Law and Order, Dick Wolf, wants to make NYPD Blue, but for firefighters.
Verdict: Prime time soaps can last a long time, or they can burn out after a season or two. Boom!

2014 Fall TV Preview: Monday

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I am compelled to write this after seeing one too many advertisements for a terrible upcoming tv show. They cry out to be mocked, thus let the (pre)judgment commence.

Gotham (Fox) — Watch as Fox puts out the show that they hastily altered after listening to Fatman on Batman, one of Kevin Smith’s podcasts. Seriously, the show was not going to have Bruce Wayne, but just focus on young Jim Gordon. Then Kevin Smith and Paul Dini come along and two months later, huzzah, it will show young Bruce Wayne and he will go to school with the future criminals. I understand that if Fox admitted what they had done that they would owe Dini and Smith a lot of money, but that fails to make their lies more truthful.
Verdict: I will not watch this show for a few years, and if it looks good enough I will catch up.


Forever (ABC) — Who says you only live once? Unfortunately for Mr. Fantastic—Ioan Gruffudd—I doubt this show will live even one full season. The premise for the show is promising—a 200 year old man searches for the key to unlock the curse of his immortality.
Verdict: I will plan to watch the show to give it a shot, maybe even DVR it, but never watch it. And then it will be quickly canceled because of people like me.

Scorpion (CBS) — 4 nerds and one 30 year old hot mom help the government solve crimes. I love the coded language in Entertainment Weekly’s description, “the show works hard to transcend conventional procedural trappings.”
Verdict: Do, or do not, there is no try. Avoid this one.

Jane the Virgin (CW) — Just read the name of the show.
Verdict: If the name were not enough for you, here is the premise, “a rule-bound Latina student who’s accidentally inseminated…” And done.
Note: Nice to see a non-white lead actress…and since the CW has very low standards, this might not actually get canceled immediately. Might not.

State of Affairs (NBC) — Katherine Heigl plays Scandal/Homeland lady.
Verdict: Nope. And since it is on NBC no-one else will watch it either. Lasts one season.

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) — This is still on the air, and a hit, despite no-one in the entire country admitting to have seen it. Must be old people falling asleep and Nielsen counting them.
Verdict: This will be on until O’Donnell or LL Cool J gets another movie

July Preview

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It is difficult to believe that July is already upon us. Especially for those of us who live in a state of constant thunderstorms. My girlfriend Megan left an umbrella at a theater this past week and attitude of the Regal Cinemas employee was one cautious optimism, since at that theater they had amassed quite a collection of umbrellas due to all the rain. As the old adage goes, it is never raining inside the cinema!

On July 3 I recommend avoiding The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2, and waiting for July 5 and The Way, Way Back. The preview for The Way, Way Back makes it look like Adventureland 2 with an equally good cast.

July 12 – Channel your Japanese side and watch Pacific Rim instead of  Grown Ups 2. Both have about the same chances of making you laugh, but only one has giant mecha robots as directed by Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro! Full disclosure—I laughed several times during the Grown Ups 2 trailer, unlike the original Grown Ups.

Similarly I suggest avoiding Ryan Reynold’s Turbo on July 17, and going to see Ryan Reynold’s R.I.P.D. on July 19. I imagine that his agent is not especially pleased to have his or her client up against himself, not to mention Bruce Willis and RED 2.

July 26 – I hope that The Wolverine lives up to expectations because if not…I do not even know what will happen. The more I see of it the less is appears to harken to Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s mini-series of the same name. On the other hand I doubt Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine will be worth watching anyways.

July 31 – Smurfs 2. I feel like I need to have seen the first one to watch the sequel, and since that will never happen, it is hard for me to provide a recommendation. Oh wait, no it’s not, don’t watch S2: Smurfs United.

June Preview

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Welcome to June! Different format this month: “watch this, not that.”

June 7: Watch either After Earth if you want some Shakespearan style dialogue and watch Much Ado About Nothing if you are ready for some scifi action. But seriously, I probably trust Joss Whedon–The Avengers–and Nathan Fillion–”Castle”–more with scifi than Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan with it, but both look like good movies. Do not watch The Internship because the premise is cheesy pie and the preview does not make me laugh. But what do I know, I would not have watched Old School based on its preview.

June 12/14: Watch This Is The End, not The Bling Ring. Both have Emma Watson in them. She would have been the only reason to see The Bling Ring, which has the dubious distinction of being both a pun, and a terrible name even if you ignore the pun.

June 21: Watch Unfinished Song, not World War Z or Monsters University. Maybe WWZ will kick ass, maybe. Maybe MU will be half as good as the original, maybe. But Unfinished Song is the type of movie that everyone enjoys, but no-one bothers to see. It has Terrance Stamp–The Limey–as a widower who fills in for his late wife in her choir. It will be funny, touching, and bittersweet.

June 28: Do not watch The Heat, but really do not watch White House Down. Unfunny female odd-couple buddy cop flick with Sandra Bullock or Roland “Some people just want to watch the world burn” Emmerich blowing up the White House while a rent-a-cop tries to juggle saving the president and his son. Rent Heat and wait for July. Or go see Unfinished Song since you did not listen to me last week.

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