FOX released some trailers for their new fall 2013 shows. Here are my thoughts on what to expect and what I’ll be watching.
Summary: Ichabod Crane wakes up from the throes of death 250 years in the future to find the world on the brink of destruction and learn he is humanity’s only hope.
Starring: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, John Cho, Orlando Jones
So, all the eye-candy in the trailer was the first thing to really grab me. Obviously, given the title, the show borrows heavily from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a short story by Washington Irving about a headless horseman. Set in modern-day (probably due to budget constraints), Sleepy Hollow seems to be more of a jumping-off point for a much larger story-arc concerning the pre-apocalypse. The main character from Irving’s story, Ichabod Crane, wakes up in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, New York, where he’s promptly taken into custody by the police. Cue humorous instances where pop culture references and the concept of Starbucks are lost on a man who fought in the American Revolution and had conversations with George Washington. With a tagline of “Heads Will Roll,” clearly this isn’t a show that takes itself too seriously. At the same time, there are some very dark elements to the show, tied in with the supernatural aspects.
Verdict: It’s an interesting enough premise, with a superb and relatively diverse cast, so I’ll definitely be tuning in. I’m just wary of these high-concept shows getting too convoluted. Even if it’s executed well, we saw shows like Fringe get canceled because there simply wasn’t a big enough audience.
Us & Them
Summary: A pair of young lovers find their path to happily-ever-after is complicated by the screwed-up circus of people closest to them.
Starring: Alexis Bledel, Jason Ritter, Jane Kaczmarek, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Dustin Ybarra, Ashlie Atkinson, Kurt Fuller
You’ve got Rory Gilmore making out with Jason Ritter, who played Lorelei Gilmore’s love interest in Parenthood. (If you ever watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, then you know what I’m talking about and how creepy it is that they’ve now made out with the same guy.) You’ve also got the mom from Malcolm in the Middle, whose husband is off cooking up meth somewhere in Albuquerque. I vaguely recognize some of these other actors, as well. That’s pretty much where my interest with this trailer peaked. Based off a hit BBC series, Bledel and Ritter play Stacey and Gavin, an online couple who are meeting for the first time in-person – inadvertently bringing along their outrageous families for the ride. The weakest part of the trailer seems to be Bledel, whose brief stint on Mad Men left a lot to be desired, acting-wise. She doesn’t exude a whole lot of personality or charm in the trailer, compared to the other actors. I could easily see this show going the way of now-deceased Ben & Kate.
Summary: Two successful guys – and childhood best friends – find their lives turned upside down when their pain-in-the-neck patriarchs move in.
Starring: Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, Brenda Song, Peter Riegert, Martin Mull
Dear, Bearded-Man-In-the-Sky – please send Brenda Song back to Scandal and have Shonda Rhimes make her a series regular. Because what is with these laugh-track shows and their gratuitous amounts of racism and sexism? Scratch that. What’s up with Seth MacFarlane and the gratuitous amount of racism and sexism in his shows, movies, etc.? Cause, you know, we’ve all been thinking, “television could really use some more gags about old, out-of-touch white men.” Thankfully, our prayers have been answered with the new show called Dads. Finally, a show about dads! (Aptly named because they’ll be the only ones watching this.) If old men being typically racist against Chinese people wasn’t enough, we’ve also got an Asian girl dressing up in a slutty schoolgirl outfit straight out of a Japanese anime.
Verdict: FUCK NO. Please bury this with the soon-to-be remains of 2 Broke Girls.
Summary: Greg Kinnear stars as a brilliant and charming criminal defense attorney whose self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one.
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Omar J. Dorsey, Necar Zadegan, John Ortiz
Most of the time I can’t tell him apart from Jason Bateman, but I like Greg Kinnear. I do. My favorite dialogue from the trailer: “You’re defending the cannibal?” “Got any advice for me?” “Yeah, wear long sleeves.” Hah.
Verdict: I could see this being a huge success à la House. But there are enough male-centric shows about quirky and/or complicated white people that I’ll probably skip this one. That’s not to say this won’t be good or well-reviewed, just not for me.
Summary: This action-packed police drama set 35 years in the future centers around the unlikely partnership between a part-machine cop and a part-human robot.
Starring: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Minka Kelly
The year is 2048. Considering I’ll be 57 – not nearly old enough to cash in on my senior citizen discounts (oh yeah, looking forward to that), I’m not sure that’s far enough into the future for this type of show. But, hey, I’m going to go with it because Michael Ealy is in this and there are flying hover discs. Actually, the trailer looks really good. The show is a unique take on the buddy cop formula, with Karl Urban, a human with a synthetic leg, pairing up with a robot (called “synthetics”) who has feelings and a personality. Depending upon their dynamic and actor-chemistry, Ealy and Urban might make for an interesting cop couple. Will this show knock your socks off? Probably not, but I’d say it’s worth a shot.
Verdict: Heck, yes. Sci-fi, action, Ealy. How can I pass that up?
Summary: FOX presents a military-set family comedy about three brothers on a small Florida army base and the group of misfits who surround them.
Starring: Geoff Stults, Keith David, Chris Lowell, Parker Young, Angelique Cabral, Ron Funches
As problematic as the U.S. military is, this looks kind of cute? The ensemble format and feel-good vibe reminds me of the now-extinct Go On.
Verdict: This one’s a maybe.
Summary: Watch what happens when a detective who doesn’t take anything seriously gets a new tightly-wound boss who wants him to grow up and respect the badge.
Starring: Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Chelsea Peretti, Melissa Fumero
Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be the Parks and Recreation to Andy Samberg’s Amy Poehler… if that makes any sense. Basically, we’ll be seeing how Samberg fairs outside of Saturday Night Live with his own show, in which he is at the center of a group of zany detectives at a Brooklyn precinct. Samberg plays a goofy, oddball-type who clashes with Braugher’s serious, no-nonsense character. There’s no doubt Samberg is bringing his own humor and charm into the role. He often played these “youthful,” carefree characters on SNL. The rest of the characters seem promising, as well.
Verdict: Yes! The combination of Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher, and Mike Schur – the creator of Parks and Recreation – puts this one at the top of my list.