Month: April 2015

“Kingmakers” (ABC) pilot preview: “Revenge” 2.0, for real!

KIngmakers

Written & produced by Sallie Patrick (Revenge, Dirty Sexy Money, Life Unexpected). Co-produced by Jay Beattie & Dan Dworkin (Revenge, Criminal Minds, Cold Case). Directed by James Strong (Broadchurch, Gracepoint, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey). For ABC & ABC Studios. 57 pages.

Description: Eli, a young man whose sister is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university adopts a new identity -Jacob- to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society called Skull & Key, consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty, and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death… 

With Gus Halper, Adrian Pasdar (Profit, Heroes, Amy, Agents of SHIELD), Kristin Bauer Van Straten (True Blood, Once Upon a Time), Parminder Nagra (ER, The Blacklist Alcatraz), Colm Feore (The Borgias, Revolution, Thor), Tracey Fairaway, Nick Eversman (Missing), Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries, Cane, The Riches), Megan West (How to Get Away With Murder), Khary Payton

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This is not a story of forgiveness…” Remember these lines? They’re iconic. They’re from Revenge‘s pilot. They are used the exact same way in Kingmakers‘ pilot. And you know why? Because Kingmakers is basically Revenge 2.0. It’s what Revenge‘s season 2 should have been if ABC didn’t decide to pursue Emily’s quest throughout the whole show instead of sticking to the plan and having a new revenge every season like the creator intended to in the first place (before being “let go”, as they say). Now, Revenge has largely outstayed its welcome, digging deeper and deeper its grave with stupid and/or overly complicated storylines and dull characters. ABC finally decided to pull the plug. In fact, they asked the writers to wrap up the damn thing. Which is the same even if the show isn’t officially canceled yet. So, tireless fans, don’t expect a 5th season, even shortened. The best hope you can have now is Kingmakers going to series. ABC could even change the title to… Revenge: Kingmakers. But I really don’t think they should do that. There should be no such thing as a Revenge franchise. Too little too late!

That being said, the ties with Revenge are more than obvious in the script: they are totally assumed! “Revenge” is the word that ends the first act (bold and underlined!) and then even ends the whole pilot! Sallie Patrick, the creator (and producer on Revenge), writes at the beginning: “We’re not in the Hamptons anymore“. She built up the show around the same structure -a quote to start, then the voiceover from the hero telling his tale, a flashforward, later on he even circles the head of his first target on a photograph, Emily style…), except the setting has changed and the characters are not the same. Well, they don’t have the same names and they’re not played by the same actors, but they’re pretty much the same actually. The Vandeermeers are like the Graysons: a rich power couple who toy with everybody including their own children. They have affairs, they kind of love/hate each other, and they’re linked to the death of the hero’s sister. We don’t know yet how. I’m pretty sure Colm Feore and Kristin Bauer will be a delight to watch doing that. Adrian Pasdar, as a Senator (This man will never play a “normal” guy!), will be great too. Our hero, Jacob/Eli is like Emily/Amanda: dark, determined, consumed with hate, but pretty and cheerful on the outside. He’s a smart young man gone bad. I could compare every Kingmaker‘s character to its Revenge counterpart but I guess you get the idea.

You probably understood that I’m not a big Revenge fan. In fact, I liked the pilot. I was full of hope. I appreciated the first season, even if I had a lot of doubts regarding the future of the show. And then I hated it until I stopped watching after the season 3 finale. If I totally forget the existence of Revenge, then I feel like Kingmakers‘ pilot is a good one. It may even be better than Revenge‘s. Gosh, as you can see I can’t forget Revenge. The thing is the flashforward is a little bit more interesting and doesn’t make the same mistake as Revenge did: there is no doubt about the identity of the person who is dying. And there’s no doubt he’s dead either. That’s when Kingmakers plays the How to Get Away With Murder‘s card: who killed him with an arrow, in front of everyone? And is it the same person who killed Julia (the sister)? Towards the end, there’s an exciting scene about the secret society Skull and key. Boo, the mysterious one. It’s the members all reunited in the tomb, wearing black cloaks in the dark, so we can’t see their faces. You get the chills instantly. But it’s easy and not that original, granted. Remember the movie The Skulls? Still, it works and you want to know more. I fell in the trap again, but this time I won’t stay longer than one season I promise, unless it is really good!

Kingmakers is ABC wanting to recreate the magic they once had with Revenge. It’s not a spin-off, it’s not officially a reboot. It’s the same show but different. You know you’ve seen it before but you don’t really care as long as they keep it entertaining and fresh somehow. Let’s call it a spiritual spin-off! As much as I hate what I’m about to say, I’ll say it: Kingmakers might become a good show so we should not count it out of the race yet. But ABC surely has better & fresher shows in the oven…

“Love is a Four-Letter Word” (NBC) pilot script: The closest thing to “Empire” any network has to offer!

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Pilot “Love is a beast” written & produced by Diana Son (Blue Bloods, American Crime, SouthLAnd). Co-produced by Mikkel Bondesen, Kristen Campo (The killing US, Burn Notice), Henrik Bastin (Bosch). Directed by George Tillman Jr. (Notorious BIG, Power, Men of Honor). For 20th Century FOX Television & Fabrik Entertainment. 55 pages.

Description: Nick & Julie were the longtime married couple every of their friends admired. But then they divorced because of an affair and now, they are trying to stay friends for their kids. Julie has a girlfriend, Rebecca, who’s her bestfriend since ages. And Nick has a girlfriend too, Fiona, the woman who he cheated with. But there’s something still going on between these two, everybody can see it: what if they were still in love?

With Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break, Sons Of Anarchy, The Game, Mentalist), Cynthia McWilliams (Prison Break, The Real Housewives of Hollywood), LeToya Luckett (Treme, Single Ladies), Nadine Velasquez (Earl, Major Crimes, Real Husbands of Hollywood), Colin Donnell (Arrow, The Affair), Monet Mazur (Castle), Brian Tee (Crash, Jurassic World)…

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You think the picture up above is vulgar? It is. Is it just a coincidence? No, it’s not. Is it me saying Love is a Four-Letter Word is vulgar? Sort of. On the page, it’s not. But I fear it might become once it is shot and promoted. When I looked for pictures of the cast, all I could find for the women but also for the leading man (Rockmund Dunbar) was shirtless or almost naked ones. One thing for sure: it’s gonna be hot! But hot doesn’t mean good. Can they act? Another worrying thing: two of the leading women come from… The Real Husbands of Hollywood. No, it’s not a spin-off from the reality TV series The Real Housewives of… It is a parody of it, but with men and targeted at a black audience, for the network BET. Maybe it’s just me being contemptuous but I think it sends the wrong message. If you want to create a classy and profound show, you don’t hire middling actors you will have a hard time taking seriously. Look at Empire! I wouldn’t say it’s classy and profound, but it is… something. But they have Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard as leads! And they definitely can act. It makes the whole difference!

Love is a Four-Letter Word may be this kind of project that a network put so much effort to polish that it doesn’t end up the way it was supposed to, in the creator’s mind at least. For example, the lead couple was originally conceived as caucasian. Now they are black. It’s all okay, but it feels opportunistic. It was officially announced like this: “Race, sexuality and gender roles collide when three diverse couples put modern marriage to the test“. But in fact what they meant was: “Brown hot married couples are about to cheat!“. It’s a modern soap that forgot to be funny -or only at its expense- but didn’t forget to be steamy. We are about to feel guilty liking it. I won’t insist on the sex scenes any longer but there are plenty, with black men & women, interracial stuff too and icing on the cake: girl on girl action! They have all sort of modern problems of course. One couple -Mr is a white man, Mrs is a black woman- is about to have another child and they need a sperm donor but they can’t agree on the color. The donor’s color I mean, not the sperm’s color. It’s an interesting question I guess. About cultural transmission, feeling part of a community. One that has already been dealt with in Parenthood indeed. NBC, you remember Parenthood? Other subjects are: penis sizes and… well, I think I only remember this one. But there are others.

In a way, Love is a Four-Letter Word feels like this type of shows we don’t have anymore on TV and which I am fond of when they’re sharply written: the relationship/marriage/family dramedies. It goes from Thirtysomething, the first one, to Significant Others, Once & AgainWhat About Brian… It’s a little bit this and a little bit of The Game, Single Ladies… It’s all about chemistry and appealing characters. They have a nice base. We’ll see how it turns out. We can expect chemistry from Cynthia McWilliams & Rockmund Dunbar: they already played a couple in Prison Break a few years ago. The classy thing is every act starts with one the character giving a quick speech in front of a camera in a homemade video. It’s never very deep but it does the trick and gives you an idea of what’s about to come. I haven’t talked about the title of the show yet but it’s the giant elephant in the room: It is SO ridiculous! Is it gonna change? I don’t think so. If I understand correctly, every episode title will start like: “True love is…” and this something will constist of a 4 letter-word. Like “beast” in the pilot. Except it’s a 5 letter-word. Well then, I don’t get the title. Good luck writers if the show last for more than one season! Love is many things but…

Love is a Four-Letter Word may be the closest thing to Empire any network has to offer as of now. It is very different in many ways but NBC certainly has something to play with here. But they should not expect the same ratings. I feel like they will have to make a choice between this and The Curse of The Fuentes Womenthough they would have made a great pair! 

“Of Kings and Prophets” (ABC) pilot preview: when “The Bible” is just… a “Game Of Thrones”

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Written & produced by Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (Exodus, Assasin’s Creed, Tower Heist, The Transporter Refueled). Co-produced by Chris Brancato (Boomtown, Hannibal, Narcos), Jason Reed (Casino Royale, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter), Reza Aslan (Tyrant) & Mahyad Tousi (We are New York). Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Hostages, Chicago Fire, Legends, The Day After Tomorrow). For ABC, ABC Studios & BoomGen Studios. 64 pages.

Description: An epic Biblical saga that begins during the reign of Saul, first King of Israel – and follows his dramatic fall from grace and the rise of his successor, David. Living in the land of milk and honey isn’t easy when enemies circle on all sides…

With Oliver Rix (The Muskeeters), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Noah, Hugo Cabret, Indiana Jones 4), Simone Kessell (Underbelly, Terra Nova), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (The Originals, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens), James Floyd, Mohammad Bakri (Tyrant)…

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Damn! I will say this once and then move on anyway: I don’t think I am legitimate to judge a pilot script like Kings And Prophets‘. Because I don’t know much about The Bible -and I’m not really interested to learn more- so I can’t say if it’s faithful to the “true” story (wink wink) or not. Plus in another news, I don’t watch Game Of Thrones -yeah, you can throw stones at me and spit on my grave when I die. What the writers are cleary trying is to make some sort of biblical version of the HBO hit. But legitimate or not, my vision of what the show might be(come) may not be that uninteresting -yes, I’m selling my article here, please keep reading- since I was dragging my feet to read it and I kind of not hated it along the way. I’m not saying I will watch it if it’s picked-up but I’m curious about the outcome…

Kings and Prophets found the best way possible to attract the young demo towards what traditionally appeals more to the older viewers. It’s not really about teaching people the history of the Israelites, even if it’s inspired by it through The Book of Samuel in the Old Testament -and I’m sure the Jewish community will be attentive- it is more about embarking us on an eventful journey with strong willing, fearless characters who are about to change the lives of thousands of other people. Game of Thrones is a soap opera in its bones. The Bible is too, in a way. Kings and Prophets even more. It’s about lies, treasons, revenge… Death is everywhere all the time. Love is in the air too, but sex is a weapon, for women but not only. There is a feminist vibe thanks to the character of Ahinoam mostly, the first Queen of Israel but also the real King of Israel when you take a closer look at her doings. And her daughters, at least one of them, could follow her steps. In a way, there is some Reign in Kings And Prophets. It’s more adult of course than the CW show but they play with the same cards, they just don’t use it the same way. And Reign is quite a good show, for those who are rolling their eyes right now.

The three main characters are men, obvisouly. Saul (Ray Winstone) is the unworthy old King of Israel who will, sooner or later, die in atrocious conditions. He’s on the edge of madness, he even threatens to kill his son Jonathan who he considers as a traitor. His fall from grace happens because he refuses a genocide God has ordered… Or is it Samuel? Samuel (Mohammad Bakri) is the narrator of the show -and his voiceover is heavily present in the first and the last act, which is necessary to properly understand what happened before we arrive and as you can imagine, a lot happened. He’s the prophet, but above all a giant liar with an hidden agenda. Finally, there’s David (Oliver Rix), the young innocent and handsome shepherd, who will become the Queen’s new beau. We like him very much for obvious reasons, but also because he offers the best scene of the script: a big fight with a lion he defeats beautifully! If done properly, it could be a very impressive moment of television. As long as ABC Studios don’t use too many ugly CGI (I’m probably dreaming there). There’s also a big death in the pilot. And it was all shot in South Africa, which means it should look stunning.

ABC is very high on the show and recently added Narcos‘ Chris Brancato to Kings And Prophets’ team, eyeing him as showrunner if the pilot goes to series. It means it is very likely and according to Deadline, they are already assembling a writers’ room to start working on new scripts ASAP while the order may be as big as 15 episodes for the first season. It sounds like a mid-season show, possibly to replace Once Upon A Time when it is on a break, but we can also imagine a fall launch, right behind Once Upon A Time at 9. I wouldn’t have bet on it before reading the script, now I’m intrigued though not totally convinced. It could crash, it could work, it could even be a hit. Everything’s possible. Time will tell…

“Doubt” (CBS) pilot preview: Another legal drama that is NOT “The Good Wife” but…

Doubt

Written & produced by Joan Rater & Tony Philan (Grey’s Anatomy, Madam Secretary). Co-produced by Sarah Timberman & Carl Beverly (Elementary, Unforgettable, Justified). Directed by Adam Bernstein (Oz, Breaking Bad, Californication). For CBS, CBS Television Studios & Timberman-Beverly Productions. 65 pages.

Description: Sadie Barrow, a smart, successful 30-something defense attorney, shockingly falls in love with one of her very rich clients, Billy Conway, who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. As of now, she has been able to hide the affair from her colleagues at Klein & Associates, but she knows the truth will come out eventually and it could put her career in jeopardy…

With KaDee Strickland (Private Practice, Secrets & Lies), Teddy Sears (American Horror Story, Masters of Sex, Raising the bar), Laverne Cox (Orange is the new black), Dreama Walker (The Good Wife, Don’t Trust the B****, Compliance), Dulé Hill (Psych, The West Wing), Elliott Gould (Friends, Ray Donovan, American History X), Kobi Libii (Alpha House)…

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Sometimes, life is unfair. For Doubt, life is very unfair indeed. I read the pilot script just after watching the greatest episode of The Good Wife this year, and clearly Doubt can’t compare. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It’s just that The Good Wife is beyond brilliant. If the show wasn’t developed for the same network, it wouldn’t be that big of a problem, but it is. And The Good Wife is not dead yet. We’ll get one more year, at least. Lucky us. I doubt Doubt can be paired with Michelle & Robert King’s drama on Sundays, or put somewhere else on the schedule. It wouldn’t fit. In fact, CBS should forget the legal drama genre for a bit, so we can mourn The Good Wife peacefully when the time will come…

Sadie Barrow is certainly cute and I love Kadee Strickland since Private Practice -and I miss her since I don’t watch Secrets & Lies– but she’s no Alicia Florrick/Julianna Margulies, though she totally deserves to be the lead of a show. Sadie is more of the Meredith Grey/women of the Shondaland kind. Doubt has been created by two ex-writers and producers of Grey’s Anatomy, and it shows. Doubt is soapy. Not a problem for me, I like it. But will CBS audience do? It’s a huge bet. And CBS is not used to bet on anything, or just once a year. And their next bet is already called Supergirl. Anyway. Doubt is your classical legal drama with two prominent cases dealt with in the pilot episode. They are not particularly original but they do the job efficiently. I quite liked what they did with a man called the “subway pusher” who, as you can imagine, killed a woman by pushing her onto the tracks of the subway. The man is sick, crazy sick, and it reflects on his attorney, Cameron Wirth, a very interesting character since it’s a transgender woman, played by Laverne Cox, revealed by Orange is the new black. She shares some part of her personal story with her client, but there are many more things to say about her and I’m already sad we’ll probably never get a chance to hear it. She teams up with a second year associate, played by the sparkling Dreama Walker. Those two excited me. I wanted more of them.

The whole love affair story didn’t excite me this much for a simple reason: the accused is clearly not a murderer! He is handsome, gentle, even touching… he’s kind of perfect and there is no twist at some point telling you: “Hey, the man you find so attractive and cool is, in fact, the real killer!”. Maybe they’re planning to reveal it a later time but it will already be too late. It is a now or never situation in my opinion. You have to show quickly what you’re TV series is made of. That’s the way it works now, like it or not. I’m not asking to pile up cliffhangers like in a Shonda Rhimes show, I’m just asking for one! And Doubt gives none. In the last scene, Sadie tells her mom -who’s in prison for something we’re not aware of- she has an affair with her client. It is also revealed Carolyn, the mom, has a love connection with Sadie’s boss, Isaiah Klein. I’m sorry but it feels a little bit too close to the Richard/Ellis storyline in Grey’s Anatomy. And it’s not pilot material. It’s just a good story for later in the season, nothing more. If ordered, the first season will deal with Bill Conway’s trial, and it’s a little thin to fill in 22 episodes… After it is closed? I fear the show becomes a fine soapy legal drama we don’t particularly need. But I’d probably watch it so…

Doubt is a decent but shy show developed by/for the wrong network. On ABC or NBC, why not! On CBS, duh? If by any chance it gets picked-up to series, I’ll support it and even pray for it. I love the cast, I like the characters and their dynamics. But let’s be realistic here: it’s not gonna happen. 

“Rosewood” (FOX) pilot preview: Another DOA boring procedural we don’t need…

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Written & produced by Todd Harthan (Psych, Crash, The Kill Point). Co-produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (Revenge, Twilight). Directed by Richard Shephard (Girls, Ringer, Dom Hemingway). For FOX, 20th Century FOX Television & Temple Hill Entertainment (57 pages).

Description: The brilliant Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. is the top private pathologist in Miami. As owner of one of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art independent labs in the country, he finds the secrets in bodies that others usually miss. Despite being constantly surrounded by death, Rosewood is obsessed with life and savors every moment. His eternal optimism will frustrate the cynical female detective he often works with, but she can’t argue with the results that his unique perspective provides…

With Morris Chestnut (V, Legends, Nurse Jackie, American Horror Story), Jaina Lee Ortiz, Maggie Elizabeth Jones (We bought a zoo, Ben & Kate), Gabrielle Dennis (The Game, Blue Mountain State), Anna Konkle

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Gosh! If Rosewood gets a series order instead of Lucifer, FOX’s new bosses will deserve to burn in hell! I might be over dramatic, I probably won’t even watch Lucifer myself past the pilot, but I really think it has a chance to shine because it’s effortlessly light, fun, sexy and well… I already told you all about it (Read the preview). Rosewood tries to be all of those things but way too hard, plus it’s another example of diversity pushed a little too far. Our hero is an african-american, and that’s totally OK. He has an (obviously african-american) sister, who is a lesbian. That’s a lot but it’s OK too. And his new partner is, of course, a hot chica latina. Isn’t it too much? In Miami, it totally makes sense. But is Rosewood just an excuse to make yet another -boring- procedural, but with a diverse cast this time? I suspect it is. I’m all for diversity, but not when it’s just for the sake of it. Or I’m just tired of it after reading so many pilots doing the exact same thing, because it has now become an obligation it seems. For all those reasons, and some more, I think FOX can do better than that and should forget about it!

Rosewood is like Bones, but with less bones and more flesh. You have your predictable autopsy scenes when the so smart and cocky medical examiner always find the creepiest thing in the most unexpected part of the victim’s body that leads the investigation towards some strange guy, who turns out to be just strange, but who gives a very important information without even knowing it that leads to another suspect… and so on, until they discover the killer was the victim’s jealous yoga teacher! It’s not exactly what happens, but you get the idea. We’ve seen it all a thousand times and I don’t even understand how so many people are still looking for just that on TV. But it seems they do. Less and less, but still. They’re enough to stimulate the network’s creative teams around new projects that are just painfully old. Rosewood is already 10 years old when the pilot ends. The dynamic of the duet at the center is like Castle‘s, The Mentalist‘s or Forever‘s and the central character, Beaumont Rosewood, is a new iteration of Gregory House, without the humor that made him so unique, unforgettable and irreplaceable (and it’s not a fan speaking!). And let’s not forget Morris Chestnut is a bad actor, and certainly not FOX’s first choice (otherwise, they would have cast him as the american Luther!). But hey, more talented black actors had 10 other offers, probably more interesting than this one. So here we are…

Rosewood is DOA. Dead on arrival. It’s boring and it has zero originality -except if you consider diversity as an originality of some sort. Forever had an immortal hero, that helped building a mythology around him, playing with time, secrets… Lucifer, well… it’s the king of Hell! That’s different! Rosewood is just a sick pathologist helping a poor female cop while hoping getting inside her pants sooner or later. Like dear Valerie Cherish would say: “I don’t need to see that!“. And you don’t either, believe me.

“The Real O’Neals” Vs. “Family Fortune” (ABC) pilot preview: When ABC comes out… twice !

ONEALFORTUNE

THE REAL O’NEALS

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Written & Produced by David Windsor (What I Like About You, Don’t Trust the B****, Trophy Wife) & Casey Johnson (Greek, Galavant). Inspired & co-produced by Dan Savage (It Gets Better, It Got Better), with Stacy Traub (Glee), Dan McDermott (Angela’s Eyes, Human Target) & Brian Pines (Dr House). Directed by Todd Holland (Malcolm, Wonderfalls, Go On). For ABC, ABC Studios, Hypomania Content & DiBonaventura Pictures Television. 36 pages.

Description: The O’Neals picture perfect Christian family is turned upside down when the youngest son, Kenny, 16, comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real, with all their little and sometimes huge imperfections…

With Noah GalvinMartha Plimpton (Raising Hope, The Good Wife, The Goonies), Jay R. Ferguson (Mad Men, Sleeper Cell, Surface), Bebe Wood (The New Normal), Matthew Shively, Mary Hollis Inboden

FAMILY FORTUNE

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Written & produced by Fortune Feimster & Matt Hubbard (30 Rock, Parks And Recreation, Joey). Co-produced by Tina Fey (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Satuday Night Live), David Miner (30 Rock, Parks And Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) & Robert Carlock (30 Rock, Friends, Saturday Night Live). Directed by Mark Cendrowski (The Big Bang Theory, Rules Of Engagement). For ABC, Universal Television, Little Stranger Productions & 3 Arts. 50 pages.

Description: Fortune Ferguson, a popular gym teacher in North Carolina, comes out of the closet to her close-knit group of family and friends. What she doesn’t realize is that she will also have to deal with her bickering and happily divorced parents also ‘coming out’ that they are sleeping together again…

With Fortune Feimster (Glee, Mulaney), Annie Potts (Designing Women, Any Day Now, GCB, Dangerous Minds), John Carroll Lynch (Body Of Proof, American Horror Story, The Americans, Fargo), Parker Young (Suburgatory, Enlisted), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Chris Redd (Empire)…

I don’t know if Paul Lee, president of ABC, is trying hard to tell us something, but he really badly wants a comedy about coming-out on the air. He decided to order both single-camera comedy pilot The Real O’Neals (briefly entitled Family of the Year), inspired by gay activist Dan Savage’s childhood, and multicamera comedy Family Fortune, based on stand-up comedian Fortune Feimster’s real life story. The good news is both are good and strong contenders for a pick-up, but the sad one is probably only one, if none, will make it to next year’s schedule. I don’t see ABC ordering both, especially since they have very little space for new comedies. Plus, competition is stiff with Nerd Herd, Delores & Jermaine and Chevy being very strong possibilities too, while Knoxville & Uncle Buck are less interesting propositions but can’t be counted out yet (and I’m not done reading all of them).

The Real O’Neals is the safer choice because it fits perfectly with ABC’s brand, alongside Modern Family, The Goldbergs and all the others. And I think the writing is a little bit stronger. The fact that the narrator is a teenage boy makes it sound like Fresh Off the Boat too, which can’t be a bad thing. Honestly, I’m already in love with these people, especially with the mother, Eileen, an always impeccably dressed woman of faith, whose passion is perfection. Some sort of new Bree Van de Kamp, if you want. And if I have troubles imagining Martha Plimpton in her shoes, I can’t wait to see the result! She couldn’t have found a more different role than this one, compared to her Raising Hope‘s Virginia. We’re talking a lot about diversity these days, and I find The Real O’Neals pretty convicing in that regard. They’re white, yes; but above all they’re christians. And it’s been a long time since we haven’t seen a christian family on TV, in a comedy that is not preachy in any way. All of their beliefs are suddenly questionned and they realize they are not the good christians they thought they were. They may even be the worst of their neighborhood. And that’s an hilarious discovery for us. Kenny’s coming-out is in fact just one event among others. And the least of their problems!

Family Fortune being a multicamera on a channel where only one has worked for a long time (Last Man Standing), a very classical one indeed (did I say Republican?), its destiny is way more uncertain, which is a shame because it deserves an order at leat for its cast. I don’t know about Fortune Feimster, haven’t seen any of her work yet, but Annie Potts+John Carroll Lynch+the hilarious Parker Young+Lacey-long time no see-Chabert, it is a big big “yes!” for me. And it’s produced by Queen Tina Fey, for Christ’s sake! I have a total trust in her instincts about Fortune Feimster. And TV definitely needs a lesbian heroin, even more if she’s not the pretty kind. That’s diversity too, guys! Outside of the coming-out part, which is dealt with really well, the sitcom is probably less original than The Real O’Neals for many reasons, especially the mother & father dynamic that we have already witnessed countless times, but it works… so much! I mean, they’re hilarious, her because she’s totally selfish, him because he’s an angry bear. I’m realizing they’re exactly like Sam’s parents in Samantha Who? for those who remember. The idiot brother is a comic genius. Damn, I love them too!

So, what will be Paul Lee’s decision? In a perfect world, he would give both a chance and the best one would win on itw own merits. Since TV is far from a perfect world, I guess The Real O’Neals has the upper hand: it’s in-house produced and less risky. Me, I decided not to choose. I love both, I want both. And it’s not me coming out as bi, hum!