Tag: the adversaries

ABC | 2015/2016 Pilot Season: The Best & Worst

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Before ABC reveals its new schedule next Tuesday, here’s the best & worst of their pilot season ! Just my humble opinion.

Quanrico

DRAMAS

1. QUANTICO – Ordered to series

“an incredibly strong contender at ABC, not only because it’s a great pilot script that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the whole time but above all because it’s the promise of a show that will keep you on the edge of your seat EVERY WEEK for an ENTIRE SEASON -and hopefully more- alongside characters you can only care about, through a journey that’s relevant to the world we live in. It’s a bomb in the making that’s about to explode. The Clock is already ticking. Tick tock… Tick Tock…” Full preview here

2. THE FAMILY (aka ORIGINAL SIN) – Ordered to series

“a family drama, a very human one, more than a mystery or a detective show, or even a soap. (…) People can relate to this family and its members, they can feel for the detective, they can get excited by the investigation and the secrets that will be found along the way… And it won’t even feel like a sin to love it (…) Everything’s in place to make a great show out of the already great pilot.” Full preview here

3. THE BROAD SQUAD – Dead but could be redeveloped

” This pilot manages to be both entertaining and intelligent, even important I might add (…) The Broad Squad is not your usual cop show, not only because it’s a period drama but because it aims to be different, not a crime-solving straight procedural but a heavy serialized and character-driven one, with no strong emphasis on romantic storylines.” Full preview here

4. THE CATCH – Ordered to series

“it’s in the same vein as Scandal and entirely devoted to Alice Martin, a strong leading woman, brilliant at her job but who can also prove to be fragile when it comes to her messy personal life, in the same fashion as Meredith Grey, Addison Montgomery, Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating (…) The Catch comes off as a thrilling ride, but I can’t say it blew my mind… yet.” Full preview here

5. OIL (aka BOOM) – Ordered to series

“it is as ambitious as it looks, and as ambitious as the couple at the center of the show is. t has what it takes it to be a good entertaining TV series that doesn’t take its viewers for morons and which offers a little bit more than just fun. That being said, Boom may be a little too smart and intricate for its own good…” Full preview here

6. KINGMAKERS – Officially Dead

“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!” Full preview here

7. MIX – Officially Dead

“Mix finds the right balance between the prime time family soap like Dallas and the more emotion-based family drama like Parenthood, the same way Brothers & Sisters did in fact. Let’s call it a family dramedy, with a lot of heart, a bit of laughs and the inevitable dirty little secrets we’re exposed to throughout the pilot (…) It’s almost too simple and too sweet to be really good.” Full preview here

8. RUNNER – Officially Dead

“ABC has better things to pick up, but it’s a solid pilot script that embarks us on a thrilling ride.” Full preview here

9. KINGS AND PROPHETS – Ordered to series

“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.  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.” Full preview here

10. WICKED CITY (aka LA CRIME) – Ordered to series

“Dark and twisty. It takes a dangerous road for a network show because of the way the serial killer called Clark Gallagher operates (…) But I’m not sure in this crowded television landscape, already full of serial killers, this show has something more to offer…” Full preview here

11. THE ADVOCATE – Officially Dead

“An interesting way of spinning your gold ol’ medical drama, but not distinctive enough to make a splash and be a game changer. It’s nice, it’s a good vehicle for Kim Raver, but it’s boring most of time. The medical part is okay, but the soapy part is just too generic”. 

12. THE ADVERSARIES – Officially Dead

“not something new, not something bad, not something we’d be willing to really give a chance (…) trying to distinguish itself through the family drama perspective, but even that has already been made and it doesn’t make that much of a difference in the end (…) It will skew old and it doesn’t really fit with the schedule. It’s efficient and pleasant but a little outdated.” Full preview here

Not reviewed: UNTITLED AGENTS OF SHIELD PROJECT – Officially Dead

 

Martha Plimpton as Virginia Chance, Jimmy's mother.

COMEDIES

1. THE REAL O’NEALS – Ordered to series

“it fits perfectly with ABC’s brand, alongside Modern Family, The Goldbergs and all the others (…) 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 (…)”  Full preview here

2. NERD HERD – Officially Dead

“I laughed out loud while reading it, which doesn’t happen very often to me (…) Just picture all of the smart ass kids of TV -like Manny from Modern Family or the adorable Brick from The Middle– and make them brothers and sisters, living in the same house.Full preview here

3. DELORES & JERMAINE – Officially Dead

“This shit is good. Better than expected, better than you think and even better than it should have been. I mean: a young man living with his grandma, it’s quite exciting on paper I think -I love grandmas on TV- but it’s paper thin at the same time. Somehow, the magic happens and at the end of the pilot, nothing about it seems thin anymore.” Full preview here

4. CHEVY – Officially Dead

“it’s in the vein of The Middle. They share the same kind of sweetness and warmness, and they aim at the same sort of truth of what a family really is, or should be, based on everyday life (…) It would fit perfectly in ABC’s line-up”  Full preview here

5. FORTUNE FAMILY – Officially Dead

“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” Full preview here

6. ALL STARS – Officially Dead

“Better than expected, really funny at times, with an extravaganza you don’t find on the other ABC projects. But it’s more niche and the sports part lost me a bit. Not the best choice.” 

7. THE 46 PERCENTERS – Officially Dead

“Liked this one way more than expected and I can totally picture it lasting for years. But too many farts jokes for my taste, probably.” 

8. DR KEN – Ordered to series

“Liked this one way more than expected (again) and I can totally picture it paired with Last Man Standing. Good for diversity, good for laughs, but not especially great regarding originality” 

9. THE KING OF 7B – Officially Dead

“Quite daring, totally original and crazy, but a bit of a mess, with a feeling that it can’t last very long with such a pitch. Would better fit on Netflix or something!”

10. UNCLE BUCK – Ordered to series

“Not impressed. But it has some potential somehow…” 

11. KNOXVILLE – Officially dead

“A family comedy about rednecks? Already done by Greg Garcia with Earl and then Raising Hope. We don’t need this one even if it’s fine.”

12. WARRIORS – Officially Dead

“Don’t understand the attractiveness of this project. But apparently it has one. Maybe not being remotely interested in basket ball didn’t help. I have faith in producer Dan Fogelman -and ABC too since they can’t keep ordering his shows- but I don’t think it belongs to ABC, even if they broadcast NBA…”

Not reviewed: THE MUPPETS -Ordered to series

 

What pilots are you rooting for ?

“The Adversaries” (ABC) pilot preview: The Good Father, The Good Daughter & The Not So Good Wife

Lost, Terry O Quinn as John Locke

Written and produced by David Zabel (ER, Detroit 187, Betrayal, Lucky 7). Co-produced by Tommy Burns (Harry’s Law, The Crazy Ones, ER). Directed by Stephen Cragg (ER, Nashville, Grey’s Anatomy). For ABC & ABC Studios. 53 pages.

Description: For the past few decades, the Hayward family has been as close to a New York City legal dynasty as it gets. This dynasty is put in turmoil when the patriarch, Charlie, is indicted on federal charges and the daughter, Jaime, a star prosecutor, finds herself in a difficult position, stuck between the family she loves and the office she works for. She must decide which side she will fight on…

With Terry O’Quinn (Lost, Alias, 666 Park Avenue, Gang Related, The Stepfather), Kristen Hager (Being Human US, Beach Girls), Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope, Hawaii 5-0, Jack & Bobby), Lenny Platt (How to Get Away With Murder), Christine Evangelista (Kill Point, Chicago Fire, Detroit 187), Enuka Okuma (Rookie Blue, Sue Thomas F.B. Eye)…

rate rate

When we thought we have seen it all in the legal drama genre with the Law & Order franchise and David E. Kelley hit shows Ally McBeal, The Practice & Boston Legal, Damages came out of nowhere and proved us wrong. Then arrived the incredible The Good Wife. And six seasons later, we’re still amazed by the show. How can a new legal drama survive in nowadays’ TV landscape, when Law & OrderThe Practice and The Good Wife set the bar that high? I have no idea, and the networks either. SuitsFranklin & Bash and a few others are just less interesting iterations of what we have already seen. They’re watchable, enjoyable, but not much more. Even E. Kelley himself is struggling (Harry’s Law). The Adversaries is exactly that: not something new, not something bad, not something we’d be willing to really give a chance. And it’s sad. But one day, the next great legal drama will come our way.

The Adversaries is trying to distinguish itself through the family drama perspective, but even that has already been made and it doesn’t make that much of a difference in the end. Yeah, they’re all lawyers in the family, but so what? Page 45, there’s this line: “We have an empathy deficit“. It’s the daughter analyzing why the jury probably won’t side for her father in court. And it’s exactly why the audience won’t like the show either: there’s an empathy deficit for the whole family! They’re rich, they live in beautiful apartments in New York and, wait for it… they’re good people at the same time! They are too good to be true. It would have been very much easier to hate/love them if they were bad people doing very bad thing things. Not all of them, but some of them. But no. It’s the good father, with the good daughters, the good employees and there’s just the mother that may be not that good but she is just keeping a big secret from them and the reason why is probably… to protect them. I don’t think it’s what people are looking for on TV right now.

While reading the pitch, if you thought -like me- the show was about the daughter moving heaven and earth to help her father going out of jail for an entire season, maybe more, then you were wrong. It’s what she does during the whole pilot -plus flirting with another female lawyer, ‘cos she’s a lesbian and that’s great for a female lead!- but she succeeds in the end and she refuses to join her father’s firm. So, the next episodes will consist mostly of the father and the daughter fighting in court against each other. It could quickly become quite boring, redundant, and I fear the family secrets (a mysterious dead son) and the romantic storylines won’t be enough to keep us interested for the long haul, even if Terry O’Quinn & Christine Lahti are great actors that certainly have a great chemistry on screen. They have very funny lines, and in general, the dialogues are really good. There’s a cheesy love song about family right in the middle of the pilot, because the other daughter is a law student and also an artist, and it feels totally out of place.

I really don’t see ABC ordering The Adversaries to series. It will skew old and it doesn’t really fit with the schedule. It’s efficient and pleasant but a little outdated. ABC has bigger fishes to fry than giving it a try.