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While Saturday Mornings no longer have a fall preview, Prime Time still does; not in the form of a special but a series of trailers and clips online. With the CW scheduled to announce their new line-up on Thursday and no Friday Night Fight this week (due to the man in charge involved in a project for his students) I’ll be spending the week looking at the new shows announced for the upcoming season. Entertainment Weekly’s website has the full listing as well as clips and summaries of the upcoming shows and I’ll be using them as my primary reference. I’ll also post trailers where possible, and link to EW’s page for clips that I also used in my rash judgements. I won’t discuss all of them (for example Good Christian Belles and Pan Am elicit no reactions) but I will give the highlights.

Today we begin with ABC, as the Disney-owned network has 13 new shows to unveil. As announced yesterday in the Weekly Wrap-Up, V and No Ordinary Heroes have been cancelled, but there are one or two potential sci-fi/action offerings. Here are the clips, and here are the summaries. And now my thoughts, with a quick quote about the show.

Charlie’s Angels

Set in Miami, this fun, glamorous, action-packed take on the 1970s smash hit series introduces us to three new angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Minka Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure — Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs.

The original series had the mysterious Charlie choosing three policewomen whose crimefighting potential was definitely not being met, which you can blame on the 70’s. Seeing as female officers and detectives are well depicted on TV that might not work as well, so the redemption story works for me. It sounds like Charlie is still going to be the unseen dispatcher for our Angels and hopefully they’ll keep the tradition of the audience not seeing him either.

In the trailer, we do see two disappointing things: Bosley is now a sexy ladies man, a far departure from David Doyle and even Bill Murray. That means he’s not the same old Bosley and that could change the nature of his relationship and some of the ways he helped the Angels in undercover work. The other is the Executive Producer, Drew Barrymore. That’s going to make people think of the movies and let’s just say having seen the first one it deserves at least part of its bad rep (although I was at least entertained for 90 minutes). That might work against the series. However, my reason for not watching it would be more time and the fact that I seldom watch crime dramas, even ones like this.

Once Upon A Time

And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

Admittedly I would have waved this premise had I heard it first. But then I saw the preview and the trailer.

That looks beautiful. It’s weird to see the “town with a secret” mixed with fairy tales or the “fairy tale characters in the real world” idea done as something other than a comedy so at concept alone they’re actually trying something different. I actually want to catch the first episode or so to see where they’re going to run with this.

The River

Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann).

Just watch the trailer or the clip. It looks less like a TV show and more like a movie–reviewed by Phelous of That Guy With The Glasses fame, which is the only reason I’m bringing it up. And personally the whole “light, fanciful world holds a dark, deadly secret” angle disagrees with me like bad food. A quick look at some of the actors on IMBD seems to indicate that this is a TV Movie but it was announced as part of the fall schedule so it goes here…and right down the nearest waterfall if we’re lucky.

Last Man Standing

Tim Allen returns to ABC in this new comedy from Jack Burditt (“30 Rock”). Men may have built civilizations, invented the locomotive and created ESPN, but they’re about to find out that it’s not a man’s world anymore. You can’t get manlier than Mike Baxter. He’s the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store, he loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women — namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before.

My first thought seeing a new Tim Allen sitcom was positive–until I heard the details. It feels like another shot at “manly men” (see also Man Up, another ABC incoming sitcom) combined with the old “I’m ‘X’ but my family is ‘Y'” type of sitcoms. It didn’t work for Henry Winkler (while taking shots at Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk-show hosts), it didn’t work for Jason Alexander (taking shots at self-help gurus) and I’m not expecting it to work here, even though Allen could out-comedy both of these guys any day, which the only reason I could be proven wrong.

Suburgatory

Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the ‘burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they’ve ever been.

Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa’s mom pulled a “Kramer vs. Kramer” before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he’s feeling a little out of his league. So it’s goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the ‘burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they’re really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast.

It sounds OK, until you see the clip. The trailer doesn’t make things easier but the clip immediately told me we have the officially worst show on ABC’s new lineup. I have never felt so sorry for character in my life as I do this girl because every other character in the trailer, and especially the two in the clip, makes me want to hurt people. These are the same kind of bad stereotype that Michael Bay gets flack from making Skids and Mudflap in Revenge of the Fallen, only with the only people you’re “allowed” to make bad stereotypes of. I hate this show and it’s not even out yet!

This high-concept comedy centers on two unrepentant guy’s guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process.

Let me just stop you right there, ABC. So it’s just like Bosom Buddies only they’re dressing as women to get a job rather than a place to live. In other words, it’s Bosom Buddies done wrong. Seriously, the clip and trailer did not make me so much as chuckle.

Tomorrow we’ll jump to another network (I haven’t decided which one yet) and see what they have to offer. So far there’s only one show that interests me (although I think Scandal has an interesting premise, it isn’t otherwise worth my mentioning) so there’s plenty of room to pull me back to the TV.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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  1. […] Fall Preview Week: ABC (bwmedia.wordpress.com) […]

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