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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall TV Pilot Thoughts

As a civillian and fan blogger, I don't have access to any pilots that bigger sites have. That being said some new fall series were made available to everyone. Below are my thoughts on what I was able to see and includes spoilers

Four pilots were available for everyone to view: ABC's "Forever" and "Selfie", Fox's "Red Band Society, and NBC's "A to Z". What is somewhat strange is all these programs have parts that are narrated by cast members.

Forever stars Ioan Gruffud (Dr. Henry Morgan), Judd Hirsch (Abe) and Alana de la Garza (Detective Jo Martinez). It is a cross between a supernatural show and a procedural. Dr. Henry Morgan has a problem: he dies and wakes up again naked in the nearest water way. His body just moves with no explanation and Morgan has no idea why. Dr. Morgan ends up helping Detective Martinez with her cases, while he searches for the truth. The program taped in New York takes place in the city, which I appreciate. I'm not sure if it will last due to the subject matter of a supernatural person especially since it airs on ABC. (Lorraine Toussaint, who recently played Sharon's therapist on Y&R and was on "The Fosters" also appears. Mackenzie Mauzy aka Phoebe on B&B and was a teenaged Lizzie on GL plays Henry Morgan's lost love.)

Selfie stars Karen Gillan (Eliza), John Cho (Henry). This show is a play on "My Fair Lady" and "Pygmalion". Eliza is a self-obsessed online presence, and Henry is trying to help her become a better person in offline. I figure this pilot was made available early because of the lead actors as they have cult appeal as Gillan was Amy Pond on "Doctor Who" and appeared in 2014's summer movie hit "Guardians of the Galaxy", while John Cho was Sulu in the Star Trek reboot films along with Harold in the Harold and Kumar series of flicks. The comedy was absolutely derivative, but considering it was based on earlier stories that is expected. I just don't know how long they can sustain the premise as eventually Eliza will become a better person.

Red Band Society is an ensemble piece with the most well-known performers being Octavia Spencer (Nurse Jackson) and Dave Annable (Dr. Jack McAndrew). This is understandable as they are the adult actors leading a cast of young people some of who are still in school. The story is about a group of patients who live and get educated in the hospital. There are cancer patients, the resident girl with an eating disorder, another girl who needs a heart transplant, a coma patient (who does voice overs), and a teen with cystic fibrosis. The program is a teenage dramedy as it has both comedy and dramatic elements along with the dark location. The success of the show solely depends on whether or not the story and actors can sustain the material.

A to Z stars Ben Feldman (Andrew) and Cristin Milioti (Zelda). Ben Feldman is part of the extended cast of "Mad Men", while Cristin Milioti played the mother on "How I Met Your Mother". Katey Sagal does the voice over on this show. Other than time slot concerns, this show will succeed or fail solely based on whether or not people believe that Feldman and Milioti have couple chemistry. The main premise is Andrew and Zelda meet and through the story we see what happens in their relationship. We don't know if the relationship will work or end just that things will change within a certain time frame that is quoted twice in the pilot.

While I watched the pilots, none of them grabbed me enough to say I must watch the next episode. I hope some of the other fall shows that didn't release early episodes grabs me enough that I decide to watch is all season.

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