Fall 2015 Pilot Tests

When I start hearing buzz about a new fall drama or comedy, I usually wait before diving right in. It needs to reel in some great reviews and ratings first, maybe an article here and there in Entertainment Weekly. After I read up on it and watch a trailer or two, I give it the ol’ pilot test. If the pilot episode hooks me, I stay with it for a while. If it doesn’t keep me interested, I try to rough it for a few episodes, given that some shows just take longer to really get underway, which I get. And even though I usually have a full fall roster every year ready to jam up my TiVo, I still try a couple new ones, just because. So this year, here’s what’s new to my ever-growing line-up and whether or not I think I’ll keep them …

Best Time Ever
Tuesdays at 10 on NBC

Best Time EverAs mentioned in my last PSA, I’m a huge Neil Patrick Harris fan so imagine my surprise when his hugely touted variety show, new to NBC this season, appeared to flop miserably. I found myself with a puzzled look on my face throughout much of the first episode, even fast-forwarding entire segments. The second episode did not fare much better. It’s as though he’s trying to cram much too much into every second and the pressure of performing it all live puts a strain on the easy-going, natural charmer that we know NPH to be. The audience participation in the first episode leaned more toward stalking and the second—an on-air proposal—seemed odd and out of place. His celebrity guest announcers falter awkwardly and “The End of the Show Show” runs the gamut from chaotic to sloppy. The only parts worth sitting through are the pranks and the physical obstacle course, which changes from show to show. But even so, after two episodes, I removed this from my TiVo to-do list. Sorry Neil, it just didn’t live up to its name. Continue reading

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Gleeks, ‘Come Together’ for Beatlemania!

Just when I think maybe I’m done with the hysteria, a promo like this hits YouTube and I turn into a fangirl all over again. I’m pulling for this show to make a comeback more so now than ever, so I’m hopeful that they’re about to prove to us why we fell in love in the first place. We’ll all undoubtedly feel a little pang when they don’t address Finn’s obvious absence, but at least we’ll have some time to mentally prepare for his tribute.

Season 5 of Glee premieres Thursday, September 26 on FOX. Catch up on everything that’s new this year by reading my preview here. Continue reading

Are you ready for sitcom season?

tv-network-logos-updateFor TV junkies, as summer winds down, the anticipation of fall sweeps starts to feel like the mid-December countdown to Christmas: it’s pilot season. Each September, all the new shows trying to solidify their spot in the primetime line-up get ready to battle it out. Some will make it. Others will not. Let the record show that I do try to give a few a try each season. Last year, I chose Go On, The New Normal, and Partners. I stopped watching all three long before they were each cancelled. Sitcoms especially have a rough go of it. I have to really laugh or love the characters to stick with a sitcom (New Girl) and it has to be consistent—I will not be watching Modern Family this year because the last time I laughed until I cried was when Phil got tased and destroyed the Joe DiMaggio baseball card in “Express Christmas.” That episode aired in December of 2011.

All the major networks rolled out their pilot trailers a couple months ago and I’ve compiled a list of five shows that I’ll likely try out. I chose them based on actors, showrunners, and whether or not I laughed in the 3-5 minute sneak peek. See what you make of them:
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