Saturday, June 7, 2014

2014-2015 Season: ABC Drama

ABC has seven new dramas, the same number as last year. Only having two premiere in the fall is a bit blah, but everyone is gunning to get rid of "pilot season" anyway, so let's not take that too seriously. There are a lot of familiar faces on these series, but the premises aren't that exciting. In fact, I'm only game to try two of them, and don't have strong feelings for either. While there may be a mix of mystery, procedural, law-and-order, thriller, and superhero in there, ABC might be stretching itself a bit thin if they want viewers tuning into multiple new series this time around.

Red titles I'm not interested in. Green titles I'm going to try out. "Who" covers actors, writers, creators, etc. "Where" covers the location of the series. "What" describes the basics of the premise.

First, the fall premieres:


Who? Judd Hirsch (Numb3rs), Joel David Moore (you've seen him guest in things like Bones as Colin and Avatar as Dr. Spellman)
Where? New York City
What? A medical examiner is trying to get to the bottom of how he has been alive for 200  years.
My Thoughts: It's billing itself as a procedural (AKA "case of the week" stuff where something small may factor into the longer plotline), and the ME stuff tends to creep me out, so I'm going to pass.

How to Get Away With Murder
Who? Viola Davis (The Help), Liza Weil (Paris on Gilmore Girls), Aja Naomi King (Cassandra on Emily Owens, MD). and it's created by Shonda Rhimes, of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal
Where? Present day Philadelphia
What? A law professor and four of her students live out the title.
My Thoughts: I can't help but wonder how three shows with the same creator will do running back-to-back. I'm not a fan of the other two works, but I'm going to give this one at least a shot because of the cast. My biggest concern is how they'll make the premise last. 

And, the midseason fill-ins:
Marvel’s Agent Carter 
Who?  Hayley Atwell reprises her role from Captain America.
Where? 1946
What? A female agent must work administration while also performing secret missions for Howard Stark.
My Thoughts: I think ABC is going to hit the same problem they had with Once Upon a Time in Wonderland... the same demo can only be expected to take so much of a good thing, and they already have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which didn't do quite as well as anticipated. I pass.
Secrets and Lies
Who? Ryan Phillippe, Natalie Martinez (the deputy on Under the Dome)
Where? well, not in an urban area, given both the image to the right and the fact that the dead kid is found in a backyard.
What? An innocent guy is suspected of murdering a kid.
My Thoughts: Riffing off an Australian series, this might do okay, though I don't see a broad appeal, especially with so many similar things in the market right now.
The Whispers
Who? Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Milo Ventimiglia (Jess from Gilmore Girls)
Where? Not sure. The base material was written in 1951, so they have some choices.
What? Aliens have invaded the Earth, using children to achieve world domination.
My Thoughts: It's based on a Ray Bradbury short story, Zero Hour, and was previously called The Visitors. Frankly, Falling Skies is enough extraterrestrial life for me, plus I don't get a good vibe from what I've seen so far.

American Crime
Who? Felicity Huffman (Dana on Sports Night and Lynette on Desperate Housewives), Penelope Ann Miller (Elizabeth Grey on Mistresses, among other things)
Where? Modesto, CA
What? A war vet and his wife were brutally attacked in their home, and there are four suspects.
My Thoughts: Race, class, and gender politics are all apparently explored in this series, but I don't know that I'm up for that heavy of a series when tied up in a lengthy legal battle. Plus, how will it sustain a second season? I'm notsomuch a one-season-special person.

Members Only
Who? Betsy Brandt (last season she played Michael J. Fox's wife on his show)
Where? present day Connecticut
What? Formerly known as The Club, this is a soap focused on a family who owns several upscale country clubs, as well as the workers of these establishments.
My Thoughts: I'm game to give it a try. I think it'll be next summer before it actually airs, though, given that AC doesn't even have a single mention of it on their actual site, hence no picture.

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