Fall TV Preview: New Comedy
On Tuesday, I highlighted some of the dramas I think will be the highlights/most interesting of the upcoming season of television due to start in September. Today I shall be looking at five new comedies which I believe are most worth looking into.
As I said before. I have not seen any of these shows yet and my opinions are purely speculation based on the trailers and clips that have been released so far, as well as the pedigree behind those shows.
Black-ish (pictured above)
Anthony Anderson stars as the head of a rich, successful black family. However that’s where his problems lie. He feels that his suburbanised kids have lost what it means to be black and based on the trailer, that’s where the central pull of the show is going to come from as Anderson tries to teach his kids what it means to be black, “Not black-ish.”. For example, Anderson is shocked to learn his son has taken up field hockey, wants a bar-mitzah and has dropped his given name, Andre, in favour of the more goofy name, Andy. (Wait, what the f…?!). Watching the trailer, I think you would be forgiven for thinking this may come off as “black-ish” dynamic could come off as stereotypical, goofy and maybe even offensive. But the show is partially in the hands of Anderson himself as well as Laurence Fishbone (who also gets to play Anderson’s father which means he gets to walk around in a hat while shaking his head at his son’s antics). I think this show could go one way or the other but right now I’m inclined to think this show will be a minor hit.
It’s no secret, NBC are doing terribly with their comedy pickups as of late. With the departure of The Office and 30 Rock in the last two seasons, replacements with big stars like Go On (Matthew Perry) and The Michael J Fox Show (Err…Michael J Fox) have not done well. That has not deterred them from this strategy though, at the time of writing this, NBC have just cut a deal to bring Bill Cosby back to TV sitcom next year. In the meantime, NBC has banked on two comedies with relatively small names to try and revive their comedy roster. First up is Marry Me. Created by David Kaspe who previously created Happy Endings. Marry Me follows two a young couple played by Casey Wilson (another Happy Endings alum) and Ken Marino (Childrens Hospital and Eastbound and Down) who upon entering that stage in their marriage when they are thinking of getting engaged, find that their relationship is put to the limits by a series of unfortunate events and mishaps. Despite that, the couple believe they are destined to be married and put off their engagement until they can get their relationship right. I loved Happy Endings so it’s safe to say I am really anticipating this. The trailer seems to imply a similar style of humour and some fairly familiar supporting roles including Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal and Friends), Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live) and John Gemberling (Broad City)
A to Z
The other comedy NBC is relying on to help revive their comedy lineup is A to Z. It’s the story of a relationship between two young singles. A ‘no nonsense’ lawyer played by Christina Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) and a hip dating site associate, Andrew (that’s more like it!) played by Ben Feldman (Mad Men). The show will chronicle the A to Z of their relationship (so I’m guessing each episode title will begin with a different letter of the alphabet?). The series is produced by Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) which gives me some optimism about the show and looking at the trailer, I can’t help but feel there’s a Nora Ephron style romantic comedy vibe to the show. I’m surprised it’s not set in New York City (it’s actually Los Angeles). The production values look really great even for a single camera show. I’m hoping this one will turn out to be a real winner.
I’ve been following Mulaney since NBC passed on it over a year ago. It happened right around the time I started to become a fan of John Mulaney when I saw his contribution to Saturday Night Live and Kroll Show. Since then it’s been retooled and has been picked up for 16 episodes by FOX. Mulaney is a multi camera sitcom complete with a laugh track. It’s everything I dislike about comedy and the trailer didn’t fill me with optimism so why have I chosen to highlight Mulaney as a potentially good show to watch? Well I believe in John Mulaney’s writing, Nasim Pedrad’s name in the credits as well as the contribution of Elliot Gould and Martin Short. Plus if I didn’t choose this, I would have had to highlight The McCarthys instead and I REALLY didn’t want to do that. There are some Seinfeld comparisons to be found in this show too. John Mulaney plays an aspiring comedian (Mulaney himself has a background as a stand up) and the trailer implies a break from the action for a bit of stand up comedy like Seinfeld once did. Lorne Michaels (30 Rock) is also attached as a producer to the show.
Next week I’ll be looking at some of the shows that shall be returning to television for another season including comedies and dramas.
All that positivity above needs to be balanced out. The Bonus round is where I highlight a show that I think looks terrible and will never work…which means that it’ll probably amass a large audience and run to 11 seasons and have three spin offs!
It’s a family sitcaam. It’s about a guy who lives with his close knit Baaahston family. They’re proper Bostoners! They like sports and they’re Irish. Proper Bostoners! But this one guy at the centre of the family is gay. So he obviously knows nothing about sports and he watches The Good Wife. But there’s sports! Watch the trailer, that guy is holding a basketball all the time! And they drink. Did you see that DUI joke? Hilarious! But the main character is gay. See, he’s defined by his sexuality. What else is there to his character……? Oh well who cares, there’s sports. See, the main character based a life changing event on whether he makes a basketball shot or not! Sports sports, beer, gay, etc etc. Eight seasons and a spin off. Million dollar contracts for three of the actors involved. Thanks CBS!