TV Reviews

NEW TV! Pilot Season 2018: What to Expect

Pilot Season is probably one of my favourite seasons of the year. You never know what shows are going to be magical and change your life and which shows are going to crash and burn. I remember watching This is Us two years ago and just knowing that it was gold. It was one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen. A good pilot can make a show a hit. A bad pilot can destroy a great concept before it even gets started. To save you time, I’m going to watch all the pilots and judge which shows are worth your time – however, if you want to start watching the new shows with me, here’s what you need to know.

I’ve broken it down by Canadian network the show is airing on and have included a formal blurb from Variety, my thoughts on if it’s going to be good or not, when we can watch this show, and the official trailers.  I’m not including ‘new’ reboots just 100% fresh new shows.

Get pumped – I think it’s going to be a very interesting year 🙂

 

CTV

The Rookie

Variety says: Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small-town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being an LAPD officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. If he can’t keep up with the young cops and the criminals, he’ll be risking lives including his own. But if he can use his life experience, determination and sense of humor to give him an edge, he may just become a success in this new chapter of his life.

Paula Says:  Everyone loves Nathan Fillion – and America loves a cop show. This should be a popular show. My mom will 100% love this show as will many moms, so it will get picked up for a full season. Personally, Rookie Blue is one of my all time favourite showsso all Rookie shows will be held to that standard – and while this doesn’t have that same grit, I’m into it.  I’ll watch the pilot, maybe the 2nd episode but I don’t see this being one of my main shows.

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 10 pm 

God Friended Me

Variety says: GOD FRIENDED ME stars Brandon Micheal Hall in a humorous, uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. After repeated pokes by God, Miles’ curiosity takes over, and he accepts the ultimate friend request and follows the signs to Cara Bloom (Violett Beane), an online journalist. Brought together by the “God Account,” the two find themselves investigating God’s friend suggestions and inadvertently helping others in need. Miles is set on getting to the bottom of what he believes is an elaborate hoax, but in the meantime he’ll play along and, in the process, change his life forever. Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Marcos Siega are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Siega directed the pilot from a script by Lilien & Wynbrandt.

Paula Says: Meh. I’m not into it. This feels like Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and I really didn’t love that show. This could be better – but I still this trope is a bit cheesy. I feel like this is very much an ‘Merican show if you know what I mean. It will probably do well – but I’m not going to watch it.

Premieres Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8pm 

Whiskey Cavalier

Variety says: “Whiskey Cavalier” is a high-octane, hour-long action dramedy that follows the adventures of tough but tender FBI super-agent Will Chase (codename: “Whiskey Cavalier”), played by Scott Foley. Following an emotional breakup, Chase is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: “Fiery Tribune”), played by Lauren Cohan. Together, they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics. The series is from writer/executive producer Dave Hemingson and executive producer Bill Lawrence with Warner Bros. Television.

Paula says: I’m into it. This is the cop show for me. A little rom-com, some cops, great actors. I think this is a show that I’m going to give a solid chance to and see what happens. I’m very excited about this one. I’m just a bit peeved we have to wait until mid-season for a release date.

No date yet, Mid-season premier 

The Fix

Variety says: Attorney and author Marcia Clark co-writes and executive produces a new legal drama about Maya Travis, an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in Washington. Eight years later when this same celebrity is under suspicion for another murder, Maya Travis is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice. This legal thriller is executive produced/co-written by Clark, Liz Craft and Sarah Fain, and is from Mandeville TV and ABC Studios.

Paula says: Everyone loves a good lawyer show. Everyone is obsessed with the O.J. trial. So when Marcia Clark writes a TV show about lawyers that feels very O.J., it’s almost a guaranteed hit. On a personal note – my favourite type of show is Women in Blazers kicking butt (aka The Good Wife, Madame Secretary etc) and the main character here seems like a power woman so I will 100% be tuning in.

No date yet, Mid-season premier 

Grand Hotel

Variety says: Eva Longoria executive produces this bold, provocative drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior. The show is based on the Spanish series.

Paula says: Miami Hotel! Where is Raf? This show feels like a more serious, more scandalous, less campy Jane the Virgin.  I love Jane so I’m sure this will work for me. Generally speaking, I’m into family-based dramas. This has a very upstairs/downtown stairs vibe. It’s a classic story element for a reason – it works.  Toss in some potential mob drama and steamy hookups and you’ve got yourself a killer show.  Again – I’m a bit peeved it’s a mid-season but perhaps as the weather gets cold, we’ll get a hot show.

No date yet, Mid-season premier 

The Kids are Alright

Variety says: Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.” Times are changing and this family will never be the same. There are 10 people, three bedrooms, one bathroom and everyone in it for themselves.

Paula says: 8 boys! I’m into it. Set in the 1970s. Into it. A 30-minute sit-com – not into it. I want this to be more of a 60-minute dramedy.  I wish this was a feel-good CW show or ABC family you know? I’ll watch it, I might love it, but I don’t have a great history with sitcoms. There are very few that I enjoy. So great concept, not a great format.

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 pm 

Global/Chorus

New Amsterdam

Variety says: Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, this unique medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. How can he help? Well, the doctors and staff have heard this before. Not taking “no” for an answer, Dr. Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital — the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers and the President of the United States under one roof — and return it to the glory that put it on the map.

Paula says: Yup. I’ll probably addictively watch this. I love medical shows – almost as much as I love lawyer shows. A hot rogue doctor who just wants to help and also who has cancer – this is a great set up.  I’m into it. I will 100% be watching this one.

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10pm 

FBI

Variety Says: From Emmy Award winner Dick Wolf and the team behind the “Law & Order” franchise, FBI is a fast-paced drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These first-class agents bring all their talents, intellect and technical expertise to tenaciously investigate cases of tremendous magnitude, including terrorism, organized crime and counterintelligence, in order to keep New York and the country safe. Craig Turk, Dick Wolf, Arthur W. Forney, Peter Jankowski and Niels Arden Oplev (pilot only) are executive producers for Universal Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Oplev directed the pilot from a story by Wolf and Turk, and a script by Turk.

Paula Says: I adore Missy Peregrym. I will watch anything with her in it. She is the reason why I loved Rookie Blue and I’m so excited to see her in a uniform again.  She’s got a new hot partner, a terrorist attack and a Nazi to deal with, plus a hard-ass female boss. The trailer has a dramatic cover of Wonderwall and I love it. I cannot wait to go down this route. Of all the cop/lawyer shows this season – this is the one that I’m most excited about.

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9pm 

The Neighbourhood

Variety Says: THE NEIGHBORHOOD stars Cedric the Entertainer as an opinionated neighbor in a comedy about what happens when the friendliest guy in the Midwest moves his family to a neighborhood in Los Angeles where not everyone looks like him or appreciates his extreme neighborliness. When Dave Johnson (Max Greenfield) and his family arrive from Michigan, they’re unfazed that their new dream home is located in a community quite different from their small town. However, their opinionated next-door neighbor, Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer), is wary of the newcomers, certain that they’ll disrupt the culture on the block. Dave realizes that fitting into their new community is more complex than he expected, but if he can find a way to connect with Calvin, they have an excellent chance of making their new neighborhood their home. Jim Reynolds, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor (Kapital Entertainment), Wendi Trilling, Cedric the Entertainer, Eric Rhone and James Burrows (pilot) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Burrows directed the pilot from a script by Reynolds.

Paula says: A classic pilot re-cast happened with this show and I think it was the right call. I adore Max Greenfield and will watch whatever he is in.  The first actor was ok – but Max just makes it that much better. Again – I’m not a fan of sitcoms, but I think this will be a fun show for people who like sitcoms.

Premieres Monday, Oct. 1 at 8pm 

Happy Together

Variety Says: HAPPY TOGETHER stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West in a comedy about a 30-something happily married couple who begin to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when Cooper (Felix Mallard), an exuberant young pop star drawn to their super-ordinary suburban life, unexpectedly moves in with them. Austen Earl, Tim McAuliffe, Ben Winston, Harry Styles, Michael Rotenberg and Jonathan Berry are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Phill Lewis directed the pilot from a script by McAuliffe and Earl.

Paula Says: I’m going to make my sitcom exception for this show.  This is the Harry Styles story and I’m here for it. If you don’t follow Harry Style’s life here’s what you need to know: basically after X-Factor Harry needed a place to live in London – he was still a teenager and instead of getting his own place, he moved in with his producer friend Ben Winston (EP on this show) and his wife for 2 years. This quote from Rolling Stones really sums it up:

“But no one ever found out, really,” Ben said. “Even when we went out for a meal, it’s such a sweet family neighbourhood, no one dreamed it was actually him. But he made our house a home. And when he moved out, we were gutted.” Winston continues the tales from the attic. “So we had this joke. Meri [Winston’s wife] and I would like to see the girls that you would come back with to the house. That was always what we enjoyed, because we’d be in bed like an old couple. We’d have our spot cream on our faces and we’d be in our pajamas and the door would go off. The stairwell was right outside our door, so we’d wait to see if Harry was coming home alone or with people.”

“I was alone,” notes Styles. “I was scared of Meri.”

“He wasn’t always alone,” corrects Winston, “but it was exciting seeing the array of A-listers that would come up and sleep in the attic. Or he’d come and lounge with us. We’d never discuss business. He would act as if he hadn’t come back from playing to 80,000 people three nights in a row in Rio de Janeiro.”

So I think this is great. I’m 100% going to watch this, even if it’s awful 🙂

Premieres Monday, Oct. 1 – 8:30 pm 

I Feel Bad

Variety Says: Emet is the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly. From executive producer Amy Poehler comes a modern comedy about being perfectly OK with being imperfect.

Paula Says: I do not think this is very funny at all. I think the jokes are dated and it’s more cringe than anything else.  I’m a little disappointed that this is an Amy Poehler project – it’s just not as good as it should be.  However, because it is Amy Poehler – there will be a massive fan base and I will probably be wrong – this will probably be a massive hit.

Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. — (2-part episode)

CityTV

Manifest

Variety Says: When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible. From Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke comes an emotionally rich, unexpected journey into a world grounded in hope, heart and destiny.

Paula Says: I’ve seen the first 10 minutes of the show and I was devastated when it ended – I really want to know what happens next. It has a great concept and the cast feels solid. Once we solve the mystery of the plane what will this show be? I think there is enough here to take it throughout the season, but I’m not sold on what will happen season 2+. I’m excited about this one too.

Premieres Monday, Sept. 24 – 10pm 

A Million Little Things

Variety says: They say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things, and that’s true for a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way, they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves.

Paula says: I feel like this is the ‘This is Us’ show this season. A show about a group of people with all their own issues/things going on united by a tragic event and then they partner that with a solid soundtrack is designed to make us all cry. It seems to have a solid cast, and the writing doesn’t seem too cheesy in this trailer so… I will be suckered into this show. If it has a solid pilot, beyond the pilot I’m going to be a big/longtime fan of this.

Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10 pm 

Single Parents

Variety says: This ensemble comedy follows a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood. The series begins when the group meets Will, a 30-something guy who’s been so focused on raising his daughter that he’s lost sight of who he is as a man. When the other single parents see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the dating world and make him realize that being a great parent doesn’t mean sacrificing everything about your own identity.

Paula says: An ABC family sitcom. This will be solid, I think it’s a cute trailer, but I won’t be watching.   The cast is very strong. I like that they are focusing on different types of single parents.  The set up seems great. There are so many good things going on here. Sitcoms are not my jam, but I think this is going to be a big hit for ABC.

Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9:30 pm 

The Cool Kids

Variety Says: From executive producer Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), “The Cool Kids” is a multi-camera comedy about a rag-tag group of friends living in a retirement community who are willing to break every rule in order to have fun – because, at their age, what do they really have to lose? The series stars four comedy veterans: Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier (“The Carmichael Show,” “In Living Color”), Emmy Award nominee Martin Mull (“Veep,” “Roseanne”), Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “American Horror Story”) and Emmy Award winner Vicki Lawrence (“Mama’s Family,” “The Carol Burnett Show”)

Paula says: I wondered when we’d get a show like this. Retirement residences seem like university dorms for older folks – so it’s so fun to see the ‘cool kids’ here. I think this will work if it’s not too cheesy.

Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8:30 pm 

Rel

Variety Says: Inspired by the life of Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out,” “Insecure,” “The Carmichael Show”), REL is a multi-camera comedy starring Howery as a loving husband and father living in Chicago, who finds out his wife is having an affair, and must rebuild his life as a single father, following his divorce. The comedy also stars Sinbad (“A Different World,” “The Sinbad Show,” “Jingle All The Way”), Jess “Hilarious” Moore (“Wild ’N Out”) and Jordan L. Jones (“NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Wisdom of the Crowd”).

Paula says: Meh. I have no interest in this show. But that’s ok – I’m not the audience.

Premieres Sunday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m.

W Network

All American

Variety says: Spencer James is a rising high school football player and A student at South Crenshaw High. Compton is the place he calls home. But when Beverly High School’s football coach Billy Baker recruits him to join his team in Beverly Hills, Spencer’s mother, Grace, and his best friend, Coop, convince Spencer it’s an opportunity he has to seize. Now Spencer must navigate two worlds, the south side neighborhood that he knows and the affluent Beverly Hills world that has offered him an opportunity for something bigger.

Paula says: I’m very excited for this show. I love a good high school show. It feels like a cross between OC/Friday Night Lights produced by the CW (so quite cheesy). Into it. I think this is going to be a massive guilty pleasure for a lot of people – myself included 🙂

Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 9pm on W Network

BONUS: CABLE

There are so many cable shows, but I’m going to chat about two shows I’m pumped about

The Romanoffs

Variety says:  “The Romanoffs,” which is created, written, directed and executive produced by Weiner, features eight separate stories about people in contemporary times who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. The show’s first trailer, which was released earlier this month, features the sprawling cast discussing their connection to the Romanov family. Each story centres around a new cast in a new location, set in seven countries around the globe.

Paula says: I’m so intrigued by this. Every episode is going to be a different cast, story etc. I think it’s going to be such an interesting way to tell a story. I need to find someone with a Prime Account so that I can watch this…

Amazon Prime on Friday, October 12, 

Camping

Variety says:  The series is based on the U.K. series of the same name created by Julia Davis. It tells the story of Walt’s 45th birthday, which was supposed to be a delightful weekend back to nature, at least according to his obsessively organized and aggressively controlling wife Kathryn. But when the camping trip gathers Kathryn’s meek sister, holier than thou ex-best friend and a free-spirited tagalong in one place, it becomes a weekend of tested marriages and woman on woman crime that won’t soon be forgotten.

Paula says: It’s about camping. That’s enough for me. 100% will be tuning in. Plus I love Jennifer Garner so I’m really excited.

HBO – Sunday, Oct. 14 at 

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