Perhaps it’s because Scandal is ending, and the blood will FLOW. Not that it doesn’t already.
Here’s what else is happening:
Zach Braff, here, has basically made himself the Jerry Maguire of podcasting, although this is also a true story about a dude who quit his job and started a podcast — or, started a company, and THEN a podcast? I don’t know. Basically, it comes off as very performative large life changes, being performed largely. The only time I laughed was with his kid and the magic trick in his bed, but honestly, this one seems pretty pleased with the meta heart-tugging turn it takes with But Dontcha Just Want To Watch This Lovable Lug Try? I don’t know if I do yet, but I did recognize his wife as The Real Eleanor from The Good Place, and that helped. Michael Imperioli is also somehow in this.
Steve Zahn is a small-town sheriff when a bunch of refugees wash up on the beach… from like 200 years in the future. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. There also might be superpowers involved? There is also heavy conspiracy music and a lot of furrowed brows and widened eyes, plus an adorable moppet. It kind of feels another Flash Forward but with better acting (which isn’t actually a very high bar to clear), or The Event but possibly with fewer aliens and — ironically — more actual events. And, perhaps this is due to the presence of Natalie Martinez in both, it also feels kind of like an Under The Dome-style short-run summer series. My big barometer with these shows is, after you’ve done a full season, what’s season two, or three? Conspiracies and/or heavy time travel mysteries can get exhausting.
This one is from Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero (Blindspot), and Chris Fedak (Chuck), among others. It’s like The Mentalist crossed with Now You See Me, from what I can tell. It seems like a show that might actually be better than the network’s trailerized version of it? We’ll see. Bonus: Vinnie Jones is here.
For the People
This is basically How To Get Away With Lawyering: Scandal Academy. They’re also recasting two lead roles, which is a bummer for the poor actresses who are all over this trailer. This doesn’t look that compelling, but if you woke up yesterday thinking you’d never be truly happy until both Car(e)ys from The Good Wife had fall TV shows, then ABC has completed the job. Welcome back, Carey Zepps.
The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore plays an autistic savant who’s a surgical student, and Richard Schiff is his mentor. It might be fine; it feels potentially preachy. Also, I wish the arts weren’t so hot for this section of the autism spectrum, because it doesn’t give a very rich or realistic portrayal of what many families face in coping with that reality. TV and film wants to boil it down to, “Diminished eye contact, and maybe socially challenged a bit, but REAL GOOD at doing this specific thing,” and when that’s the only version portrayed anywhere, I think that does a disservice to the world’s understanding of autism’s many flavors. This clip leads off by saying, “Autism… difficulty communicating.” Yeah, and a whole lot more, unless you’re on TV. But this isn’t the show to do it, and I get that.
The Gospel of Kevin
I didn’t watch Joan of Arcadia, but that’s the first show I thought of when I watched this. Basically, Jason Ritter is a hardscrabble dude who — through a weird celestial event — is asked by God to help save the world. But it’s another one that’s getting retooled. Cristela Alonzo is everywhere in this trailer, and I have to be brutally honest: I can see why they’ve announced they’re recasting her. She’s very severe, and very flat. It’s hard to gauge the show’s potential without that role clicking, because she’s central to Jason Ritter’s arc.
Daveed Diggs created this show about a 27-year old rapper who, to promote his career, runs for mayor — and wins. Lea Michele is in it, too, and not a minute too soon now that they’ve axed Scream Queens. I will totally check out this one, in part because “check yourself before you elect yourself” as a slogan really made me giggle.
Splitting Up Together
This one starts out pretty badly. The whole opening wackiness does not work, and there’s a plot about a kid with blue balls? Anyway, Oliver Hudson and Jenna Fischer are getting a divorce, but they’re doing a Garner-Affleck living situation to keep everything amicable for the kids. And, I suspect, will decide they’re hot for each other again now that they’re divorced. She’s very likable, and once they cue up the manipulative Ed Sheeran track, things DO start to seem better, but I just don’t know if this has legs. Then again, I thought the Life In Pieces pilot was terrible and that show is a hit, so what do I know.
Ten Days in the Valley
Kyra Sedgwick is a TV producer, and her daughter disappears in a way that mirrors her TV show, or something? Also there is drinking? It’s partly in the genre of Professional Lady Also Probably Drinks Too Much And Therefore Likely Can’t Also Be a Great Parent Or Else She’d Have Behaved Differently On The Night In Question. Meh.