Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ranking the New ABC Series Based on Their Trailers

ABC has just released trailers for some of its new series for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Now, it's difficult to judge a series based on a three-minute trailer conveying the basic plot. And yet, it's what audiences have to go off of until these new shows actually debut. And so, here are some brief thoughts on how ABC's new shows look - ranked by my personal preference.

Trailers for ABC's shows can be found here.

3. Mixed-ish

This very much feels like an ABC comedy. It's a natural extension from the original series in a way that likely works better for the broadcast network than Grown-ish would have. Things are also incomplete as well. Anders Holm is being recast as the patriarch of the family. And so, there is absolutely the sense that the trailer downplays the role of Bow's parents. Instead, it's mostly about Bow and her siblings with some welcome laughs from Gary Cole. In that regard though, the casting department has once again found three solid child actors who both share similarities with their adult counterparts and are funny. It should just be interesting to see how all of this comes together and how important the '80s humor will ultimately be.

2. Emergence

This too seems like a very familiar premise. There have been many shows that take a conspiracy-based hook and throw in the supernatural as told from the perspective of a mysterious child. It's a formula the networks go to time and again even though there haven't been many successful versions of it lately. As such, the quality of the show will ultimately depend on those central twists and the actual substance of the characters. And yet, it's alway welcome to see Allison Tolman as the lead of her own show. She deserves a vehicle that can actually go the distance. She is surrounded by a game supporting cast as well with the central child actor seeming good in the three-minutes of actual footage seen here. 

1. Stumptown

The majority of this trailer appears to be just one scene from the pilot. That's not inherently a bad thing. In fact, it illustrates exactly what the tone of this piece will be. Sure, it's a dangerous environment in which the lead character is abducted and kept in the trunk of a car. But it's also amusing to watch as the tape deck starts working, the criminals sing along to "Sweet Caroline" and then Cobie Smulders pops out for her attack. It's very effective. Sure, it then eventually cuts to a quickly edited piece that hopes to explain more of what the actual series is. The lead is a private investigator who can't pass for a detective because of the car she drives. But it seems like an intriguing mix of twisted hijinks and solid action with a lead character who is self-destructive but still gets the job done. This could actually have quite a lot of appeal.