Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Ranking the New CBS Series Based on Their Trailers

CBS 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 CBS' new shows look - ranked by my personal preference.

Trailers for CBS' shows can be found here.

8. FBI: Most Wanted

This show produced a backdoor pilot that aired this spring as an episode of FBI. As such, it has less footage readily available than the rest of the new shows CBS unveiled at the upfronts today. That means there is less to judge in a trailer form. But if someone is a regular viewer of FBI, then they will more than likely be interested in this new show. I've only seen one episode of FBI despite liking Dick Wolf shows overall. This brief cutdown doesn't immediately suggest that I need to see his new shared universe on CBS though.

7. Bob Hearts Abishola

Chuck Lorre's track record has been very successful for CBS for a long time. So, it was always expected that this new comedy starring Mike & Molly's Billy Gardell would be picked up to series. And yet, this trailer mostly just left an icky taste in my mouth. It would appear as the show confuses stalking with being sweet and romantic. Folake Olowofoyeku absolutely has breakout potential. I'm just not sure this show can handle the racial dynamics well while actually explaining why Abishola could possibly heart Bob back.

6. Broke

Now, I will absolutely watch this show because it stars Jaime Camil. He has been such an endearing and outrageous heart on Jane the Virgin for the last few years. That's what makes it so surprising that he isn't giving the broadest performance in this sitcom. CBS is obviously highlighting the fact that this is Pauley Perrette's return to the network. That is a bigger deal to the average CBS viewer. And yet, this trailer is mostly about the wild extremes of the two sisters. They are polar opposites who are now living together. I'm more intrigued by the dynamic between Camil's character and his assistant though. 

5. Tommy

CBS is already home to a dozen police procedurals. There was the hope that this new drama starring Emmy winner Edie Falco would aspire to more than just the basic formula. And yet, that's front and center in this trailer. That's disappointing because this show could offer a greater insight into the political decisions that go into how the police operate. Tommy is suppose to be a disrupter to this world. But everything is just vague enough to get that concept without ruining the actual story of the pilot. It's just a little too confusing with none of the characters or story actually popping.

4. All Rise

A high bar was set for legal dramas on the network thanks to The Good Wife and The Good Fight. This show does not obtain those same heights. Instead, it feels a little more like a conventional legal procedural. In fact, it may share more than a few similarities with ABC's two-season drama For the People. The humor may make it compatible with the Monday night comedies. Plus, Simone Missick is a solid lead. However, it feels more like a broad look at the overall system instead of actually trying to say something of substance about the power that judges wield over the world.

3. Carol's Second Act

It's very unfortunate that so much of this trailer is reduced down to a ton of jokes about how old Patricia Heaton's character is. After her divorce, she has become an intern with people half her age. They are all learning the ins and outs of being doctors. Of course, she seems to have a leg up on her peers because she can relate to more experiences and can deliver bad news. It's that attempt at some real medical drama that could give some heft to this show. Sure, there is a lot of broad hijinks and cheesy one-liners here as well. Plus, there is too little of silver fox Kyle MacLachlan. However, there may be potential for this to become a nice companion to Mom.

2. The Unicorn

This show does not immediately present as a CBS comedy. It's going for a much more sentimental vibe of how Walton Goggins' protagonist wants to be protective and loving of his daughters while his friends are encouraging him to get back into dating life. Sure, there are still some very broad moments as well. However, this immediately presents as a very game cast who gel with each other immediately. That's not surprising considering it also stars Michaela Watkins and Rob Corddry. It will definitely be interesting to see how this evolves on a weekly basis. Plus, the only similarities it may have with lead-in Young Sheldon are that they are both single camera comedies. But that could still work too.

1. Evil

This too feels like a very atypical show for CBS. And yet, it brings Robert and Michelle King back to the broadcast network. Now, those creators tackling strange and satirical material hasn't worked out in the past. Remember BrainDead? However, this show immediately presents as a cross between The X-Files and The Exorcist. Again, it's a tone that isn't prolific on the schedule. It presents as something incredibly different. Sure, some of the scares and thrills aren't completely effective. Plus, there is too little of Michael Emerson who appears to be playing an antagonist of some kind. But again, everything comes back to the show doing something different and putting unique voices at the forefront. Katja Herbers and Mike Colter already appear to be an effective leading pair.