Monday, May 13, 2019

Ranking the New FOX Series Based on Their Trailers

FOX 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 two-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 FOX's new shows look - ranked by my personal preference.

Trailers for FOX's shows can be found here.

7. Bless the Harts

It's not that this new animated comedy looks bad. The trailer released today is just more of a teaser for the continued success of Animation Domination on FOX. That means it's a collection of scenes from The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy in addition to highlighting the cast of this new show. The pedigree absolutely has me intrigued. But this is mostly incomplete when it comes to actually showing what this new show aspires to be.

6. Outmatched

Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson are delivering broad punchlines about how annoying their genius kids are. Wow, this was a little difficult to sit through even though it was only two minutes. And yet, trailers are suppose to cut together the best of the potential series. If this is the best, then this seems like a very obvious misstep. Even in this stage, it presents as a generic family sitcom where the entire family actually hates each other. There can be an appeal to parents being annoyed by their kids. But this show is going for those extreme punchlines instead of trying to find any nuance in this specific situation.

5. Deputy

This show is absolutely trying to be Justified. It does not look as successful or fun as Justified was though. It's nice to see Stephen Dorff again so soon after his supporting role on True Detective's third season. He is back playing a lawman. Of course, this show presents the concept that audiences should root for big explosions and lots of actions. It points out that the main character doesn't want to be a politician despite being forced into a political job. That tension could be interesting. But it mostly presents as an anti-hero who doesn't play by the rules and the audience is suppose to cheer him on as he improvises and causes lots of havoc.

4. Not Just Me

It only seems inevitable that one of the newly discovered siblings will go out on a date with someone they don't realize they are related to. That seems like the horrifying extreme that can come from the premise of a fertility doctor using his own sperm to inseminate his patients. Of course, the trailer presents a much more earnest and hopefully light-hearted version of this story. It may be playing to the same audience as This Is Us and A Million Little Things. But it's also difficult to see the story engine from this basic trailer which just outlines the plot without really offering some grand sense of character or place. It's an icky idea that needs a little bit more.

3. Filthy Rich

With Empire ending during the upcoming season, it's clear that FOX is trying to establish another big and bold soap opera on its schedule. And yes, this show certainly has a ton of potential as it comes from The Help writer-director Tate Taylor. Of course, it also seems like Kim Cattrall is having a ton of fun while the supporting ensemble just play as broad character strokes with no real definition or purpose. That may be enough to check out a couple of episodes though. It should also be intriguing to see how far the show goes into its conservative values hook as a genuine walk of life for some of the characters.

2. Next

The broadcast networks have been trying this concept for awhile now. Creators are intrigued by the idea of technology changing the way that certain jobs common in procedurals are done. Of course, there have been many flops in that particular genre as well. Person of Interest on CBS was the only program to do something interesting with its central artificial intelligence. This show may just set out to terrify the audience by just how omnipresent the rise of A.I. can actually be. The stuff happening with John Slattery's lead is very tangential to the boy talking to the personal assistant in his home. But both do articulate just how scary these concerns should be taken as well. Hopefully there is more here than just a generic procedural.

1. Prodigal Son

It immediately seems as if Michael Sheen is doing the same crazy eyed thing he is doing on The Good Fight in this new show. He may be a little more restrained here though. Of course, Sheen's performance has actually worked in this very specific vein on the CBS All Access drama. It probably will here as well so long as the show lands that very unique tone just right. This immediately presents as a dark and twisted drama - which is strange coming from the creative team behind ABC's one-season flop Deception. And yet, the tone very much has me intrigued. It's horrifying and seems to be exploring identity in an intriguing and different way. Of course, some of the attempts at humor are bad and some of the serious lines are very on-the-nose. So, this could be a massive mess as well.