What’s That Saying About First Impressions?

With upfronts continuing today, it was now ABC’s turn to show what was in store this Fall.

During the press conference, the network announced the Fall lineup as well as premiered trailers for the new shows that would air in the Fall and at midseason.

Without further ado, ABC’s newest shows. Complete with commentary on what may or may not cause any one show to succeed or fail.

“How to Get Away With Murder”: Executive produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal”, “Grey’s Anatomy”) and staring Academy Award nominee Viola Davis (“The Help”, “Doubt”) there is so much to look forward too and an incredibly high bar. The character Davis will be playing, from the moment she entered the trailer, was incredibly captivating. I just stayed glued. Hanging onto her every word; much like her students. The show does appear to be enticing, and the end portion of the trailer, really sinks its hooks into you. Tuning in, for awhile, is definitely going to happen.

“Cristela”: This half hour comedy is already not getting a fair shot. It was placed on Friday nights! Death slot! Sure, it was funny to preview, but hopefully we can move away from making jokes about race, that aren’t too horrible, only because they’re poking fun at the fact that there are still people that automatically assume latino’s do janitorial work, or other lower level jobs. The problem is, that could get old quickly. The biggest draw, which is what could get me to watch, is that it’s, oddly, about family. Living with family and always coming back to them or supporting them. Could be the one thing that saves this show. Or, it could go the way of “Welcome to the Family”. But, in a way, it’s reminiscent of “George Lopez”.

“Forever”: Something tells me this show starring Iaon Gruffudd (“Ringer”) won’t be around forever. Apart from being another medical show it’s also got a boring premise. Just watching the trailer was boring. I rolled my eyes, and groaned about it the entire way through. Already, that shows I’m not up for seeing it. A tired story, set, in the over used, New York. Yeah, that’s not going to grow tiresome quickly.

“Manhattan Love Story” This half hour comedy is brimming with obnoxious voice over. Not by one character, but by both. At least the trailer presents it as such. It could be cute to others, but somehow, I don’t see that being the case. It doesn’t have the cute possibility as “A to Z”, but if it stops with the voice over, maybe it’d be worth watching. Yes, I really dislike the voice over. It’s not clever, or useful, like how “Veronica Mars” used it. Especially since it seems as if it may be a way for the show to get laughs. That’s sad, all on its own.

“Black-ish”: A half hour comedy that may be trying to make a point, but it’s not really going about it the right way. Anthony Anderson (“Guys with Kids”, “Law & Order”) and Laurence Fishburne (“Hannibal”, “CSI”) star in a show that, even the title, says all you need to know. After sitting through this trailer, which was difficult enough, I can’t see why watching an entire episode would be worth anyone’s time. Please just yank it before it even airs.

“Selfie”: Another half hour comedy aiming to shame the same audience it wants as repeat viewers. The lead character is some stereotypical woman that is incredibly annoying. Every time she speaks I want to gag. Rude, annoying, and looking to find a redemptive quality that will keep people asking for more. Sure, this may find some initial success, but after watching the first episode, I believe that will be it. People will know quickly that this is not a show worth watching or one that should’ve been created at all. Seriously, how did it get this far during pilot season?

“American Crime”: This drama starring Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Timothy Hutton (“Leverage”) is another crime show with race being at the center of it all. Does that make this a bad idea or dull show to watch on a weekly basis? Not if the stars do their jobs, along with everyone else involved in the making of it. The performances that the two leads are bound to give us will make this show worth watching, but are there really any other factors? I’m guessing the first seasons aim will be to solve the murder, but also reveal so many annoying secrets, to show that you never really know someone. An important part to note, is that if the race issues the creators and writers want to play out, aren’t handled well, and not just some overdramatic manner, then this show won’t work. You won’t be outraged at the characters for taking certain stances or holding firm to their beliefs, but at the writers for failing to make this thought provoking. Hopefully, they look at how the film, “Crash” portrayed race issues.

“Fresh Off the Boat”: Half hour comedy with the “American Dream” at it’s center. Fortunately America won’t have to deal with much of this, as I highly doubt this show will last long. If it does, well, then, it may be a sign of the coming apocalypse. This show just suffers because it’s not funny. What the creator is hoping is that you’ll look past some of the race jokes, even if they’re meant as unoffensive, when really they’re tired out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and was sad that this show was approved. It’s only a matter of time.

“Galavant”: The series stars Timothy Omundson (Psych) and a handful of unknowns. This midseason musical comedy fairytale series has a lot to offer and nothing, all at once. The trailer is pretty funny, but then again, that could be just because they’ve throw in the “funny” moments already. It could be argued that these moments aren’t that funny either. Anyhow, say they are funny enough for you, the likely hood of that staying around is slim. The writers may try, but that doesn’t mean one wouldn’t grow tired of it. I’m more surprised that Academy Award winner Alan Menken is writing the songs for this. Would this actually make a far more fun TV movie that is more of a spoof or satirical story than a series? I think so. I can’t see following this show week to week. At most, maybe until it gets cancelled. Do I know if that will be its fate? No. But I’m not expecting a lengthy series run.

“Secrets and Lies”: This drama series has no added benefit of its stars, Ryan Phillippe (“Damages”) and Juliette Lewis (“The Firm”, “Wayward Pines”). The latter’s character isn’t just some serious cop looking to solve a crime, but one that doesn’t know how to have any other expression. That doesn’t make for an interesting character. To make things worse, while the immediate story overall, of who is the real killer, seems gripping enough, it doesn’t appeal beyond that. “The Killing” worked for the first two seasons, but even then, it had to end and go some other direction. Unfortunately that didn’t help the show overall. Shows that are about lies, secrets and duplicity, plus whatever else you can think of, don’t work that often. “Betrayal” failed to live up to be anything, “Deception” also lacked originality. Does that spell disaster for this show? No, but only expect to learn who did it and be done with it, if not sooner.

“The Whispers”: This science fiction, sort of political thriller stars Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) and actually looks creepy. It’s got the sci-fi aspect down well, with an invisible man like entity. Or, could it be an alien? It has people running all over, which provides thriller qualities. Who is out to get us? That’s the central question, or something like it. Reminds me a little of “Helix” as well as “The Blacklist”, only from a political who-dun-it, standpoint. Right now, it really feels too early to say anything except that everything is up in the air. Perhaps when the Fall gets nearer, and more promotional materials come out, deciding on whether this show is good, and subsequently worth watching or keeping on the air, will be easier.

The halfway point is near, which means there’s still plenty to get excited about. Hopefully, though, none of these new shows present too many problems when it comes time to actually watch the Fall programming.

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