Last week NBC kicked off Upfronts revealing their fall schedule and showcasing promos from debuting series. Although they didn’t offer up as many trailers as other networks they did provide a range of different genre shows, drumming up a heap of excitement in the process.
What it’s about: In a dark reimagining of the tales of Oz, Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on a journey that places her in the middle of an epic and dangerous war for the control of Oz.
What we think: I’m a big Oz fan whether it be The Wizard of Oz or Wicked so I was hoping for big things from this promo. Luckily I wasn’t disappointed. One of the things that struck me first was how rich and vibrant the world of Oz is in this show. The sets are fantastic, the make up is astounding and the costumes are beautiful. It’s obviously going to be a very visual piece which is going to complement the story very well. We didn’t learn much about the characters in the trailer, choosing instead to focus on Dorothy’s journey, but at 2 and a half minutes that’s to be expected. The promo was definitely a slow burner building up to a dramatic climax but it worked well and the whole thing seemed very epic.
Excitement Factor: 4/5
The Blacklist: Redemption
What it’s about: Undercover operative Tom Keen teams up with Scottie Hargrave, the cunning head of a covert mercenary organization that tackles problems governments don’t dare touch. Facing difficult and dangerous missions Tom is also forced to face his own shadowy past.
What we think: I’ll make a confession – I haven’t seen a single episode of The Blacklist. So I’m coming at this with a completely different perspective and expectation than a lot of viewers. That being said the promo was both intriguing and exciting. They balanced the backstory and the action well, and I was definitely left interested to see the pilot. Its biggest strength is surely its incredible cast, the leads being played by Famke Janssen and Ryan Eggold. Already in the trailer we can see their relationship is going to be provide heavy entertainment and they’re sure to put in some stellar performances. But Edi Gathegi is also one to look out for. He’s a very talented actor who frequently manages to shine in the roles he’s given. With a ton of spinoffs and reboots premiering this TV season it’ll be interesting to see how Redemption does but judging by the trailer I’m predicting big things.
Excitement Factor: 4/5
The Good Place
What it’s about: After her death Eleanor finds herself in the afterlife for people who have done good deeds. Realising that there has been a case of mistaken identity and that in fact she has not been a very good person, she sets out to turn over a new leaf and write her wrongs.
What we think: Kristen Bell is awesome. I think that’s something we can all agree on. So whenever her name is attached to a project I’m pretty much already won over. Plus, she’s a fantastic comedic actress so it seems like a perfect fit. Pair her with Ted Danson and you have gold which the promo definitely showed us. It was extremely witty and intelligent throughout, and the whole premise is very interesting. The only concern with this is if it can sustain the story for multiple episodes/seasons. It feels like it would make a great movie but I’m not sure how it will play out as a television show. However, in a TV world saturated with family comedies this feels like a breath of fresh air and if they manage to develop the long running arc well, it could be one of the best new comedies of 2016.
Excitement Factor: 3.5/5
This Is Us
What it’s about: Focuses on a group of people born on the same day including a television actor who is tiring of his bachelor lifestyle, a man searching for his father and a married couple expecting triplets.
What we think: I love a good dramedy and this promo showcases why the combination of these two genres works so well. There’s these incredibly funny moments and then there’s the poignant heart-breaking scenes that follow. Whilst the trailer deals with some serious and at times very sad subject matter the whole thing is executed in a way that leaves you feeling positive afterwards. On first look it feels like it could be a film but the characters and their stories are so interesting that I’m grateful that we’re actually going to get to see it play out longer and really have the chance to develop. Plus, the show comes from the writers and directors of the brilliant Crazy, Stupid, Love and has an excellent cast so we know it’s in good hands.
Excitement Factor: 4.5
What it’s about: A history professor, a scientist and a soldier must travel back in time to stop a criminal who has stolen a time machine in order to change history and destroy the country.
What we think: Just pure excellence. This is how you do a trailer. Lots of drama, mystery and action. A few well placed funny one liners and some unexpected twists and turns. The brilliant speech that the scientist gives about racism – the line “History is not on your side” was fantastic. Honestly I don’t have anything bad to say about this promo. It did everything right and I can’t wait to see the pilot.
Excitement Factor: 5/5