TV

ABC TV Promo Reviews (2018-2019)

Every year at Upfronts week, there is one network that seems to soar above the rest with high quality pilots. This year, that network is ABC. Each promo gave us something different and something great. From comedy to drama to soap, they really delivered. It looks to be a fantastic year of television from ABC.

A Million Little Things

What it’s about: A dramedy about a group of friends who, for different reasons and in different ways, are all stuck in their lives, but when one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake up call the others need to finally start living.

What we think: So this seems to be ABC’s version of This Is Us and I’m totally here for it. Great television is emotionally affecting and this promo pretty much confirmed that I’ll be crying every week while watching. It was only a 3.5-minute trailer and I’m already deeply invested in the story and characters, perhaps because of the outstanding cast they’ve hired. I’m trying to find something bad about this promo but I can’t, this is my favourite of Upfronts week so far.

Excitement factor: 5/5

The Fix

What it’s about: Follows an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting a double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in Washington. 8 years later, when the same suspect id under suspicion for another murder, she is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice.

What we think: Lost’s Mr Eko as the bad guy? Not sure how I feel about that. But he does it so well in the promo and that laugh at the end was chilling. Joining him is a very talented cast including Robin Tunney, Breckin Meyer and Scott Cohen. From the trailer, they show us that we can expect some standout performances this year. The story itself seems compelling, if not a little familiar (OJ Simpson 2.0, anyone?), and the promo got me very invested in the outcome. My only concern is how they’re going to keep this going past the first season but I guess we’ll have to tune in to find out.

Excitement factor: 4/5

The Grand Hotel

What it’s about: A soapy drama set against the backdrop of a Miami Beach hotel, centering around the family who owns the business, the staff who run it, and the explosive secrets they hide under the perfect exterior.

What we think: Okay, so it’s not ground-breaking television but let’s face it, it’s not meant to be. The promo tells us exactly what type of show this is going to be – fun, campy and entertaining. It’s like Dynasty’s younger, more exciting, new sister. Eva Longoria is serving as an executive producer and she’s great at this genre, evidenced by former series Devious Maids and the cancelled way too soon Telenovela. With the Jane the Virgin ending this year, this could be the (slightly more over the top) replacement we need.

Excitement factor: 4/5

The Kids Are Alright

What it’s about: An Irish-Catholic family with a working-class dad, traditional mom and eight boisterous sons navigates changes big and small during the turbulent 1970s.

What we think: Michael Cudlitz in a comedy? I’m in.  Apart from the unnecessary and unfunny “phony news” joke, this promo gave us a lot to work with. It struck the right balance of humour and heart, and seems like it’s going to be the type of feel-good family comedy that ABC is so great at producing. With so many characters, it was sometimes a struggle to remember who was who, but the pilot will give us more time to get to know everybody.

Excitement factor: 3.5/5

The Rookie

What it’s about: John Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a cop.  Now, surrounded by rookies twenty years his junior, Nolan must navigate the dangerous, humorous and unpredictable world of a “young” cop, determined to make his second shot at life count.

What we think: When I read the synopsis, I figured we’d be getting another Castle which is good but honestly I’d hoped Nathan Fillion would be starring in something a little different. Thankfully, I was wrong and the promo showed us this show is going to focus on less comedy and more drama. It was darker than I expected but the intensity worked really well for the trailer and it definitely changed my opinion that this was just another police procedural. It shows a lot of promise and I’m excited to see how the pilot turns out.

Excitement factor: 4.5/5

Single Parents

What it’s about: A group of dysfunctional single parents lean on each other as they raise their kids, look for love, and ultimately realize survival is only possible with the help of each other.

What we think: As soon as I saw Leighton Meester and Taran Killam, I knew I’d enjoy this promo. They’re both great comedic actors and the rest of the cast hold their own against them as well. The premise is simple but solid, and I feel a lot of people are going to connect to it. The promo itself was the funniest comedy trailer presented at Upfronts thus far, signalling good things for the pilot.

Excitement factor: 4/5

Whiskey Cavalier

What it’s about: Following an emotional break-up, FBI super agent Will Chase (codename: Whiskey Cavalier) is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: Fiery Tribune). Together, they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny, heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.

What we think: I think this is going to be my official guilty pleasure watch of the 2018/19 television season. The promo has just the right amount of jokes, drama and explosions that makes action comedy such a fantastic genre. Plus, Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan have insanely good chemistry, and when your secondary cast include Tyler James Williams, Ana Ortiz and Josh Hopkins, you know you’re onto a winner.

Excitement factor: 4.5/5

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