Some people get excited for Christmas. Some people get excited for Halloween. Others yearn for Super Bowl Sunday or Coachella. Here at Nerdgeist, however, our favourite time of the year is Upfronts week. Upfronts is the week where networks announce their fall schedules and present trailers for their new TV shows. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Upfronts week was cancelled in 2020 and networks delivered their schedules and promos at varying times. Fortunately, whilst the presentations will be virtual, Upfronts are going ahead this year and audiences will be given a sneak peek into the upcoming television year. Kicking things off is FOX who have 4 new series to showcase. Here’s our reviews of each one.
What it’s about: After the death of their childhood best friend, three women decide that life is too short and make a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions, strengthening their bond and proving it’s never too late to screw up your life.
What we think: Despite starting off with grieving for their friend who passed away, the trailer quickly moves onto the comedy element and delivers quite a few laughs. It’s clear that this show is not taking itself too seriously which is refreshing with all the doom and gloom in the world. It’s got a stellar cast: Eliza Coupe is a comedy queen, Ginnifer Goodwin gives so much warmth and likeability to every role she’s in, and Maggie Q has some mighty acting chops. Side note: It’s nice to see Maggie Q in a comedy when she’s so known for her action roles. This wasn’t the most memorable trailer from FOX and it may struggle to stand out in an oversaturated TV landscape but it was sweet and fun, and the pilot will certainly be worth a watch.
Excitement Factor: 3.5/5
The Big Leap
What it’s about: A group of diverse underdogs compete to be part of a competition reality series that is putting on a modern, hip remake of Swan Lake.
What we think: This is my favourite FOX promo and may well end up being my favourite promo of the whole week. Thus, it gets full marks from Nerdgeist. Whilst the trailer gave off serious Smash vibes (RIP, gone too soon, looking at you NBC), it also seemed like such a new and fresh idea for a show in an industry packed with police procedurals, family comedies, and medical dramas. The promo struck the perfect balance between comedy and drama and it already seems like one of those shows that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Plus, with a cast like that – why wouldn’t you tune in to watch?
Excitement Factor: 5/5
The Cleaning Lady
What it’s about: An intelligent doctor comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ill child. When the system fails her and forces her into hiding, she becomes a cleaning lady for the mob.
What we think: When I read the premise for this, I thought it wouldn’t be the type of show I’d be interested in. However, the trailer completely changed my mind. It was so intriguing yet fast paced, and they managed to show lot of character layers considering the promo was only two and a half minutes. Elodie Yung looks like she’s going to be giving a fantastic performance in the lead and already has great chemistry with co-star Adan Canto. Let’s hope the pilot is as good as the promo.
Excitement Factor: 4/5
Welcome to Flatch
What it’s about: A mockumentary based on BBC’s This Country, following the daily lives of two cousins living in a small town
What we think: I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive about this one. This Country is such a quintessentially British show that I worry it won’t translate well, much like The Inbetweeners, Gavin & Stacey, and Skins remakes. However, the trailer shows promise and they seem to have really captured the small town vibe well. Whilst the series is about two cousins, in this promo it was the supporting characters who really shined. Plus, it’s great to see Seann William Scott in another comedy role. Whilst I don’t think they’ve completely captured the charm of the original, my scepticism of the show is less for having seen the trailer.
Excitement Factor: 3/5