Saturday, 30 July 2016

NBC Pilot Previews

The Good Place 

Before the series was officially announced, details regarding The Good Place were kept under wraps. But we now know what The Good Place actually is! Think of the show as Mike Schur’s version of My Name Is Earl or maybe even Defending Your Life starring Meryl Streep.

The premise is as follows “After she is struck and killed by a tractor-trailer carrying erectile dysfunction products, a woman named Eleanor (Kristen Bell) wakes up to discover she has entered the afterlife. But when she is told by her mentor Michael (Ted Danson) that she is in "the good place" because she did a good deed by helping get innocent people off death row, she realizes that a mistake has been made and they think she is someone else. Stuck in a world where no one curses, gets drunk, and everyone is always nice, Eleanor finds herself caught between staying in the afterlife or trying to find a way to return to the mundane life she had back on Earth”.  The Good Place is the latest high concept quirky comedy NBC has ordered (the first being Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which obviously did not make the cut at its original home) however, The Good Place has already been scheduled for this season alongside NBC’s only returning comedy Superstore.

The Good Place has its own distinctive look which consists of bright and cartoonish sets, frozen yogurt bars and an odd brightness which emulates the upbeat tone of the show. Based on the premise of the show, it is fair to wonder how the show would work in the long run considering the fact the show takes place in heaven aka The Good Place however the first season has been restricted to 13 episodes which suggests it will contain a concise story line.

The show has a broad style of humour, which also involves Eleanor being full of angst and but also has a quirkiness to appeal to the Parks & Recreation/Kimmy Schmidt crowd. 

This Is Us

Wow I was not expecting to like This Is Us show as much as I do (which has nothing to do with Milo Ventimiglia’s nude scene...). Based on the logline which describes the show as being a dramedy about people born on the same day, I could not figure out how a show like This Is Us could work in the long run let alone what it would actually be about.

 The show follows the heart wrenching story of several individuals whose lives intertwine as we watch the character go through times of joy and sorrow. Characters include Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) high risk pregnancy, Sterling K. Brown’s character preparing to meet his father for the first time and Justin Hartley’s character as Kevin, a TV star whose pretentious life no longer interests him as much as it once did. Chrissy Mertz plays Karen who is battling weight and romance issues and eventually becomes close friends with Kevin.

This Is Us has been set up as a show which uses raw emotion and heart to move its audience rather than a flashy concept and effects. Fogelman himself described the show as being a dramedy version of Lost, which also brought the stories and experiences of several characters together. This Is Us has broad appeal without being overly generic or limp in its approach to character or storytelling. Just like Fogelman’s other emotion focused drama Pitch, we are meant to celebrate the ups of the characters as well as mourn their setbacks and come back each week to support their revelations. This Is Us is a very strong drama which will hopefully find a dedicated audience.

Timeless is the latest highly anticipated post-The Voice NBC drama. It follows in the footsteps of The Blacklist and Blindspot. Unlike the former shows, Timeless is just one of an array of time travel themed shows premiering next season.

Timeless hails from Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan and revolves around professor Lucy Preston (Abigail Preston), soldier Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) and scientist Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) who are enlisted to go on a pursuit to catch a master criminal named Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) who has stolen a state-of-the-art time machine for more mysterious purposes by changing the course of American history. The first destination, which we see in the pilot, takes the team to May 1937, just in time of the Hindenburg disaster.

Timeless is a flashy show with impressive sets and special effects while the directing creates a tone which surrounds Timeless in a feeling of anticipation and doom. The pilot focuses mostly on building the relationship between the trio of non-super heroes as they struggle to get along with each other while travelling through time to save the world. It is also repeatedly noted that any changes they make to the timeline of American history could also cause detrimental effects to their personal lives, which is all too real for Lucy. The audience are exposed to their strengths and weaknesses as well as the time travel concept to create a strong start for the show.

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