Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Would you watch this stuff? The broadcast network chieftains are at it again — ordering up pilots and trying to figure out which ones will fly. Here’s the list of what ABC has on its plate so far — along with my thoughts on whether they sound promising or not. Of course, sight unseen, I could always be wrong but I’ve honestly found that I have a pretty good instinct for this sort of thing. (BTW, for more pilot and TV development info checkout The Futon Critic.)

ABC (Comedies)
How the Hell Am I Normal? – A single-camera comedy about growing up in the eighties. This show is not to be confused with The Wonder Years, a single-camera comedy that aired in the eighties but was about growing up in the sixties.  Also, the original title of this show was — I kid you not – How the F–k Am I Normal? but somebody, thankfully, thought better of that. Perhaps having not one, but two flops, with the word implied B word in their titles (GCB and Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23)   actually taught the Alphabet Network something about taste. Don’t count on it.
Prognosis: If this actually has the same level of heart as The Wonder Years, this could be good. I just wouldn’t count on it.

Mixology  Single-cam comedy that follows five men and five women as they spend a night seeking out love in a bar.
Sounds like either a very long night or very short series. My guess is the latter.

Pulling – Single-cam comedy about three women who live together. Based on a U.K. show.
Prognosis: They had to go to the U,K. for this idea? Of course, it’s all in the execution but ideas don’t come much done-to-death than this one.

Super Fun Night – Single-cam comedy about three nerdy women trying to have fun every Friday night.
Prognosis: Girls just want to have fun and so do viewers who, from this description,  are likely to go elsewhere.

Trophy Wife Single-cam comedy about a recovering party girl who falls for a guy with trio of bratty kids and pair of annoying ex-wives.
Prognosis:  Does this sound funny to you? Me neither.

ABC (Dramas)
Betrayal – A married woman has a torrid affair with a lawyer.
Prognosis: ABC will likely pair this with Revenge for a powerful one-two punch of anti-social behavior. It could get some numbers, I suppose, but it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.

The Returned – Dead people come back to life as if nothing ever happened.
Prognosis: We’re not talking about The Walking Dead here. These dead folk aren’t zombies — in fact, they’re apparently not dead all, at least not anymore. What happened to them? Another endless TV mystery begins. Note to TV execs: Lost was one of the best shows ever but please stop trying to reproduce it. And whatever happened to TV movies and miniseries? Aren’t they the proper venues for intriguing ideas that shouldn’t be dragged out forever?

SHIELD – Based on the Marvel Comics spy team portrayed in the blockbuster movie The Avengers.
Prognosis: Now we’re talking! If this is executed with a sense of fun, this generation’s A-Team.

Venice Two powerful families battle for control of Venice, California.
Prognosis: Dallas, anyone? Basic stuff of a potential hit. Again, it’s always in the execution.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11