Continuing this week’s upfronts coverage, here’s ABC’s latest contributions to global culture and this year’s, it’s giving that diversity thing it had going last season a semi-confident thumbs-up, while simultaneously giving quality the finger. After the jump, we have:
- Ken Jeong’s first starring and unfunny role on TV in Dr Ken
- A bunch of shagging FBI trainees (and Dougray Scott) in Quantico
- Andrew McCarthy getting released from prison when the child he supposedly murdered turns up ten years later in The Family
- A documentary about the personal lives of The Muppets. Yes, you read that right
- Wicked City, a true crime procedural set in 1980s LA, with Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick as the murderer
- A modern day Gold Rush striking in North Dakota, creating a modern day Wild West in Oil. Fortunately, Don Johnson’s there to police the place
- Uncle Buck going black in a remake of the John Hughes movie that stars Mike Epps
- Shonda Rhimes giving ABC her all again, with The Killing (US)’s Mireille Enos a fraud investigator who gets defrauded by her fiancé in The Catch
- Ray Winstone returning to Noah territory to become Saul, the first cockney king of Israel in Of Kings & Prophets
- An Irish-Catholic family coming to terms with the fact their son is gay in hilarious fashion in The Real O'Neals
Trailers and more details after the jump.
Ken Jeong (Community, The Hangover) plays a doctor with a bad beside manner, a bad boss (Dave Foley from Kids In the Hall, Spun Out, How To Be A Gentleman), a moderately okay family and not many jokes. Still, it is the first Asian family comedy on US TV since… February
Lots of diverse FBI trainees learning to be agents at the eponymous training centre, while having sex, being mean girls, forming cliques, etc. Then it turns out there’s a traitor and they have to prevent a terrorist attack. Features Dougray Scott as a trainer and Jake McLaughlin (Believe) as one of the trainees, but as much plausibility as a Lindt chocolate bunny, in what’s basically How To Get Away With Murder in a slightly different setting.
Sherlock’s Rupert Graves heads over to the US to marry politician Joan Allen for this thriller in which their young son gets kidnapped. Ten years later, he seemingly returns, which is a bit of problem given Andrew McCarthy got put in prison for murdering him, so has to be released. Except is it really the returned child or is it an imposter? Also features Alison Pill from The Newsroom and Graves and Allen’s daughter. Unfortunately, it all looks a bit assembled by numbers, with Allen especially egregiously written. But it might be promising.
A faux documentary about The Muppets and their personal lives. Looks like possibly the first unfunny thing I’ve ever seen The Muppets in.
An anthology series that will follow different cases in different eras of Los Angeles history, starting in the 1980s. Lots of women get murdered by Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) and a cop (Adam Rothenberg) and a journalist (Taissa Farmiga) start doing some investigating. Then Erika Christensen (Parenthood) joins in with Ed. If that all sounds a bit exploitative and unpleasant, you are not alone.
Ed Westwick’s fellow Gossip Girl escapee Chase Crawford heads to North Dakota to seek his fortune. Unfortunately, everyone else is heading there, too, and with so much cash floating around, crime is rife. Fortunately, Sheriff Don Johnson is around and he’s ready to police the soapy intrigue. Looks about as forgettable as every other ABC soap-drama.
Comedian Mike Epps is the unreliable relative brought in to help look after the kids when all other options fail. Based on the John Hughes/John Candy film of the same name, it’s nevertheless mesmerisingly unfunny.
Perhaps the most promising of the dramas, although that’s a pretty low bar, this sees Mireille Enos’s high flying fraud investigator having to track down her fiancé when he disappears with all their money. But has he actually fallen in love with her? And how’s his wife going to take it when she finds out? As I said, a pretty low bar, but Enos does make it look a whole lot better than it probably is.
Of Kings & Prophets
Ray Winstone is phenomenally miscast as the Saul, the first King of Israel, who has to deal not just with the Amalekites but the rise of that David, who might be quite handy in a fight with tall people.
The Real O'Neals
Perhaps the most promising of the comedies, despite its lame set-up, sees an Irish Catholic family coming to terms with their son being gay (and a few other issues, too), in part with the help of fantasy sequences.