Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

Fall 2011 Preview: NBC’s New Shows September 6, 2011

"Up All Night" just may be my most anticipated show of the fall.

A couple of days ago I previewed ABC’s new shows. Next up is NBC, whose primetime lineup is so cluttered with Dancing with the Stars and other mediocre reality shows that there is only room for a handful of new offerings. Very few of these look promising:

  • Free Agents – The only thing this show has going for it is that Anthony Stewart Head is in it. But he plays “the boss,” so I doubt that will be very interesting. This show is about “two recently heartbroken coworkers desperately trying to put their lives back together.” Yawn… The only buzz about this show among the critics is that it will likely be one of the first to get the axe.
  • Grimm – Okay, so this show looks like it wants to be better than it actually will be. But I will at least watch the pilot since it is written and produced by Angel/Buffy guy David Greenwalt. I think Once Upon a Time will be the better fairy tale show this season. This one may be too procedural in nature. The main guy is a detective who is also one in a long line of “grimms,” protectors of humanity from the monsters that really exist. It looks like he’s trying to find the “Big Bad Wolf” and save a little girl in the pilot episode. Maybe a little too specific, and too strange a combo of normal procedural with fantasy. That’s the problem I had with Alex O’Loughlin’s Moonlight, and it ended up being short-lived. That being said, I am intrigued by Silas Weir Mitchell’s “reformed grimm” character, who acts as an informant for the main character. Could add an interesting dynamic to the show.
  • Prime Suspect and Whitney – These two shows have nothing in common except that I have no interest in either one. American remakes of British shows don’t usually succeed, and just because a comedian is funny doing standup doesn’t mean they will find Seinfeld level success on tv. The show pages didn’t do anything to draw my attention to the story, characters, or actors. Moving on.
  • The Playboy Club – Another rip-off of Mad Men, with this one being offensive to me because of the whole blatantly objectifying women thing. It’s like the NBC powers that be said, “Hey, I bet people would watch a show where women bounce around in playboy bunny costumes…” Supposedly they will feature storylines about women’s rights and equality and such, but it’s hard to take those topics seriously in a playboy club setting.
  • Up All Night – I’m really excited about this one! What’s not to love about Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph? (As an aside, if you haven’t watched Bridesmaids, save it to your Netflix queue – so funny, if also highly inappropriate.) Anyone who currently has a baby, is suffering from sleep deprivation, or is navigating the unfamiliar landscape of parenthood, can relate to this show very well right now. Will and Christina are new parents to a baby girl, and he is a stay at home dad while she resumes her career. Maya Rudolph plays her well meaning boss who is totally clueless about kids. It looks really, really funny. Hope it lives up to my expectations!

So there you have it. I will check out Up All Night, and with a more skeptical eye, Grimm. NBC hasn’t had a great track record with dramas in recent years, but it is home to my current favorite drama, Parenthood, and one of my all time faves, Friday Night Lights. I also admit that The Sing-Off is a guilty pleasure for me. I’ll probably get caught watching it from time to time this season. NBC’s main strength, though, is still its comedies. The Office is past its prime, but I’m still loving 30 Rock and Community. Which NBC shows will you be watching this fall?