Pilot season is here again and with so many options out there, between all of the new and returning shows, let alone the shows you may still be mourning (Community come back!!), it may be hard to know what to tune in for. Here’s a rundown of (some of) this year’s best new shows, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, that may pique your interest!
5 – Heroes Reborn
Not technically a pilot, but the launch of the ‘event series’ that’s the rebirth of an old franchise, Reborn had the most potential out of everything on the list. Time off, a new status quo, an new cast of Heroes as well as the return of some favourites promised a return that was the greatness of Season 1. In the first half of the two part pilot, I was delighted to see a lot of reflection from the pilot of the original series. A lot of setup, a lot of mystery and the promise of broad, intertwining and expansive story that would result in the heroes having to band together to save everyone. Save the cheerleader, save the world: redux. Now we’re three episodes in and I’m sad to say that I’m seeing more of season 3 Heroes than I am season 1.
While the story trajectory of the show is stealing more and more and more from the X-Men, it’s not the biggest problem Heroes is faced with. The biggest problem is the boundaries of network television. NBC simply doesn’t have the budget to produce the kind of visuals needed to do the show justice. Apparently, they don’t have the budget to even do it a little bit of justice. Where they lack of funds becomes most glaringly obvious is when someone uses their powers, they require a built set, or there’s a set piece. The biggest one of these resulted in a comically adorable fight scene in a building lobby involving one of Tim Kring’s bizarre Japanese characters. This seems like a backwards step for NBC, especially when you can turn on ABC and see how much money they are throwing at Agents of SHIELD to give it due diligence.
If you were a fan of the original show, you should definitely watch this. You’re probably not going to be blown away and you may find yourself a little disappointed by the outcome as I am. However, the return of Heroes is still nice to see, even if it is somewhat underwhelming.
4 – Scream Queens
From Ryan Murphy, the guy who brought you Glee and American Horror Story (I’m still baffled by that), comes Scream Queens – a satirical, comical and bloody send up of horror and modern youth culture that is equal parts Scream and Mean Girls. Murphy’s resume somehow makes more sense after saying that.
The pilot for this show is terrific. It’s very obvious in what it’s aiming at, they waste no time in introducing the killer and their motives, as well as setting up exactly what to expect from the rest of the season. Sporting a killer cast (I’m sorry), the sometimes over the top lampooning of pop culture is both well represented by the actors and their pitch perfect delivery. Their skewering of the horror genre, which already starts with the title of the show, is also right on the money. From the music, to the choice of shots, to the amount of horrified screams they throw at you every episode, this one doesn’t miss a beat with what it’s delivering you.
Things aren’t all roses for Queens though. The terrific two part pilot was definitely a highlight this year, but the third episode strutted right into territory that Murphy is famous for – going too far and flying off the rails. While the core of the show is kept together fairly well, the Red Devil killer has already spun into absurdity. Also, the red herrings on who the killer is are not as well done as I think the show thinks they are. I’m 90% certain I know who the killer is and there are months left to go. The other biggest issue with the show is, how does this continue past 1 season?
If nothing else, Ryan Murphy has shown he can take a show that should really only have a limited run and give it legs but also not be afraid to make an anthology series ending a story before it gets overblown and sad. What’s next for Scream Queens? You to tune in and enjoy this very promising show!