As promised, The ‘Tastic is proud to present the first-look trailers for all of ABC’s new shows… and there are a lot of them (you can see the full Fall schedule right here.). Along with synopses and videos, in true TV-Tastic-style we’ll give you a preview assessment of each of the new series (in other words, we plan to pretty much rip most of them apart) letting you know what we think about them and if it’s worth your time to check them out this Fall and just to give everyone a heads up: overall we are amazed at how good most of these shows look despite the fact that ABC is becoming the Big-5’s version of Lifetime.
Last Man Standing: Today it’s a woman’s world, and this man’s man is on a mission to get men back to their rightful place in society.
Tim Allen returns to ABC in this new comedy from Jack Burditt (“30 Rock”). Men may have built civilizations, invented the locomotive and created ESPN, but they’re about to find out that it’s not a man’s world anymore. You can’t get manlier than Mike Baxter. He’s the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store, he loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women — namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before.
The ‘Tastic Says: Say hello to the first installment of male emasculating and male-bashing. This show in and of itself doesn’t look particularly awful, however it looks like a clone of Home Improvement sans the tools and Wilson peeking over the fence imparting sage advice. Also, we simply CANNOT get over this obvious radical gyno-centric agenda that ABC is adopting and it’s particularly insidious with this show, using the reverse-psychology method, trying to convince us that this is a pro-masculinity empowerment show while all the male characters are boorish buffoons. We’re not buying it, ABC. We certainly get wanting to expand your audience but this seems like a desperate ploy to get women viewers because they know they have no chance in Hell of getting the 18 – 49 male audience any more. The only saving grace for LMS is that Tim Allen has probably been one of the most likable guys on TV for the last 20 years second maybe only to Jay Leno. Out of deference to Tim, we’ll reserve our judgment for a few episodes.
Man Up: Three modern men try to get in touch with their inner tough guys and redefine what it means to be a “real man” in this funny and relatable comedy.
Will’s grandfather fought in WWII. Will’s father fought in Vietnam. Will plays Call of Duty on his PS3 and drinks non-dairy hazelnut creamer. So what happened to all the real men? They’re still here — they just smell like pomegranate body wash now. Meet Will (Mather Zickel). His evolved, sensitive nature is why his awesome wife, Theresa (Teri Polo), married him. But Will and his friends find themselves wondering — in a world of Axe ads and manscaping — what does it really mean to be a guy anymore? Will is more interested in finding the perfect gift for his son Nathan’s (Jake Johnson) 13th birthday than in doing his job selling insurance; sensitive soul Craig (Christopher Moynihan) still pines for his college ex, Lisa; and Kenny (Dan Fogler) clamps down on his anger and asks himself, “What would Tobey Maguire do?,” when his ex, Brenda (Amanda Detmer), starts seeing a guy (Henry Simmons) who is everything he’s not and much better looking. After Craig crashes Lisa’s wedding to try to win her back, they are all faced with an opportunity to Man Up and be like their forefathers.
The ‘Tastic Says: And the hits just keep on coming! More men who keep their testicles firmly entrenched deep in their wives purses or who are fat, disgusting slobs whose exes are dating guys who are built like comic book superheroes. We are convinced that this is what happens when Sex and The City fans smoke a joint and then decided to create a television series. And of course, the men overgrown children who play Call of Duty on the X-Box 360 all night long (because everyone knows that if they actually were adults they’d be playing on a Playstation 3). As bad and recycled as the premise is (didn’t NBC just fail with this when it was called Perfect Couples?), this show looks pretty funny and probably only because it stars Fanboys‘ neurotic star, Dan Fogler. We’ll give it a shot but like LMS, we’re not promising anything.
Suburgatory: Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the ‘burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they’ve ever been.
Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa’s mom pulled a “Kramer vs. Kramer” before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he’s feeling a little out of his league. So it’s goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the ‘burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they’re really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast.
The ‘Tastic Says: OK… this just looks absolutely horrific. We don’t know what more to say but we do expect it to die a quick death. Of course, we’ll endure at least the pilot for the sake of all of you so we can properly review it.
Revenge: Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of revenge.
Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) is new to the Hamptons. She’s met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how – with a vengeance.
The ‘Tastic Says: Is there a reason that ABC insists on recycling old plots from failed scripted series? Do we not all remember the failed (but awesome) NBC series, Life, from 2007 starring Damian Lewis as a cop who is framed by fellow cops and wrongfully convicted of murder, spends 12 years in prison before he’s exonerated, and under the terms of his settlement with the city, gets his old job as a detective back and uses his resources to hunt down, one-by-one, the people involved in the conspiracy? Call us crazy, but this is the exact same show… but with a chick. Surprisingly, though, the trailer below does look pretty flippin’ good. It gave us chills. Not sure if we’re crazy about Emily Van Camp in the lead as she seems a little soft for such a hardcore character, however maybe that’s why this will work… no one will see her coming. We’re guessing that this is going to be pretty good, but it’s a serial and we know how today’s audiences feel about serials. However, this show, like every other show on this network’s schedule is targeting women viewers and that section of the audience has far more tolerance for serialized drama then the rest of the audience.
Charlie’s Angels: Everyone deserves a second chance — even a thief, a street racer and a cop who got in a little too deep. After all, the three women who solve cases for their elusive boss, Charlie Townsend, are no saints. They’re angels… Charlie’s Angels.
Set in Miami, this fun, glamorous, action-packed take on the 1970s smash hit series introduces us to three new angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Minka Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure — Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs.
The ‘Tastic Says: Whoot… whoot! Girl power and a reboot! No… just no. Everything about this looks awful. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Much like The CW needed to be smacked on the nose with a newspaper for Hellcats, the same punishment should apply to ABC for this completely unnecessary relaunch.
Once Upon A Time: From the inventive minds of “Lost” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide.
And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.
The ‘Tastic Says: Yet another series with a strong female lead using a (at least partially) recycled premise. Despite that, this is quite an original twist on the genre and the second show this season that mixes the contemporary with the classic fairy tale (the first being NBC’s new show, Grimm). It really looks quite epic and it’s got some big-time writers associated with it but we’re thinking it might be a little too epic for Big-5 TV and seriously, how long can a premise like this last? 22 episodes per season for five to seven seasons? Doubtful. It seems more appropriate as a SyFy or HBO miniseries, really. However, on the other hand, who would have thought that these same writers could have given us six seasons and 115 episodes of the second greatest show of all-time, Lost? If this is as good and as well put-together as it looks, we’d love for this to survive but this type of serial genre programming is very questionable on major network TV in this climate.
Pan Am: Passion, jealousy and espionage… They do it all – and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly-original new series.
In this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury and Pan Am is the biggest name in the business. The planes are glamorous, the pilots are rock stars and the stewardesses are the most desirable women in the world. Not only are these flyboys and girls young and good looking, but to represent Pan Am they also have to be educated, cultured and refined. They’re trained to handle everything from in-air emergencies to unwanted advances – all without rumpling their pristine uniforms or mussing their hair. There’s Dean (Jonah Lotan) – a cocky, charismatic and ambitious new pilot – the first of a new breed not trained in the war. On the sly against company policy, he’s dating Bridget, a stunning beauty with a mysterious past. A rebellious bohemian, Maggie (Christina Ricci) turns into a buttoned up professional for work so she can see the world. Rounding out the crew are flirtatious Collette (Karine Vanasse), the adventurous Kate (Kelli Garner) and, finally, Laura (Margot Robbie) – Kate’s beauty queen younger sister, a runaway bride, who recently fled a life of domestic boredom to take to the skies.
The ‘Tastic Says: The more we go through these new shows the more we’re actually starting to admire ABC for their ability to either make every series have a strong, empowering female lead and/or make men look like complete jackasses and often without the audience realizing it. What they’ve done with this show is just brilliant: They took the infancy of the women’s lib movement where women were still thought of as second-class citizens, put them in the most sexualized role they could possibly be in for that era (other than wearing bunny ears and a cotton tail… thank you, NBC for not missing a beat and covering that particular base) and turned it around into an empowering position as the perfect cover for a covert operative! Like we said, BRILLIANT! Of course, in the aggregate, this is a combination of Alias and Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can (goodness, half of the scenes in the trailer AND the Sinatra song Come Fly With Me are directly from that film), but still, this looks VERY clever and hip and we think it’s going to be a lot of fun. We are really looking forward to this. By the way here’s one thing from Catch Me If You Can that wasn’t in the trailer and it’s doubtful it will be in this new series.
The Greatest Joke of All Time
(NSFW… just play it quietly, will ya? Use a little discretion at work. Waitaminute… shouldn’t you be working?)
Good Christian Belles: The soap returns to Dallas in this wicked new drama that shows that you can go home again… but only if you’re ready to face the sins of your past.
Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), once the ultimate high school “mean girl,” is forced to return home in disgrace after her marriage ends in scandal. Amanda is nothing like the girl she was 20 years ago, but as her old classmates reacquaint themselves with the new Amanda, will her home town welcome her with open arms or seek revenge? No one in this town is a saint, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a heart. As Amanda and her teenage kids try to adjust to their new lives, the ladies from her past alternate between sympathy and scheming.
The ‘Tastic Says: First keep in mind that this show was originally entitled Good Christian Bitches, so apparently empowering women and treating them with respect only extends so far. This seems like a ripoff of Desperate Housewives which means that we certainly won’t be watching it as this genre is simply not our bag, however, we have a much bigger problem with the underlying premise of the show to begin with which seems to be to want to expose the moral hypocrisy of Christians. This is not a particularly smart place to start from for any series in the U.S. First of all, religion is a very private matter to begin with and most people simply prefer it be kept out of their primetime entertainment fare, but secondly, it’s just not very smart to alienate 79% of your audience right out of the gate. All of that notwithstanding, this show looks hideous. The writing is horrible as are the performances and we could figure that out in the minute and 46 seconds we saw below.
Missing: Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) learns that her son, Michael, disappears while studying abroad, and it’s a race against time when she travels to Europe to track him down. A surprising turn of events reveals just how far one mother will go to protect her family. Exotic locations and thrilling twists will keep you riveted in “Missing.”
How far would you go to save the only thing you have left in the world? At 8 years old, Michael watched as his father, CIA Agent Paul Winstone, was murdered. Now 10 years later, Paul’s wife, Becca, is faced with the reality of her son growing up. When Michael is afforded the opportunity to study abroad, his mother reluctantly agrees it’s time to let him go. Just a few weeks into his trip Michael disappears, and Becca immediately suspects foul play. When she arrives in Rome, she begins piecing together the clues left behind. It isn’t long before the kidnappers realize they’ve picked a fight with the wrong woman. Becca Winstone has a secret of her own — before Paul’s death, she was also a lethal CIA Agent. But if she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends and reopen old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits.
The ‘Tastic Says: Broken Record here: recycled plot from a failed series and a strong female lead. If you’re wondering what failed series we’re talking about it would be none other than FOX’s Vanished from 2006 that lasted a grand total of 13 episodes. It’s also got the feel of Alias, Taken and the Bourne franchise for obvious reasons. Still, the production values are insane on this. This is a TV show? This looks like one of the few bright spots for action this year on all of the networks, and of course we love Ashley Judd going all the way back to when she played Ensign Robin Lefler on Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are of course two big problems with this show, the first being the serial factor, but again that may be mitigated by the female audience that we referred to earlier discussing Revenge. The second is the same issue that OUaT has, and that is, how long can they really go with this premise? Seriously, are they going to keep that kid missing for five to seven years. Audiences will grow tired of that quickly and it seems like a very lazy plot device for the central theme of the show considering how well-developed it seems… kinda like it was drawn out of a hat. Despite this, it really does look good and we’re looking forward to it.
The River: “The River” follows the story of wildlife expert and TV personality Emmet Cole. Emmet set course around the world with his wife, Tess, and son, Lincoln, while filming what would become one of the most popular shows in television. After he goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends and crew set out on a mysterious and deadly journey to find him.
Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann).
The ‘Tastic Says: Holy Crap! This looks awesome! This show has one of the few truly ensemble casts of the new schedule but of course, it has a super ninja-type strong female lead who has to lead the rescue for the man who got lost in the jungle. But this show looks absolutely amazing and with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television producing it (with Spielberg himself exec. producing) you know that this is going to be a tight, well-done show. It has a very big LOST vibe to it and we certainly can’t complain about that. This looks like the best new show of the season.
Scandal: From the creator and executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff.
A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite. After leaving the White House, the power consultant opened her own firm, hoping to start a new chapter — both professionally and personally — but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her staff, who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, can’t quite fix the ones closest at hand — their own.
The ‘Tastic Says: Oh, good Lord, this looks stupid and surprise, surprise, surprise, yet another ridiculously strong female lead who’s so tough that she can stand in the middle of two guys with handguns and with nothing more than a firm voice make them lower their weapons. Stupid and predictable procedural that is trying fool the audience into thinking that it’s actually original because they filled in the Mad-Libs blanks with the phrases “Crisis Management” and “Fixer.” Forget it.
Apartment 23: After a naïve Midwestern girl’s big city dreams are dashed her first week in New York, she finds herself living with her worst nightmare in this hilarious, contemporary comedy about a female odd couple who are surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters.
June (Dreama Walker) moves to Manhattan for a dream job and the perfect company apartment, only to have them disappear in a puff of reality, thanks to a CEO from the Bernie Madoff school of embezzlement. Deep in debt and out on the streets, June scrambles to land a job and place to live. It seems her luck has turned around when she gets hired at a coffee shop and finds Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a charming, vivacious roommate… with the morals of a pirate. She swindles June out of all her savings, but she and her snarky friend, James Van Der Beek (playing himself), soon learn that, just because June’s naïve, she isn’t stupid. June ingeniously turns the tables on Chloe, who is so shocked about being scammed herself that she decides to pull June into her colorful band of friends. Sure, it’s all dysfunctional, bizarre and overwhelming, but so is New York City. And with the help of Chloe and the other oddballs around her, June might just learn the survival secrets she needs to make it there.
The ‘Tastic Says: Big shocker… strong female leads again. This looks actually very funny. Out of all the trailers we’ve seen this one actually made us laugh three or four times. That’s already more laughs in a minute and a half than we had during the entire season of $#*! My Dad Says. Seems to have some very clever writing, and it reminds us of Friends if Friends could come back as a series that didn’t suck. We also find it quite clever that James Van Der Beek keeps getting roles in comedies playing himself. This should do well. We hope they stick this on Wednesday night as the lead out for Modern Family as that’s where it belongs.
Work It: This high-concept comedy centers on two unrepentant guy’s guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process.
With unemployment an ongoing issue and women now outnumbering men in the workforce, the new comedy series “Work It” follows two alpha males who realize the only way to beat the current “mancession” and land a job in pharmaceutical sales is to pass themselves off as women. Combining all the best elements of the workplace comedy, the buddy comedy and the family comedy, “Work It” centers on Lee Standish (Ben Koldyke) — a quick-witted and likable family man who used to be a top car salesman until he got laid off — and Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco) — a single, hot-headed ladies’ man with no filter — who quickly learn there are fundamental differences in the worlds of men and women that go beyond teetering in high heels and tightening up with Spanx. Lee and Angel are determined to keep their ruse going for as long as they can — and keep their newly found jobs — in this smart, funny and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home and socially. Being a better man sometimes means having to be a better woman.
The ‘Tastic says: Ugh… and the trend continues. This time, turning heterosexual misogynistic men into transvestites so that they can get jobs in this mythical universe where women run everything. What we can’t believe is that they actually called this “high-concept.” We’re sorry, but didn’t ABC already try this show with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari 30 years ago and call it Bosom Buddies (except the guys weren’t absolute pigs)? My God, who on God’s green Earth would ever confuse the two of those dopes in this show for women. At least Scolari and Hanks were kinda pretty for dudes. Reboot FAIL. This show is a big floating turd and they don’t even have a catchy theme song by Billy Joel to look forward to. And on that note to make up for the minute and a half of your life that will be wasted and the fact that you probably will vomit after watching the trailer below, here’s a little treat for you:
Billy Joel – My Life