Your Primer on TV Upfronts 2014: A Mixed Bag

A few years ago, I had no idea what upfronts were. Now the days when they’re released are amongst my favorite of the year. I loooooove television. Love it. So there’s nothing that bums me out more than seeing a bunch of shows that have no appeal or look embarrassingly stupid. Then there are the shows that you’ve been looking forward to since you heard about the pilot however long ago. And then there are the shows that you know you will love and you know you will be one of the few and you will either suffer a blow six episodes in when the network unceremoniously cancels it or be on pins and needles for 3-6 seasons hoping and praying your show will live another day.

I’m in the key demo right now and I don’t wanna waste these precious years by not watching TV or not having strong opinions. I know upfronts are only a few minutes and I could be completely wrong and come around on a show later or hate something I expected to love. But I doubt it. Here are the shows I felt worth commenting on.

NBC

A to Z

What a piece of shit. I am so bored and this is so straight and who will care about this show other than twelve year olds that probably shouldn’t be watching it. No thank you.

State of Affairs

I’ve already dubbed this show White Scandal. Is this Katherine Heigl’s triumphant (??) return to television? I have no choice but watch a show with a black woman as president especially when it’s everyone black person’s fake grandmother, Alfre Woodard.

Constantine

It is my belief that Constantine will have learned from the Marvel Agents of Shield and American Horror Stories of the world to come up with something good. I love the idea of serialized semi-horror and comic book (“Hellblazer”) adaptions  are obviously extremely popular right now.

Bad Judge

I am so glad to see Kate Walsh in a comedy. I don’t know that people think of her as a funny person but I certainly do and have felt that she has so much more to offer the world than being a horny lady doctor or whatever her deal was on Grey’s/Private Practice.

Marry Me

The way some people feel about Community is how I felt about Happy Endings so when I found out David Caspe sold another show and that the star of said show would be Casey Wilson I was much excite. Then I found out Ken Marino from the (backhanded compliment genre of) cult comedy hit Party Down was in it and my hopes went through the roof. I doubt this show will be quite the delight Happy Endings was but we can pray.

ABC

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes’ new show stars Viola Davis. What else is there to say. Shonda Rhimes owns a night of television. You’re going to watch this show at least once because you won’t have a choice.

Galavant

Man, what.

Black-ish

I am in. I am all in. I do not care about the think pieces to come. I do not care about the policing white people will do. I do not care about the microscope this show will be put under. Sign me the fuck up.

Cristela

I have zero confidence I will like this show but I am glad it exists because it means corny multicams aren’t just for white people anymore. If you like 2 Broke Girls then you will probably be into it.

Fresh Off the Boat

I am ready to love this show solely based on the woman that plays the mother (Constance Yu). I laughed out loud at her three times during this trailer so even if she is the only viable part of the show, it’ll probably be enough for me.

Selfie

Who let this happen.

Fox

Wayward Pines

Why are so many dope people in this show? Why do these people live in this creepy town? Why will I watch this show when I know the whole point is to drag out answering any of my questions for as long as possible? Is this the new Lost? (Will I ever watch Lost?) ((No.))

Gracepoint

Oof. For the most part I avoid shows focused on murder(s) because they are sad and slow moving but something about this one drew me in so if you’re going to go with one of the many many shows about bad things happening to people, try this one.

Hieroglyph

Two women kiss so I thought it my duty to include this.

Mulaney

John Mulaney is a goddamn joy and a genius and I will watch his multi-cam and I will try to like it even though the non-stand up part of this did nothing for me.

The Last Man on Earth

Well this seems aggressively self-indulgent.

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 314 articles for us.

40 Comments

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    I have no idea how you make “The Last Man on Earth” sustainable… like what am I watching? He can’t find other survivors in the first episode, because then what the hell are you going to call the show?

    I want to watch it just out of curiosity.

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    Ok no, can we talk a little bit about Galavant? I still haven’t recovered from that trailer. Like, how is this even a real thing? A comedy musical fairytale? What? I think that there’s a chance though that it may be just SO ridicolous it’s gonna turn out to be GOLD. (in any case, whatever they’re smoking at ABC, I want some.)

    I couldn’t even finish that Selfie trailer. And there’s my future wife Karen Gillian (Amelia Pond<3) in it. So.

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    Ok so the Tennant one is a remake of a British show that was out last year I think. So you could just watch the British one, it’s called Broadchurch…and I’ll never get to see any of the others unless they get picked up by UK networks. :(

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    So excited to watch How to Get Away with Murder and Fresh Off the Boat! And I’ll probably check out Cristela and Bad Judge. This is a really awesome reminder that I can watch some good television without having cable!

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    I am REALLY excited about President Alfre Woodard, and also about Viola Davis being on TV. I am NOT excited about Katherine Heigl, although during her stint as Izzie Stevens she did have that perpetually concerned look on her face that Olivia Pope has, so who knows.
    My person is the kid of a Vietnamese immigrant so we’re both sort of cautiously excited about Fresh Off the Boat. It helps that the title is taken directly from the memoir and that the producers/writers are all (mostly?) Asian. Still. There’s a lot of ways it could go horribly wrong.

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    I have been waiting for a legit Constantine forever (I’m sorry Keanu but you just don’t look enough like Sting to make me buy your portrayal). And it’s got my crush from the BBC’s Robin Hood, Lucy Griffiths! And and Harold Perrineau, who was the best Mercutio in any performance of Romeo & Juliet ever!

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    How to Get Away with Murder looks very good, specially with Viola Davis in it, but I think it would have been worth a mention there maybe a gay male character(pretty sure the trailer did show two guys getting ready to get it on).

    I take CBS new stuff is mostly other versions of CSI? What about CW?

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    I already love the mom on Fresh Off the Boat. The show reminds me a lot of Everybody Hates Chris but with an Asian family. Right on down to the narration. I hope it does well.

    I’m still not over Galavant though. How bad were the shows that got passed over for this? I can’t even imagine.

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    i am excited for black-ish and fresh off the boat. i’m really confused about “selfie” and how that happened, i feel like it’s the worst trailer i’ve seen since “work it” / “two broke girls”

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    “Happy Endings” was also my “Community,” so I’m super excited about Casey Wilson being back on TV. And Ken Marino. Everyone, if you haven’t already, watch “Burning Love.” It’s a Yahoo web series where a bunch of comedy babes play contestants on a fake dating show trying to win the heart of Ken Marino’s super idiotic fireman. And Janet Varney (who does the voice of Korra on “The Legend of Korra”) plays a lesbian character who accidentally makes it to the final two. It’s hilarious.

    I’ll probably check out “Marry Me” because of everyone involved, and then maybe “Fresh Off the Boat” because I actually laughed during the trailer. And I’m a huge John Mulaney fan so I’ll probably watch that even though it looks like suuuuuuch a “Seinfeld” ripoff. Although maybe that’s not a bad thing.

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    so my friend from high school wrote Hieroglyph and he says that is not a vampire in the trailer? which, ok, i don’t know what’s going on then, but i believe him. but then whaaaat is going on

    all to say, it looks like Scandal meets National Treasure set in pharaonic egypt, and as much as i love my friend, i am prepared to mst3k the everloving shit out of this show. *grabs popcorn*

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