PILOTS! 2013: 10/06 - 10/12

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Disclaimer: For those who do not know what a pilot is; it's basically the first episode of a new television program. A true pilot is where the producers and "creators" of the program receive funding to film an entire episode in an attempt to pitch their show to their network/investors. Other pilots are just the first episode of the series because either A.) It was already greenlit for series before the first episode was even shot or B.) The pilot episode wasn't good enough (via the Network's point of view), so the creators made a second episode either to pitch it again or go ahead and put it live.

No matter what, my intention is to view the first episode of each new show that I'm slightly interested in. Then I'll let you know how I feel within non-spoilery-blurbs followed by a verdict that explain if I'll be tuning in from here on out, maybe the next one or two episodes, or not at all. Venture forth!

Tomorrow People

Premiered Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Network:  The CW

Time slot:  Wednesday @ 9:00 PM

Type / Genre: Multi-Camera / Science Fiction Drama

Creator(s): Phil KlemmerRoger Price (original concept)

Writer(s): Phil Klemmer

Director(s): Danny Cannon

Stars: Robbie AmellSarah ClarkeDaniel Grote

I just witnessed the TOMORROW PEOPLE, or as most would call it, "CW'S X-MEN". Well you're wrong. Kinda. Tomorrow People is an American adaption of a British children's show of the name that aired from 1973 to 1979 about a group of homo-superiors living in a lab underground and watch for when more "Tomorrow People" to break out (start showing signs of having powers). The show was re-imagined two more times for the UK audience in 1992 and most recently, from 2001 to 2007. The CW adaption takes elements from each of those incarnations and modernizes, streamlines, and clearly defines what a tomorrow person is. Anyone considered a tomorrow person has 3 abilities; telekinesis, telepathy, and teleportation. Without giving too much away, this show doesn't promise a lot but it does satisfies my desire for a Marvel mutant-esque type show. CW is closely becoming a favorite channel of mine because of the risks their taking with all these genre shows and sure, they'll never a Buffy or Battlestar but they know how to tell a convincing and entertaining story. Tomorrow People doesn't disappoint and the effects are surprisingly clean for network. The acting is hammered on at times but when you're already used to Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Supernatural, it's expected and then pretty much accepted. Also... it's CW, everyone is gorgeous.

 Verdict: Added to my Hulu Queue - I can't help but watch a super powered show. Misfits, Alphas, Heroes, or whatever comes next. I'll be here waiting. Also, if you're like me and only have a SD channel for CW (meaning, no HD option), wait until the next day and watch it on Hulu for free. Of course, I have HuluPlus but it looks SO MUCH better in HD, it's ridiculous.

Watch the trailer below and/or judge it for yourself for free over at CW or on HuluPlus.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Premiered Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Network:  ABC

Time slot:  Thursday @ 8:00 PM

Type / Genre: Multi-Camera / Fantasy Drama

Creator(s): Adam HorowitzEdward Kitsis, Zack Estrin, & Jane Espenson

Writer(s): Adam HorowitzEdward KitsisZack Estrin, & Jane Espenson

Director(s): Ralph Hemecker

Stars: Sophie LoweMichael SochaEmma Rigby

ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND is a series that some would call a spin-off of ABC's original series, "Once Upon a Time." They obviously wouldn't be wrong. Though something very different is going on here. The creators are the same, the writers are the same. Taking other-worldly elements of famous and/or popular fantasy children's stories and mixing them into our world is something creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are apparently really good at. Let me go ahead and defend something really quick. Some people can't stand the CGI in either this or the original series because it looks "bad" or "cheap." This is where I feel they fail to understand what the show accomplishes. It may look "bad" to you but these worlds, Wonderland, Land of Make Believe, Neverland, whatever... they should look insane and different. They're not attempting to redefine a grounded take on what these crazy realms are. So take them as what they are, something foreign or unusual and quit bashing shows for budget constraints. I choose to champion the idea of capitalizing on an element for the sake of a decent and different kind of storytelling. As I hoped, as I always do, Alice is a strong character. She starts off in an insane asylum because well... she believes in Wonderland. I imagine some of the events in the original tale of Alice in Wonderland have already taken place and she is dealing with real life issues in adulthood. It's oddly hyperbolic and I can't tell what time period it takes place in but it didn't distract me too much. Either way, she escapes because she finds out her love in Wonderland is still alive, so she travels back with a couple companions. Along the way, we're given an EXTENSIVE backstory to that relationship and a tease of some of the woes to come. I completely dug this pilot. It's honestly as pleasing as a spin-off of a popular can be.

Verdict: Through the looking glass, I shall - I have to say that the smaller cast is a BIG help in comparison to the other shows. I'm sure that will change but the world alone is a lot to suck in. I have to applaud the creators for doing it again and doing it differently. It's a rare occurrence when a good show does it again and still surprises you. 

Watch the trailer below and/or judge it for yourself for free over at ABC or on HuluPlus.