[UPDATED] PILOTS! 2013: 9/15 - 9/21

ALL UPDATES ARE POSTED AFTER THE ORIGINAL VERDICT!

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!

 


Sleepy Hollow

Premiered Monday, September 16th, 2013

Network:  FOX

Time slot:  Monday @ 9:00 PM

Type / Genre: 1-Hour Drama / Supernatural Mystery

Creator(s):  Phillip IscoveAlex KurtzmanRoberto OrciLen Wiseman

Writer(s): Alex Kurtzman (teleplay), Roberto Orci (teleplay), Phillip Iscove (teleplay)

Director(s): Len Wiseman

Stars: Tom Mison,  Nicole BeharieJohn Cho

FOX's SLEEPY HOLLOW  is a concept I've seen done many times. On the big screen (Tim Burton, yo) and somewhat on the small. I kept hearing people refer to it as a another genre rip from either the success behind The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, or Bates Motel. I can see that if you're just paying attention to the trailer but this show reminds me more of "Once Upon A Time" vibe which I consider myself a huge fan of. A show that follows a main character into well charted mythology but reinvigorates the legend by exploiting the dangers that dwell within their creators innovation of great editing, writing, and budget-limiting CG. I wanted to come into Sleepy Hollow and  "hate-watch" it for the sake of hate watching something but I came out thoroughly pleased. Indeed it's cheesy but not as much as say... Buffy or Supernatural at it's height. It's an concept that I can see burn itself out relatively quickly but they actually seeded other witchcraft based mythos within the town of modern day Sleepy Hollow that can breed some stability for the show's future. To me, this "adaption" is more entertaining that the legend itself. It does suffer from "the man out of time" troupe with the lead but they only glazed over that in the Pilot. Ready yourself more "I-don't-understand-this-technology" references in later episodes. The Director Len Wiseman's (of the UNDERWORLD series) style shows true with a mixture of impressive camera work and goofy execution. If you dig anything about "Once Upon A Time" and want it to sidestep into the mere concept of a thriller, I suggest giving this series an episode or two.

Verdict:  Good but skeptical - I didn't plan on liking this and well... I'll let you know how I really feel in the coming weeks. I want to make sure this thing isn't a fluke.

UPDATE: I feel this series has grown on me. It's hammy at times but I give it a pass just because of the risks they're willing to take. I can dig it and I can't wait until I some of these elements pay off. It's a fun watch for a FOX original and I haven't had this much fun with one of their dramas since season 3 of 24. 

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


Dads

Premiered Monday, September 17th, 2013

Network:  FOX

Time slot:  Tuesday @ 8:00 PM

Type / Genre: Half Hour Multi-Camera / Sitcom

Creator(s):  Alec SulkinWellesley Wild

Writer(s): Alec SulkinWellesley Wild

Director(s): Mark Cendrowski

Stars: Seth GreenGiovanni RibisiBrenda Song

So when I heard about the talented Seth Green and awesome character actor Giovanni Ribisi returning to TV; I thought, what's not to love, right? Well I quickly found out that I still hate half hour multi-camera sitcoms. You know, where they use to film in front of a live studio audience and the crowd is told when to laugh? Except this time, they just film in a studio and insert a laugh track in all the places they want you to laugh. I f***ing hate laugh tracks. Now, my hatred for such things creates a large obstacle for this new show to hurdle. What's the premise? Is it any good? No... no-no-no-no-no. The entire premise of this 22 minute bundle of stupid is that episode we all hate in the 3rd or 4th season of our favorite TV show. You know, the one where the parents show up to ruin all the fun, It's that! Except it's all day, everydamnday. Now the acting was all around top notch and even one of the completely and utterly unlikable "Dads" played by Peter Riegert, was good at what he was doing but he was too good. I can't stand him and I don't want to see him again. The two main characters played by Green and Ribisi work in a video game studio where they develop and sell video games. With that in mind, the ONLY female character worth mentioning that wasn't complaining about a certain father or just crawling out of bed, was a very attractive Asian that works within the company. Only after 30 seconds of introducing her, they suggest that she'll need to dress up in a sexy school girl's uniform to show off to some big wig Chinese studio. So already with the geek pandering! Oh and OF COURSE, when she comes back later with the uniform, she receives the inevitable woo track. Which I have for one dubbed the "wu track" because we all know that's not the last time that's about to happen. Harsh? No. Mind you, I'm only imitating the minds from which this show will impress.

Verdict: No... no-no-no-no-no. I like very few sitcoms. 2 Broke Girls gets a pass for having consistently decent writing and a likable and well rounded supporting cast. The Big Bang Theory is OK every now and then for making people feel stupid, which I enjoy a great deal. This show makes TV execs look stupid for agreeing to air this sh*t in the first place. I love you Seth but buddy, I'm sorry.  You all deserve better.

UPDATE: I punished myself and decided to watch the second episode. Another 22 minutes of shame. Luckily I've heard (still rumors at this point) that this show won't last too much longer. Come on FOX, if you're ever... EVER going to cancel something... please! 

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


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Premiered Monday, September 17th, 2013

Network:  FOX

Time slot:  Tuesday @ 8:30 PM

Type / Genre: Single Camera / Sitcom

Creator(s): Dan GoorMichael Schur

Writer(s): Dan GoorMichael Schur

Director(s): Phil Lord, Chris Miller

Stars: Andy SambergStephanie BeatrizTerry Crews

Unlike the other pilots I viewed this week, I intended it give this one a shot based off it's trailer. After discovering it was created and written by two alums of The Office and Parks and Recreation, my hopes soared. Man, oh man do I want another awkward single camera comedy.  BROOKLYN NINE-NINE mainly follows the skilled and over-the-top antics of Andy Samberg's character, Detective Jake Peralta. The first episode introduces the newly minted Captain of Brooklyn's 99th Precinct and a whole cast of odd supporting roles. Even though this show is way sillier than most sitcoms, Nine-Nine wears it proudly on it's sleeve and avoids merely any attempt to being seriously. It's funny how much I actually laughed just based off the dialogue. A few bits of unnecessary gags were abound but they didn't seemed forced. Hell, I would have done them too if put in a similar situation. The only thing I wish the show did was give the other cast members a chance to breathe but if Parks and Rec is any sort of indication of how successful a sitcom can become a dramedy at the turn of a phrase, I have full faith in what this can accomplish.

Verdict: Already set the series to record. There isn't much else to say. I dug it, Samberg is the ultimate selling point and I can't wait until tomorrow to see how he solves his next crime. 

UPDATE: While Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn't breaking any new ground, each episode is as enjoyable as the last. Now how long can they keep this stride? Who knows. But if something doesn't pop soon, I smell another defeat for FOX. I'll be sad at first but I will also understand.

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


I'll hopefully be here all season long so be sure to check back next Sunday for another edition of "Pilots! 2013". Let us know what you think in the comments below. Thank you and find something to watch! Good day.