Fall TV: Skip These New Shows
by IMDb-Editors created 04 Sep 2012 | last updated - 13 Jun 2013
Most of the series listed here represents the worst new offerings on the TV schedule. A couple aren't that terrible, but aren't worth your precious time, either...and some will almost certainly outlast better shows. At any rate, if you value good television, do all of us a favor and pretend like these shows never happened.
The plot: Two life-long best friends and business partners -- one of whom, Louis (Michael Urie) is gay, while the other, Joe (David Krumholtz), is straight -- face a new challenge when Joe gets engaged to his girlfriend Ali (Sophia Bush).
Why skip it? Every season CBS busts out one or two frail comedies that try to push the envelope and, um, the results are less than stellar. (See: "Rob". Which you didn't see, or else it would still be on the air.) Such is the problem with the latest from "Will & Grace" executive producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who have decided that a show based on their decades-long friendship is finally ready for primetime.
"Partners" is a tremendous idea, and its timing is perfect: In an era where people are having open discussions about same sex marriage rights, it's refreshing to see a sitcom about three long-term relationships. It just happens that the most rock-solid is the one between a gay man and his straight best friend.
Again, this is refreshing in concept. The execution...is deeply flawed. From its schlocky punchlines to the cartoonish set-ups, "Partners" feels like a middling sitcom from the mid-to-late '90s. The characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue is dull and, worst of all, it wastes Krumholtz, Bush, and Urie while slapping us across the face with Brandon Routh's complete lack of charisma as Louis's partner Wyatt.
Don't be surprised if CBS lets this develop for a while -- even "$#*! My Dad Says" limped along for a season. Then again, having seen both the pilot and as much of the second episode as a sane person can take, we can report that "Partners" does not improve in the immediate future. You have been warned.
Series Premiere: 8:30pm Monday, Sept. 24, on CBS. ”
“ "Guys with Kids"
The plot: Three thirty-something guys struggle to stay fun-loving and cool as they settle into their new role as parents.
Why skip it? One can understand NBC's desire to get a piece of the broad audience ABC is attracting with comedies that appeal to all ages. There's certainly room for more modern family comedies in primetime besides "Modern Family".
Besides, family comedies used to be NBC's strength. That's why executive producer Jimmy Fallon wanted do a traditional multi-camera sitcom reminiscent of those 1980s sitcoms he grew up with. He's so faithful to that nostalgia that "Guys with Kids" is filmed in front of a live studio audience.
But "Guys with Kids" reminds us less of, say, "Family Ties" or "The Cosby Show" (even though Tempestt Bledsoe is part of the "Guys" cast) and more of...um...what was that show? About the guy, and his wife...and the kids, and....? EXACTLY. Let's not forget that NBC, just like every other network, tried out a number of comedies during the '80s, most of which died early and anonymous deaths. This show feels a lot more like one of those.
So if you're getting a whiff of foulness on Wednesday nights, it is not a dirty diaper, ladies and gents. It's NBC's schedule, which should be due for change very soon.
Timeslot Premiere: 8:30pm Wednesday, Sept. 26, on NBC. ”
“ "Malibu Country"
The plot: Reba Gallagher (Reba McEntire) discovers that her husband, a country music legend, has been cheating on her. So she packs her two kids and her mother into a U-Haul to start over at in Malibu.
Why skip it? Hey, remember "Reba"? More specifically, remember the really dumb episodes of that show? Toss in a bubbly neighbor with a huge chest played by Sara Rue, and Lily Tomlin playing a pot-loving grandma, and you've got the gist of this sad little affair. Granted, as long as "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" is on the air, this sitcom will never even come close to being in the running for the title of dumbest representation of country folk on TV right now. But there are far better ways to waste your time than subjecting yourself to this poor attempt to rekindle ABC's "T.G.I.F." era.
Series Premiere: 8:30pm Friday, Nov. 2, on ABC. ”
“ "Animal Practice"
The plot: A veterinarian loves animals, and himself, but can't stand to be around people. Unless those people happen to be women he wants to sleep with.
Why skip it? Odds are you've already seen this show, thanks to its intrusion upon Summer Olympics coverage. If you haven't seen it, here's all you need to know:
1. Justin Kirk's character is smug and unpleasant, so much that he makes Dr. John Becker seem like Mister Rogers.
2. The supposed chemistry between Kirk and JoAnna Garcia Swisher does not exist.
3. The only reason to watch the show is to see Crystal the Monkey in action. Fortunately she also stars in The Hangover Part II and Night at the Museum, both available for rental or purchase. Which officially means there's no good reason for you to subject yourself to "Animal Practice" on a regular basis.
Timeslot Premiere: 8pm Wednesday, Sept. 26, on NBC. ”
“ "Made in Jersey"
The plot: Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery), a young working-class woman familiar with the mysterious ways of home-highlighting kits, manicures and squeezing into skin-tight jeans -- we're not even kidding -- uses knowledge of these details, as well as other street smarts, to help win cases and stand part from her pedigreed Manhattan colleagues at a prestigious New York law firm.
Why skip it? This is a terrible, terrible legal drama. We'll grant you, Janet Montgomery has an undeniable spark about her, and from what we've seen, she's a great actress. But her Jersey accent may rupture your eardrums; the writing is flat; and you've seen this kind of underdog story done better in many, many other CBS shows.
But gird your loins, people, because "Made in Jersey" will probably stick around for a good long time. Ms. Garretti's kind of tale is catnip to CBS's older viewers, folks who like a nice peppy show about a hard working young lady whose determination and scrappiness impress her yuppie upstart co-workers. These are the people who kept "Shark" alive for far too long because they just liked "that James Woods" (to quote this writer's mother-in-law) ... so it's a safe bet they'll probably launch that likable Ms. Montgomery's stateside career.
Fine by us. We'll be watching "Fringe".
Series Premiere: 9pm Friday, Sept. 28, on CBS. ”
“ "The Neighbors"
The plot: Marty and Debbie Weaver (Lenny Venito and Jami Gertz), along with their three children, move out to Hidden Hills, New Jersey, a gated community complete with a golf course. Everything is dreamy until they find out that their new neighbors...are ALIENS!
Why skip it? We were tempted to say that this was the dumbest ABC comedy pilot we've experienced in many a moon until we remembered that 2012 began with the premiere of "Work It".
Reevaluating that assessment did not make us feel much kinder towards the virgin voyage of "The Neighbors", though. Lenny Venito and Jami Gertz defy the concept of subtlety in their acting. And when we say that, we mean they give the stars of Disney Channel a run for a "Greatest Achievement in Overdoing It" Emmy.
Even so, it's highly possible -- even probable -- that "The Neighbors" will find an audience among families with young children. The first episode's humor is obvious but harmless, and ongoing joke about every alien being named after a sports champion is, admittedly, pretty funny.
In the interest of complete fairness, we also must confess that we watched the second episode and found it to be fairly enjoyable, even touching, at points. Then again, we would not have watched it if ABC had not alerted us to its existence. The average viewer must make his or her own decision about returning for episode two based on seeing the pilot.
Good luck with that, Earth citizen.
Series Premiere: 9:30pm Wednesday, Sept. 26, on ABC; timeslot premiere at 8:30 Wednesday, Oct. 3. ”
“ "Chicago Fire"
The plot: Tag along for the adventures of the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, whose personnel are so good looking they'd make Mrs. O'Leary wish for younger days. Oh, and they fight fires too. And each other. And the system! But mostly fires.
Why skip it? If you are aching for an unremarkable show about beautiful people, some with deep-seated personal problems, who happen to put out blazes, then you'll enjoy this show.
If you're looking for a replacement for "Rescue Me" or "Third Watch", strap in for disappointment. On the bright side, we would welcome seeing this cast star in a lovely calendar that benefits charity. Hard to see a problem with that.
Series Premiere: 10pm Wednesday, Oct. 10, on NBC. ”
“ "Beauty and the Beast"
The plot: Years after witnessing her mother's murder, and nearly being killed herself if not for the intervention of a "beast", homicide detective Catherine "Cat" Chandler (Kristin Kreuk) encounters a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan). According to public records, Keller should be dead. He's not. In fact...spoiler alert!...OK, not really. He's the "beast". But most of the time he's super hot and stuff.
Why skip it? Let's see if we have this right: In a TV landscape that sells us sexy vampires and sexy werewolves, we're supposed to be fascinated by a guy whose horrible disfigurement, the one that made him withdraw from society, requires Kristin Kreuk to see beyond it and love the gentle heart within. That disfigurement is an inches-long scar on his face that hints at his hidden super strength, which powered by justice -- and fueled by rage. Yeah...not so much.
On the plus side, watching Kreuk in action here made us appreciate her dynamic and profoundly moving performance in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.
Ponder that for a moment.
Series Premiere: 9pm Thursday, Oct. 11, on The CW. ”
“ "The Mob Doctor"
The plot: Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) is a top resident at Chicago's Roosevelt Medical Center, and a respected thoracic surgeon. But to pay off her brother's life-threatening gambling debt, she makes a shady deal requiring her to work "off book" for the mob, patching up wounds earned by committing violent acts.
Why skip it? As if the laughably obvious title isn't enough of an indication, this is a series that pounds you over the head with the predicament faced by poor Gracie. The pilot leaves the viewer with very little indication as to how the series will evolve, beyond the good doctor having to wrestle with moral conundrums and regularly doing field surgery in odd locations. Clearly Fox is hungry to find a medical drama to slide into Monday nights, but "House M.D." this ain't.
Regular timeslot: 9pm Mondays on Fox. Premiered Sept. 17. ”
The plot: Investigative journalist Jeff Sefton initially dismisses his odd brother Nate's rant that a hit TV show intends to harm him...until Nate disappears. The search for Nate takes Jeff into the dark underworld of the TV show "Cult", and he discovers some of its most devoted fans may be taking their version of LARPing to deadly extremes in the real world.
Why skip it? For oh, so many reasons: The abysmal acting, a storyline that doesn't make sense, and dialogue that is simply mind-numbing. The excessive number of creative blunders collide and pile high in this horrific excuse for a midseason show. Why, Robert Knepper? Why would you do this to us?
Series Premiere: To be determined; midseason. ”