Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 Pilot Ear Hustle, breakdown and analysis. Round 1 - ABC Comedies.

Last year I had a great time lambasting the pilots every network was making, or at least what I thought would be the pilots other networks would be making. I was 100% correct as to which shows would make the cut and which shows would fall through the cracks and this year I'll be doing it again!

My plan is to spend a couple hours in bars and coffee shops near the big 5 studios to glean what each show is, what it's about, who's in it and what the inside track is, just like last year, then synthesize my own opinion and share it with you, the people.

Since my car is broken down in Burbank at the moment, I'm going to start with

ABC Pilots

“Back in the Game” – I don’t get how this is a comedy, but Omar from the wire rises from the dead and… you guessed it, gets back in the game; robbing, killing, taunting the hood in B-more but this time without the frontal nudity, which is why David Simon is not on the project. He was really attached to Omar hangin dong and frankly, couldn’t see the humor in it without that giant obsidian pendulum.

“Bad management” – sounds a lot like the suits at ABC are trying to get in on the Under Cover Boss success, but just following around the CEOs of the following companies (none which have I ever publicly feuded with): Phillips, FEDEX, Wendy’s, EZ Lube? Just sounds like a boring show with shitty people making shitty decisions. But I guess if duck dynasty works this could too.

“Divorce: A Love Story” – This just shows the importance of proof-reading your title page. Divorce is not a love story. Divorce is the opposite of a love story. Had this writer or ANYONE for that matter checked this, it wouldn’t be such an embarrassment. I’d rather watch this than the other pitches they bought (“Death = life”, “hot ice”, and “Ally McBeal but not the one you’re thinking of”), but that still doesn’t mean it’s a show. they’re opposite! Is it about divorce or about love?! I’M CONFUSED.

“The Goldbergs” – I really like this idea. Like. a lot. Ok, let’s get real I love this idea. Bill Goldberg is one of the stand out NFL players turned wrestlers turned actors turned show creators in the history of entertainment and to see ABC giving him his shot at a family comedy is right on brand and BRILLIANT. “Bill Jr. Did you clean your room?” SPEAR! “Bill Wife did you spend too much money going shopping?” SPEAR! It writes itself and I can’t wait to watch!

“The Crazy Jean” – if I wasn’t clear when I walked out of sisterhood of the traveling pants I will revisit and spell it out. Denim is not a plot device. Just look at how to make it in America. Shows about jeans, even quirky jeans are destined to die a blue death and this one, about apparently the only jean that isn’t sane in a store full of folded jeans who will one day lead a revolution for indenimpendence just doesn’t have legs beyond the third episode. Sorry for saying that.

“Middle Age Rage” – I am not sure people want to see another sports comedy about an outlandish pitcher in the big leagues. Balfour is a great guy but he’s no Kenny Powers and certainly wont be able to get away with using metallica’s ONE in the opening title because I think metallica’s lawyers got an injunction prohibiting listening to any of their music in groups of more than 2 unless everyone paypals lars and the yelly one a dollar, and that’s what we in the industry call “a barrier to entry.”

“Mixology” – A period comedy about the first integrated bar in the south? I’m not totally confident in this pitch. I mean, black president, yes BUT didn’t ABC get tired of cramming their black agenda down our throats back when Urkel was a thing? I mean come on, ABC, get with it. you won. You got a black president now leave the rest of us in peace and stop this madness.

“Pulling” – finding nemo is funny, pumba and timon make up one of the best and well loved comedy duos since laurel and hardy, but a comedy about the only Ox on a human farm may seem a little bit desperate to cash in on the whole animated animal comedy. This will attract the migrant worker demo which has been a traditionally tough cookie to crack for advertisers and networks and could be a great launching pad, once it gets established, for another George Lopez comedy or something else incredibly great and super funny.

“Spy” – if you ever played the hit Nintendo game spy vs spy and LOVED it, but hated the violence and wished you could just see one of those pointy nosed bastards living his life despite the pure insanity of his career and his lack of family, than this is for you! and the cross branding is going to be awesome. Hats, trenchcoats, umbrellas, grenades… this show is a dream for merch!

“Super Fun Night” – Ah! A carry over from CBS last year. I recall thinking rebel Wilson was a tremendous talent and last year’s script was terribly underwritten and did not play to her strengths, or any conventional type of comedy at all, BUT this year’s had the same problems despite the project moving to the (alphabetically) superior network so I don’t know how this happened or what the point was at all. But yes, I will tune in to see rebel Wilson on horseback cracking jokes and slaying dragons.

“Trophy Wife” – this one made me laugh. I mean a lot of guys love their bowling awards but a comedy about a future where a man marries a trophy? SIGN ME UP! this is exactly what will happen once we let gays marry, then we’ll have to let dogs marry. Once we let dogs marry we’ll have to let plants marry, then soon it’s kevin james married to an exceptionally hot bowling trophy and the trials and tribulations associated therewith, so if you’re into cautionary tales this is your comedy!

“King John” – I don’t think this project will do King Ralph the justice it deserves.

DRAMA will follow later on.

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