In the wake of last week’s cancellation massacre, the five broadcast networks spent the Upfronts debuting trailers for a slew of new TV series. Your trusted EW TV critics, Kristen Baldwin and Darren Franich, watched all the previews. Obviously, these are only short, sizzle-reel’d slices of much longer programming, so it would be wrong to pass final judgment on any of these shows. But there’s nothing wrong with snap judgments, and we ranked all the trailers, from most exciting to least exciting. (Check out the full fall schedule here.)
1. I Feel Bad (NBC):
KRISTEN: “Here’s what every woman knows: We feel bad about something every day.” Thank you, TV, for validating my existential crisis!
DARREN: Mom Sarayu Blue telling her kid “I am so sorry we can’t afford a stranger to take care of you” made me laugh out out. Good sign!
KRISTEN: Also a good sign: There are more brown people than white people in this pilot. Good job, NBC!
DARREN: Our main character works at a videogame company, which feels like the new architect/art gallerist go-to TV job.
KRISTEN: Hey look, it’s Paul Adelstein! He’s always a good sign.
DARREN: Discussing feminism at a videogame company for wry comedy: Also a good sign!
KRISTEN: The title also reminds me of Nora Ephron’s book I Feel Bad About My Neck, and I’m going to choose to believe it’s an homage.
DARREN: This looks fun! It seems to be tapping into a similar mom-crisis-comedy vibe as Tully, but without the [incredibly bizarre spoiler], so I’m in.
KRISTEN: Ditto. I feel good about I Feel Bad. (DEFINITELY FIRST TO THAT JOKE, DON’T GOOGLE IT.)
2. All-American (CW):
KRISTEN: FOOTBALL! I’m having FNL flashbacks, which makes me happy.
DARREN: A shooter at a football game! Well, that took a bleak turn.
KRISTEN: Taye Diggs is now recruiting the star player, played by Daniel Ezra, to come to his team in Beverly Hills.
DARREN: His family is concerned it’s not the best thing for him. Will he lose himself when he leaves his neighborhood?
KRISTEN: But it’s a better, safer school, says Coach Taye Diggs.
DARREN: Did someone just describe a character as “my tortured alt-left sister”?
KRISTEN: Yes, and now the white kids are asking the star player if he’s in the Crips or the Bloods. Not a great intro, white kids.
DARREN: He’s is suddenly being invited to pool parties in Beverly Hills. I’m into this! Some great Los Angeles cross-cultural race/class drama.
KRISTEN: Wow, so this is like FNL meets The OC meets Boyz in the Hood?
DARREN: “If you can make something of yourself, maybe I can too.” Already crying.
KRISTEN: Yes, I am for sure in. Damn you, Greg Berlanti — you’ve done it again!
DARREN: The CW’s target demo loves Berlanti for his DC stuff, but the vibe here reminds me vaguely of his wonderful Jack & Bobby, which merrily juggled sensitive teen drama with big political ideas. Great job!
3. The Rookie (ABC):
KRISTEN: Nathan Fillion as a 40-year-old police rookie. SOLD.
DARREN: “You’re about to hit the street with a loaded handgun and no idea what happens next.”
KRISTEN: Side note: Nathan Fillion doesn’t really look 40. His colleagues dismiss him as a “walking midlife crisis,” so he’s got to prove them wrong.
DARREN: This looks like a darker, more emotionally bruised Fillion than we got on Castle. I like emotionally bruised Fillion!
KRISTEN: I like Fillion in any form.
DARREN: And I have a policy to watch any Los Angeles crime show for at least four episodes. So I like this, though think we can lose the bodycam/found-footage stuff.
4. Murphy Brown (CBS):
DARREN: This trailer is done in the style of a mockumentary, and begins with the election of Donald Trump, so the revival seems to be getting back to that topical/”argue with Dan Quayle” sweet spot.
KRISTEN: Murphy left FYI but now she’s back, because Trump.
DARREN: Embarrassing TV critic confession: I never watched the original Murphy Brown. But a college roommate once explained the whole series to me in a two-hour speech. So I FEEL like I had a Murphy Brown experience.
KRISTEN: Was your roommate Andy from Parks & Rec?
DARREN: Similar, but with twice my IQ.
KRISTEN: TYNE DALY! Murphy says she’s back to “take on this crazy new world of alternative facts” because “it’s our civic duty.”
DARREN: I didn’t laugh at all during this trailer except during the clips of the original series. But I am excited by the prospect of a smart multicam sitcom that can react quickly to our crazy political world.
KRISTEN: The original creator, Diane English, is back — so I’m optimistic.
5. Grand Hotel (NBC):
KRISTEN: “Five-star hotel, five-star secrets”! Now that’s a tagline.
DARREN: Is this a show about a wacky hotel where people have sex with each other?
KRISTEN: Correction, it’s a soap opera about a wacky hotel where people have sex with each other.
DARREN: Set in “the last family-owned hotel in Miami Beach.” Demián Bichir is the patriarch, and he’s selling out the family hotel to a higher bidder.
KRISTEN: Is his sexy new wife making him do it? His kids think so.
DARREN: So it’s a modern-day Magic City with a Latino cast. I AM SO GODDAMN IN.
KRISTEN: A young woman in a maid’s uniform just told someone, “I’m pregnant,” so I, too, am SO IN.
6. The Neighborhood (CBS):
KRISTEN: Cedric the Entertainer headlines this comedy about a man whose family has lived in a black neighborhood in L.A. for years. Until … WHITE FOLKS MOVE IN.
DARREN: Potentially, a comedy of gentrification? Interesting.
KRISTEN: Cedric’s character, Calvin, is not amused.
DARREN: Dreama Walker sighting! She’s now “married couple on a sitcom” age, which means I am also that age.
KRISTEN: Cedric does a good “white guy” voice.
DARREN: Him imitating a white guy saying “I really find Rihanna attractive” made this white guy laugh.
KRISTEN: Now the white neighbor is hugging all his black neighbors and saying, “I’m sorry if I seem racist.” For CBS, this qualifies as edgy. I’ll admit it, Darren, that looked kind of funny. You really can’t go wrong with Cedric.
DARREN: I wish the Midwestern guy didn’t seem so bland. But I like the basic setup here.
7. Whiskey Cavalier (ABC):
KRISTEN: Scott Foley IS Whiskey Cavalier, one of the Bureau’s best agents.
DARREN: And he just parted ways with his fiancée! I remember that J.J. Abrams pitched Alias as, bas