Ranking From Good to Heinous, the 11 New ABC Shows Based on their Trailers

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Ranking From Good to Heinous, the 11 New ABC Shows Based on their Trailers

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | May 14, 2014 | Comments ()

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Honestly, there’s only two and a half of the new ABC shows that I imagine I will watch, and only one that I might someday feel passionate about, which means it will almost certainly be quickly cancelled.

1. Galavant —- Oh yeah, we’re all totally watching this. Watch the trailer. For the first 50 seconds, you’re like, “Eh. Another Once Upon a Time like show,” but the second that Timothy Omundson shows up, you know you’re in. Don’t even think you’re not going to watch. It looks brilliantly fun.

2. Black-ish (Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m.) — I’ll admit, I think the premise is cute, and I like Anthony Anderson (and Laurence Fishburne). I think there’s some interesting possibilities you can build around a conceit. Whether it will explore those possibility is another question entirely.

3. Forever (Tuesdays, 10 p.m.) — You remember House, right? Well, let’s make House again, but let’s change his profession to a medical examiner, and let’s add a fun new Bryan Fuller like twist: He can’t die! It’s basically Captain Jack Barrowman, MD. That said, I’ll probably watch it for a few episodes.

4. American Crime (Midseason) — It looks kind of like a generic Broadchurch or The Killing, about an investigation into the murder of a son, with an emphasis on the parent’s perspective. It looks really depressing, although the performances are probably going to be excellent.

5. Secrets and Lies (Midseason) — The premise looks a lot like the one in American Crime trailer above: A son dies, and a parent becomes a suspect. This one has Ryan Phillippe and Juliet Lewis.

6. How to Get Away With Murder (Thursdays, 10 p.m.) — The new Shonda Rhimes show takes place in a law school with a law school class that doesn’t exist in the real world, with a character played by Viola Davis that speaks like every other Shonda Rhimes’ character, which is to say: Short, clipped sentences delivered with urgency. Some of the students, it seems, inadvertently murder a student, and then spend the season trying to get away with it based on the advice of their professor. The show itself looks like a law-school soap opera that might be fun for around 9 episodes before it jumps the Shonda Rhimes’ shark.

7. The Whispers (Midseason) — ANOTHER murder investigation series, only now the prime suspect is a six year old and her imaginary friend. I’m not kidding.

8. Manhattan Love Story (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m.) — It looks like a love story that’s told almost entirely in interior monologues. I made it a minute into the trailer before I wanted to throw my computer against the wall.

9. Cristela (Fridays, 8:30 p.m) — “We’re going to appeal to the growing Hispanic audience by featuring a show with Hispanic characters. Does it have to be good? Oh, God know! People will fall over themselves praising us just because it has a Hispanic cast! And you know Hispanics, right? They love reductive stereotypes about themselves! Univision is gonna be so pissed!” — ABC Executive

10. Fresh Off the Boat (Midseason) — Asian stereotypes. Fun! (Ugh)

11. Selfie (Tuesdays, 8 p.m.) — Oh, Karen Gillan. This only works if the entire make-over is completed in the pilot episode and it immediately moves off the obnoxious premise. This looks terrible.

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  • googergieger


  • Susan

    As an Asian American student who grew up in the states (with immigrant parents)...I'm surprised that something like Fresh Off The Boat got produced and is going to air. Before I clicked on the trailer I thought it was going to be horrible, but it's not as bad as I expected it to be -- I mean the accents are pretty wonky and it does tread a pretty fine line, yet strangely enough I felt a wave of nostalgia watching some of the scenes. I don't see a lot of movies and television series that capture the Asian American experience accurately, and this still might not be what I'm looking for but surprisingly I'm willing to give it a chance...

  • e jerry powell


  • Sara_Tonin00

    Does it have to be good? Oh, God know!

    intentional, right? riiiiiiiight?

    aside from that, cultural norms vs cultural stereotypes is a fine line to walk in both writing...and identifying from trailers.

  • Jenn Hamm

    So many feelings...

    Selfie made me want to shoot myself in the face. That was insufferable and wasn't cute or charming whatsoever. I'm "like" literally angry right now after watching that hideous mess of a preview (deep breathes).

    On the other hand, I'm looking forward to Black-ish (I really like the casting!) and also Galavant (hope it stays strong through the season- seems like more of a mini-series concept?).

    American Crime- heavy theme. I can't believe it's on ABC.

    Cristela? Ah, man. Ouch. That one was tough. I wanted to like it.

    Fresh Off the Boat- good book and it looks promising.

    Didn't even bother watching The Whispers. Hasn't every show with that theme been cancelled first season?

  • Jaime Birren

    As if Timothy Omundson isn't enough, Galavant was filmed in Wells Cathedral, and that's enough for me - truly one of my favorite places on the planet. I will absolutely watch the shit out of it.

  • stella

    Oh Viola Davis. You are way to good for this.

  • TnyGrl

    Cristela & Fresh Off the Boat ranked so low because...they're "stereotypes?" These are stories told by people of color, their personal experience. When you put a P.O.C. on any other show, then they're considered "token." When they get their own show, you're going to judge them for pointing out their color. Are you kidding me? Black-ish is also about "stereotypes". Where's your outrage there?

  • This. a thousand times this. This could be a contributing factor to why shows with minority families never air, they have to represent an entire race so people/executives don't wanna deal with the fallout. Le sigh. Besides, when is the last time television featured an asian family as protagonists, the Margaret Cho show in 1994?
    Sounds like ABC realized its demographic of suburban white women over 40 wasn't cutting it, so know they are literally throwing out race cards - "blacks, asians, hispanics come on down! have we got this family comedy for you." That said, I welcome this change, and as for stereotypes, it's a comedic pilot so it will go big and broad with its humor, but hopefully becomes more nuanced when it's not just trying to get on air. Hopeful I remain!

  • Yocean

    Thank you!!!! Exactly.

  • That Galvant thing. I don't know how, but I was trying to be angry and then I kept watching and the guy is super cute and it seems funny and there's DANCING and an evil king and SINGING and well now I'm totally sold and I hope it kicks all the asses even though it seems like it can't possibly last for very long. I'm so confused.

  • Tinkerville

    I went through the exact same line of thinking. I started off rolling my eyes, followed by hoping that this could be a fun Robin Hood Men in Tights type of deal, and now I'm looking forward to getting tipsy and watching the shit out of it.

  • We need more clever, fun things on TV. Just for fun. Come on, ABC. Don't disappoint.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Actually, it sounds like you got it exactly right.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I was ready to hate it. And then it convinced me that it could be a little weekly installment of Spamalot. And then I rewatched it 3 times.

  • lonolove

    "How to Get Away with Murder" sounds kind of like a rip-off of Donna Tartt's first book "The Secret History" (in which a group of socially isolated and out-of-touch students inadvertently commit murder and spend the rest of the year trying to get away with it). If only they were actually doing a miniseries of the book...

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm in for American Crime. The other stuff....meeeeeeeeeeeeh

  • asherlev1

    So I've heard good things about Eddie Huang's book and I'm willing to give Fresh Off The Boat a chance. It would mean so much to so many people if they actually managed to pull the show off. I'm at least going to tune in for the first few episodes, barring a disastrous pilot.

  • alannaofdoom

    Good lord the narration over the beginning of the "Selfie" trailer is the most grating thing I have heard. Karen Gillan seems strangely likeable (or at least unhateable) in the scenes but YIKES. Also, to whoever wrote that opening narration: "traded likes for likes" doesn't parse at all. I literally rewound four times, thinking I was hearing wrong. I assume the gist is, "traded "like"s (the speech affectation) for likes (on facebook)" but if it barely works typed out without a bunch of clarifying punctuation, it certainly won't work when reeled off at top speed accompanied by hyperactive music and an epileptically-edited montage.

    (Also, confidential to that same writer: 30 seconds later she says, "This is Henry Higgins. He's, like, totally boring..." SO SHE HASN'T ACTUALLY TRADED IN THOSE LIKES, HAS SHE? DID YOU EVEN WRITE A SECOND DRAFT? DO YOU EVEN GO HERE?!)

    And the visuals in that trailer are the TV equivalent of Blingees. Stop with the flashing phrases onscreen and the freeze frames and the saying 'hashtag'.. Just stop.

    Obviously I've spent far too long thinking about this preview, and more time than I actually want to dedicate to the show itself. I need to go sit in a dark corner for a few minutes.

  • Sara S.

    To clarify, "trading likes for likes" is a thing on Instagram where you 'like' someone else's photo in exchange for them to 'like' your photos back. Many people will 'hashtag' their photos with the tag "like for like" or "l4l" (a horrendous acronym) to let other people know. I feel ashamed for knowing this, but you see this type of shameless like-whoring if you've spent enough time on Instagram. I swear, Instagram is like the official home of ALL the annoying people you've disliked in your entire life.

  • alannaofdoom

    I'll consider myself warned...

  • Jenn Hamm

    I feel you. It really made me irrationally angry.

  • Anderbot

    Wow, isn't "Fresh Off The Boat" somewhat of a racial slur? I ask this as someone (white) who once married a woman from China. Since she's long gone I have to ask the internets if this is offensive.

    Because if the internets can't tell you what's offensive then what can?

  • Guest

    I know. Part of me wants it to succeed because it is features an Asian cast but not if it furthers Asian stereotypes.

  • asherlev1

    I don't know if this makes it better, but it's the title of Eddie Huang's autobiography. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

  • BWeaves

    Why does Karen Gillan always play characters I hate? I love her in person.

  • Yocean

    Hey, do you know how hard to have mostly Asian cast series on air? I will take what I get so studio would realize having Asian can be marketable too. It's a good fight and I am not afraid to dirty my hands.

  • Guest

    +1. I'm surprised they were even able to find enough Asian actors to fill the roles since most of 5 who usually get work are over at CBS.

    ABC might even take the lead over CBS.

  • Yocean

    Yeah, like how did they know my redhead obsession and John Cho admiration, even thou he had to have an Anglo name for some reason (I mean they changed her last name to Dooly so why could not change his to Harada or something?)

  • Guest

    Harada is Japanese which Cho is not. I'd rather him have an Anglican name or Korean then and non Japanese actor playing Japanese character.

  • Yocean

    I hear you buddy. Just could not think of Korean last name that start with H, and I am a half Japanese w German last name myself. But you know, White actors play other Anglo races all the time so it might be more feasible to have Korean play Japanese and so on as long as they are good actors and look the part. I know a Hawaiian Japanese actor who could look Filippino because he is of darker complexion. As long as there are more Asian faces on the screen, and there are good writing and talnt behind them, I am not gonna complain much.

  • Guest

    JINX! I am also half Japanese with German last name. I prefer Asians stick to their ethnic lines as there are so few working in Hollywood. A prime example of not sticking to them that pissed me off was the recent Wolverine film where Will Yun Lee (who is Korean) played Harada / The Silver Samurai one of the few Japanese superheros out there.*I guess yeah it was something to actually have an Asian mutant in the Marvel / superhero universe, but it's not much.

    Is Hollywood seriously trying to tell us that there were no Japanese actors capable of playing the part? Or were the few who do get work just taken up by other roles in the movie?

    Hiring ethnically correct actors for a given role would make Hollywood less homogeneously white milk but that's just a personal opinion.

  • Yocean

    Good point. That Harada in Wolverine movie did piss me off too. And I guess you are right as there aren't many "name" Asian actors working in Hollywood currently. If he looked more Japanese and could speak it too, I would not have minded but as it were, that came off as a huge disrespect and disgrace. Though to be fair, that movie was aggravating in so many levels I regretted watching it to support Japanese actors. Which of cours led me to completely ignore 47 Ronin. Sigh. I know it's baby steps but it does get frustrating.

  • The fact that you picked "Cop Rocks" set at a Medieval Times over Lily Rabe and murderous kids is sort of the final push I needed.

    Let's start separating our books, Pajiba. And you should probably go stay at your mom's for awhile while we sort the rest of this out.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    But it's Pajiba's apartment first! You can't kick us out.

    Seriously though...Whispers looks like a great chance for Lily Rabe to make some tv money, and then find herself cancelled and free to go back to excellent theatre.

  • Finance_Nerd

    Based on what I saw, the rankings should be from heinous to anus

  • Mrs. Julien

    Worst. beauty. pageant. ever.

  • Guest

    Thanks ABC.

    *Not 1 of the 11 works.

  • Guest




    *Plus I'll watch it for John Cho.

    **And because it's a Emily Kapnek show.

  • Lord Inferno

    Karen Gillan with a valley girl accent is my worst nightmare come true.

    Even worse than that one where the Borg Queen rips my skin off while Commander Riker tickles my feet.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I'd like to know what the High Ginger Council has to say about this development.

  • Lord Inferno

    The High Ginger Council is in emergency deliberations. Any definitive action regarding succession of the title of "Ginger Empress" will likely not occur until after the premier of the show, Selfie. The High Ginger Council must remain cautiously optimistic in the face of adversity.

    The status of Ms. Gillan's gene-seed in the genetic archives is unchanged. At this time, there is no evidence to justify the striking of her gene-seed from the genetic record. Such a drastic act would require her to be condemned as a Traitor of the Ginger Race, as has previously occurred to Lindsay Lohan.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Bravo, milord.

  • Miss Jane

    Galavant made me smile, but also feel kind of cringey at it's goofiness. Hard to imagine that they could keep the premise going for 20+ episodes in one season -- much less more than one.

    Blackish, on the other hand, looked amazing -- just the right amount of snark/fun.

    The others? I couldn't even make myself click on the links they just seemed so ho hum.

  • Berry

    I can watch any of these, so you'll be robbed of my scintillating insights (I know, what a tragedy), but I will say this: "It’s basically Captain Jack Barrowman, MD"? Not necessarily a bad thing. Although probably not good either.

  • juzzlehizzle

    Twist! The friend isn't imaginary.

    ABC just doing their bit for the environment by recycling shit

  • Jericho Smith

    I'm a bookender. #s 1 & 11.
    To my utter dismay, I can't wait for a MUSICAL to start airing. And, like so many others, I will want to soak up as much Karen Gillan as possible before her show is cancelled. Plus my John Cho mancrush will want feeding.

    None of the depressing murder shows, I have enough depressing things in my life, I don't need more. Why not a light-hearted murder show?

  • Guest

    +1 for Gillan and Cho.

  • Berry

    "Why not a light-hearted murder show?"

    I know that this is a rhetorical question, but it really is amazing how cozy and comforting some Agatha Christie and her ilk mysteries can be, despite the fact that they sometimes bump off half a village's worth of people. You know, not just Miss Marple, but Midsommer Murders and what have you.

  • Jericho Smith

    Oh. I love Midsommer Murders. And I sort of mean it about the light-hearted murder show. The dark, gritty dramas don't do it for me so much anymore. Unless it's got superheroes or villains (i.e. Gotham has appeal).

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Midsommer Murders is the best! Who knew there were so many crazed killers in those quaint little cottages.
    Also, I find Poirot to be a nice light-hearted murder show.

  • Berry

    The biggest mystery of Midsommer is why do people keep moving there?? It has to be more dangerous than The Wire's Baltimore, by far.

  • Belladonna Took

    The biggest mystery of Midsommer is why does anyone trust Joyce? As soon as she is part of something, everyone should just run in the opposite direction. Otherwise, odds are you are going to die.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    As a Marylander, I love the idea that! People are all worried about Avons, Stringers and Marlos when they should be terrified of high teas and garden shows.

  • Berry

    And posh English accents.

  • BWeaves

    There's nothing quite like a good cup of tea and some knitting while you gossip about the latest local serial killer, is there?

  • Berry

    Indeed there is not.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Galavant looks like a lot of fun and guaranteed to both be a guilty pleasure and flame out very quickly.

    Timothy Omundson is adorable and if you have not seen the documentary That Guy... Who Was in That Thing about character actors, I highly recommend it.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Loved that documentary! And I will probably end up annoying all my friends by trying to make them watch Galavant so it lasts for more than 2 episodes (basically, what I did with Hannibal).

  • JenVegas

    a) a friend of mine's company produced that doc and they have 2 sequels in the works, fyi.
    b) "a guilty pleasure and flame out very quickly" I completely agree and said "Well, I'd surely watch this if it were a movie but not so much a weekly appointment I'll be keeping."
    I'm sorry TOmunds, not even for you.

  • SVR

    It is absolutely going to be one of those shows I DVR and then watch with good booze on a rainy Saturday.

  • Mrs. Julien

    They had me at chest hair and beards, the singing and silly are just a bonus.

  • LL

    Other than the title, "Fresh Off the Boat" doesn't look half bad or stereotypical. If it's based off a memoir, who are we to say his experience is invalid.

  • Lord Inferno



  • BlackRabbit

    As long as her imaginary friend is actually Vincent Ventresca on a mission, I'll watch it.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Thank you for that. I thought I was the only one who remembered.

  • HelloLongBeach

    Blackish is Bernie Macish right?

  • Three_nineteen

    Yep - created by Larry Wilmore.

  • HelloLongBeach

    OH! I love him on The Daily Show. I had no idea he co-created the Bernie Mac Show. I think he's replacing Colbert. He's taking over my tv schedule.

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