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ABC's New Shows are Looking Flabby

By Seth Freilich | Trailers | May 20, 2009 |

By Seth Freilich | Trailers | May 20, 2009 |

In a second, we’re going to look at a lot of video, trailers and clips, for almost all of the new ABC shows, which I told you about yesterday (the only thing I got nuthin’ for is “Eastwick”). But first, let me address an oft-repeated complaint from some of you fine readers. We often post videos on Pajiba. Many times, these videos are not viewable outside of the U.S. For example, yesterday I posted some Fox trailers. I didn’t create the videos. Pajiba doesn’t host the videos. We have no control over the platform. So if they don’t play in Canada or Australia or wherever you be, don’t blame us. Blame Fox. Blame Hulu. Blame yourself for not living in the States. Blame the world governments for not putting together a comprehensive, global copyright protection scheme that would offer the protections to allow for free worldwide distribution of streaming video. But don’t fucking blame us.

Where possible, I generally try to put up a YouTube video, both because they generally do play internationally, and because they give a cleaner interface than a lot of other embedded video (for instance, I hate the ABC interface). But a lot of this stuff just isn’t on YouTube, or comes down right-quickly because of copyright cease and desist/DMCA claims. So I gotta post what I’ve got. Should I not feed some of the homeless because I can’t feed all of the homeless? Of course not.

I have no idea if the ABC trailers will play outside the States. And I’m pretty sure the Macromedia clips won’t. If they don’t, tough noogies. Although truth be told, those who don’t watch these videos are probably the real winners at life this morning.

(Warning — the ABC trailers played rather loud on my computer, while the Macromedia clips were substantially quieter, so be ready to do some volume juggling if you’re going to suffer through these.)

Cougar Town. Hmmm. I didn’t laugh once during a 3+ minute clip. Not a good sign for a comedy, huh? Courteney Cox really doesn’t work for me here, at all. But I’ll still give it a try because, as I said yesterday, it’s also got Busy Philipps and Christa Miller, and comes from Bill Lawrence.

I can’t wait for all the commercials with the loud cougar noises. Can’t. Wait.

Oh, hey. Here’s an extra clip from the show. Will this make it look good?

…Oh man.

Hank. Welcome back to comedy, Kelsey Grammer. Although I use the term “comedy” ever-so-fucking loosely.

There’s a clip from “Hank,” too, but I’m not going to suffer you with it.

The Middle. Patricia Heaton’s not really doing it for me in this clip. Neil Flynn, however, is tits. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of Heaton and not a lot of Flynn. We wants our Janitor!

Here are two clips for the show, which don’t make it look any more promising. Again, I love Flynn, but otherwise, I’m not sure how this show plans to sell itself as a comedy.

The Deep End. This is the one about newby LA lawyers. Wasn’t interested before the clip. Ain’t interested after the clip (it starts off looking bad and then in the last minute it looks fucking awful).

Yes, that was Billy Zane (although, technically, I believe he’s now known as reincarnated Zombie Zane).

Flash Forward. Nothing really to go on in this 30-second clip. But early word is good, as I’ve got a slightly-inside source who I trust who also has very positive things to say about this, so I’m willing to give ‘er a shot.

Although this clip of a rather dull, expository moment doesn’t really do much of anything for me.

Ooooh … now I get the show’s title!

Happy Town. This is that murder-mystery-in-a-cozy-little-Minnesota-town show. The town is “almost too perfect.” The show doesn’t look like it’ll have that problem (even though it does have M.C. Gainey, Tom from “Lost”).

Really? You want to compare yourself to “Twin Peaks?” You might want to think twice about that. Especially because this clip doesn’t make the show look any better. It makes it look a bit darker, yes. But that last line of the clip? Funnier than anything in the comedy clips ABC has presented us with.

Modern Family. These are clips, not trailers. Presumably, the network picks good clips to showcase. That doesn’t bode well.


The Shark Tank. This is the new Burnett show which our friendly foreign readers (yeah, those same ones I just bitched at) pointed out is based on the British “Dragon’s Den.” Burnett hits more often than he fails with his reality shows, at least for a season or two, and as far as these things go, this looks watchable enough.

The Forgotten. As of late, late last night, ABC hadn’t posted the trailer for this yet. So all we’ve got is a clip. No bueno. (This is the show about the amateur detectives who form the Idenitty Network to help solve John & Jane Doe murders.)

V. I really want a trailer for this show, damn it, but it’s another one that ABC didn’t put up last night. Grumble. Not much to take away from these clips (no Alan Tudyk in them, damn it!), although I think Baccarin’s going to work as the alien leader (although I really wish they’d kept her name as Dianna — don’t know why, but the change to Anna is really under my skin).

You know, I thought Scott Wolf was ok on “The Nine.” But he’s not working for me in this clip at all.

So yeah. Great. All this crap (with the maybe exceptions of “V” and “Flash Forward”), but you couldn’t keep “Pushing Daisies,” “Dirty Sexy Money” or “The Unusuals?” Good on ya’, ABC.

Jimmy Kimmel summed it up best during his presentation at the upfronts yesterday:

Everything you’ve heard today, everything you’re going to hear this week, is bullshit…. And all these shows we’re so excited about, we’re gonna cancel about 90% of them, maybe more. The show ‘Shark Tank’ has the word ‘tank’ right in the title.

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Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.