No sooner does the current television season come to close than do the five (four? four and a half?) main networks begin directing our collective gaze to the awesome and amazing new shows awaiting us next season.
Some of these offerings may approach the sort of cultural ubiquity that renowned TV guru Abed Nadir imagined was in store for The Cape (i.e., six seasons and a movie). Others will turn out to be risible, misbegotten calamities that crash and burn in a blaze of anti-glory, like what actually happened with The Cape. Most will probably fall somewhere between those extremes, but I’m going to ignore those cases because they don’t conform easily to this admittedly strained joke premise.
Now, pilot screeners are already making their way into the hands of actual TV critics. Despite protesting loudly and whipping up a quite snappy “PRESS” card to affix jauntily in the brim of my fedora, studios have yet to add me to their mailing lists. Thus, I must rely on promo clips from YouTube and my own formidable prognostication abilities to determine the fates of 2011’s new shows. Which will soar to pop culture ascendancy, like The Cape in Abed’s mind, and which will plummet to the depths of ignominy, like The Cape in real life?
Over the next few days, I’ll take a look at some of the more interesting offerings, starting today with FOX.
Tuesdays, 9 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CST
The Premise: Zooey Deschanel moves in with three guys who live in a sitcom (including one who actually lives in a different sitcom) and proceeds to flit all about, Zooey Deschanelling all over the place to the delight of twee and sensitive boys everywhere.
The Prediction: Six Seasons And A Movie. It doesn’t look that funny, but people have tuned in to shows for years for far less compelling reasons than watching Zooey Deschanel for 22 minutes every week.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m. EST / 8:30 p.m. CST
The Premise: Two formerly nerdy women fear their daughters are growing up to be [comically pregnant pause] bitches [whooping laughter at mere utterance of curse word].
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. Couldn’t even finish the clip. Anytime you can leaven your unfunny jokes by sticking them the mouths of thoroughly unlikeable characters, you've got a formula for comedy...hm. What's the opposite of gold? Boron? A formula for comedy boron.
Midseason; Mondays 9 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CST
The Premise: J.J. Abrams! An island! Mysterious goings-on! Jorge Garcia! WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE NEED?
The Prediction: Six Seasons And A Movie in the Blue Universe, Real-Life The Cape in the Red Universe.
Mondays, 8 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. CST
The Premise: People from the future discover that the truly awesomest special effects lie in the past.
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. Look, no one wants a show about dinosaurs on their TV every week more than me (with notable exceptions). But it’s hard to imagine the show being a big enough hit to justify its brachiosaurus-sized budget (you see what I did there?).
Midseason; Sundays, 8:30 p.m. EST / 7:30 p.m. CST
The Premise: Don’t think that the best time to capitalize on a inexplicably well-received indie movie is many years after its mild cult popularity has waned, leaving behind a general sentiment of indifference or outright disdain? Think again!
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. “Hey, did you guys see last night’s Napoleon Dynamite?” -No one, anywhere, anytime in 2012.