Share this article

print logo

ABC has the season's best new dramas, but its comedies are weak

This is the second in a series of articles about what the broadcast networks are planning for the new season.

If any network looks to strike it rich this season, it is ABC.

It has more of the best new dramas than any network, which explains why it canceled the Sunday hit “Revenge” and last year’s mildly amusing “Forever.”

Here is a brief look at its new fall series.

“Blood & Oil,” 9 p.m. Sunday: A young married couple played by pretty boy Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girl”) and beautiful girl Rebecca Rittenhouse (“Red Band Society”) heads to booming Rock Springs, North Dakota in search of oil riches. They battle the oil baron played by Don Johnson. He has a young, savvy, scheming wife (Amber Valleta) and an adult son (Scott Michael Foster) who is a bit of a devil.

You’ll Like It If: You were a “Dallas” fan and enjoy watching beautiful people connive and plot against each other and question whether blood truly is thicker than water.

You’ll Hate It If: You’re tired of soap operas, even well-cast ones with beautiful scenery.

Outlook: It is loaded with suspense, heart and intrigue and the scenery is gorgeous in more ways than one. Gee, I sound like I am gushing. I enjoyed it and can see it winning over Americans who don’t watch football on Sunday night. 3 stars

“Quantico,” 10 p.m. Sunday: A mystery with some similarities to last year’s hit “How to Get Away with Murder” in that viewers play along trying to determine which FBI recruit is behind the biggest terrorist attack on New York City since 9/11.

You’ll Like It If: Well, almost every one in the diverse group of recruits is pretty nice to look at, led by Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parrish and Jake McLaughlin as Ryan Booth. If those names don’t ring a bell, that’s because this series isn’t so much about big names as it is about the mystery.

You’ll Hate It If: You are tired of complicated, conspiracy theories that focus on stereotypical characters and ideas.

Outlook: The pilot is suspenseful even if it does have some copycat ideas. For example, the two leads meet in the same way that Meredith and Derek met in the pilot of “Grey’s Anatomy.” The pilot recruited me to stay in for a few more weeks anyway. 3 stars

“Dr. Ken,” 8:30 p.m. Friday: Ken Jeong plays a gifted physician -- with a wife and two kids -- who makes Dr. Gregory House look like a sweet guy with a great bedside manner.

You’ll Like It If: You enjoy mean-spirited jokes, a controlling father who acts like a child in the name of love and believe a series that champions diversity makes it all palatable.

You’ll Hate It If: To be honest, the first five minutes of the pilot in which Dr. Ken calls one patient fat and another patient a pain in the butt for refusing to have a colonoscopy were a complete turn off.

Outlook: I’d rather have a colonoscopy than watch another episode but it is bound to improve. 1 star

“The Muppets,” 8 p.m. Tuesday: I haven’t seen it yet but have seen enough of them to know it probably will be clever, family entertainment. The new gimmick is it is going to explore their personal lives in a documentary style that appears to have been borrowed by “Modern Family.”

Unscheduled, but will air later in the season:

“The Catch”: Producer Shonda Rhimes tries to add another hit to her stable of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” in a drama about a fraud investigator played by Mirielle Enos of “The Killing”) who is embarrassed about being taken for a multi-million ride by her fiancé.

You’ll Like It If: You like stylish series with good-looking characters and decent twists.

You’ll Hate It If: Can’t think of a reason.

Outlook: Rhimes has done it again – produced an interesting series with likable and despicable characters. 3 stars

“The Family”: Joan Allen plays a politician who tries to use the apparent and curious return of her presumed dead son to get elected governor of her state. Alison Pill (“Newsroom”) and Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”) co-star.

You’ll Like It If: You’re a fan of Allen, a feature film star and suspicious of the motives of two-faced politicians.

You’ll Hate It If: Well, there really isn’t any character to root for – they all have major human flaws.

Outlook: It isn’t a family I’d want to visit more than once or twice. 2 stars

“The Real O’Neals”: Martha Plimpton and Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”) play the parents in what appears to be an attempt at being an Irish Catholic version of “The Goldbergs.”

You’ll Like It If: Can’t think of a reason.

You’ll Hate It If: You name it – it isn’t funny, every character has a stereotypical problem and the parents behave like children in front of their children.

Outlook: There are a lot of potential Irish Catholic viewers in Buffalo, but it is really, really tough to see many of them embracing this dysfunctional family. 1 and a half stars

“Uncle Buck”: An African-American version of the John Candy movie that previously failed as a Kevin Meany series. Mike Epps plays the irresponsible but playful uncle who has a crazy way of making things work as the nanny to his nieces and nephew. Nia Long and James Leisure co-star.

You’ll Like It If: Once again, if you feel the need for diversity trumps the need for creativity.

You’ll Hate It If: You find Epps’ character an offensive stereotype.

Outlook: I cried uncle after five minutes. Watch the Candy movie instead. 1 and a half stars

“Wicked City”: An anthology series that focuses this season on a 1982 murder on the Sunset Strip.  It doesn’t arrive until late October and I haven’t seen it. But Erika Christensen of “Parenthood” is in it, looking to change her sweet image as one of the stars. So I’m looking forward to it.

There are no comments - be the first to comment