It’s the most wonderful time of the year: pilots are everywhere! But who has time to sift through every new show that’s starting and help you figure out what you want to watch? Me, that’s who.
Check out part one of our Pilot Season reviews here.
I liked this. Hello Ladies is set in Los Angeles, and follows the nerdy Stuart (Stephen Merchant) as he tries to pick up. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t go well. Merchant may be better known to you as the guy who cowrote and codirected the original The Office with Ricky Gervais, which may be why Hello Ladies is strong on cringe humour. Despite the pretty obvious set-up – nerdy IT guy, hot girls – this show is surprisingly good. You actually feel a bit of empathy for Stuart as he navigates his gangly way through life, and the portrayal of being in a club is the most accurate one I’ve ever seen. (He spends his time tripping over stuff and not being able to converse over the music.)
4/5 – cringeworthy in a good way.
It’s everyone’s dream: getting lucky in the lottery. It’s the premise of this story: a group of gas station workers win the lottery, but not everything is peaches. Each of the characters has their own problems – including a girl whose parents want to arrange her marriage, two brothers who robbed the gas station and a woman whose husband may or may not be cheating with her. Not bad.
2/5 – had potential, but got axed, sorry.
The Crazy Ones
You may remember Sarah Michelle Gellar from shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (love it!) or Ringer (eh) and Robin Williams from Mork and Mindy or Dead Poets Society or Jumanji (awesome). They play a daughter/father duo in this show about an advertising company, and this first episode deals with their company’s liaisons with their biggest client, McDonalds. There are a few snarky Buffy-esque expressions Gellar pulls, and Williams plays an advertising genius with gusto. Kelly Clarkson makes a hilarious cameo, the supporting cast is great, and the whole episode is very fun.
4/5 – Maybe I just really miss Sarah Michelle Gellar, but I loved this very much.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
I’ve been looking forward to this show for a long time. Joss Whedon knows how to write ensembles, but unfortunately, this falls a little short of the mark. Firstly, it seems that he’s taken a step back in having a racially diverse cast since Dollhouse, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D featuring a mostly monochromatic cast (aside from the incomparable Ming-Na Wen and guest star J. August Richards). The story of regular people dealing with superheroes should be compelling, and the pilot with J. August Richards playing a man who realises that being human isn’t good enough anymore is one that could resonate with a lot of people. Still, some of the lines felt a little forced, even with their trademark Whedon witticisms. In any case, time will tell.
3/5 – They might be giants.
Blah blah obvious incoming affair, blah blah rich people hot photographer blah blah hot lawyer whatever. I could barely make myself sit through the entire episode, which is amazing, because once I watched a livecam of kittens sleeping for an hour.
1/5 – I literally could not give any less shits about this show.
Masters of Sex
I have to admit that the name of this show did not fill me with confidence, but Masters of Sex was surprisingly good. Martin Sheen (not Charlie Sheen’s dad, a different one) and Lizzie Caplan (who I adore) play Dr. William Masters and his secretary-turned-associate Virginia Johnson, who “pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunctions from 1957 until the 1990s.” (Cheers, Wikipedia.) Despite its iffy name, this period drama is incredibly good and worth checking out.
5/5 – SO GOOD.