At today’s upfront presentation in New York, Fox revealed several trailers for its upcoming programming (sorry, no new “X-Files” footage — yet), including both midseason and fall series. As previously reported, sci-fi and comics are heavily represented in the mix, though there are a few other surprises.
How well do these trailers sell these high-concept premises? Below are our rankings and reviews — be sure to vote in the poll for your favorite.
Okay, this one’s a mess. Zigging and zagging between characters and plotlines, the very attractive doctors get plenty of screen time (always nice to see Matt Czuchry get work after “Gilmore Girls” and “The Good Wife”), but real talk — who is the titular Resident? Based on this, there are at least three candidates for that singular title, and while the smart money is on Czuchry, the fact there’s no clean answer to that question speaks to how problematic this trailer is. (Seriously, why would you use a singular noun to label what appears to be an ensemble drama?)
And that’s all without digging into the treatment of the medical profession as both simultaneously a soulless “business” as well as an opportunity to do good in the world — it’s not that it’s impossible for a show to tackle the complexity of modern medicine in America, but “The Resident” seems primed to do so with all the subtlety of (pardon me) a heart attack. The cast looks great, but this trailer did them no favors.
“LA To Vegas”
There are some good jokes in this trailer, and applause to Dylan McDermott for revealing some unknown comedic chops and “UnReal” star Kim Matula for nearly stealing the spotlight away from him. But something feels super off about trying to sell the concept of a lighthearted comedy about a bad boy pilot with such a heavy emphasis on the drinking-while-flying jokes. (Did we learn nothing from Denzel?) In context of the show, I’m sure it’s hilarious, but flying is scary enough sometimes. “LA To Vegas” could be a lot of fun, but this trailer could trigger an anxiety attack.
So let’s be clear — this trailer says a lot of things, plot-wise, but never really coalesces into selling what the show will actually be about. That said, the effects are solid, the emotional core engaging, and the trailer somehow manages to sell the “us vs. them” vibe without even making it clear who “us” or “them” are. That is, quite honestly, an achievement.
Fun but not necessarily funny — perhaps because some of the jokes just don’t land, and perhaps because of the less-than-awesome associations that come along with Seth MacFarlane (if you flinched the second he brought up the fact that an alien race is all-male, know that you’re not alone).
Still, the trailer packs in a lot, including some fresh alien designs (love the goo guy) and appearances by the always-welcome Victor Garber, Adrienne Palicki and Penny Johnson Jerald (Garber’s likely just a guest star, but Palicki and Jerald are regulars). If executed well, a light, comedic “Star Trek” would be more than welcome. Consider us sold for now.
Okay, this one did make me laugh, thanks largely to Adam Scott embracing his inner weirdo and really selling the concept. A lot’s been made of his and Craig Robertson’s comedic chemistry (which we don’t get a strong sense of from this trailer), but the humor here is loaded with a welcome post-modern touch, and it plays well in context alongside the paranormal aspects of the show. The premise is laid out cleanly, there’s enough mysterious intrigue, and both Scott and Robertson get the opportunity to really sell their characters. For this kind of show, that’s essential.