TV critics have been calling the fall TV season one of the worst in years, with few if any shows manifesting even a flicker of greatness. It seems the broadcast networks’ idea of putting their best foot forward is still turning out flabby copies of previous hits, ignoring that many of the 2014-15 season’s breakouts were shows, like “Empire” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” that broke away from the pack (and, not coincidentally, whose shorter seasons come closer to the cable/Netflix model). They’re still making good shows, but they’re more likely to be the less obviously saleable (i.e. more creative, i.e. better) shows they save for midseason, while the much-touted new fall shows quickly fade from the public’s interest.
No one, as it turns out, it is a harsher critic of the TV than one of its own. In the Hollywood Reporter, an anonymous showrunner savages some of the fall’s most-(formerly)-anticipated pilots, unable to muster a higher compliment than “I’m not exactly sure what the show is, but one can assume there’s enough riding on this that they will throw money at it to find out.” Here’s some of what s/he had to say:
“Truth Be Told” (NBC): “Multicams don’t have to be lazy and casually racist and unfunny. (Both a review and a plea!) With this black/white neighbors sitcom, NBC brass continue to demonstrate either a deep misunderstanding of comedy or a complete lack of interest in it.”
“Rosewood” (Fox): “Miami. Lesbian sister. Morris Chestnut is not without charm. Sexily rendered autopsy sequences. Ultimately a complete bore.”
“Dr Ken” (ABC): “Points for diversity; mega-negative points for not being remotely funny.”
“Limitless” (CBS): “This marginally fun but completely unnecessary B-movie adaptation features a lead that looks like Joshua Jackson and Peter Krause somehow had a midlevel-boring baby.”
“Blindspot” (NBC) “Perhaps watchable if you have a very stressful job and really need to turn your brain almost completely off.”
“Life in Pieces” (CBS) “Colin Hanks is quite likable. Dianne Wiest is always fun to watch. Kind of made me want to kill myself.”