Comedy TV Series: Midseason 2011-2012
As before, I have been looking out for upcoming TV Series. In this Hub, I discuss the upcoming comedy shows that will premiere in Midseason 2011-2012. I have included a synopsis and a preview for each of them, plus my thoughts on the shows. Finally, I’ve included a list of Do's and Don'ts.
When these shows have premiered, you can find out here how they are doing in the ratings and if your favorite show is being renewed for a second season:
Premiering on January 3rd at 8:30/7:30c, ‘Work It’ is probably going to be the first flop of 2012. Starring Amaury Nolasco (‘Prison Break’) and Ben Koldyke, this show has the most horrible premise. Two unemployed men agree that the world has become more and more oriented on women, and to finally get a job, they decide to start dressing up as women. Of course they get hired, and although they are the most obvious cross-dressers ever, their colleagues think they are actual women.
I think this show is an offense, especially to real cross-dressers and transgenders, but also to people who think that a comedy series should be funny. I might watch the show to give it a fair chance (though I think it can only get worse), but in my opinion, it’d be best if this show would be canceled last minute, before ever premiering.
As a co-production between the Australian Broadcasting Channel and HBO with pre-sales to the British BBC Three, this show has already aired in Australia and the United Kingdom. It is created, written and directed by and starring Australian comedian Chris Lilley, who is known for his mockumentary style series. All main roles are played by Lilley, and some characters return from his earlier series ‘We Can Be Heroes’.
The series follows several young males throughout Australia, Los Angeles and Tokyo, and addresses the problems they face while growing up in the 21st century.
Although this sounds like a setting that could be funny, the preview doesn’t appeal at all to me. Apart from the fact that I don’t find the jokes funny, it doesn’t really tell us what the show is going to be like. In Australia, the season premiere drew almost 1.5 million viewers, which is quite high, but the rest of the season slowly slipped to a series low of 400,000 viewers for the penultimate episode.
Chris Lilley is someone who gets away with a lot of inappropriate jokes, but I’m wondering if he’ll also be able to pull it off with an American audience. The show premieres January 1st at 10/9c on HBO.
By creating an animated TV series version of the 2004 movie ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, FOX tries to fill a gap that doesn’t really exist. The series follow the same basic setup the movie does; it revolves around the eccentric Napoleon Dynamite, a sixteen years old high school student living with his thirty-two year old brother Kip and his grandmother. The movie cast is reused to voice the characters of this series, poorly. The show premieres on Sunday January 15th in the 8:30/7:30c timeslot on FOX.
Like I said before; FOX seems to be trying to fill a gap that doesn’t exist. I haven’t heard anyone say: “Hey, remember that movie ‘Napoleon Dynamite’? They should definitely make an animated TV series out of that one!” Apart from that, the preview doesn’t seem to be promising at all. It seems to me they’re relying too much on the movie to get people interested. A big mistake, seeing as how animation series are an entirely different thing. I’d classify this preview, and others, as ‘dull’ and ‘unfunny’. We can only hope they took the most uninteresting parts of the series to create this preview, and that the series itself is in fact not as bad as it seems.
Life's Too Short
Produced and created by Ricky Gervais, ‘Life’s Too Short’ is a BBC series that premieres on HBO on February 19th at 10/9c. The show centers around a fictionalized version of Warwick Davis (‘Return of the Jedi’, ‘Harry Potter’), who is an actor with dwarfism. The show is a fake documentary about the showbiz life of an actor with dwarfism. Writers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant appear as themselves, and cameo’s are there for Johnny Depp, Steve Carell (‘The Office’) and String, among others.
This show could turn out to be quite funny. Imaginably, being a dwarf puts one in some situations that are very suitable to use in a comedy. Also, previous shows of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant turned out to be real successes. However, keeping this show interesting through the second season, that has already been commissioned by the BBC, might be tricky.
House Of Lies
‘House of Lies’ is based on ‘House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time’, a book by Martin Kihn. The show follows a group of management consultants who’ll do anything to get a business deal closed. The group consists of Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle, ‘Hotel Rwanda’) who is the leader, Jeannie Van Der Hooven (Kristen Bell, ‘Veronica Mars’) and Clyde Oberholt (Ben Schwarz, ‘College Humor’), among others. The slogan of the group and the show is ‘survival of the slickest’.
This show could potentially be very funny, and the preview looks as slick as the characters are. However, I’m not immediately hooked or even impressed. ‘House of Lies’ just doesn’t make me laugh out loud or really look forward to the premiere. However, the actual episodes can still make up for that, so we’ll just have to wait and see. The show premieres on Sunday January 8th at 10/9c on Showtime.
Are You There, Chelsea?
Earlier announced with the title ‘Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea’, this show is based on the 2008 best selling book by Chelsea Handler (‘Chelsea Lately’) with that title. The series follows the life of Chelsea Newman, a character based on Handler and portrayed by Laura Prepon (‘That 70’s Show’). She is surrounded by her working-class twenty-something friends and lives in New Jersey. Most of the situations are inspired by Handler’s book, and thereby by Handler’s early career. Chelsea Handler produces the show and co-stars as the sister of her fictional counterpart.
Although the show doesn’t really have a major plot line (as far as we know), the jokes are quite funny. It’s just that I’m wondering where the show will go after a couple of episodes, because with no real story, people will probably not stick around very long if the jokes are not that hilarious.
Scheduled to premiere on January 12th in the 8:30/7:30c timeslot, ‘Rob!’ is a new CBS comedy. The show is created and written by Rob Schneider, who also plays the lead role. Rob is a life-long bachelor who has finally decided to get married. His wife comes from a tight-knit Mexican family, and that is not quite what Rob is used to.
I only managed to find this short preview. From what I can see there, this will never be a great show. The highest achievable that I see in ‘Rob!’s future is that someone would watch it in a bored moment, but a quick cancellation would not at all surprise me.
Which one of the shows above do you like best?
Do's and Don'ts
With as much as eight comedy series premiering in Midseason 2011-2012, I can imagine that you feel a little lost right now (I do!). As always, here's the list of Do's and Don'ts, so you know what shows you should keep an eye out for and what shows you should avoid at all costs.
- Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC, January 11th, 8:30/7:30c)
- House Of Lies (Showtime, January 8th, 10/9c)
- Life's Too Short (HBO, February 19th, 10/9c)
- Upcoming Reality TV Series Midseason 2011-2012
A collection of reality TV Series that will premiere in the Midseason 2011-2012 TV Season. Show that are featured are ReModeled on The CW, The Frame also on The CW and Fashion Star on NBC.
- Upcoming Drama TV Series: Midseason 2011-2012
A collection of drama TV Series that will premiere in the Midseason 2011-2012 TV Season. Shows that are featured are 'Missing' on ABC, 'The Firm' and 'Smash' on NBC and 'Luck' on HBO, among others.
- Upcoming Sci-Fi TV Series: Midseason 2011-2012
Synopsises, previews and my thoughts on science fiction and supernatural TV series that are premiering Midseason 2011-2012.