Angel From Hell Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Dr.Ken Grandfathered Life In Pieces Pilot Reviews Superstore Telenovela The Grinder The Muppets The Real O'Neals Wrap-Up

Pilot Reviews 2015/2016 – Comedies

Check out last year’s pilot reviews, and then read on for my views on this year’s fresh crop of comedies (click here for dramas). This post will be updated frequently as new shows debut.

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I wasn’t sure to expect when I sat down to watch ABC’s newest comedy, but The Real O’Neals is a charming little comedy with a likeable enough cast. It’s yet another family comedy in the generic sense, but the religion angle gives it just enough zest to make it a fun diversion. Nothing too special here, but you could do a whole lot worse and there’s certainly potential. Also, Martha Plimpton can do no wrong.
Nad Rating
B

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I doubt Angel From Hell will last, but I enjoyed this pilot tremendously. That’s primarily due to the hilarious performance by Jane Lynch as a guardian angel (or just a random psychopath?). There’s a charming quality about the show, and a ton of amusing one-liners packed with spot-on delivery. It’s just a lighthearted good time, and that’s all I ask for in my comedies. Here’s hoping they keep the core concept as ambiguous as it was in the pilot. Highly recommended!
Update: Cancelled sadly.
Nad Rating
B+

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Although I loved the concept of a comedy taking place in a department store, I was sure this would be an underwhelming pilot. Imagine my surprise when Superstore ended up being a wonderfully charming and lovable little comedy. Thanks to America Ferrara’s excellent performance and an outstanding supporting cast, this just might be one of the year’s hidden comedic gems. Here’s hoping NBC gives it the opportunity to thrive and grow.
Nad Rating
A-

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I didn’t expect to enjoy Telenovela so much. The comedy tackles the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of a  daytime soap-opera, and it does so with a whole lot of wackiness and fun. Sure some of the jokes don’t land and might come off as cheesy, but Eva Longoria is so darn good (she’s basically playing her Desperate Housewives character), that you genuinely end up falling for her charm by episode’s end. I’ve already caught three episodes, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
Nad Rating
A-

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What an unexpectedly BRILLIANT creation. Headlined by the incredibly talented Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a unique little comedy with hilarious satirical musical numbers that spoof all the romantic cliches in sight. I have no idea if audiences will embrace this whacky little creation, but I certainly have, and I genuinely hope it goes on for a while. Those lyrics are just genius, and the charm is infectious right from the start.
Update: I’ve caught every episode and aboslutely love this special little show.
Nad Rating
A-

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In the future, when we look back on “cheap” comedies, we’ll probably think of DrKen. That’s not to say this show doesn’t contain a few laughs here and there, but just because the cast is strong doesn’t mean the writing isn’t frequently insipid and childish. Ken Jeong is most assuredly terrific in the title role, and his wife played by Suzy Nakamura is a standout. However, I honestly felt like my brain cells were dying as I watched this 90s comedy about a physician trying to balance his work and his personal life. If you do decide to give Dr.Ken a chance, do so with EXTREMELY low expectations. You’ll thank me later.
Update: Never continued thank God but it’s a hit.
Nad Rating
C-

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Probably my favorite new comedy of the year, Grandfathered just works on every level. It’s funny right from the first frame (I won’t spoil it here), and John Stamos leads an enormously likeable cast without a weak link in the bunch. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling from start to finish, and that’s a true testament to how effective this little comedy is. Plus the restaurant setting is wonderfully fresh and a great source of laughs.
Update: Still watching. Great cast and fantastic chemistry. Hope it gets renewed.
Nad Rating
A-

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I really wanted to love The Grinder, but it isn’t nearly as funny as its FOX sibling Grandfathered. Nevertheless, Rob Lowe is an undeniably charismatic lead who can certainly carry a show, but I just need the writing to be sharper. I’m also not Fred Savage’s biggest fan, and it’s going to be problematic if he ends up getting as much screen time as Lowe. Cautiously optimistic right about sums it.
Update: Lost interest after a few episodes but it’s still going strong so far.
Nad Rating
B-

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Well this was a delightful surprise. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch The Muppets, but this is a clever comedic gem with a likeable cast and a ton of witty banter. And seriously, how could you not love Kermit and Miss Piggy? The pilot even manages to give them layers and dimensions in the span of 20 minutes! Imagine that! Give this a shot, you might be pleasantly amused.
Update: Although the show isn’t doing well ratings-wise, I’m still a huge fan.
Nad Rating
B+

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Life In Pieces definitely feels like CBS trying to crack their own Modern Family, and the show is moderately successful in that regard. The best compliment I can give the show is that I definitely wasn’t bored; the cast is strong and the humour is somewhat sharp. Still, there’s not much of a hook for me to stick with it (after all, Modern Family had the groundbreaking mockumentary format at the time). Perhaps another episode or two?
Update: It might not be very consistent, but an amazing cast has ensured my investment in this show.
Nad Rating
B

8 comments

  1. I'm loving Life in Pieces. I've watched every episode so far. The cast is solid and so is the chemistry between them. I definitely enjoyed the format of the show with each episode being composed of four mini-stories on members of the family.

  2. I also didn't expect to like Telenovela. I tried it out of curiosity one morning while I was having coffee… and I am still watching it. Eva is quite funny. I love Grinder a bit more than you. Funny, that for some reason every episode I wait for something that will point me towards 'stop' button… but it hasn't happened yet )))

  3. I admit I thought Superstore was going to be underwhelming too. I feared it would be some carbon copy of the Office that takes place in a store instead of a paper company. But I was wrong. I find the show enjoyable. I watched the first four episodes, each one as funny, if not more, as the last one largely due to the cast. I find it interesting to see America Ferrera play a cynical character that is the polar opposite of the optimistic Betty Suarez.

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