New Dramas on ABC This Fall
Like NBC, ABC is casting a wide net this Fall with a slew of new shows across a range of genres. Building on the success of Once Upon a Time, comes a new spinoff series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, which is set to expand on the fairytale adventures of Alice in Wonderland. And in keeping with the genre theme, the awkwardly titled Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is surely set to build on the phenomenal success of recent superhero movie franchises.
Midseason also sees another genre mystery show Resurrection hitting the air. The pilot episode packs both a tremendous premise and quite an emotional punch. Of the genre shows on offer this one definitely promises the most in terms of originality and scope.
Meanwhile, look out three new dramas headed your way including lottery-shennanigans based Lucky 7, new sudsy drama Betrayal (a perfect match for Revenge, which is headed into its third season this Fall) and Killer Women, starring Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer.
ABC offered us pilots on a ‘not for review’ basis, meaning that some details may change between now and the time these shows hit the air. What you will read below are our ‘first impressions’ of each show made available to us by the Network.
Editor’s Note: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland were not available for review at the time of publication. Check back later for our reviews of these shows.
MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
From the pilot episode coverage we’ve seen to date, we know that the series kicks off with Coulson assembling a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they “investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.”
Coulson’s team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet). [… CONTINUE TO IMAGES, PROMOS & SNEAK PEEKS FROM THE SHOW]
ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
The Alice in Wonderland themed fantasy drama comes to ABC, Thursdays, this Fall. Originally intended to air as a mini-series with which to fill the summer hiatus for Once Upon a Time fans, the initial premise quickly evolved into a full and promising new Fall drama.
Focusing on the eponymous Alice of Lewis Carroll’s children’s fairytales, the show explores Alice’s life post Wonderland. Did she imagine it all? The doctors in the Victorian asylum where she now spends her days nursing a broken heart say yes. However it soon appears the past refuses to stay silent, and when the White Rabbit, assisted by some familiar fairy tale characters, mounts a rescue, Alice finds herself thrust into the heart of adventure and romance once again. [… CONTINUE TO IMAGES, PROMOS & SNEAK PEEKS FROM THE SHOW]
ABC has decided to hold off until midseason for Resurrection, one of its more intriguing dramas of the upcoming season. Previously titled The Return, the series stars Omar Epps (House) as a U.S. agent faced with an entire town of improbable cases. When an 8-year-old boy wakes up in the middle of a rice field in China with nothing but the clothes on his back, the Immigration and Customs Department steps in. As the agent normally in charge of these transports has enough sense to go home on the weekends, Martin Bellamy (Epps) takes the case.
After a quick rundown, Martin learns he’s got nothing to go on. The kid possesses no ID or passport and has no known guardians. He also failed to match a description for any recent missing persons cases. All Bellamy knows is the boy’s name – Jacob (Landon Giminez) – which is scribbled in pen on his t-shirt tag. With so little information and nowhere to take him, the next move legally is to drop him off with Health and Human Services.
While stopped to get some food in their stomachs, Jacob wrenches in a surprising bit of information about the case. Despite all the departments digging, Jacob does have a home: Arcadia, Missouri. While Arcadia’s Sheriff claims there’s no missing child by that name, Bellamy makes the swift decision to take Jacob to Arcadia to try and find his family. [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]
Betrayal comes to ABC, Sundays this Fall. The new show is poised to attract a post Revenge audience looking for a second helping of soapy drama on Sunday nights. Having screened the pilot episode on a ‘not for review’ basis (we’re told that some details may change between now and the time the show hits the air, meaning that all we can give you for now are our first impressions) we can honestly say we’re not sure what Betrayal is. Part romance, part whodunnit, part potential courtroom drama, the pilot episode was a little all over the place thematically.
The drama, or betrayal, centers around a chance meeting between the show’s two attractive leads, Sara Hadley (played by Hannah Ware) and Jack McAllister (Stuart Townsend) who, despite their own marriages and in Sara’s case, children, begin a wild affair. (Clearly this relationship was written in the stars, as evidenced by their finishing of one another’s sentences after just five minutes of conversation.) Actually, we’re calling their affair wild, but it involves a lot of Sara and Jack staring at each other in wonderment while pondering aloud how they “Never knew it could be like this.” [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]
A rag-tag group of seven gas station employees chipping with vain hope into a lottery pool sounds like the premise of a comedy. While there are occasional touches of humour, Lucky 7 is actually a drama, and that is about the only surprising component of the show. Well, that and the insane logic behind a group of people with no income to spare constantly buying lottery tickets. They could all use some extra cash, but of course the age old question of how much money itself can really fix is brought into debate.
There’s Antonio (Luis Antonio Ramos), the likable family man who takes pleasure in something as simple as buying his wife a toaster. Honestly, he’s probably the best of the bunch. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Nicky (Stephen Louis Grush), the ex-convict who keeps reminding everyone he is a reformed ex-convict, but may need to brush up on the meaning of that word. Nicky has eyes for the lovely violinist Samira (Summer Bishil), though we kind of think she could do better. [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]
Guns, explosions, and beautiful women in tight clothing, Killer Women is all flash and very little substance. Early in the pilot, one man comments about the female suspect: “She won’t get far – not with that face and ass.” I’m not sure if the show is trying to appeal to an audience that wouldn’t mind that kind of line, or if it is entirely in on its own joke. Either way, it’s wearisome, and sounds like something out of a cheesy CSI parody.
Despite being titled Killer Women, the show is focused on just one woman – Molly Parker. She is played by Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), who does a great job with what she is given. If the pilot is any good indication, she will be carrying the majority of the scenes. Considering the role, it would be easy for Helfer to annoyingly overdo it by overemphasizing certain lines and poses. Instead, Helfer maintains a likable, classy presence. […CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]