Alibi V.21 No.35 • Aug 30-Sept 5, 2012 

Idiot Box

Snap Judgments

New shows around the dial

September is upon us, the Olympics are over, and that means the fall TV season can finally commence. It’s been a long, hot, boring summer filled with reruns, reality shows and E! News Specials. But now, for better or worse, we get actual new dramas and sitcoms on primetime network television. I’m not gonna lie to you: Some of these will be awful. Some of them will be good. At this point it’s hard to tell. But what’s to stop us from making snap judgments based entirely on cast, concept and the teaser trailers available on YouTube? (Click on titles to view videos.)

The Best?

“Arrow” (The CW, Oct. 10) God willing, this superhero-filled, semi-spin-off of “Smallville” actually might be entertaining, action-packed and not too annoyingly teen-oriented.

“The Following” (FOX Midseason) It probably won’t come on until 2013, but this crime drama about an FBI profiler (Kevin Bacon) chasing a serial killer (James Purefoy) looks dark, bloody and intriguing as hell.

“The Last Resort” (ABC, Sept. 27) I’m not sure where the story goes after the pilot, but the hot-button, Tom Clancy-style premise (a U.S. submarine crew refuses orders and heads out to the Pacific to form its own nuclear-powered nation) sounds conversation-worthy at the very least.

“The Mindy Project” (FOX, Sept. 25) Writer/producer/actor Mindy Kaling was one of the hardest-working people on the going-down-in-flames sitcom “The Office.” Hopefully, she’ll find room to shine in this eponymous show about a work-obsessed gynecologist navigating romantic waters.

“Revolution” (NBC, Sept. 17) J.J. Abrams tries to recapture some of his early “Lost” mojo with this post-apocalyptic series about a world without electricity. Odds are, it’ll end up dead on arrival like FOX’s “Terra Nova.” But let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The Worst?

“Animal Practice” (NBC, Sept. 26) We’ve actually seen this veterinary-based sitcom. NBC cut the Olympics closing ceremony short to sneak preview the pilot. After engendering all sorts of ill will for that, NBC presented us with the surprisingly lame first ep. You’d think Justin Kirk (from “Weeds”) and a monkey would be funny. But no.

“Beauty and the Beast” (The CW, Oct. 11) The CW “reboots” (read: “screws up”) the popular ’80s sci-fi/fantasy drama. Now, Beast is a hunky, genetically altered super soldier. And Beauty is a New York cop (Kristin Kreuk). I like me some Kreuk, but she’s no New York cop.

“Family Tools” (ABC Midseason) Lord, what is this generic sitcom even about? There’s a guy. And he lives in the suburbs. And ... stuff. J.K. Simmons, run away while you can. You’re better than this.

“Made in Jersey” (CBS, Sept. 28) Have you ever wondered what “The Jersey Shore” would be like if it were a legal drama? Me neither.

“The Neighbors” (ABC, Sept. 26) Stick Coneheads and “3rd Rock from the Sun” together and multiply them by 100, and you’ve got this silly-looking sitcom about ordinary folks who move into a suburb full of wacky space aliens.