When you live in New York City, you make concessions about cleanliness. Whether you realize it or not, after a while you learn to accept certain things that you wouldn’t stand for anywhere else. Your apartment’s “pet” rat who you aptly named Stuart Little (even though he is far from cute, and probably carrying the plague) becomes a member of the family. The faint smell of urine that welcomes you each morning as you step onto the subway platform becomes a natural aroma you yearn for after a long trip. And the homeless man who sleeps on your stoop every Tuesday? At some point, you regard him as the friendly neighborhood man who just happens be down on his luck. No matter how hard you may try to clean up the gunk, if you want to live here, you just have to accept the filth that comes with the beast.
Similarly, if you’re an avid TV fan, you have to accept the bad with the good. There will never be a year where every lineup is free from waste. You may have to accept that a show about alien neighbors will take up the prime time slot over your favorite new murder mystery. Or, even worse, an incredible show about how to make it in America will be replaced by a bunch of lost hipster chicks complaining about everyday life. The TV world is brutal and you just have to accept that dirty cue tips will always somehow get in the mix.
Just as millions of New Yorkers begin their feeble attempt at spring cleaning, the cable networks during this time of the year are shedding last year’s unsavory shows for potentially better replacements. After sifting through their mounds of pilot reels, they decide on a handful of prospects and present their decisions to media agencies in what are known as “The Upfronts.” At these meetings, agencies get a sneak peek at the upcoming lineup and decide which shows they think are worth buying into.
Here is my list of a handful of upcoming shows that I believe will either be clean winners in the upcoming year or just plain dirty disasters for the fall lineup.
CLEAN WINNER: Low Winter Sun
Starring Mark Strong (Zero Dark Thirty) and Lennie James (The Walking Dead), the show focuses on a detective who gets pulled into the Detroit underworld to solve a murder mystery. While the premise sounds a bit generic, AMC is known for delivering some of the grittiest shows on TV, and I predict that this will be a cross between The Wire, Breaking Bad, and A. Mark Strong may not be the perfect choice for the role, considering he doesn’t bring much sexiness to the show, but then again AMC isn’t built on only Don Drapers – ever heard of Walter White?
Dirty Disaster: Ballistic City
Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion), Ballistic City is a sci-fi drama about a former cop thrust into the criminal underworld of a city housed in a spaceship traveling to an unknown world. I personally don’t think it will fit in with AMC’s “real world”, “real drama” moniker, and I just don’t see it becoming the next Firefly or Stargate. Sorry guys, but Sci-Fi does not belong on AMC.
FX will attempt to reach a larger audience this year by dividing into three channels: FX, FXX and FXM. FX will target 18-49, FXX will attempt to woo a younger 18-34 audience, and FXM is aiming for a broader 25-50 market.
Clean Winner: Tyrant
The show is still in development, but the pilot centers on an American family that gets caught up in Middle Eastern politics, as their son replaces the newly deceased dictator as the head of a country. Produced by Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff (Homeland) and directed by the little known Oscar winning director Ang Lee, I am going to flat out say, “PUT AWAY THE BROOM, THIS WILL BE A HIT.”
Dirty Disaster: Fargo
Based on the Oscar winning Coen brothers film with the same title, FX will attempt to turn part of the plot into a miniseries. Although both Joel and Ethan Coen are attached as directors and Noah Hawley (Bones) will write the series, I do not see this lasting longer than five episodes. I loved Fargo, but I do not want to see it translated as a miniseries. The Coen Brothers are known to have complicated, often unresolvable plots that many audiences just absolutely hate. Sorry guys, stick with film –TV people like resolutions!
Clean Winner: Total Divas
Centered on the women of the WWE, this unscripted series may not be everyone’s first choice, but I have a feeling it may be the surprise show of this season. Put a bunch of muscled women with attitudes in a room and there will be some seriously good drama.
Dirty Disaster: What Would Ryan Lochte Do?
Even though it already premiered this past Sunday, it would be hard pressed to find anyone who thought this would be a good idea. Would I dare say this will be canceled within three weeks? “JEAH”
So there are a couple of shows I am expecting to find on the new spring lineup. Get ready to get your brooms out for a couple of them. But as you can see, there are some definite roses to help with the stench. Good luck with your spring cleaning!