It takes a good deal at this point to get us excited about a network TV comedy, mostly because over the past few years we’ve seen people go so broad with them that they all just feel like carbon copies of each other. Everyone wanted to be the next “Modern Family,” but instead it turned out that there is was only one “Modern Family” and even if has lost some steam over the years.
After experimenting more in the family-comedy realm for a few years, we’re glad to see NBC back to being quirky and interesting like they were during the days of “The Office” and “30 Rock.” It is bringing us “The Good Place,” a series from Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” that looks like it may be the funniest new show of the fall. It’s got a lot going for it; let’s just hope that the actual pilot matches the greatness of the first trailer.
Premiere Date and Timeslot Competition – Monday, September 19 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. The show is getting off to a good start behind “The Voice,” and after this it will move to Thursday nights at 8:30 after “Superstore.” On the surface that may be a little bit of an odd move to us, given that this show has such commercial appeal that you could actually put it on at 8:00 and air “Superstore” afterwards, even if it did draw pretty good season 1 ratings. We actually wonder upon reflection it is to keep it away from the “Big Bang Theory” buzzsaw.
On Thursdays, the show will have to compete against CBS in the comedy realm, but otherwise, it should be just fine.
Logline – “Centers on a woman wrestling with what it means to be good.” They really didn’t give much away here, did they? Let’s give you a little bit more detail. Bell stars as a woman who has been wrongfully sent to a Heaven-like place after her death, only to realize that there are a very specific set of rules for what it is like to live there. She wasn’t a good person while alive, but maybe she can find herself here.
Cast – Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, and D’Arcy Carden
Trailer – It’s really fun. It’s the perfect length, and Bell shines in this sort of role where she can come off as wholesome at first but have some serious skeletons in her closet. Meanwhile, Danson is consistent comedy gold, and with all of Schur’s past work in mind it feels almost like an understatement to say he is among the best in the business.
Overall Take – It’s hard to fully judge a comedy until you see the first episode, but this seems like a creative and potentially heartfelt series that will simultaneously make us laugh. If it’s anything like “Parks and Recreation,” we’ll be watching until the end of its run.
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