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TV Preview: THE GREAT INDOORS And PURE GENIUS

Jeff Winger goes to work at a magazine with—le gasp!—millennials, and a group of pretty doctors use fancy tech to cure illness.

TV Preview: THE GREAT INDOORS And PURE GENIUS

Welcome back to our Fall TV Preview series! Emily, Kandis, Rosemary and I are checking out the shows featured in our TV Preview: New Friends post, and letting you know what we think you should—and shouldn’t—be watching.

This is the last of our fall pilot posts, but we’ll be back with more midseason.

Warning! Possible spoilers ahead.

 

The Great Indoors

Premiered: Oct. 27 on CBS (Watch online.)

Twitter Pitch

A #lonewolf journalist and a group of #millennials must work together to make their #outdoorlifestyle magazine relevant. #DownWithLaughTracks

Familiar Faces

Joel McHale as Jack Gordon

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Clark

Stephen Fry as Roland

Chris Williams as Eddie

Amy Hill as Carol

Faces That Might Become Familiar (If You Keep Watching)

Deborah Baker Jr. as Esther

Christine Ko as Emma

Shaun Brown as Mason

Susannah Fielding as Brooke

Redeeming Qualities

Kandis: Joel McHale being rude to people is my everything. And JOEL MCHALE WITH A BABY BEAR.

Mandy: I love Stephen Fry, and Joel McHale can be quite funny when he’s being the crabby older guy leading a group of younger people. (Wait. That sounds familiar …)

It's Not Me, It's You

Kandis: Millennials are so young and entitled, and don't know how to do anything except play on their computers, ha ha ha. And canned laughter is my kryptonite. The premise of the inner workings of an outdoor magazine, in a world where print journalism is dying, has potential. But not the way they execute it.

Mandy: I don’t recall when I finally realized that laugh tracks were THE WORST THING EVER to happen to TV, but since said realization, I cannot deal with them. They detract from any actual humor that a show might have. (Although, I’m pretty sure that The Great Indoors didn’t have a whole lot.) Also, I’m so tired of the “millennials are terrible and misunderstood creatures” trope. I’m guessing that most millennials are too.

Let's Do This Again

Kandis: Who is the audience for this show? It's offensive to millennials, and they've cast 44 year-old Joel McHale (who likely comes with a built-in fan base of millennials) as the grumpy old man. This is 22 minutes of NOPE for me.

Mandy: This first episode wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t by any means great. I really don’t think I’ll be missing out on anything if I don’t watch this again.

 

Pure Genius

Premiered: Oct. 27 on CBS (Watch online.)

Twitter Pitch

House + fancy technology - curmudgeonly lead = #PureGenius.

Familiar Faces

Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Walter Wallace

Reshma Shetty as Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra

Augustus Prew as James Bell

Brenda Song as Angie Cheng

Odette Annable as Dr. Zoe Brockett

Faces That Might Become Familiar (If You Keep Watching)

Aaron Jennings as Dr. Malik Verlaine

Ward Horton as Dr. Scott Strauss

Redeeming Qualities

Kandis: Dermot Mulroney! The cast seems fairly diverse, especially for a CBS show.

Mandy: I’m super intrigued by the technology they use at Bunker Hill, and I would hope that the tech/medical advances that they use are actually real or near to being so (i.e., it would be weird to me if this show got super science fictiony).

It's Not Me, It's You

Kandis: Suspension of disbelief was nearly impossible. The facility is ludicrous, and the technology seems unrealistic, bordering on absurd. Why would people take medical advice from a Silicon Valley billionaire? "Cutting out the middle man" and proper medical trials sounds like a recipe for mega lawsuits. And sadly, the domestic abuse storyline just seemed cliched as hell. And why wouldn't a fancy hospital like this not have already done a mental health evaluation, when we're supposed to believe they can do that kind of thing with the press of a button?

Mandy: Is anyone on Pure Genius not a ridiculously good person? Even the self-obsessed James Bell, who started the hospital for personal reasons, turned out to be a good guy with lofty, world-improving goals in the end. A complete lack of villains (other than the diseases) or any real drama between the characters would make for a seriously flat show.

Let's Do This Again

Kandis: The plot with Malik, trying to get lifesaving technology to poor neighborhoods seems like it would have potential, if he wasn't having to force reluctant people into participating when there are plenty of people out there who would be willing. And the reveal with James' illness at least lends some compelling credence to his mission, but I don't think it's enough to keep me coming back.

Mandy: Meh? Like I said, I’m intrigued by the technology, but didn’t connect with any of the characters. I also don’t really understand what this show’s going to be about, other than pretty people solving medical mysteries. Is that really enough to keep people interested week-to-week?

 

Did you watch? If so, let us know your thoughts below!

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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