Welcome back to our TV Preview series! In this half of said series, Emily, Kandis, Mandy C. and I will take a look at shows featured in our TV Preview: New Friends post, and let you know what we think you should—and shouldn’t—be watching.
Warning! Possible spoilers ahead.
Premiered: October 3 on ABC (Watch online.)
A struggling rapper, frustrated with his lack of exposure, impulsively runs for mayor of his city—and to his extreme shock, wins.
Lea Michele as Valentina Barella
Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina Rose
Jillian Armenante as Kitty Cavanaugh
David Spade as Councilman Ed Gunn
Daveed Diggs as Courtney’s favorite rapper I cannot remember the name of and is listed nowhere on IMDB
(Note: David Spade and Daveed Diggs seem to be guest stars for just the pilot.)
Faces That Might Become Familiar (If You Keep Watching)
Brandon Michael Hall as Courtney Rose
Marcel Spears as T.K. Clifton
Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Leforge
Kandis: The cast is super charming (even Lea Michele - mostly), and the dialogue is crazy clever. The tone is light and fun, which makes me a little worried they’re never going to tackle some bigger issues that you might expect, considering the issues obviously facing the town.
Mandy C.: Can I have a crew like T.K. and Jermaine? Marcel Spears and Bernard David Jones are definitely my favorite people on this show so far.
Stephanie: I had high hopes for this show and I am so glad it didn’t disappoint! When it ended I was sad there wasn’t another episode to immediately queue up, so I’m taking that as a good sign. This pilot was oozing with humor and warmth, and I actually liked every single character. Courtney’s friends were a hoot, and I loved that they were supportive and gung-ho about helping Courtney out after he won. Lea Michele’s character on Glee grated after a time, but there is just something about Lea herself that is magnetic to watch, and I liked her character Valentina’s desire to be a “great woman of politics”. My absolute favorite character interactions, though, were between Courtney and his mom, Dina. I love seeing positive family dynamics on TV, and you could immediately feel their connection. I LUV U, Yvette Nicole Brown.
It's Not Me, It's You
Kandis: It seems to be a bit formulaic. Not that I think the show needs to be longer than a half hour sitcom, but that time constraint does lend itself to everything having to wrap up in a neat little bow. I’d be okay they didn’t keep it that simple.
Mandy C.: Lea Michele. Lea … Michele. I loved her on Glee, but it’s kind of like Rachel Berry just grew up to be Valentina Barella? Also, I’m worried that the storylines of the show will all revolve around Courtney doing something stupid/not good for his job then fixing it by the end/showing that he really does have what it takes to be mayor, if only he can get out of his own way. That could get really formulaic really fast.
Stephanie: I’m gonna struggle coming up with things I didn’t like. Hmm. Okay. Oh! It was too short. I did it!
Let's Do This Again
Kandis: Considering how funny and well written the show is, I’ll definitely keep watching, to see if it turns into a little something more. We need our next Parks & Rec!
Mandy C.: Eh…I enjoyed the first episode, but I’m not sure I enjoyed it enough to watch week to week. I might check back in a few episodes to see if my initial reservations remain a problem, and then decide from there.
Stephanie: Totes. I am here for this. Fingers crossed that after this pilot the creators have a strong idea of where they want to take their story. This episode felt very hopeful and, I’m sure to some, may feel a bit schmaltzy—but is it wrong to want to create some positive imagery, vis a vis our elected officials, in light of America’s current real-life political shit-show? If they can keep the right balance between that humor and hope, mixed with the inherent heaviness of politics, this show could be fabulous.
Did you watch? If so, let us know your thoughts below!