Pilot Watch 2011 – ABC

Megan, Kyle, and I were all able to check out most of the ABC pilots for the 2011 season. We have each rated them as Watch, Maybe, or Skip. It’s actually surprising how much we agree on! Check back soon for our thoughts on the FOX pilots, as well, but for now, read on to find out what we have to say about the new comedies and dramas from ABC.
 

Apartment 23

Jenny: I have to admit, I went into this one with the idea in my head that five minutes in, I’d shut it off because I hated it. I just knew it wasn’t my thing. But I think I laughed more during it than I’ve laughed at anything all summer. It’s not just that it’s funny—although it really is hysterical—but it’s that it is SO WRONG. In the same vein as Raising Hope, and sometimes even Modern Family, the jokes in Apartment 23 are so politically incorrect or stereotyping that you have to shake your head, all while laughing your behind off. Unlike Kyle, I liked Krysten Ritter in this. I think she was just the perfect foil for Dreama Walker’s June. This one definitely earns a spot on my schedule. – Watch

Kyle: I found this show quite funny—especially James Van Der Beek playing a parody of himself. There were also some great secondary characters, such as the neighbor. The only issue I have is that I’m not a fan of Krysten Ritter (I didn’t like her on Breaking Bad either). That said, I will definitely be watching more of this show. – Watch

Megan: I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy this at all, and I surprised myself by laughing during most of it. James Van Der Beek was awesome as himself, which is the new key to his future success. This comedy brings offside humour and a genuinely likeable cast. I’ll be watching for at least a few weeks while it finds its niche. – Watch

Jump with us to see what else we think about the new ABC pilots.
 

Charlie’s Angels

Kyle: In short, this show was terrible. Both the acting and the writing were bad. I enjoyed the film remakes way more than this new series. One thing that also bothered me was that, throughout the pilot, they are constantly saying “we’re angels” to everyone they meet—like that’s supposed to mean something. It reminds me of how in the new Hawaii Five-0 series they say “we’re Five-0” in the same manner. No one has heard of these groups, and they don’t know your slang! – Skip

Jenny: By the time I went to view the pilot, ABC had pulled it from their press site. I was able to watch some clips, and I actually enjoyed what I saw. It’s one I’m going to say a maybe on, because I’ve heard iffy things about it. Hopefully they pulled it to work out some of the kinks and by the time it airs, things will be better than what I’ve read. – Maybe

Megan: I’ve only had a chance to see some preview clips, but from what I’ve seen, I don’t like it. *sigh* I wanted to like it—you know, girl power and all that jazz—but I didn’t. The actresses aren’t believable, and the format seems off, but if they can revamp the whole thing, maybe I’ll watch. There is an audience for this show, though, with men mostly, because although they are not fabulous actresses, they are beautiful. – Skip
 

G. C. B.

Kyle: This was one of my favorite of the new pilots. It’s too bad it’s not coming until mid-season as it would have been a great fit after the Wed comedy block. However, will most likely end up on Sundays, as it very much like Desperate Housewives. The pilot was hilarious, and it was fun to experience Desperate Housewives from the opposite point of view, where you are rooting for the former Mean Girl, and against the tight-knit clique of four housewives. – Watch

Jenny: Again, I haven’t seen all of this pilot. I don’t know why I’ve put it off, really. I guess mainly because I’ve become so disenchanted with Desperate Housewives, so the comparisons I’ve read between the two have already turned me against it. But…I have watched some, and it’s quite different than I thought it was going to be, so because the cast is phenomenal, I’m going to give it a chance. I love Leslie Bibb, who is the central character, as well as Mom, Annie Potts, and “friends” Kristin Chenoweth and Marisol Nichols. – Maybe

Megan: It is definitely the year of powerful women, but also for catty women. I loved this pilot, for everything that it was. There is nothing better than a good dose of women being bitchy, or of the hypocritical getting their just desserts. It was comical, emotional, and overall amusing. Add all that to the fact the talented Kristin Chenoweth is in it, and I’ll be watching. – Watch
 

Last Man Standing

Jenny: Right off the bat, I’ll say that this one is a maybe for me. I really enjoyed some aspects of it, while others I think could use some improvement. And honestly, the pilot gets better as it goes along. The end is much better than the beginning. I think the cast needs to gel some more, which is often the case with new shows. I like Nancy Travis, who plays the wife. I like the kids, too, although I think some of their stories need fleshed out quickly to really get the show. This is one I’ll DVR and hope that it smooths out some of its rough edges quickly. I enjoyed it enough to watch them, but if it is canceled, I won’t be too heartbroken. – Maybe

Kyle: This felt like a dated sitcom from TBS or ABC Family, complete with laugh track from the studio audience. Nancy Travis plays pretty much the same character she did in The Bill Engvall Show, and I found most of Tim Allen’s jokes falling flat. He tries to throw in references to Home Improvement, but not being a huge fan of that show, I missed most of them. I doubt I’ll be watching this in the Fall. – Maybe

Megan: I really wanted to like it, but it was really just Tim Allen’s character from Home Improvement as a outdoor sports guy with a house full of women. There is definitely room for growth, and I can see it appealing to men like my husband, who still has some archaic ideas of equality. I didn’t hate it, but it’s a show that I’ll likely record and watch when there is nothing better on. – Maybe
 

Man Up!

Kyle: This show felt a lot like Traffic Light, just replace guys talking on car headsets with guys talking over video game headsets. It is not a whole lot different than many of the other Trio of Relationship Stages comedies we saw last season. I think I only laughed once during the pilot, but I liked the actors and characters. But I did enjoy some of those similar shows last season, so I will give this one a few more episodes. – Maybe

Jenny: Kyle actually described this perfectly. I think I enjoyed the pilot a bit more than he did, but it’s kind of like Last Man Standing… I’ll watch, but if it’s canceled, I’m not going to cry over it. – Maybe

Megan: It seems to be the year of husbands in the comedies this season. I admire what Man Up is trying to do, but it fell short for me… really short. The men were amusing at times, but it’s all been there done that. I won’t be watching. – Skip
 

Once Upon a Time

Kyle: This was one of my favorites of the ABC dramas. I thought the cast was great, including Jennifer Morrison. I like the way they are mixing the fairy tale and real-life elements into an interesting story. The special effects were well done, and the show has a wonderful look to it. The pilot was very entertaining, and at the end, I really wanted to see what happens next. – Watch

Jenny: I haven’t seen all of this pilot either, but I can say that this one is the one drama I have been looking forward to the most ever since I heard about it. It’s such a totally different and very cool premise, combining the fairy tale and real-life elements, like Kyle mentioned. I can’t wait to see more of this, and I truly hope it lives up to my expectations and wishes. – Watch

Megan: I found this pilot to be a bit all over the place, but it does have possibilities. I enjoy the cast, but felt that they were not utilized to the best of their abilities. I’ll give it a few episodes to find its footing, but only because I love the thought of a show to help me escape while watching the way a good story does. – Maybe
 

Pan Am

Kyle: I was pleasantly surprised by this pilot. I had my doubts of this just being another flashy period piece. However, not only did it have an interesting story, but the characters were well defined and made me want to learn more about them. I like that they have added a spy/mystery element to the show instead of just going with a straight-up period drama. I am looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds. – Watch

Jenny: I have not seen this pilot, and I really don’t want to watch it before it airs on TV. I really, really dislike period shows (like Mad Men, for example), so this and The Playboy Club on NBC are two that I’m not at all sure I’m going to like, even though I like some of the actors in them. Based on the reviews I’ve read from Kyle and others, I’ll most likely give it a shot, but I’m not sure how long I’ll stick around… – Maybe

Megan: I was shocked to find myself drawn into the story of this show. Period pieces are not usually my cup of tea—truthfully, I’ve never enjoyed Mad Men—but Pan Am surprised me. Christina Ricci was superb. I will tune in again, because the characters and story arcs beg to be watched. – Watch
 

Revenge

Kyle: To me, this felt more like a CW teen drama more than an ABC show, and it certainly doesn’t fit with their 2-hour comedy block on Wednesdays. While it had a potentially interesting mystery, I just don’t see myself sticking with it. It is too similar to a lot of CW shows that I have quit watching after just a few weeks. – Skip

Jenny: I’m kind of with Kyle on this one, although I’m not sure I’d classify it as a CW teen drama. To me, it’s more like it would fit in well with ABC Family shows, such as Pretty Little Liars. I like Emily VanCamp a lot, but we’ll just have to see if it holds my interest—unlike all the shows besides Melissa & Joey on ABC Family. – Maybe

Megan: This pilot was another surprise for me, and I have to say that it was a good one. I wasn’t jumping on the premise, but the characters made me love them and want to know more about their stories. The saying that “Revenge is a dish best served cold” does not apply here, because this cast is hot and the revenge going on cuts straight to the core. I’ll be watching. Will you? – Watch
 

Scandal

Kyle: I can’t believe I didn’t realize this legal drama was a Shonda Rhimes series while watching the pilot. Perhaps it was because everyone in the office wasn’t sleeping with one another within the first 15 minutes. I kind of lost interest mid-way through the pilot. However, I do enjoy a lot of other Shonda Rhimes shows, so I will revisit this series when it airs mid-season. – Maybe

Jenny: I did know this was a Shonda Rhimes show going into it, and I’m not sure whether that’s a positive thing or not. lol I’ve pretty much quit watching Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice was really beginning to irritate me last season, and I never could get into Off the Map. This is a law show, though, rather than a medical, so I may be able to enjoy the things I like about Rhimes’ other shows without having them in my head screaming, “Don’t do it!” One of the most interesting things about the first two minutes is they cram like 15,000 words in. It’s insane. I wonder if the actors have to audition and talk like the Micro Machines commercial dude. haha Anyway, I’m definitely going to give this one a shot, because the cast is good and the premise is fun. – Watch

Megan: I didn’t hate this pilot, but I’m wary, because the last time I enjoyed a pilot by Shonda Rhimes, I got burned. It’s an interesting idea for a show, and the cast is likeable. I enjoyed the opening sequence the most, because it was fast paced. We’ll see how it plays out, but for now, I’ll be tuning in. – Watch
 

Suburgatory

Jenny: This was one of the shows I was most looking forward to watching, simply because of Jeremy Sisto (Yes, Kyle, laugh it up…). He’s just damn cute, what can I say? I loved him in Law & Order, so I was hoping this would be funny…and it was. I really loved this pilot. The cast is great, the premise is cute, and I think it fits well on ABC with their other comedies. It’s one of my favorite comedy pilots in a while. – Watch

Kyle: This was one of the better comedy pilots. While it was not a laugh-out-loud type of comedy, it did make me smile throughout. I really liked the main girl, as well as the secondary characters of the waitress and the neighbor played by Cheryl Hines. I have seen many people excited for this series just because of Jeremy Sisto. It should say a lot that I still want to watch this, despite not being a fan of Sisto (I have only seen him in Six Feet Under and really disliked his character). – Watch

Megan: I really wanted to love this show, mainly because it pokes fun at everything I dislike about the ‘Suburban Mom’ lifestyle. Unfortunately, it didn’t really hit home for me. Unlike some of the other new comedies, this one seemed to be trying a little too desperately for a laugh. That said, it had a few moments that made me smile, so I may give it another chance to redeem itself. – Maybe
 

The River

Kyle: When I watched this pilot, I was not expecting a supernatural thriller, so I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I could have. When this airs midseason, I will definitely re-watch the pilot and give it another shot. – Maybe

Jenny: I haven’t seen all of this, but I really enjoyed what I did see. The premise is pretty cool, the cast is great, but the way it is shot—like we’re watching the story play out live at the beginning and documentary style throughout—is pretty cool. I’m very interested to see this one when it comes out mid-season. – Watch

Megan: This show reminded me of The Blair Witch Project, only on a boat in the Amazon, instead of in the woods. It was freaky enough to make you jump slightly, but overall, it’s a bust. I don’t know if this show will do well, and if it does, it’s because everyone is looking for something different and strange to watch. Either way, I’ll probably DVR a few episodes to see if it gets any better, but more than likely it won’t so I’ll stop watching. – Maybe
 

Work It!

Kyle: This was the worst of the ABC pilots, and I would not be surprised if this never airs. There was no reason to remake Bosom Buddies, and I don’t see how in this day and age anyone would believe these guys are women. I think most people’s first thoughts would be that these men were transsexuals. This jokes on this show were so dated and painfully unfunny. I think they must have paid the studio audience to laugh, or recycled a laugh track from another show. – Skip

Jenny: While I’m not sure I hated this as much as Kyle did, I will agree that it wasn’t great. The men, especially Ben Koldyke, don’t look anything like women. There were some funny lines, especially from Beth Lacke as the wife, but overall, it’s not one I think will stick around past one or two episodes. – Skip

Megan: I don’t think it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I giggled. It may be the fact that I’m a wife who thinks her husband just doesn’t get what being a woman is like. Although, I’ll admit, I don’t want to see my husband in a skirt. That would ruin my marriage. 😉 The pilot was funny and awkward, but I’ll DVR it to watch later. – Maybe
 
 
There you have it… Our opinions, for what they’re worth, on the new pilots for ABC. Comment below and let us know what you plan to watch and what you will happily skip!

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