Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pilot Review: Great News

Great News (NBC)
Premiered April 25 at 9pm

I feel like, as television has developed over the past decade or so and become much more diverse in its presentation, we’ve evolved past the idea of a sitcom based on an adult woman whose mother starts working at her job without any sense that there’s something inappropriate about that. I didn’t have high hopes for this show at all, and nothing about this show managed to contradict or exceed those. It’s not all that terrible, but it’s also not anyone’s idea of funny. Andrea Martin, who recurs on “Difficult People,” a show I started watching, as another mother who has no sense of boundaries, takes up the bulk of this show’s energy, with John Michael Higgins, who had another showy role on “Happily Divorced” during its star, as her lone competitor as a vain TV host with a great fear of becoming irrelevant. Briga Heelan, who I remember from the pilot of “Ground Floor,” by comparison, fades much more into the background, expressing exasperation at not being noticed by her boss, portrayed by Adam Campbell, who played Logan on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and neither of them add all that much to the show. TV newsrooms have long been a setting of TV shows both successful and unsuccessful, and this one fits into the category of the completely unmemorable, going for cheap jokes that aren’t all that sophisticated and adding little to the TV landscape. I did, however, appreciate the noted cameo of Citi Bike, New York City’s bikeshare program that I take advantage of every day to bike to and from work, in an important role in one of the show’s more absurd scenes.

How will it work as a series? Having two episodes air back-to-back is always a helpful way of determining a show’s quality. I found little to be distinguishable between the first and second half-hours, and while Carol will certainly adjust to her new job soon, the process is far from enthralling and compelling.
How long will it last? The reviews are better than I expected, and the first episode did pretty well. Since I’m so far behind, however, this show has already aired another two episodes, and the ratings plummeted from its first airing. I think we won’t see any more of this show for next season especially considering its very late premiere.

Pilot grade: C-

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