Hey you! This isn't a review, it's a PREview. Huge difference. Most notably, the "P." Also, these PREviews are based on early cuts of pilots that might change drastically by the time they officially hit the air, so we can't properly review them. But we CAN give you an idea of what to expect. In this series of early looks at the new shows of fall 2013, there's no contemplating, no deep analysis; just super-duper quick thoughts on what we just watched that we're passing on to you. We'll revisit each previewed show in the fall with the hyper-intellectual breakdowns and fart jokes you're used to from us goons here at TV.com.
STARRING AND CREATED BY: The CW is picking from the Amell Tree and has cast the cousin of Arrow's Stephen, Robbie (Revenge), as the lead. But you'll find the typical cast of attractive youngsters, per The CW's mission statement, including Luke Mitchell (Australia's Neighbours), Peyton List (Mad Men), Aaron Yoo (21), and older familiar faces in Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural) and Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars). Super producers Greg Berlanti and Julie Plec will executive produce, while Chuck's Phil Klemmer will be the day-to-day boss. Yes, it's based on the 1970s British series of the same name.
THE GIST: This comes straight out of The CW Mad Libs that creates most of their shows. In this one, hot teens have superpowers, basically. Stephen Jameson (R. Amell) and all his weird behaviors (he sleepwalks, for one) and potential are sought after by two groups: The Tomorrow People, a band of like-powered attractive youngsters, and Ultra, a group of militia-ish scientists who are not very nice. You can guess which side Pellegrino is on. It's X-men with less costumes and Heroes with a deeper established mythology.
SNAP JUDGMENT: Have you ever seen any show or movie about a group of covert people with superpowers? Then you've pretty much seen The Tomorrow People. There's nothing bad about The Tomorrow People, but there's also a missed opportunity to add something new to the formula that's been worn thin with the abundance of superhero media. There will be fighting, teleporting, telepathic communication, telekinesis, bullies that experience Stephen learning how to use his powers first hand, and oblivious unpowered humans who are none the wiser. Mix all of that with some typical teen drama and stir. The good thing is that for people like me, this type of superhero-origin story doesn't really get old and The Tomorrow People doesn't make any glaring mistakes. So yes, you've seen this before, but you also liked it before. And as a last burst of confidence, the pilot concludes with a neat little twist that shows a bit more potential than the previous 55 minutes did. But it's not quite enough to get really jazzed about the series.
PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: As Jameson is a newcomer to all these secret teams of superpeople and battle for the world stuff, a lot of people spend a lot of time telling him (and us) what's been going on.
FACES TO LOOK OUT FOR: It's to be seen if Amell can lead a series like his cousin can, but Mitchell's great and he's in for a long career of bouncing around The CW from show to show.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Must every show about weird kids in high school involve a kid shouting out loud in the middle of class and bullies getting their butts kicked by the "hero"? Yes, yes they must.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: For the most part, this is pretty plain, but genre fans should find this an ample addition to The CW's lineup. On the 1 to 10 scale, this taps at a 6.
PILOT PREVIEW POWER RANKINGS:
(Where we rank the fall season's pilots based on very early impressions)
1. Almost Human - J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman's robotic buddy-cop drama
2. The 100 - Teens have fun (and die) on post-apocalyptic Earth while the adults fight each other in a big tin can orbiting the planet
3. Intelligence - Josh Holloway stars as a Cyber Command agent who has Wi-Fi in his brain
4. Sleepy Hollow - Ichabod Crane zaps to the future to help a detective stop The Headless Horseman
6. The Blacklist - James Spader is a master criminal who turns himself in to the FBI on one condition: He only works with the pretty new FBI agent
8. Dracula - Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the fanged one in this re-imagining of the classic story of an undead guy chasing his old girlfriend
9. Lucky 7 - A group of gas-station employees win the lottery, for better or worse
1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Andy Samberg and a bunch of buffoons are cops in Brooklyn
2. Trophy Wife - Malin Akerman marries into a big family and ends up with two ex-wives and three stepchildren in the process
3. The Crazy Ones - Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are a father-daughter team in the advertising business
4. Mom - Anna Faris and Allison Janney play a mother and daughter with life problems
5. Enlisted - Geoff Stults goes to army reject camp with his two brothers
6. About a Boy - Jason Katims' TV adaptation of the film adaption of Nick Hornby's novel about a man-boy friendship
7. Super Fun Night - Rebel Wilson and her loser friends hit the social scene