Press Start Reviews: Upfronts 2018 – NBC

The first batch of upfronts trailers I’m going to look at are three from NBC. Their slate for the 2018-2019 season is looking pretty good, and they are not surprising anyone with their usual focus on dramas. Law and Order: SVU is returning for their 20th season, they are creating a whole night of the Chicago shows (Med, PD, and Fire), The Blacklist is back… but they are also trying to increase their comedic stable bringing home Brooklyn 99 (YES!!!) and a few others.

I’m really interested in a four of their new shows: The Gilded Age (period piece from the creator of Downton Abby focusing on 1880s New York), The Enemy Within (spy thriller, sounds kind of like The Blacklist?), Manifest, and New Amsterdam.

So let’s get to it!


Created by Robert Zemeckis, it’s an interesting take on what I’d call the “Lost Formula.” A group of people go through some sort of slightly sci-fi ordeal and everyone is confused. Then shit hits the fan in some way, usually involving the government. The Crossing is a good example – the story isn’t so much following the main characters, it’s what happened to the main characters? Basically What the Hell is Going On: The Series. 

Manifest tells the story of the passengers on an airline that disappear without a trace, only to miraculously come back five years later. They’ve all been presumed dead, people mourned, and then tried to move on with their lives. This immediately got me hooked – just the way you could explore how people would react to seeing their loved ones just returned after all this time. How did they live their lives? How did the “deaths” of the family members affect everyone? I mean how do you slot yourself back into society after being presumed dead in every facet of your life?

Definitely on my watch list. It’s coming in the fall, Mondays at 10.

New Amsterdam

I’m a BIT of a sucker for medical dramas, so New Amsterdam caught my eye immediately. We follow the new Medical Director at a huge hospital (hey it’s Ryan Eggold from The Blacklist! NBC is all about this guy apparently) and how he wants to change it for the better.

The thing about mass media, especially TV, is how it reacts to the world around us. Next year we will have three medical dramas (The Good Doctor, The Resident, and New Amsterdam) that focus on how awesome doctors are, the dirty underbelly of medical insurance, and starring doctors who just want to help above all else. This is production companies looking at our culture and realizing “hey, this whole thing about universal healthcare is a pretty hot topic!” You can see it season to season – issues with police? Tons of cop shows. Are we at war? Oh hey we have military stuff. Last season ABC had a TON of shows starring People of Color… I wonder why.

I’m interested in this show, but personally I find it really… saccharine. It’ll be on my watch list, but shows like this live and die on the skill of the cast. I know Eggold has the chops, hopefully the rest of the cast can rise to his level.

Starts in fall, Tuesdays at 10.

I Feel Bad

So the first comedy trailer we have on the list… its good? I guess?

I Feel Bad is a single cam slice of life comedy of a woman who is just trying to figure out what’s going on in her world. I really like the cast (oh damn brown people up in here!), and they seem to have good chemistry with is even more important than in a drama.

The tag line for the show is “…Sarayu Blue (No Tomorrow) stars as a mother, wife, friend, boss and daughter in the modern comedy about being perfectly OK with being imperfect.” This really shows through, though some of the jokes can be kind of cringey. Asking your employees if you are “do-able” is not really a great gag right now. Hopefully those jokes will be few and far between.

Looks interesting, but comedies aren’t really my bag. If you like single cam comedies though, I’d give it a watch.

Starts this fall, Thursdays at 9:30.

And that’s it for the NBC trailers. As of this posting, there aren’t any trailers released for Abby’s, The InBetween, The Village, The Enemy Within, or The Gilded Age. Unfortunate, but I assume that many of those are still in production and can’t supply a trailer. Hopefully later in the summer.

Click any of the links below to go to one of my other Upfronts reviews, and remember to share and follow me on all the socials!

Upfronts 2018 – ABC

Upfronts 2018 – CBS

Upfronts 2018 – FOX

Upfronts 2018 – Other

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