by Sandra Kraisirideja
For the ninth year at Comic-Con Warner Bros. Television hosted a screening for several new shows that will debut mid-season including Riverdale, Powerless, People of Earth, Frequency, Time After Time and Lethal Weapon.
The Wednesday night tradition doesn’t draw a big crowd, but it was nice to be able to just stroll right into Ballroom 20. It may be the last time during Comic-Con when that happens.
I enjoyed the pilot episodes of all the shows to varying degrees. I would be willing to keep watching all of them to see how they develop.
Riverdale is an hour-long drama inspired by the Archie Comics. The show will be on The CW and it certainly captures the mood of other CW shows. It’s like Desperate Housewives crossed with Gossip Girl.
Powerless is a single-camera half-hour comedy starring Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk. The show expands on the idea put forth in the Incredibles, wherein Super Heroes do exist and what that means for the all the regular people who have to contend with their constant squabbles with Super Villains. There is a lot of fodder for comedy in the show and it is fun to see a different approach to the Super Hero genre . Hudgens is Emily, an insurance adjuster who decides to take a stand against her new boss, played by Tudyk, when he issues a mandate to increase claim denials.
People of Earth, another half-hour comedy, but this one is just a little darker and stranger than Powerless. I want this show to succeed but it may take audiences a bit to catch on. It seems a little too smart for general audiences.
Time After Time is a time-travelling show with a twist featuring Freddie Stroma (UnREAL) and Josh Bowman (Revenge). This was the most uneven of the pilots although it was nice to see Stroma and Bowman again.
Frequency and Lethal Weapon are TV shows based on successful feature films. Frequency is based on the 2000 movie with Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel and Lethal Weapon, which debuted in 1987, was the beginning of a huge franchise for stars Mel GIbson and Danny Glover.
Both TV adaptations are solidly done. The pilot episodes did feel like the entire plot of the feature film was being squeezed into an hour-long show. It was a compression of the story told in the movie. I think there is a better chance of Frequency being able to sustain the plot over the course of a season. While Lethal Weapon had moments of humor and there is good chemistry between stars Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford, it’s just another show with cops that happens to be called Lethal Weapon. It’s a shame that an original show about two cops could not have been written instead.