Previewing FOX’s Fall Season- Part 2

There’s a lot of risk in creating new television. The months or sometimes years invested may go unappreciated or completely unnoticed. Fox has taken those risks. It is the youngest broadcast television station, having only been in  operation since April 1987, and its hits have been groundbreaking .

In the very beginning, Fox broke in with Married…With Children and it lasted 11 seasons. For all its inappropriate humor, it made the standard sitcom family a dysfunctional one and that point of view is not going anywhere. Fox’s next hit was The Simpsons, which debuted in December 1989 and ushered in a new generation of primetime animation. It is still as strong as ever to this day.

Fox’s has not been so lucky in the drama department. FOX seems to be a lighthearted network. With House on its way out and 24 still missed by its millions of fans, the network has to take risks again by going out of their comfort zone. Serious dramas are a bigger gamble as there is no way to really “love to hate” them. They have to be  genuinely good.  FOX knows its challenges. They’ve come to expect a struggle finding a new hit show.

Fox only has one new drama premiering in the fall, so they are leaving themselves a lot of breathing room for midseason. Now that one of their few hit dramas is gone,  they have to have some faith in their new shows.

 The Mob Doctor

By title alone, I’m already thinking this is not really going to be all that impressive. It sounds like a low budget movie someone watches on basic cable when there’s nothing else to do on a Sunday night. The fact that’s meant to be an ongoing TV show doesn’t help. Upon watching the trailer, I realize I’m not far off. The Mob Doctor revolves around Dr. Grace Devlin, a brilliant Chicago surgeon who agrees to join the mob to pay off her brother’s enormous gambling debt. The conflicts seem incredibly melodramatic and uninteresting. The acting and the writing seems way too forced to the point that it feels like everyone is trying way too hard.

Dr. Devlin says insistently, “I never agreed to kill anyone!,” while the mob boss would say, “We had a deal!” It’s uninteresting. It’s been done before. I can’t see it lasting long before the plots are exhausted. It’s cliche. Continuing with the cliched tone, a man unidentified in the trailer reminds Dr. Devlin that “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Also, a graphic informs the viewer that “corruption or redemption is only a heartbeat away.” As hard as this show is trying to be dramatic, I could not take it seriously. I cannot see myself having any sort of passionate reaction to the “drama” at all. Overall, I doubt The Mob Doctor is going to last.

Reflecting on FOX’s Fall Season

FOX’s tenure has never been easy, but they do have their ways of having fun with the struggle. The FOX Reality channel, dedicated to the various reality TV flops over the years, was the ultimate in making the best of a bad situation. However, it’s not always that easy. When a network loses one of its staples, they have to put faith in the untested again. These shows may last or they may not. There are many more shows debuting in the midseason, so perhaps I’ll have a better opinion of those attempts.

There are a lot of variables this season. Can Mindy Kaling sustain herself as a star? What is The Mindy Project about?  Will an “Odd Couple” sitcom like Ben and Kate be refreshing enough? Can FOX find another solid drama? I don’t think it’ll be The Mob Doctor, but if it’s as bad as I think it’ll be and it is a hit, I’ll lose some confidence in the common television viewer. It’s not as if the public is entertained by the most sophisticated programming, but FOX hasn’t been great at producing sustainable programming anyway. This season presents another test and the optimistic TV fanatic in me simply wants success.

Check out Part 1 for more on Fox’s upcoming Fall season. To find out about NBC’s Fall Preview check out these articles.

Posted on May 28, 2012, in Drama, Fox, Network Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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