It's the final day of our Rapid-Fire reviews, and we may have saved the best for last!
Believe it or not, we the E! TV team (mostly) loved every show coming to NBC this fall, which includes a new heaven-set comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, and This Is Us, a much-hyped drama starring Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore and Sterling K. Brown, a power trio we never knew we needed in our lives until now.
Yesterday, gave you our hot takes on all the offerings from Fox, and earlier this week you heard our thoughts on the new shows from CBS and ABC. With just over a week before the first new show debuts (congrats, CBS' Kevin Can Wait), you should have plenty of time to get that DVR priority list in perfect order!
This Is Us
Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept 20 at 10 p.m. (Moves to 9 p.m. on Oct. 11)
Time-Slot Competition: Fresh Off the Boat/The Real O'Neals (ABC), Bull (CBS), No Tomorrow (CW), Scream Queens (Fox)
Stars: Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz
Premise: Four totally different people with totally different lives and problems just so happen to share a birthday.
Tierney Bricker: Just the promo for this one had me reaching for the tissues, and the premiere delivers on the emotional promise. It's heartfelt without being hokey, sincere without being too sappy, and delivers one of the best twists of the new season. There's a reason the trailer for This Is Us has broken all kinds of records. [Oh, and insert necessary and slightly pervy mention of Milo's booty here.]
hris Harnick: I enjoyed this pilot, from naked Milo Ventimiglia to the "What's Happening" joke, but it's the type of show you need to have a second episode of to form any kind of accurate opinion about. Had a real hard time feeling sorry for Justin Hartley's character, a hot sitcom star struggling with being a hot sitcom star. That was the weakest part.
Jean Bentley: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll pull a full-on sitcom gasp when the final twist is revealed. I loved this pilot—like, LOVED—despite the fact that two of the storylines we'll follow throughout the course of the series were problematic to me. (Sorry, I don't feel that sympathetic toward a super-sexy millionaire sitcom star who's unsatisfied with the direction of his career. And call me when the plus-size woman gets a character trait other than "fat.")
Lauren Piester: I've watched this excellent pilot more times than I care to admit, and I still don't know why it's called This Is Us. Any show could be called This Is Us. That's really my only gripe, because otherwise I'm obsessed with all of these people and their lives (yes, even the sad hot TV star), and we haven't even seen episode two. I just hope further episodes can live up to how incredible the pilot is.
Billy Nilles: Thank you, NBC, for filling the Parenthood-sized hole in my heart. This Is Us is, without a doubt, the fall's most emotionally engaging, moving pilots. Network television was in need of a low-stakes drama that's more about people than it is about concept. That show is This Is Us. I am fully prepared for Tuesday night to be my "Have a good cry night," and you should too.
The Good Place
Premiere Date: Monday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. (Moves to Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 22)
Time-Slot Competition: Grey's Anatomy (ABC), Thursday Night Football, through Oct. 27 (CBS), Legends of Tomorrow (CW), Rosewood (Fox)
Stars: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Tiya Sircar
Premise: Kristen Bell plays a woman who discovers that she has died and gone to the Good Place, only to quickly realize her identity has been mistaken and she was sent to the wrong place.
Tierney Bricker: I forking love this show so much. Kristen Bell is at her comedic best as a bad girl gone good(-ish), faking her way through heaven. And I don't know if I'll ever get over the curse word replacement gag. Best new comedy of the fall.
Chris Harnick: Thanks to Parks and Recreation I would follow Mike Schur to pretty much any TV show. The Good Place just happens to have charming leads in Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. It's not a perfect pilot (is there such a thing as one?), but I'm ready to visit The Good Place again.
Jean Bentley: I am forking here for this comedy, which gives us snarky Kristen Bell (my favorite kind of KB) + delightful Ted Danson (my favorite kind of Danson) + the comedic mind of Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur (my favorite kind of funny).
Lauren Piester: The Good Place is the best place. It's somewhere between Community-surreal and Parks and Recreation-sweet, and could be on its way to being just as loved as both of those shows. Also: Mike Schur is a character-naming genius.
Billy Nilles: I will follow creator Mike Schur to the ends of the earth. This pilot is funny and probably this season's most inventive comedy not involving an animated character, but it also has plenty of heavy lifting to do to set up its high-concept. That said, I trust in the man who brought Leslie Knope and Jake Peralta into my life. I'm fully prepared for Eleanor Shellstrop to become one of my new favorite TV characters.
Premiere Date: Monday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Conviction (ABC), Scorpion (CBS)
Stars: Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic
Premise: An unlikely trio travels through time, chasing criminals and trying to save history.
Tierney Bricker: Sigh…I wanted to love it. It has generally everything I like in a show, but I just didn't connect to it as much as I wanted to. Still, I'll give it a few more episodes, as I find the time travel premise interesting enough.
Chris Harnick: Fall's hottest new trend is time travel. Why? Laziness? Who knows. Anyway, Timeless is full of tropes. It's not perfect, but the twist at the end is certainly enough to bring people viewers back…just don't think I am that viewer.
Jean Bentley: In case you were wondering, my favorite CW star Matt Lanter is still a dreamboat and I'm just so happy he gets to play someone his own age instead of yet another teenager. Plus, time travel is awesome (and hopefully they'll be able to establish firm rules re: its specifics in this show). I can already tell Abigail Spencer's wardrobe through the decades will be to die for.
Lauren Piester: I'm a time travel junkie, so I'm here for this kind of twisty trope-filled time party. Something about the pilot was hard to connect with until the end, and then I was suddenly sad that it was over. So I'll be watching the next few episodes for sure!
Billy Nilles: This is an ambitious show, I'll give it that. Time travel seems to be all over TV right now and that's a hard genre to get right. The show looks beautiful and Abigail Spencer is an engaging actress finally getting the lead role she deserves. I have no idea what this show looks like week to week, season to season, but consider my interest piqued enough to stick around to find out.