by Jenna Mullins | Mon., Sep. 14, 2015 12:00 PM
I'm no TV expert, but I do own a television. Not to brag or anything.
So you can trust my review/feedback/general musings on the new network shows debuting during the 2015-2016 TV season, I promise. Or you can just assume I watched the new trailers on mute and I'm just speculating wildly and throwing ridiculous guesses out about plots, characters and themes.
Because the latter is definitely what happened. I decided to see if I, a TV-watcher with essentially zero knowledge of the new series, could tell what the shows are about just based on their flashy, slick trailers…but minus the indie songs and witty(?) dialogue.
Below you'll see my "definitive guide" on all the new series, plus what they really are about as described in loglines or press releases and then finally, my GIF-summary (GIF-ary), which is the one GIF that I think best summarizes the TV show. If you don't see a new show on here, it's probably because a trailer hasn't been released yet. Or I just got tired of watching trailers and straight up stopped looking at a certain point.
Wanna play along? Watch the trailers below, mute the audio and let's do this:
1. Of Kings and Prophets
What I think it's about: ABC getting in on that sweet, sweet Game of Thrones popularity of blood and naked women, starring a CW heartthrob who appears to be wearing a V-neck tee from Old Navy. And he killed a lion to impress a girl which is a real d--k move because what if she's an animal rights activist? Remember that awful dentist who killed Cecil?! Also, everyone will probably die.
What it's actually about: "An epic Biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny."
GIF-ary: Swords and buzzwords!
2. Dr. Ken
What I think it's about: He's a funny side character in a bunch of movies you own on DVD, now watch him star in a TV show as he juggles being mean to fat people and being mean to his family.
What it's actually about: "Doctor turned actor/comedian Ken Jeong plays Dr. Ken, a brilliant physician with no bedside manner. He is always trying to be a good doctor, as well as a good husband and dad to his two kids. Luckily, his therapist wife Allison is just the right partner to keep things sane."
GIF-ary: Ken Jeong is the best, but...this trailer made us sad.
3. Uncle Buck
What I think it's about: Wife with her hands on her hips? Uh-oh! The husband's in trouble! Bring in the guys dressed like Bruno Mars in the "Uptown Funk" video! He's your new nanny, kids! Isn't he zany?!
What it's actually about: "Based on the hit movie of the same name, Uncle Buck (Mike Epps) is a fun-loving but irresponsible guy who needs a job and a place to stay. By happy coincidence, his nieces' and nephew's nanny has just quit and his brother and sister-in-law need his help. His unconventional personality just may make him the right fit for the family and they may be the answer to his problems, too."
GIF-ary: Shrugging-well-meaning-but-silly-trouble-causing character!
4. Blood & Oil
What I think it's about: Sexy oil drama about people who love oil, steal oil, talk about oil, own oil, fight in oil and possibly have sex covered in oil. Tagline idea: "Fine, it's Dallas. But that was a good show, remember?!"
What it's actually about: "Billy and Cody Lefever dream of a new life and move to 'The Bakken' in North Dakota, booming after the biggest oil discovery in American history. They're soon pitted against a ruthless tycoon who forces them to put everything on the line, including their marriage."
GIF-ary: Sex 'n' oil, your one-stop shop for all your sex and oil needs.
5. The Real O'Neals
What I think it's about: Family and religion, amirite?! That's a complicated combination that will probably lead to shenanigans.
What it's actually about: "A fresh take on a seemingly perfect Catholic family whose lives take an unexpected turn when surprising truths are revealed. Instead of ruining their family, the honesty triggers a new, messier chapter where everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real."
GIF-ary: Like I said…shenanigans.
6. Wicked City
What I think it's about: A struggling actor is so desperate for people to come to his sketch comedy shows, he's willing to kill. But when you have the face of a serial killer, you should probably be in the serial killer business, right? Let the acting dream die, kid.
What it's actually about: "Each season 'Wicked City' will follow a different case set in a different noteworthy era of LA history, starting with a murder case from 1982 centered on the rock and roll, cocaine-infused revelry of the Sunset Strip. Alliances are formed to solve a serial murder case."
GIF-ary: "You better come to my sketch show tonight, girl. Two drink minimum…or else."
7. The Muppets
What I think it's about: 30 Rock + The Office - NBC + ABC + The Muppets = a savior to prime time TV. Your argument for any other show is invalid.
What it's actually about: "The Muppets return to prime time with a contemporary, documentary-style show that, for the first time ever, will explore the Muppets' personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires."
GIF-ary: Equal parts excited (about Muppets back on TV) and concerned (about any Muppet sex jokes that risk ruining our childhood forever).
What I think it's about: Homeland and Grey's Anatomy's love child that got recruited by a very shiny, attractive version of the CIA. Because even though you were just in a devastating terrorist attack, that doesn't mean your lips can't look perfectly plump and kissable. (Show possibly sponsored by Maybelline.)
What it's actually about: "A diverse group of recruits has arrived at the FBI Quantico Base for training. They are the best, the brightest and the most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11."
GIF-ary: The rubble births a new heroine (with perfect lips).
9. The Catch
What I think it's about: This could be nothing but footage of my mom complaining about how the pool company left a giant mound of dirt in her yard after installing her new above-ground pool and everyone would still watch the show because the trailer is just basically saying: "This is from Shonda Rhimes. You know her, right? She's the person behind all the shows your obsessed with."
What it's actually about: "From Shondaland's Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, 'The Catch' is a new thriller centered on the strong, successful Alice Martin (Mireille Enos). She's a fraud investigator who's about to be the victim of fraud herself by her fiancé. Between her cases, she is determined to find him before it ruins her career.
GIF-ary: Just imagine Justin Timberlake saying in his best SNL skit voice: "Bring it on down to Shondaville!"
10. The Family
What I think it's about: This show is about vampires. Probably. Almost definitely. You had one job, mom! Make sure your kid didn't turn into a vampire! But your political career got in the way and now you have to raise a vampire child.
What it's actually about: "This thriller follows the return of a politician's young son who was presumed dead after disappearing over a decade earlier. As the mysterious young man is welcomed back into his family, suspicions emerge — is he really who he says he is?"
GIF-ary: "My kid might be a creepy vampire, but damn it, he will one day be president of the United States!"
11. Angel From Hell
What I think it's about: Janine Adams from the Disney Channel original movie Model Behavior leads a simple life after dumping Justin Timberlake's character…until she meets the farmer's market vendor from hell who wants more in life than just selling handmade key chains made out of watch parts."
What it's actually about: "She may be crazy. She may be inappropriate. But like an angel, she is always there for you...whether you like it or not. Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson star in the new comedy Angel From Hell."
GIF-ary: You're weird, but let's be friends.
What I think it's about: A D.A.R.E. ad disguised as an origin story for Extreme Math and Physics Man featuring extreme close-ups of Academy Award-nominee Bradley Cooper. This show is also spoilers for the 2011 film Limitless. Cooper's character lives?!
What it's actually about: "Based on the 2011 feature, Limitless follows Brian Finch as he discovers the power of the mysterious drug NZT. In this new drama from executive producer Bradley Cooper, explore what happens when a man unlocks his limitless potential."
GIF-ary: Don't get lost in B.Coop's blue eyes.
13. Life In Pieces
What I think it's about: From the people who brought you Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve comes a story about more people who all connect somehow in the end and it all makes sense, I guess. Cue light-hearted Train song. Mostly just disappointed this show isn't solely about Jordan Peele playing a creepy shut-in whose purpose in life is to chase roommates away.
What it's actually about: "Whether you are on a date or at a funeral, this family's experience feels all too familiar. Every week, watch four short stories about family in the new comedy Life in Pieces starring Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, and Colin Hanks."
GIF-ary: Needs more Jordan Peele.
14. Code Black
What I think it's about: Another medical drama, but different because it's triple everything! Triple the patients! Triple the blood! Triple the doctors! Triple the beeping sounds of flat-lining heart monitors! A medical procedural series to the third power, if you will.
What it's actually about: "In the new medical drama Code Black, Angels Memorial Hospital is the busiest ER in the nation. A 'code black' occurs when there are more patients than resources, and you're either praying for a miracle or performing one."
GIF-ary: S--t isn't about to get real; it already is real.
What I think it's about: A quirky, down on her luck intern hiding from love behind her glasses is trying to make it in the big city and impress her intimidating boss until she remembers that she can fly and do superhero stuff. And then she becomes the BOSS. (Metaphorically speaking?) Alternate title: The Devil Wears Superhero Tights.
What it's actually about: "It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's not a man. It's Supergirl. In the new drama from the world of DC Comics, Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El, embraces her superhuman abilities and becomes the hero she was always meant to be."
GIF-ary: Step aside, Superman. She's got this.
What I think it's about: A sexy jogger gets sick of running (because who doesn't get sick of running?) so he decides to compromise a crime scene. But it's OK because he's super attractive and drives a super cool car. There's also a spunky detective he can have sexual tension with during boat rides.
What it's actually about: "Meet Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Junior, the most brilliant private pathologist in Miami, who uses his wildly sophisticated autopsy lab, to perform for-hire autopsies to uncover clues that the Miami PD can't see."
GIF-ary: CSI: Miami: Part Deux.
What I think it's about: An immortal playboy who idolizes How I Met Your Mother's Barney Stinson fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming a detective. And clearly, he doesn't know how to talk to an angel which is how he comes to pen the 1992 hit "How Do You Talk to an Angel?"
What it's actually about: "Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, The original fallen angel, Lucifer Morningstar has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub."
GIF-ary: Drink until he/she is pretty.
18. Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life
What I think it's about: I am 98% sure this is a Hangover prequel. Justin Bartha's character is ageless, apparently.
What it's actually about: "Cooper Barrett still doesn't have the job he wants; he's accidently fallen in love with his across-the-hall neighbor, Kelly Bishop; one of his roommates, Neal, just can't seem to dump his bodybuilder girlfriend; his other roommate, Barry is a "loveable jackass" who can't stop getting into trouble; and his 40-year-old-brother, Josh, a married father of two, is constantly popping in to come hang with the fellas. The one thing they do have is each other."
GIF-ary: Men just can't get their s--t together, can they?
What I think it's about: Seth MacFarlane makes another animated series that will piss off the Parents Television Council every week.
What it's actually about: "New animated comedy Bordertown centers around two families living in a Southwest desert town on the U.S. - Mexico border, taking a satirical look at the cultural shifts occurring in America."
GIF-ary: Fire farts LOLZ!
20. The Frankenstein Code
What I think it's about: A man who collects newspapers with extremely detailed expository headlines is murdered so his brain can go into a younger, more handsome man's body. Let the good times (and maybe assault) roll!
What it's actually about: "From executive producer/writer Rand Ravich (Life, Crisis) and executive producer Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24) comes The Frankenstein Code , a modern reimagining of the Mary Shelley classic, about a man brought back to life by two scientists playing god."
GIF-ary: Inconvenient exit strategies is a lesser known downside of experimental surgeries.
21. Minority Report
What I think it's about: This one is tough because I saw the movie. Fun fact: Minority Report is the first movie I ever bought on DVD. Before that, kids, we had something called VHS tapes. Why, when I was your age...Hey, where are you guys going? Fine, I won't tell you stories about my childhood. Oh, and on mute, this show is about a bleak future where the world can only be saved by smug youths who think they know everything. Millennials, right?!
What it's actually about: "Minority Report follows the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen."
GIF-ary: Crime-solving, brought to you by the Apple Store.
22. The Grinder
What I think it's about: Ageless vampire Rob Lowe takes over a small town law firm in an effort to pass new legislation that requires him to always be on TV screens until the end of time. I support the passing of this law.
What it's actually about: "The Grinder is a new comedy about a famous TV lawyer who decides to move back home and join his family's real law firm–despite having no formal education, no bar certification, no license to practice and no experience in an actual courtroom."
GIF-ary: "Hi, I'm Rob Lowe and I have DIRECTV. I have my own TV show now."
What I think it's about: Ageless vampire John Stamos was really pissed that other ageless vampire Rob Lowe got a show, so Fox also gave him a comedy series. And since we all know Stamos works best with a baby (Full House 4eva), there's a baby, too.
What it's actually about: "John Stamos stars in a new comedy about the ultimate bachelor who discovers he's not only a father, but a grandfather. Grandfathered is an unconventional, sophisticated comedy about coming of age–at any age."
GIF-ary: Uncle Jesse used to kiss Michelle just like that! #Toomanynostalgicfeels
24. Scream Queens
What I think it's about: Who can walk toward the camera the sassiest? Find out this fall on Fox! (Spoiler alert: It's Jamie Lee Curtis). It looks like The House Bunny, minus any cool makeovers or heartwarming lessons learned but plus lots of death, pastels and anxious glances offcamera. And if Nick Jonas dies before we see his naked buttocks, I am boycotting Fox. You hear me, Fox? BOYCOTTING.
What it's actually about: "The new anthology series revolves around a college campus which is rocked by a series of murders and is set in a sorority house."
GIF-ary: What did I just say about boycotting?
25. Truth Be Told
What I think it's about: Someone pitched a comedy that's "just like Friends and How I Met Your Mother and will totally not flop this time!" and an executive greenlit it.
What it's actually about: "Coming Fridays this Fall to NBC. From the director of How I Met Your Mother comes a bold new comedy about two couples for whom nothing is out of bounds, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb."
GIF-ary: Cutting edge comedy like Zack Morris checking out a girl's rack.
What I think it's about: To quote the great Tina Fey: "Bitches get stuff done!" And doctor bitches? They especially get stuff done! Get out of her way because she does not have time for your male nonsense, gentlemen.
What it's actually about: "Based on the real life of Dr. Kathy Magliato, this medical drama stars Melissa George as an iconoclastic heart transplant surgeon, one of the few women in her field."
GIF-ary: What's the point of pushing a gurney if you can't do it dramatically?
27. The Player
What I think it's about: Retired stuntman is recruited to act out a woman's favorite video game in real life. No one has the heart to tell him he's not actually Jason Bourne. I am, however, pleasantly surprised that there was no reference to the phrase: "Don't hate the player. Hate the game."
What it's actually about: "Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester star in this action-packed Las Vegas thriller about a high-stakes game played by an organization of the wealthy, from the producers of The Blacklist."
GIF-ary: Action, the usual gambling wordplay and Wesley Snipes rocking a vest.
What I think it's about: International prankster and celebrated nudist pulls no punches when she takes over Manhattan. Should the cops arrest her or give her a Broadway show? And can someone tell me what core workout program she's using because daaaamn.
What it's actually about: "Jaimie Alexander (Thor) stars in the new NBC drama about a woman with amnesia—and a mysterious array of tattoos all across her body."
GIF-ary: Ugh, Times Square is such a tourist trap.
29. Shades of Blue
What I think it's about: JLO!
What it's actually about: JLO!
30. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
What I think it's about: I dunno, something about butter? And life? And love? Generic crap like that? There are too many trailers, you guys. I'm starting to burn out.
What it's actually about: "Rachel Bloom is Rebecca Bunch, a successful driven, and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness...in suburban West Covina, CA."
GIF-ary: I'm having a fever dream from watching all these one after the other because what is happening here?
What I think it's about: GERMS. This is how The Walking Dead started, you guys.
What it's actually about: "When a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, forcing those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives."
GIF-ary: BRB, taking a bath in a giant boiling vat of Purell.
32. DC's Legends of Tomorrow
What I think it's about: After his travels with the Doctor, Rory Pond is now a life coach of superheroes who think they aren't good enough to be in The Justice League film with Batman and Superman. But they are good enough. They are.
What it's actually about: "Time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter must assemble a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat to the planet…and to time itself."
GIF-ary: We have our own Iron Man-esque character, even though technically Atom was around first in the comics. So take that, Marvel.
And that's everything you need to know about the new Fall TV season from someone who is fully informed and not basing these opinions on 120 seconds of silent footage.*
(*The opposite of all that)
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