NBC’s programming will get its Spring shake-up after its Winter Olympics coverage in February. Here are five shows you’ll see soon on NBC. Which ones are worth your time?
A.P. Bio – Comedy, Thursdays, Preview February 1st at 9:30 pm EST
A disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar loses his dream job and is forced to return to his hometown in Toledo, Ohio. He takes work as a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher. The egotistical philosopher, Jack, makes it clear this position is beneath him and he won’t be teaching any biology. Jack decides instead to use his class full of honor students to seek revenge on his nemesis.
I’m passing on this show. The trailers being shown on the network are intriguing, but I had a difficult time getting through the four episodes offered for preview. A.P.Bio feels like it’s trying to be one part Community, one part School of Rock. But it isn’t quirky enough to be funny, and it’s insulting to the teaching profession as a whole. The protagonist isn’t charismatic enough for the audience to care about or even hate. The only positive part of the show is Patton Oswald’s principal and his interplay with the teacher union representative. Other than these two characters, the first few episodes just feel unnecessarily mean.
Champions – Comedy, Thursday, March 8th at 8:30 pm EST
Champions centers on Vince, a washed up high school baseball star who reluctantly gave up his dreams to take over the family gym in Brooklyn. Instead of selling the family gym, Vince decides to take in the fifteen-year-old, gay, Indian son, he’s never known.
Only one episode of Champions was offered up for reviews. I’m going to give this show a few more regular episodes to get into a groove, only because Mindy Kaling is involved, and I love her work. The pilot felt slightly forced and rushed. But the characters feel like they’ll come into their own in a few episodes, and the actors all click, especially the theatrical teen and his athletic, dunderhead of an uncle.
Rise – Drama, Tuesday, March 13th at 9:00 pm EST
From the executive producer of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, Rise is a high school drama about the drama department in a small town. Teacher, Lou Mazzuchelli takes over the theater department at his high school.
Rise is intense. For those who love dramas in the vein of Fame and Parenthood, Rise is one you do not want to miss. The premiere tackled so many issues, I felt it could have been broken out into an entire season. The writing is wonderful and contemplative. The talent among the high school students is even better. The show does not soften the blow for any issue facing teens today.
Good Girls – Monday, February 26th at 10:00 pm EST
Three suburban moms decide it’s time to stick up for themselves and their families by robbing the local grocery store. But when the manager catches a glimpse of one of them and the loot is far more than they expected, it doesn’t take long for the three best friends to realize the perfect getaway will be harder than they think. The cast includes Christina Hendricks of Mad Men, Retta, from Parks and Recreation, and Mae Whitman of Parenthood.
This is my favorite new show on NBC. It’s going on my DVR. It is the Breaking Bad for prime time suburban housewives. In a word, it is gritty. And it’s funny. The writing is smart and enthralling. I can’t quite see how they’ll keep this one going after one season. But I thought The Good Place would be out of ideas after Season One, so what do I know. The entire cast of this show is amazing.
Shrink – Streaming now on NBC.com
Here’s a little bonus you can watch right now. NBC clearly can’t run this one on tv because of language and the general quirkiness of real human problems.
David finds himself unable to practice medicine after losing his residency. Instead, he plans on earning his 1,920 clinical hours as a psychiatrist by offering free therapy out of his parents’ garage.
It’s worth a watch online. The first eight episodes from Season One are available HERE. I’m hooked.