Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Pedigree: The show was created and written by star Rachel Bloom (Robot Chicken) and Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada). The executive produce with Marc Webb (Battleground), who directed the pilot.
The Cast & How You Know Them: Bloom stars along with Vincent Rodriguez III (Hostages), Donna Lynne Champlin (The Good Wife), Gina Gallego (Days of Our Lives), Santino Fontana (Frozen), and Pete Gardner (Eagleheart).
The Premise: When a woman ambivalent about her high-powered New York law career runs into her long-ago summer camp boyfriend, she impulsively quits her job and moves to his hometown in California. Also, there’s singing.
What Works: I like musicals, and opening with a number from South Pacific is a good way to get my attention. This pilot was weird and different, and often quite funny. I’m not entirely sold on it yet, but there was enough good stuff there that I want to keep watching to figure out what the heck it’s doing.
What Doesn’t: The title is obviously terrible; if I wasn’t reviewing all the pilots I might have skipped this one just in protest. The entire premise is completely ridiculous and implausible, which is the sort of thing that will either bother you or not; I got hung up on the fact that the main character gets a job as a lawyer immediately even though California doesn’t offer bar reciprocity, though why that’s my sticking point, I do not know. There’s a racist, anti-Semitic boss, and I’m nervous about how that will be handled. As I mentioned above, the show doesn’t seem to know quite what it wants to be yet, and so the pilot is a mess – not helped by the fact that it was originally a half hour stretched into an hour. And yet it’s certainly interesting, and there’s potential. I think this is one of those shows that could be good if it can distance itself from its title and original premise, which is an … uphill battle.
Our Favorite Line: “Careful, there. She went to a Women in Business seminar a couple years ago, came back with that death grip.”
You Might Like This if you like (or at least don’t mind) musicals and enjoy quirky, self-aware comedy. It felt like a blend between Jane the Virgin, Bunheads, and Girls.
(Photo courtesy of the CW.)