This Week in New Television Shows
With the new year comes a new era of television. This week in particular came a slew of premieres including new Fox comedy, LA to Vegas, Ryan Murphy’s latest project, 9-1-1, and Black-ish’s new spinoff show, Grown-ish. Here’s my full rundown:
Fox’s newest comedy, LA to Vegas aired first on January 3rd and follows the staff of an airplane going from, you guessed it, Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back. There’s the pilot, Dave. played by Dylan McDermott, who is a commercial airplane pilot who would rather be a fighter pilot. He’s really the guy who should be flying the plane when he’d rather be listening to his passengers’ stories or trying to one-up a fellow pilot by trying to get a passenger to have sex with him in the front seat.
But although he’s front-and-center of the show’s poster, the show, or at least the pilot episode, focuses more on Ronnie, a flight attendant who is disillusioned by the adventure of going back and forth from LA to Vegas but wants to travel the world instead. But given that she doesn’t get a job at JFK, she sticks with the job given that it’s kind of her only option at that point. Overall, it’s basically a workplace comedy in a different environment than what most people would think a workplace comedy would be in (i.e: an office). But I will say that it is a funnier take on everyone boarding the flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas which, from what I can tell, has a good ensemble cast with great comedic timing.
Next was 9-1-1, which just so happened to air right after LA to Vegas. It follows first responders in times when there’s an emergency, specifically Connie Britton’s character, Abby, the local firemen in her unit, and police officer, Athena, played by Angela Bassett. Abby is a 911 dispatcher who leaves it up to everyone else, AKA, the guys at the firestation and the cops who arrive on the scene. In this episode, a lot happened including a newborn baby being saved by the firemen after being flushed by her birth mother, having sex in a firetruck, beheading a python choking the living daylights of his owner, and some personal drama pertaining to some of the main characters.
9-1-1 has everything anyone wants in this type of drama show; high tensions, saving lives, and personal drama. It definitely has its similarities to what you might find in a medical drama, which makes sense given the popularity of those shows (Ex: The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, the list goes on). The only difference is the network its on because the last time it had Fox had a successful medical-esque drama was when House was on. Now that all those other shows are now becoming a huge chunk of TV, Fox is definitely putting its stamp on it by putting out this show but also The Resident, which premieres later this month.
And last but not least came Grown-ish, which is a spinoff show on Freeform, of its Golden Globe winning and Emmy-nominated counterpart, Black-ish. The show follows Zoey Johnson in her college experience. The show actually premiere two episodes back to back where the pilot shows how her at what’s supposed to be a midnight “marketing” class where she ends up meeting the other main characters, who instantly become her friend group. The next episode looks at the struggle of having a bigger workload in college and to cope, Zoey decides to take Adderall (given to her from her friend) to help her get all her work done while semi-stalking her crush, Aaron. At the same time, she’s also dealing with and eventually making up with her roommate and first college friend, Ana, who she ditched at a party after Ana got wasted and puked at their first college party.
There’s a lot of things I liked about Grown-ish; the accuracies of trying to get work done is just one of many constant feelings as well as not feeling motivated enough to finish it. But what I found the fact that Zoey finds and defines her friend group on the first day of class to be a little realistic. It would’ve been one thing if she’d made one friend the way she did with Ana but finding a group of people that she already felt so connected too seems to be a little bit of a reach to me. But overall, it’s definitely got the great making of a great Freeform show.
Samantha Nguyen covers entertainment news for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter @sngyenthai