Comic Con 2012 is underway! And while I missed out on Preview Night in 2011, this year I got the chance to score sneak peeks at the pilot episodes of some of the Fall’s most anticipated new TV shows.
There were a bunch of shows screened this year and I have to say that overall, I was pretty impressed. Here are the shows that aired during Warner Bros. Television’s Comic Con Preview Night presentation:
First up is the supernatural drama series 666 Park Avenue, starring Lost’s Terry O’Quinn and ageless hottie Vanessa Williams. In the show O’Quinn plays an evil building owner who spends the bulk of his time brokering Faustian pacts with his tenants and hiding his old man breasts in snappy three piece suits.
The show was decent enough, especially if you like the tried and true demonic supernatural drama genre. However, I found the couple O’Quinn hires to manage and live in his building to be boring and annoying, and can’t help but wonder how the series will sustain itself over time with such lame protagonists.
The CW’s Arrow was a pleasant surprise. Based on Green Arrow from DC Comics, I had no reason to think that a new take on a B-list superhero by a lower budgeted network would be any better than the terrible interpretation the character received on Smallville (another financially challenged CW comic book show).
Surprisingly, the CW’s Arrow was a pretty good program, despite clunky voice-overs and the occasional wooden and try-hard acting. However, the show more than makes up for it with great pacing, blistering action sequences and a hardcore parkour neck-snapping vigilante protagonist with a unique backstory.
If the CW’s Arrow surprised me with its quality, then Fox’s upcoming mid-season show The Following blew me away. Kevin Bacon stars as a former criminal profiler who is washed up and drinks too much, which, let’s face it, initially sounds like an all too familiar set up for a crime-solving hero.
I’d have been more excited if he danced in the show.
Bacon is called in after a serial killer he caught single-handedly escapes from death row and resumes slaughtering with the aid of a cyber-cult of aspiring murderers he built up via the web while incarcerated.
What ensues is a literary-infused game of cat-and-mouse, and the allusions to the works of Edgar Allan Poe and morbid twists and turns centred around the idea of death being an art form give the show a dangerously dark edge that hasn’t been seen on screen since the likes of Se7en or Hannibal Lecter.
Finally, similar to other big screen actors like Kiefer Sutherland and Glenn Close who made the first-time transition to TV, Kevin Bacon oozes pure cinematic experience and awesomeness and literally makes the entire series better than it would have been had a less talented actor over or underplayed the lead role.
The last upcoming TV pilot I got to see was NBC’s Revolution, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t even more awesome than I had anticipated it to be (you can read all about that here).
Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), produced by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Fringe) and written by television mastermind Eric Kripke (Supernatural), there was almost no way this post-apocalyptic tale about life in a future after the world forever loses electricity could possibly fail.
Bolstered by a rock star performance by Billy Burke (Twilight), a wickedly awesome appearance by Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), and a searingly earnest and deft debut by relative newcomer Tracy Spiridakos, the pilot for Revolution is everything you could ever want out of an action-drama and more.
So, pretty much the opposite of this colossal heap of terrible shit.
All in all, the WB TV sneak peek was pretty damn impressive, and if there’s only one show you’re going to try come the fall, I highly doubt you’d regret making that program NBC’s truly outstanding Revolution.