2020’s MidSeason Offerings

2020’s MidSeason Offerings

It’s mid-season so it’s time for all those new shows to pop up and fill in for the failures of the start. Are you ready for some new series?

Council of Dads (NBC)

I first heard about this at ClexaCon where they were looking for people on the street to be test-audiences. I spent some time trying to spot them, but failed. The early reports had this as heartwarming story in the vein of This is Us or A Million Little Things. The main plot is the Dad gets cancer so he asks his three best guy friends to step in and help Dad in case he can’t. In a non-surprise, he dies and can’t, so the men step up to fill the void. Of the three Council Dads, I’m fond of the curmudgeon and the gay doctor the most.

Screener Review On Council of Dads

One of the kids is questioning their gender, which wasn’t heavily touched on in the pilot but is still interesting. The story is a large ensemble, though, so it’s not all about the kids.

   

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Freeform)

A young gay man is trying to reconnect with his estranged father and half sisters, when said father dies of cancer. It’s a hell of a windup for the first episode, and now that poor kid is in charge of said half-sisters, one of whom has Autism. While the show has a little trouble in the first five episodes balancing the humour and the drama, it pulls it together and handles the insanity of the situation well.

Screener Review On Everything’s Gonna Be Okay

Besides the main character being a gay man, he’s a fish out of water so we don’t meet a lot of other queers until his boyfriend brings them into the fold. Also the show deserves serious points for actually casting an autistic girl as the autistic character and giving her some control over representation.

   

Indebted (NBC)

Fran Drescher leads this comedy about being broke adults forced to move in with their successful son. There’s a lot of jokes about the rising costs of health care, GoFundMe, generational differences, and Drake. It tries a little too hard to be funny, but the sister is a lesbian.

Screener Review On Indebted

Health care costs are the joke in this comedy about Boomer parents who are forced to move in with their Gen-X son.

   

Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (NBC)

I’m a huge mystery fan, and I was obsessed with the Lincoln Rhyme books for quite a while. They lost me around 2010 when I felt the stories were getting too fantastical, and the author had too many crossovers with his other books. Still, I loved the original movie (with Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington) and this reinvention is similarly on-point with capturing the correct feel.

Screener Review On Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector

Sadly not a bit of it is queer. But the pilot doesn’t delve too deeply into anyone’s personal life so I’m holding out hope. The series looks to be a great heir to the Sherlock/Elementary throne.

   

Motherland: Fort Salem (Freeform)

What if, just hear me out, what if 300+ years ago, before the United States was a country, the Boston Militia made a peace accord with the Salem Witches, promising them a place? And what if, 300 years later, we had witches in the military, women-only enclaves, and matriarchal societies. And lesbians. Sounds pretty cool, right? It really is. In fact there are barely any men with lines in the first two episodes. It gets super creepy super fast, but at the end of the five screeners, I wanted to watch more.

Screener Review On Motherland: Fort Salem

Three young witches in college have to get along and work together sounds light. The show is darker than I expected, and is a lot like The Man in the High Castle more than Charmed. Content Warning: there are ‘forced suicides’ in the pilot.

   

Party of Five (Freeform)

It’s the story you know told in a way you don’t. And fair warning here, The characters are annoying, but in realistic ways for teenagers and self-centred young adults. They make understandable mistakes in ways you do and don’t expect. And the parents being deported and not dead changes the dynamic of the tragedy. In a lot of ways, it makes it worse and more gutting. If you liked the original or not, this is worth the watch.

Screener Review On Party of Five (2020)

Five kids have to survive when their parents are deported by ICE and it’s about as as big a crazy messy disaster as you’d think. But it’s also much deeper than you might expect.

   

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

Zoey gets an MRI and everything goes crazy. Now she can hear the internal thoughts in everyone’s head via music. So first of all, everyone’s who had an MRI can relate to that because those things are loud and terrifying. It’s quirky, goofy, and quite appealing, though you will have a few “Okay, Boomers” thoughts about a certain character. Peter Gallagher plays her father, and at first I thought it was a waste to have his character be limited, but then they busted out his amazing ability to sing and dance (I saw him as Skye Masterson in Guys and Dolls on Broadway many moons ago, he’s awesome). Plus it has Alex Newell as her gender fluid DJ neighbour, belting out some tunes and I for one have missed that.

Screener Review On Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

When Zoey suddenly can hear everyone singing out their true feelings, often at odds with their actions, she wonders if she’s going insane. It takes place in and around the Castro, so we can expect some more queers than just the fantabulous Alex Newell.

   

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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