We’ve covered the shows that have attracted Your Generous Host and Alyssa Franks on a previous Cup O’ Tea episode – here, new AEISD contributor Kristina Meek takes a look back at the previews that she caught in San Diego and how they’ve translated into shows on air, now the new Fall TV Season gets under way…
When you’re sitting a hot and sticky panel room in July, the fall TV season does seem a million years away; network programming is filled with mainly reruns and there’s nary a pumpkin spice latte in sight. Returning from San Diego Comic-Con – or, indeed, any of your other summertime cons of choice – you do sometimes wonder how on Earth you can stand the wait for all the premieres that you were teased or screened to finally get on air.
However, now I have spent the past couple of weeks finally catching the first episodes of the new fall shows, we can now talk about what they looked like without con goggles. Some lived up to the hype and some didn’t. Let’s see how my experience was coloured by what I saw back in the summer.
I first saw part one of Archer‘s ‘Heart Of Archness’ three-episode arc at SDCC, and now it holds a special place in my heart as one of my favourite episodes of that show. There’s one joke – about punching a shark in the friggin’ face – where I can recall the belly-laugh of the crowd in the Indigo Ballroom, every time I think of it.
Not all of our con experiences pan out so positively. Apparently, in 2010, I thought a show called Effin’ With Tonight was pretty funny, but today I don’t even remember it – can you? My heart still breaks a little at the memory of watching the Locke & Key pilot which, ultimately, never saw the light of day, but, to be honest, was it as good as I remember? We’ll never know. [sniff] And the reverse can be true, too, for shows that did make a big impression: in 2014, I left the con with high hopes for Constantine and significantly lower ones for The Flash. So much for that assessment.
This year, Minority Report was showcased pretty heavily at SDCC, with that mammoth billboard plastered outside of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel (visible, bizzarely, only if you walked across the overpass bridge from Petco Park) and the screening of the first 20 minutes of Episode 1. Think back. If you saw that preview, what stood out in your mind about it?
What I remembered most vividly was the scene where an extra uses a tiny wrist drone to take a selfie. Although I remember the show seeming really good, what stuck with me was the technology, not the characters or the dialogue or the story. I didn’t even remember that Fez from That 70’s Show (Wilmer Valderamma) was in it, and that seemed like a pretty big deal at the time.
Both Minority Report and Blindspot, watched in the cold light of day, broken up by commercials and viewed from the couch, felt more like a formulaic cop dramas that they did at that first Comic-Con viewing. Despite each show’s twist on the genre, it was hard to ignore the set up for a murder-of-the-week solved by a cop and an unlikely partner with suspect social skills.
When it comes to new shows, perhaps we’re just more invested in whether they succeed. As Comic-Con attendees, once something is a hit and millions of fans are on board, you can say that you got in on the ground floor. The immersive Fear The Walking Dead experience, set inside the church and located alongside the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel, may have been something to tweet home about at the time. Now, with the added knowledge about how that setting fit into the show’s first episode, it made the ‘Baby Johnny Depp’ just a little more relatable, feeling that we attendees had seen inside his world at first hand.
Of course, it’s not all new shows we’ve been waiting for. At their panel this summer, Marvel screened a behind-the-scenes Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. video which was a comic bit about what character would die in season 3. Even though it was a joke, I’m now fixated on who has an unplanned trip to TAHITI coming up.
What about you? What did you see while you were sleep deprived, doped up on overpriced pizza and caffeine, that now looks different in the cold light of day?