How “High Concept” Does Your Concept Have to Be?

No point in guessing. Just compare it to the premises for the shows below. Remember, regardless of what their ultimate fates may be, all these shows had premises that got them to the starting line…and scripts that took them beyond:

The Premise-O-Meter: Ranking the New TV Dramas – by Margaret Lyons (Vulture.Com)

ABC’s submarine drama Last Resort premieres tonight, and it’s a doozy: action, adventure, shouting, you name it. It’s great! But man, the show is heavy on concept: There’s a submarine, see, and it’s given an order to nuke Pakistan, but the captain doubts the integrity of the order, so he refuses to go through with it, and then they take over an island, and renegades, and the president, and a secret submarine prototype, and on and on and on. It’s a lot of premise. Not every fall show has this problem, though — there’s the other end of the spectrum, too, the premise-less end, the end where the show is about nothing and has nothing to say. Here are all your new fall dramas, ranked in order of complexity.

ACK! THAT’S A LOT OF PREMISE

Last Resort: See above.

Revolution: A close second. There’s a global blackout, and 15 years later, everything is run by scary militias, and there are freedom fighters and people who want to turn the lights back on, and a lady with a secret internet in her attic, and a girl whose parents are dead, and there’s sword-fighting and a few jokes. So far, the show is heavy on concept and light on character.

666 Park Avenue: An attractive young couple moves into the Manhattan apartment of their dreams, only to discover that the building and its residents are possessed by dark, supernatural forces. It’s sort of like Revenge, but with the devil instead of vengeance.

Nashville: A country music legend grapples with her fading stardom and there’s a young up-and-comer who’s trying to push her out of the spotlight. Enough of a hook to be a soap, but not so much nonsense that it feels like a bad episode of Melrose Place.

Elementary: Sherlock Holmes is now a British ex-pat living in present-day New York; Watson is now a woman and is Holmes’s sober-living companion. It’s fancy, but it’s still just a procedural.

Vegas: Just a ’70s cop show.

Chicago Fire: Dick Wolf made a show about firefighters. It’s sort of like Third Watch, except much dumber.

Emily Owens, MD: She’s a doctor. Mean girls exist.

The Mob Doctor: She’s a doctor. The mob exists.

Made In Jersey: She’s a lawyer. New Jersey exists.

ACK! THAT IS NOT ENOUGH OF A PREMISE

Yes, you’re right. The networks do not practice what they preach. Ask  your teachers in the film-TV department what that means. Let us know if they can even pretend to have an answer.

Are These The Best Shows of the Coming Season?

Writer Alison Willmore of IndieWire.Com thinks so, but we aren’t so sure:

Fall’s Five Most Promising-Looking New Network TV Shows – by Alison Willmore

Summer has come to an unofficial end, and with fall arrives the start of the TV season and a host of shiny new series. While the cable channels are on a year-round calendar these days, staggering their shows’ seasons throughout the year, the broadcast networks still use September and October to launch the majority of their returning and first-time programs. While the offerings on the big four networks don’t tend to display the creative freedom that cable series do, there’s always the chance that a new “30 Rock,” “Community” or “The Good Wife” sneaks in under the radar. Here are our picks for the five most promising-looking new shows on the big networks this fall, from a 1960s-set Western to a supernatural drama.

“666 Park Avenue”
Premiere: Sunday, September 30, at 10pm on ABC

The idea of something demonic lurking in the upscale apartment blocks of the Upper East Side is an appealing one — how else do people afford those rents?…

“Elementary”
Premiere: Tuesday, September 25, at 10pm on CBS

Obviously, if we had to choose only one modern-day interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character, it would be the delightfully snippy incarnation of the legendary detective engineered by BBC and Benedict Cumberbatch

“The Mindy Project”
Premiere: Tuesday, September 25, at 9:30pm on Fox

“The Office” alum Mindy Kaling is a welcome addition to the continuing evolution and growing prominence of funny women on the big and small screens…

“Nashville”
Premiere: Wednesday, October 10, at 10pm on ABC

Connie Britton stole our hearts as mother (or for some, MILF) extraordinaire Tami Taylor on “Friday Night Lights,” and her well-deserved lead role in the ABC drama “Nashville,” written and created by Oscar-winning “Thelma & Louise” screenwriter Callie Khouri, suggests that her steel magnolia stylings are going to be put to appropriate use…

“Vegas”
Premiere: Tuesday, September 25, at 10pm on CBS

So last year’s “Mad Men” knockoffs “The Playboy Club” and “Pan Am” didn’t make it to a second season (or, in the case of the former, very far into a first season). But while “Vegas” may also be set in the ’60s, it’s not another saga of retro drinking habits and sexism in one of our nation’s urban centers. “Vegas” is a Western, one set in the title town several decades before the arrival of the flagship “CSI” series…

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Sorry Alison, but only 1 of your 5 choices has a chance of working for me. THE MINDY PROJECT and NASHVILLE are for chicks, which leaves me out. The BBC’s SHERLOCK satisfies my need for, um, Sherlock so why settle for ELEMENTARY? And VEGAS? C’mon, we’re talking about the most overrated city in the U.S. With one of the country’s dullest actors in the lead.

But 666 PARK AVENUE, that we’ll check out. A Satanic building New York City’s Upper East Side? Which one isn’t? Sold.

Two Very Cool Creepy Things

The First Very Cool Creepy Thing:

666 Park Avenue – Pilot Review
by Kyle

Evil has a wickedly delicious new home Sundays this Fall on ABC…

The cinematography in the Pilot Episode was spectacular, with eerie lighting and camera movement to create a glossy but dark tone for the show. The episode was also very well-written, with several jaw-dropping moments and a cliffhanger at the end that will certainly leave viewers wanting more. While not much is given away about why the incidents that occur in the Pilot are happening, viewers do get an insight into the lives of the residents who live there, who all seem to have made a deal with the devil for a better, more comfortable life.

666 Park Avenue is dark, scary and seductive and is easily one of the best new shows of the fall season.

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(And, no, we’re not saying this review is creepy cool, we’re talking about the show.)

The Second Very Cool Creepy Thing:

Augmented Reality Girlfriend
by John Farrier

I weep that I went through my teenage years with nothing remotely like this technological marvel:

The character chosen to show off this augmented reality girlfriend tech is [Hatsune Miku], a voice synthesizer personified as a doll-eyed anime avatar. [Miku] is an immensely popular character in Japan, with thousands of people going to her concerts, so choosing her for this augmented reality girlfriend project was an obvious choice.

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Idoru lives! And we don’t know whether to laugh or cry.