In case y’all need to be told how to feel about the current TV season. Cuz it’s such a drag, you know, to have to think for yourselves:
by Pilot Viruet
Last week, networks announced their 2015-16 television season pick-ups, cancellations, and official schedules. Just by looking at the big four networks, it’s easy to pick out the trends they’re betting on for next year: movie-to-television adaptations, reboots and remakes, childhood nostalgia like The Muppets, more medical dramas, and more superhero shows. But before we look ahead, and now that the current TV season is finally winding down, it’s necessary to take a look back at what networks were gung-ho about last year — and to see whether or not any of those ideas worked. From multiple knockoffs ofThe Americans to romantic-comedy sitcoms to, of course, superheroes, here’s a look at 2014-15’s best trends and worst failures.
Win: Comic book adaptations and superhero narratives
For all the talk about superhero fatigue, so many comic adaptations are actually killing it on television. Marvel’s Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. both got renewals on ABC. Not only is Arrow going strong on The CW, but its spinoff The Flash was the most fun superhero series on TV all year; both got renewed and even spawned another spinoff to debut next season. The series complement each other perfectly, providing two sets of contrasts that work extremely well together — especially during the network’s smartly planned crossover episodes:Arrow likes to go dark and rely on the lonely vigilante narrative, while The Flash enjoys the lighter side of having cool powers. (Because they’re on The CW, both also deal with quite a bit of kissing.) iZombie, another comic book adaptation, is gunning for Jane the Virgin as both the weirdest and the most delightful series on The CW — and got an early Season 2 renewal.
Over on Fox, Gotham started off strong and darkly beautiful but lost its focus as it went on — though it was still renewed because viewers can never let go of Batman’s world. Superheroes are even all over streaming sites: Hulu’s The Awesomes (an original series, not an adaptation) was renewed for a third season halfway through its second while bothNetflix’s Daredevil and PlayStation Network’s Powers will get second seasons next year. (There is one notable exception: Constantine, which never found the proper balance while telling its story, was canceled by NBC but is still being shopped around to other networks.)
Lose: Rom-com sitcoms
One of the biggest trends during this television season were romantic-comedy sitcoms, most of which were trying to capitalize on the success of How I Met Your Mother’s nine seasons — and hoping to fill the void left by the series finale — but none of which came even close. NBC’s A to Z was the most similar to HIMYM, right down to the voiceover provided by a former ’80s/’90s sitcom star (Katey Segal took the Bob Saget role) and shared female lead Cristin Milioti (who played the mother on HIMYM). Unfortunately, it was a poor imitation, canceled about a month after it aired.
NBC’s other sort-of rom-com was Marry Me, about a couple who were already committed but dealing with the transition from long-term relationship to engagement. In February, it was removed from the schedule and replaced with The Voice; four episodes have remained unaired in the United States. ABC premiered two rom-coms: the deplorable Manhattan Love Story was the first cancellation of the season, while the much better Selfie was canceled in November, with the remaining six episodes being released on Hulu. Even existing rom-coms weren’t safe. The Mindy Project, which wears its rom-com influences on its sleeve, was axed by Fox at the end of its run (but has since been picked up by Hulu).
Read it all at Flavorwire (and, yes, in spite of our snarkiness, we think this article makes some excellent points)