Genius Junior (NBC)

GeniusJunior

Genius Junior (NBC) – Premieres 18th March

A knockout tournament style game show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Where two teams of three intelligent kids go against each other over three rounds, to win the chance to progress in the competition and to get a big cash prize.

Each round is set up to test the kids abilities in memory, spelling, maths, logic and the like, and before they team goes up to start the round, they have the one-off opportunity to nominate one of the team to be the sole person to tackle the questions.

If the team decided to enter the round as a group, team goes up to answer questions in a round robin style. And if one person in the team can’t answer correctly, they can only move on until either one or none of the team gets the answer correct.

Then at the end of the round the teams are then allocated points in relation to the amount of correct answers they gave. By the end of three rounds the team with the most points, already guaranteed progression into the next round, get to take part in the “Cortex”, a bonus round where all team members are used.

The round is structured so that within the team, one member has to answer three questions worth $3k each, another having to answer four questions work $4k each the final member answering five questions work $5k each. And if they manage to answer everything correctly the total the team wins is doubled to $100k. The total amount is then placed into their prize fund that they get if they become the overall winner.

While the main focus of the programme is to show off the impressiveness of the kids abilities, it’s also a surprisingly watchable bit of TV. Though it’s still something that you’d happily watch if you stumbled on it, but not a programme you’d go out of you way to watch.

5.2/10

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Rise (NBC)

RISE

Rise (NBC) – Premieres 13th March

A high school drama where Lou, a jaded English teacher, takes over the schools theatre department. After seeing that they were going to do another rendition of Grease, Lou puts forward the play Spring Awakening as the next production to put on, much to the reluctance of the staff and students.

From there Lou manages to get the school quarterback to try out for the play, leading to him having a fall out with the athletic department after the QB gets the acting bug.

After a few weeks of inspiring the students and getting them into what they’d be performing, the principal removes Lou from his role and cancels the play to stop the quarterback splitting his time. Leading to the students and drama teacher protesting, getting Lou reinstated and putting the play back on.

The programme is a bit like a drama class equivalent to Friday Night Lights,

but goes along at a slower pace which at times can drag a bit. That said it’s not too bad.

4.9/10

Champions (NBC)

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Champions (NBC) – Premieres 8th March – Cancelled

A comedy that is centred on former college baseball prospect Vince who runs a gym called Champions with his slow witted brother Mathew. Vince spends his time sleeping around and trying keep himself away from any responsibility. This is brought to a halt when his former high school girlfriend turns up revealing that he has a son.

Vince who was in the process of secretly selling the gym, agrees to looking after his son Michael who is in town to attend the Julliard music school. During an argument with his girlfriend where he admits he wants nothing to do with the lad, Michael reveals he saw the contract to sell the gym and does a runner.

After Vince and Mathew scour the area to find Michael to get him to his school audition, Vince gives out a clumsy inspirational talk. And after being wowed by Michaels talents, decides not to sell the gym and agrees to looking after his son as he attends the school.

As comedies go it has more in common with shows like Two and Half Men with it’s premise, though thankfully without the laugh track. That said most of the jokes you can see from a mile off and one the whole it’s some pretty bland viewing.

2.0/10

Good Girls (NBC)

GoodGirls

Good Girls (NBC) – Premieres 26th February

A comedy drama about three women, Beth, a housewife who finds out that he husband is cheating on her and has racked up a mountain of debt. Annie, Beths younger sister who is a single mother on the brink of looking custody of her daughter. And Ruby whose daughter is suffering from a kidney disease where her and her husband are struggling to pay for the treatment.

After jokingly discussing about pulling off a robbery to pay off their debts, Beth decides to put the plan into action after discovering the truth about her husband. Annie puts forward the supermarket she works at as the easiest place to hit, where she predicts they should have $30k in the safe, and the three successfully pull off the heist.

When counting their haul the three soon discover that instead of $30k, they managed to take $500k. Which raises their suspicions somewhat so decide not spend their take straight away, which all three do.

They are then encountered by the real owners of the supermarket, a drug cartel that use the shop to launder their money. So the women are given a set time to get the cartels cash returned before retribution is dished out. The girls are then given another problem when the shops manager recognised Annies tattoo during the heist and begins blackmailing her for sexual favours. This ends up with him attempting to rape her and is only stopped when Beth intervenes leading to the manager sending himself through a glass table.

As comedy dramas go this went along at a decent pace and had come decent comedic moments. Though the whole attempted rape scene did seem out of place with the rest of the episode, It’s not a bad bit of viewing.

4.3/10

A.P. Bio (NBC)

APBio

A.P. Bio (NBC) – Premieres 1st February 

Comedy where philosophy scholar Jack Griffen, after begin overlooked for his dream job as head of philosophy at Stanford, ends up reluctantly taking a job at his hometown high school teaching A.P. Biology, where he has no intention in teaching the subject.

There he sets out to use the pupils to help him formulate plans to bring down the guy who got the Stanford job, along with bullying the principal into letting him get away with doing whatever he wants. While at the same time the students are trying to get rid of him so they can actually learn the course.

With the show having Howerton of It’s Always Sunny fame basically playing Dennis Reynolds again, it all feels like a network version of that show. So any of the vaguely risqué stuff is all sanitised to the point it takes away from the punchline.

4.0/10

Ellen’s Game Of Games (NBC)

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Ellen’s Game Of Games (NBC) – Premieres 2nd January – Renewed

Following on from Repeat After Me and Little Big Shots, this is a game show spawned from a segment originally seen on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The quiz goes through three rounds, the first has four individual games held a qualifiers for the second round. Where after Ellen describes the game, two people are called up from the audience and the winner advances.

After the four opening games have been played, the winners take part in the second round. This consists of the four standing over trapdoors, which plummets them 30ft after they get a simple general knowledge question wrong, and keeps going until there is one person left.

In the final round, the surviving contestant has 30 seconds to correctly identify 10 celebrities, where they have the chance to win up to $100k.

While the opening games have the slapstick feel of stuff you could see in Takeshi’s Castle, the rest of the rounds go for a more standard quiz format. As a light entertainment game show it does everything you’d want, with Ellen lightly ribbing the contestants through to simple questions being answered incorrectly.

It’s an inoffensive family friendly game show.

3.9/10

Gone (NBC)

Gone

Gone (NBC) – Premieres TBA 2018

Procedural crime drama that is centred on Kit “Kick” Lannigan, who as a kid was abducted for 5 years before the FBI saved her. 15 years later Kick is running self defence classes in a building she shares with another abductee survivor James who spends his time hacking various government agency sites.

After one of her classes Kit is offered the chance to help on an abduction case by the FBI agent who found her, as he has formed specialist a team to work on abduction cases, and is in need of her knowledge on how the kidnappers operate. After tentatively agreeing to help Kick and James get brought onto the team where their skills help solve the case.

The show is the usual lightweight CSI style bit of programming that is watchable enough to waste 45 minutes. Though it’s something you don’t have to follow it that closely to know what’s going on, and isn’t something you’d go out of you way to watch.

3.8/10