Fall Premieres to Watch on Hulu

A few years ago, Fox decided to push the pilot of its new show, New Girl, on Hulu and make it free on iTunes to see if it would help build an audience.

That strategy proved successful, and New Girl was one of the breakout hits of 2011 in a TV universe that proves difficult for new shows.

There are several series debuting their pilot on Hulu this year in hopes of standing out in the crowd of new kids. I watched three of these pilots so that you don’t have to (Just kidding, sort of). Let’s get an idea of what we can expect this fall in the comedic department.

1. Welcome to the Family

Welcome to the Family
Network:
NBC

Premise: Stanford-bound valedictorian Junior (Joey Haro) and just barely graduating Molly (Ella Rae Peck) are an unlikely teenage couple that find themselves pregnant at the end of their high school careers. When they decide to keep the baby and get married, their very different families (specifically fathers) must learn to get along.

Watchability: I led with the worst of the three, frankly. There is a little promise of interest in this show because of the race and class issues between families, but Welcome to the Family seems content to rest on shallow cliches rather than nuances of people. Junior and Molly are both incredibly annoying characters in different ways and give you absolutely no reason to root for the success of their relationship. Also, didn’t we already have The Secret Life of the American Teenager? And that might have been funnier than this show.

You can watch the pilot on Hulu here.

2. Trophy Wife

ALBERT TSAI, NATALIE MORALES, GIANNA LEPERA, RYAN SCOTT LEE, MALIN AKERMAN, BRADLEY WHITFORD, MARCIA GAY HARDEN, MICHAELA WATKINSNetwork: ABC

Premise: Kate (Malin Akerman) was a single party girl just a year ago, but now she’s married to middle aged Pete (Bradley Whitford). Their age difference manifests most obviously in his two ex-wives and three children. Kate must learn to be a wife and mother all at once. Hijinks ensue.

Watchability: I hate the title. MILF would have been a lot better. And I resent anything new on ABC because it is probably responsible for the tragic loss of Happy Endings. But those issues aside, this series shows a lot of promise. Akerman is hilarious in everything except the voiceover, which should really be re-thought. Marcia Gay Harden commands every scene she’s in as ex-wife #1. Basically, the acting in this one is really, really strong, and the premise gives the show a lot to work with. I will probably be tuning in for the first episodes of this show to see how it goes. Stay tuned.

You can watch the pilot on Hulu here.

3. Back in the Game

ABC_0039SCLP132470EH_BackInTheGame_Promo_SneakPeek_HD720p_bfb73da0-926b-4efd-a657-8194cb537e8d_5271255_sourceNetwork: ABC

Premise: After a messy divorce, Terry Gannon (Maggie Lawson) and her son move back home to live with her alcoholic, emotionally abusive Dad (James Caan). Much of the contention in the relationship between Terry and her dad revolves around the game of baseball, which they both used to play. After her all-star softball career, Terry gave up the game, but now her son wants to play Little League and can’t unless she agrees to coach.

Watchability: Back in the Game is more interesting than funny. Terry’s team is straight out of Bad News Bears, so there’s potentially nothing we haven’t seen before there. But her relationships with both her father and her son is rich for development and depth–we’ll just have to see how well-crafted the show is and where it plans to take us.

You can watch the pilot on Hulu here.

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