Take Me to the Pilots '16: ABC's 'Notorious'


Cast: Daniel Sunjata, Piper Perabo, Kate Jennings Grant, Aimee Teegarden, J. August Richards, Sepideh Moafi, Ryan Guzman, Kevin Zegers
Team: Josh Berman, Allie Hagan, Mark Geragos, Wendy Walker, Kenny Meiselas, Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry, Michael Engler
Inspired by the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, the drama is a provocative look at the unique, sexy and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media.


[I'll remind you at the top of every single one of these: These entries are not reviews. They're gut reactions to not-for-air pilots that could change in big and small ways between now and September or October or midseason. Full reviews will come then. They'll be longer. And more carefully considered. The opinions may even change. Who knows?]

Show: Notorious (ABC)
The Pitch: "Actually, who cares what the show is. Whatever it turns out to be, let's give it a title so that no matter how long it runs, it'll never be one of the first five entertainment things associated with its title." "So ... how does Notorious sound?" "Great! Hitchcock, Biggie and Tori Spelling will always have that one on lock-down."
Quick Response: So far as I can tell, the appeal of Notorious hinges 100 percent on whether you find Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata's bickering banter charming and fraught with endless chemistry. And some people doubtlessly will. I did not. At all. I get that there might be fun in watching two pretty people in cahoots run game on the collective media and legal worlds, but the pilot conveniently neglected to give me any reason why I would possibly want either of these two smarmy characters to succeed in anything they're attempting, and with no desire to see either of them succeed at anything, I spent the whole pilot thinking, "Geez, that's really unethical and not in a cute way" over and over and over. Since Notorious is such a bad and vague title, might I recommend Attractive Conflict of Interest as a new title? Or maybe That Isn't Appropriate Nor Is It as Cute as They Think It Is? Perabo's news super-producer is at least somewhat rounded, so she gives a varied and range-exhibiting performance, unlike Sunjata's super-attorney, who is just a smirk in a perfectly tailored suit. They both look great, of course, and if this were a USA Network show in 2009, that would be all that was required. I think we're supposed to find Kate Jennings Grant's news anchor loopy and entertaining. I did not. I didn't understand why the show has an alternative B-series featuring J. August Richards and Aimee Teegarden, nor what possible reason we should have for caring about what appears to be an extended arc featuring Kevin Zegers. I'm not sure if the plot of the pilot felt like it should have been told over three or four episodes or in 15 minutes, but nothing in the pacing felt correct.
Desire to Watch Again: Almost none, but I'll watch what ABC gives me and those who swoon over the chemistry can swoon without me.

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Take Me to the Pilots '16: Fox's 'Pitch'
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