10:30am PT by Daniel Fienberg
Take Me to the Pilots '17: ABC's 'Ten Days in the Valley'
[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: Ten Days in the Valley (ABC)
The Pitch: "Remember Red Widow and Missing?" "Only a little." "How about Somewhere Between?" "No." "Good God, it's on TV now!" "Sorry." "No worries. Then this'll feel new."
Quick Response: [ABC made multiple Ten Days in the Valley episodes available to critics pre-press tour, but this reaction is only based on the pilot, because that's what Take Me To The Pilots is.] The ABC assembly line has, intentionally or otherwise, imparted a certain sameness to a string of dramas about driven women [generally single parents] who have to restore order when their attempts to balance professional and personal space go wildly astray. The Hollywood twist in this story of a showrunner whose daughter goes missing at least means that the backdrop of Ten Days in the Valley has some recognizable grounding, but from the musical choices to the cinematography to the interior design and lighting of the main character's house, this feels right on familiar brand for ABC. Kyra Sedgwick is a worthy occupier of the Ashley Judd/Radha Mitchell/Paula Patton role, making her character flawed in some unapologetic ways, but also familiar ways. I was much more interested by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje bringing likable swagger and confidence to his role as initially skeptical cop who will eventually surely get his flirt on with Sedgwick's Jane, but that part is familiar too. The pilot's string of "Well that's a bit dumb, but at least I didn't expect it" twists? You guessed it! Familiar! Of the various supporting players, I liked Malcolm-Jamal Warner, as a professionally threatening writer on Jane's show, and Emily Kinney, as Jane's chipper and off-kilter assistant, the most; and Kick Gurry, as Jane's basically-only-there-to-be-a-suspect ex-husband, least.
Desire To Watch Again: Moderate. It doesn't matter that I feel like I've seen ABC make this same show a dozen times, just so long as at the end of the pilot I'm curious about the mystery of who kidnapped Jane's daughter. For now, I am. So I'll watch more. Be warned, though: This is not five-times better than Two Days in the Valley.
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'S.W.A.T.'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: Fox's 'LA to Vegas'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'SEAL Team'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: The CW's 'Dynasty'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: ABC's 'The Good Doctor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Wisdom of the Crowd'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: The CW's 'Valor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: ABC's 'The Mayor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: Fox's 'Ghosted'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: NBC's 'The Brave'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Young Sheldon'
All of my 2016 Take Me to the Pilots Entries