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NBC: Fall Reviews

By: Tim Holland

REVOLUTION is the most anticipated new series of the fall due to the creative force behind it that includes uber-producer J.J. Abrams, Iron Man director Jon Favreau and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. The series imagines a modern-day world in which all modern-day technologies cease to work due to a global blackout. With no electricity, the world is thrust into a Dark Ages-like civilization with roaming militia under the command of a dictatorial general. The exciting pilot, which is a strange blend of The Hunger Games, Lost and Kill Bill, is engaging, intense and action packed. My advice: Join the Revolution when it premieres September 17 at 10pm.

GO ON stars Matthew Perry as a sports radio host who reluctantly joins a therapy group after the tragic death of his wife. Now, that might not sound like a winning formula for a sitcom but in the capable hands of the charismatic Perry and an outstanding ensemble cast as his counseling cohorts, it is not only winning but uplifting. They bring great humor and sensitivity to their quirky roles and make Go On one of the funniest new sitcoms of the season. Go on and watch it when it premieres on September 11 at 9pm.

ANIMAL PRACTICE focuses on a self-centered veterinarian, played by Justin Kirk, who is much more adept in dealing with pets than with people. Sounds great, right? Sadly, this Practice is far from perfect due to a tepid script and lifeless performances. When the funniest thing about a show is a scrubs-wearing chimpanzee, you know you’re in trouble. My advice: Don’t enter this Practice when it premieres on September 26 at 8pm. It’s not a laughing matter.

CHICAGO FIRE revolves around the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of a Windy City firehouse. Their often dangerous jobs lead to tension and stress at home and at work. Unfortunately, Chicago Fire brings nothing new to the tried-and-true premise, like Rescue Me did. The show isn’t bad. It’s just not good enough. Everything here, we’ve seen before and better. But it hails from executive producer Dick Wolf of Law & Order fame, so maybe Chicago Fire will heat up in due time. It premieres October 10 at 10pm.

THE NEW NORMAL, which centers on a gay couple living in Beverly Hills who hire a surrogate so they can have a baby, is Ryan Murphy’s latest project and, sadly, it isn’t up to his usual high standards. Overly preachy and at times insulting, The New Normal falls flat mainly because it just doesn’t generate enough laughs from its promising premise. Let’s hope this isn’t the new normal for hit-maker Murphy. Premieres on September 11 at 9:30pm.

GUYS WITH KIDS is a routine sitcom about three young dads who live in the same New York City apartment building and who are trying to adjust to their new roles as fathers. The pilot, executive produced by Jimmy Fallon, is pleasant enough but the material never rises above the ordinary. Anthony Anderson, Zach Cregger and Jesse Bradford do what they can with the subpar material but it’s not enough to recommend that you tune in to the premiere on September 26 at 8:30pm.

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