It’s Fan Fun Friday Time: The Five Best Trailers Out Of The 2014 Upfronts

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

I need a moment here before I start.

For every TV fan worth their salt, the May Upfronts are a huge time of the year. The major networks (Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CW) set their fall schedules and announce their freshman class of shows. Some decisions are baffling, some understandable, and some are just…odd. Nonetheless, people deal with their joy and disappointment accordingly.

My personal favorite part of the Upfronts are the trailers for the freshman shows coming in for the television season whether it be for a show airing in the fall or in midseason, I don’t discriminate. Just let me see what the newest crop of shows look like!

Now we obviously didn’t get trailers for some of the shows such as Agent Carter. Still we got a lot of trailers from the networks, which is wonderful.

So as today is Fan Friday for the columns, I’m going to rank my top five favorite trailers our of the 2014 Upfronts. Why? Because finals week is next week and this makes me way happier then school that’s why.

Let me just say as a general disclaimer, these trailers are the ones that I found most appealing. I’ll explain why below. They stretch over the course of the season: some have a fall start date, some have a winter start date. They stretch across the networks that I’ve mentioned. These are trailers that I have the most interest in after watching.

I should point out now that Gotham, despite being an amazing trailer, will not be on this list. My reasoning is simple: It was released the week before the Upfronts started, and thus did not come out of the Upfronts. I’m focusing on trailers that came from Upfronts.

Enough talking, time for action!

5) Galavant (ABC Midseason) 

Photo courtesy of ABC
Photo courtesy of ABC

In a far off fairy tale world, there was a great night name Galavant. He was respected, revered, beloved, and had a proper knightly reputation. Then after losing his true love to an evil king, he fell into despair. Now a princess has come to Galavant to ask him to help save her people and become a true knight once more.

Kind of sounds like an episode of Once Upon A Time doesn’t it? Well…it’s not.

Here check out the trailer. Then we’ll talk about it.

ABC is outright parodying Disney musicals. It’s kind of wonderful. Galavant is a flat out musical comedy with the emphasis on comedic and music. Yes there is that grand, epic feeling that one can find in fantasy trailers but the whole thing is done firmly tongue in cheek. That’s what makes this trailer kind of wonderful. Everyone seems to know how silly and goofy this is but they’re having fun with it anyway.

The best part of the show looks to be Timothy Omundson as the wicked King Richard. He just looks so goddamn happy singing about murder and disembowelment. It makes me giggle. Still the whole of the cast looks to be solid singers and the show promises to be hilarious musical filled good time. Also music man Alan Menken (you know the guy who practically wrote the soundtrack to our Disney childhoods?) lends his pen to the musical numbers in the show. So all in all this trailer shows a move into pure, wonderful, fantastical comedy in a drama stuffed season.

4) Gracepoint (Fox Fall Thursdays 9pm EST)

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

Based on the runaway UK hit Broadchurch, the show follows a small California community in the aftermath of a tragic death of a young boy. The detectives on the case try to figure out the truth surrounding the boy’s death but the boy, and the whole community, hold deep secrets.

Check out the trailer below.

If you watched Broadchurch, then you can see the direct influences that it has on Gracepoint. It’s not a terrible thing. I noticed the similarities between the two because I knew what to look for. Plus the trailer is mostly comprised of the shots from the pilot episode and since we have to establish character and the mystery, I’m not horribly surprised that there are similarities. I still am eager to check out the series though. Anna Gunn looks fantastic in her role as Detective Ellie Miller striking the right amount of warmth, emotion, and serious business. David Tennant makes his official American live action television debut here as Detective Emmett Carver (the counterpart to his Broadchurch character) and seems comfortable in the role.

I will admit that hearing David Tennant with an American accent was surprising because I’m so used to his regular one. If you listen closely, you can hear some of it bleed through on words like “killer”. So that’s a fun game to do.

Still the trailer lays out the mystery of Danny’s death, the emotional toll in the community, and the peeks of the secrets that will be unveiled. The creators of the show have assured new twists and a different killer then Broadchurch and I will trust them there.

3) The Whispers (ABC Midseason)

Photo courtesy of ABC

Something strange is happening to children. An “imaginary” friend is starting to exert some real world influences over them in the form of a game. While investigating a case where the victim’s six-year-old daughter is the prime suspect, a detective is pulled into a vast creep conspiracy that reaches all the way to the White House. What, exactly, is using these children and for what ends?

Check out the trailer below.

This trailer had a wonderfully creepy tone that stayed with me for hours after watching it. Maybe it’s the fact that whatever entity this is uses children and exploits the fact that despite they’re young they do pay attention to the world around them. This isn’t a really bad idea in going after in world domination. Plus the trailer leaves the watcher with more questions then answers.

That’s good in a trailer, viewers need to want to know more. I definitely what to know what exactly this thing is.

2) The Flash (The CW Tuesdays 8pm EST)

Photo: The CW
Photo: The CW

Forensic scientist, Barry Allen, has been defined by witnessing the murder of his mother through a strange Impossible Man. He’s dedicated his whole life to it, even to the point of distraction from other pursuits. After a strange explosion, Barry is electrocuted and falls into a wall of chemicals. It sends him into a nine month coma. When he awakes, however, he finds that he has developed super-speed. Now he puts these skills to good use by becoming the defense against those who will use their newly gained powers for ill.

Quick, watch the trailer below!

I am so freaking excited for this show…I cannot even tell you. Now the CW has definitely carved a niche by making good genre shows or carrying them over from the old WB days (Smallville). So, it delights me that the superhero television universe is expanding from Arrow, which is arguably one of the best superhero shows on television. I have full confidence that The Flash will be just as good.

Glee fan favorite, Grant Gustin can definitely bare a weight of a television franchise. He’s endearingly adorkable, charming, and rather good natured. One of my favorite lines is “Lightning gave me abs?” because welcome to the world of CW superheroes buddy! It’s also good to see that they are doing several things differently from Arrow such as that an expanded cast knows of Barry’s abilities right off the bat and we are introduced to ‘meta-humans’ straight away. The expanded cast seems delightful, even if I don’t know there names. Plus, heeey Stephen Amell, good on you to give your buddy a pick-me-up.

Plus Jesse L. Martin is back as a detective. More Jesse L. Martin on my screen makes me happy.

1) Wayward Pines (FOX Midseason)

Photo courtesy of Fox
Photo courtesy of Fox

During the course of a missing person’s investigation, a Secret Service agent finds himself in a very strange town. Trapped within a mystery and trying to tell reality from fantasy, he must try to escape the inescapable.

Apparently M. Night Shyamalan has his dirty fingerprints all over this project. So if the actual show sucks, then forgive me for putting this as my number one pick.

The trailer, however, is perfect. It combines humor, horror, drama, suspense, and presents a tantalizing mystery for the viewers. Just what is going on in Wayward Pines? I have a feeling that Wayward Pines will draw a lot of comparisons to cult classic Twin Peaks. Both shows appear to have a similar tone and style. As a fan of Twin Peaks, I am totally fine with it. The whole trailer had me wanting to know more about this characters and this strange place. Plus, having that many Academy Award winners/nominees is hopefully a sign of good things from the script.

But if it turns out that Wayward Pines is a secret sect society near a highway or has something in the air controlling them, then we will have words Shayamalan. We. Will. Have. Words.

So, those are my picks for the best five trailers out of the Upfronts. If Gotham was released the same time as all of these trailers, I would have put it at number three and taken The Whispers out. They both have a similar creepy feeling and present a compelling story.

Here are some honorable mentions that, while pretty decent, were not good enough for the list. These honorable mentions are The Mysteries of Laura (NBC Wednesdays 8pm EST), Constantine (NBC Fridays 10pm EST), and  Scorpion (CBS Mondays 9pm EST).

Bec Heim