Summer TV Roundup, Week 3

We're in the midst of summer, which brings a plethora of different options. For networks, it's mostly game shows and scripted fare that didn't make the cut for the regular season. But will it make the cut for viewers? In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this summer. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Monday Nights:
Still Star Crossed, Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC (Premiered May 29)
About: This Memorial Day brought us a new drama on ABC, tucked behind "The Bachelorette." This series comes from producer Shonda Rhimes, and is set in the world of "Romeo and Juliet." You read that last part correctly. In fact, the pilot is "In fair Verona where we lay our scene." The whole point of the series is to explore what happens after the lovers kill themselves. I know, sounds riveting. It is actually a clever idea — at least potentially. This pilot picks up in the thick of the action of the familiar story and, by the middle of the hour, Romeo and Juliet are dead. Now what? Well, there is some potential for something interesting here, but this entire pilot hour was flaccid. That is likely why it ended up as a summer series. It might be well paired with "The Bachelorette." Or, at least, as well paired as it will be with anything. The first hour was more than a touch dry, and I wasn't really invested in any of the characters. While I thought it would be interesting to see what happens to these people after the big event of the play, the reality of this show wasn't that engaging. Perhaps the second episode will be better.
Pilot Grade: C-

Tuesday Nights:
Downward Dog, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC (Premiered May 17)
About: This latest comedy also didn't make the cut for the regular season. It got a premier during the full night of finales of the regular in-season comedies, then its second episode was the lead-in to the "Dancing With the Stars" finale, so it was given every chance to succeed despite its launch date. And I actually kind of enjoyed the pilot and the conceit of the story. The dog was funny, as was a few other elements. But the second episode was quite dry. I don't see this as a show that will keep me hooked long-term. It's fine, and I like Alison Tollman, but even in the slow summer season there wasn't enough here to keep me hooked.
Pilot Grade: B-
Second Episode: C-


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