Abby's (NBC) - Season Thread *spoilers*

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by astrohip, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    New sitcom from NBC. Natalie Morales runs an illegal bar, set in her backyard. Actually filmed outside, in front of a live audience. They open each segment with a view of the set, showing the audience in the bleachers.

    I suppose in this era of every new show being compared to something that came before, this would be a Cheers. Bar setting, quirky regulars, everyone knows your name. Neil Flynn (The Middle) is one of the regulars.

    I thought it was decent. Like all sitcoms, will take a couple episodes to jell. Unlike most sitcom pilots where I want to kill the SP before five minutes have passed, this kept me to the end. Having said that, it needs to develop a personality if it wants to hook viewers.

    Mike Schur is one of the Exec Producers, so I'll give it a chance. His series have a rep for being interesting, quirky, different shows, that sometimes take a few episodes (or a season) to reach their potential. The Office, Parks & Rec, The Good Place, Brooklyn 99.

    Anyone else catch the premiere?
  2. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
  3. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I recorded this and plan to give it a go. I've been hit or miss on Michael Shur shows (Never cared for The Office and P&R, but love The Good Place and B99) so it being his show doesn't make me automatically watch. I have liked Natalie Morales since The Middlemen and Neil Flynn is a plus. I tend to record most sitcoms on the traditional networks, so I figured I'd give it a go.
  4. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    As pilots go, it wasn’t bad. A bit bland but we will see how it develops. Decently likable characters.

    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

    Jul 10, 2000
    Dallas Texas
    I deleted OP but set up one more episode.
    Thought it was awful. But will give it one more chance.
    So filming outside with an audience just a gimmick? I don't see reason for it.
  6. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Maybe I needed to give it my full attention (I was multi-tasking), but it wasn't grabbing my attention and it seemed like the so-many hopeful, B-grade sit-coms that are trotted out in the hope that something sticks. So sorry for Neil Flynn.
  7. jr461

    jr461 Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2004
    Northern NJ
    Never heard of this but will try it. I'm the opposite of you on his shows with the except of The Good Place.
    Loved The Office (moreso the earlier seasons), hated P&R (very poor man's Office), and dislike B99.
  8. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jul 3, 2004
    I wish I had known about this show. Will have to check out E01 on the NBC website. The draw for me is Neil Flynn. Been wanting to see him in something again. His character on The Middle, and the gay friend, were the only two characters I could stand. Plus, I've been a fan since Scrubs.
  9. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    Watched the pilot and found it fairly bland, in unobjectionable. I'm sure I'll watch the next couple and see if it starts to stick with me.
  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    Ah, thanks for that explanation. I saw almost all of it as it aired last night but wasn't sure what I was looking at. I thought it looked like it was filmed outdoors/on-location and so I was wondering why that kind of show had a fake laugh track. When I once saw a view of what looked like the set, I wasn't sure what that wooden structure was; that was apparently the audience bleachers. So it all makes more sense now. Although I still wonder if that was actual audience laughter or a laugh track.

    Interesting premise for a show, although I didn't find any of the one-liners very funny or the characters interesting. So, meh.
    TIVO_GUY_HERE likes this.
  11. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    I sort of got a Dateless vibe from it. But it was a bit bland. That could be the pilot. The characters are there. The setup is there. Now do we get the scripts?
  12. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

    Nov 14, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Schur is producing it, but unlike Parks and Good Place, which he created, and Brooklyn, which he co-created, this is someone else’s show. I don’t say that to suggest the Schur doesn’t have a hand in it, just that your taste vis a vis him may not apply here.
  13. getbak

    getbak Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    Interesting story on the challenges of shooting a traditional sitcom outside: ‘Abby’s’ Producers on How TV’s First Outdoor Sitcom Faced Skunks, Helicopters and Crickets

    It's shot in the backyard of one of the houses on the Universal Studios backlot. They also built a full replica of the set inside one of the sound stages in case inclement weather prevented them from shooting an episode outside, but they didn't have to use it.

    It's always tough to judge a new sitcom based on the pilot, but I liked it enough to keep watching.
  14. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

    Nov 14, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Seeing this thread reminded me that I had forgotten to watch the pilot, so I just did that. I didn't like it. However, I'll give the show a little time because I'd like to have a hangout comedy back in my rotation, and this could evolve into a pleasant one despite my initial disappointment.

    A large part of my issue is just that it is a multicam comedy. I just don't like the staccato setup-punchline, setup-punchline rhythm of that style of show anymore, plus the tendency of the actors in one to play to the back row. It just doesn't sound like any people talking who you'd hear in real life. I think I'll be able to get over that, though, if the material gets better. Two problems there. First, the jokes mostly weren't funny, and some of them weren't even jokes (e.g., the bouncer guy basically just got lines to mug to). Second, Abby herself wasn't a particularly likable character. Bill the landlord shows up with some perfectly reasonable requests, and her response is to have a petulant temper tantrum and threaten to shut the whole place down? Over insurance? I spent the whole episode thinking Bill, who was trying to help Abby out ultimately, was the hero, and she was the heel. That needs to change for me to stick with this show, regardless of my other issues with it.
    ThePennyDropped and Donbadabon like this.
  15. Family

    Family Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    The writing was horrible and the jokes not funny.

    The live audience thing is interesting, but I hate laughter on sitcoms and this felt enhanced with fake stuff.

    Didn't work for me.
  16. ncbill

    ncbill Active Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Western NC
    To me it sounded like all the "filmed before a live outdoor audience" responses were from a canned track.
    Family and Donbadabon like this.
  17. lambertman

    lambertman LIVE! On tape

    Dec 20, 2002
    I desperately wanted to like this, but I did not.
  18. Donbadabon

    Donbadabon Bored TCF Club

    Mar 5, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    In the trailer I was shocked at how loud the laugh track was, but figured they were trying to convince people who don't know what is funny that the show is really funny.
    But I couldn't make it 10 minutes before I had to turn it off. The laugh track was just as bad during the show. Every line isn't funny! In fact, nothing was funny in that first 10 minutes.
    So I'm out.
  19. mlsnyc

    mlsnyc Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    I was okay with it. Like a couple of others have mentioned, it was bland. So neither good nor bad, and so I'll stick with it a little longer. I'm a big Neil Flynn and Natalie Morales fan, so I'll give them some goodwill credits.
  20. jpicard

    jpicard Member

    Oct 25, 2004
    slc ut
    Kinda disappointed in this show. It really isn't that funny. Nearly every 'joke' was about alcohol (yes I know it is a show about a bar -- but there is more to life than alcohol). I also think that the producers could have done something other than renaming Mike Heck and plant him in bar. The character that Neil played is dressed the same, has the same attitude, etc as Mike Heck. At least they could have changed it up a little bit. This show is off the season pass for us. Bye Abby.

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