Great News Series Premiere Review

The final new show of the regular season is Great News, coming from people who have spent some time at NBC: creator Tracey Wigfield served as a writer and producer on 30 Rock, Tina Fey, star and creator of 30 Rock, is an executive producer, along with Robert Carlock and David Miner, who also executive produced 30 Rock, and Miner also executive produced Parks and Recreation and The Good Place.

S1E1 "Pilot"

The episode begins with news producer Katie talking on the phone to her mother Carol. This quickly introduces us to the characters, their relationship, and what Katie wants: to stop producing fluff pieces, and produce real news. At a funeral, Katie and Carol hear about how the person who died had dreams, and this leads to both of them wanting to pursue their dreams. Katie pushes to produce a lead story, and she gets the chance. Carol decides to go back to school, which involves an internship at Katie's news program. We have our premise all set up, end of act one. The show is efficient story-wise thus far. Also, the jokes about Carol's treatment of her husband are very funny.

The executive producer gives Carol the job so he won't be accused of ageism, and it's funny when he refers to Carol as "an old". Katie doesn't like Carol working with her, and ends up lying to her to get her fired. That's farther than I would expect her to go. Meanwhile, Katie also deals with the fact that the hurricane she was covering got downgraded, and won't be the lead story. Carol stands up to Chuck, the anchor, and gets him to do what she wants him to, so instead of getting fired, the executive producer loves her. However, Carol quits.

Katie goes to get Carol back, and when she does she remembers what she was told, that a good producer knows when to ditch a lead story. Katie switches from the hurricane story to one about baby boomers re-entering the workforce. It ends up being successful, of course, and at the end Katie tells Carol that she wants her there. The steps to each of these resolutions are fairly unclear, but that is likely because it has to set things up. The final joke of the episode is very funny, about how Carol can't come into work the next day because two gays on her soap are getting married.

S1E2 "Bear Attack"

On a slow news day, Katie gets a story about a bear at Central Park. However, Carol becomes worried that this could be dangerous. It is hilarious when she searches online for an answer to her question. Carol takes steps to keep Katie from going to report on the bear, while not telling Katie that she doesn't want her to go. There are some amusing moments here. Meanwhile, executive producer Greg try to get the anchors Chuck and Portia to add some banter in add the end of the show. Carol and Katie actually get pretty funny when Katie realizes that Carol is keeping her from reporting on the story.

Chuck attempts at banter, but it's funny when he is bad at it. Greg works with them on this, and it's hilarious when they banter about the show they are competing against, as it is the one thing they have in common. Carol helps Katie ride a bike, and I love when Carol tells the cameraman to film this. Greg gets the banter he wants, though they are actually talking about different things, which I found very funny. The episode, like the first one, ended with a great joke, as Carol sits down to tell Chuck what she learned today, and he tells her they aren't that close.

In the first episode, most of the jokes rely on people going farther than you would expect them to, and sadly they weren't that strong. There were a couple of good jokes in the episode, but that can't make up for its flaws, such as how the stories weren't very fleshed out. The stories were a bit better in the second episode, though the main story was a bit typical. The last few minutes of that episode were easily the funniest part of the entire hour, as this is when the jokes really hit. Great News isn't off to a great start, but it's off to a good enough one with these first two episodes.

Score: 6/10 (episode 1)

Score: 7.5/10 (episode 2)

What did you think of "Pilot" and "Bear Attack"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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