Two new comedies use Brooklyn as both backdrop and character: The more serious-minded “I Just Want My Pants Back” (MTV; Aug. 28 sneak peek with an early 2012 premiere) and multi-cam sitcom “2 Broke Girls” (CBS; Sept. 19). Executive producer Doug Liman says “Pants” captures the “artistry” right now in Brooklyn, while “Girls” is more of a female buddy-comedy poking fun of slacker trust-fund kids.
Less Williamsburg and more twee is “New Girl” (Fox; Sept. 20). The crew behind this comedy refers to their lead as “adorkable” rather than cool, but c’mon — it stars Zooey Deschanel.
Meanwhile, “Up All Night” (NBC; Sept. 14 premiere) shows what happens when the cool kids grow up — and get knocked up. Will Arnett and Christina Applegate star as parents struggling to balance a new baby and their old lifestyle.
Blast from the past
Like “Mad Men” before them, three new dramas look to the 1950s/1960s for inspiration: “The Hour” (BBC America; Aug. 17 premiere), “The Playboy Club” (NBC; Sept. 19 premiere) and “Pan Am” (ABC; Sept. 25 premiere). All three are gorgeously produced with obvious attention to detail in wardrobe and set design, but only “The Hour” and “Pan Am” offer the same promise in storytelling.
“Terra Nova” (Fox; Sept. 26 premiere) gives viewers a different kind of time jump, sending Earthlings stuck on a dying planet in the year 2149 back to primeval times in a last-ditch effort to save civilization. The good news: Dinosaurs! The bad: Pedestrian acting and writing.
Male identity crisis
According to ABC, “real men” are a rare breed. The network’s new comedies “Last Man Standing” (Oct. 11 premiere) and “Man Up!” (Oct. 18 premiere) both attempt to gets laughs out of the idea that men who can’t change a flat tire or don’t wear flannel are emasculated. Even worse is the premise of “Work It” (midseason premiere), in which two guys dress as women to get jobs.
There’s more male paranoia in “Prime Suspect” (NBC; Sept. 22 premiere). Unapologetic sexism weighs down the drama’s pilot as detectives badger the lone woman on their squad.
The Television Critics Association press tour, a meeting of journalists and networks to preview new and returning series, kicked off last month. Follow our coverage online at www.metro.us/TV and on Twitter: @amberatmetro.