CBS doesn’t have to work too hard to redefine its brand. They’re the No. 1 network right now. They’ve got the No. 1 comedy with Big Bang Theory. Who can blame them if they have not one, not two, but three new comedies about dudes who are trying to be dudes at a time when it’s just so hard to be a dude? As the network expands from one two-hour comedy block to two blocks this fall, it’s sticking with a broad sensibility at a time when Netflix, Amazon, and cable channels are making darker, more niche fare. CBS is selling these series with big names like Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc, but the concepts behind some of them are so dated, I couldn’t help but mentally erase the actors’ faces and replace them with Last Man Standing‘s Tim Allen. Fortunately, the dramas are slightly more compelling. Here’s your quick-reaction, not-meant-to-be-a-lasting-opinion takes on both promising and not-so-promising trailers, all starring white guys of a certain age.
Fridays, 8 p.m. ET
Do you really want to know the origin story of Angus “Mac” MacGyver (Lucas Till)? Wouldn’t it ruin the magic a little if, say, we discovered that, back when he was in his 20s, the world’s most resourceful agent knew the best way to use a bent paper clip in a top-secret mission simply because his dad taught him how? This prequel allows us to watch our hero learn everything he knows as he joins a strategic task force for a clandestine government organization. Expect incredibly detailed answers to questions like this one: “MacGyver! MacGyver! How did you escape from your terrorist holding cell?” Expect explosions, samurai moves, flaming arrows, and plenty of parachuting. Expect MacGyver to save the day using only bubblegum and a Q-tip. Just don’t expect to think too hard.