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Pitch Your Show - Part C (H-J)





Welcome to the third set of pitches. Today we celebrate shows H-J. Links to the previous days’ pitches can be found below. Chances are that this will be the smallest list of pitches. Why so small compared to the massive number of pitches on the previous days? It’s simply because 3 of these shows practically meet the number of characters allowed in the labels on their own: The Haunting of Hill House, How to Get Away with Murder, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So on the night of massively titled pitches, I hope you find one or two to sample.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped with the pitches. To keep the articles shorter and more readable, all pitches were edited for length, clarity, and grammar. Nominations were also limited to 3 per show with a couple very popular shows having more. I am truly sorry if your nomination is not in here. Know that I appreciate your time and pitches. Making the choice of what went in was difficult. After all sections are posted, I will include a link to the original spreadsheet so you can read them all in their unedited entirety.


Pitches - Part A
Pitches - Part B



The Handmaid’s Tale:
3 seasons, 36 episodes (counting this summer’s episodes)
Hulu

"Praise be!” That’s how you greet people in the nation of Gilead. Believe or not, with the anti-abortion movements reaching horrific heights, women’s rights eroding, and a misogynistic president sitting in the White House, the lines between current-day US and the harrowing realities of Gilead are starting to blur. “Handmaid’s” is about a country led by a religious, totalitarian regime that classifies its citizens, especially the women. Handmaids are fertile women that are forced to bear children for the leaders, known as the Commanders, the highest ranked men in Gilead. Elisabeth Moss leads the pack with a career-defining, maybe even TV-defining, performance as June Osbourne, a broken yet rebellious woman whose enslavement doesn’t eat up her strength to fight back. The rest of the cast is just as immaculate, with Ann Dowd and Yvonne Strahovski sending chills down your spine as Aunt Lydia and Serena Joy Waterford, and Alexis Bledel delivering a heartbreaking turn as Emily. The otherworldly cinematography is some of the best on TV, the score is dream-like yet downright terrifying, and the writing is absolutely superb. It’s an incredibly tough sit, but it’s such powerful television. So may the lord open this show to you! (Missions)



Hang Ups:
1 season, 6 episodes
CBC Gem, Hulu
Hang Ups is a British dramedy starring Stephen Mangan, who gives a fervent performance as Richard, the patriarch of an ever-growing family. A once thriving therapist who was forced to quit after suffering a nervous breakdown of his own, he begins an at-home practice from the comfort of his living room and uses his laptop to Skype therapy sessions with his former clients and some brand new ones. Meanwhile, everything else in his life is in shambles. His wife may or may not be getting too close to a coworker, his daughter and son are always off doing God knows what, his own therapist is constantly grilling him for information, and a patient is later revealed to be a bit more dangerous than originally thought. With quirky, absurdist humour and hilarious situations that you can watch as an escape from your own troubles, this show is remarkably short at only a 6 episode freshman season, perfect for a nice and easy binge. It does end in a series of astonishing cliffhangers, which is almost another commentary at the absurdity of life and how closure can be so difficult to come by. There's still hope for another season someday, though. (LauraLoo)



Harlots:
2 seasons, 16 episodes
Hulu

Harlots is like The Handmaid's Tale but there's way more bows on the costumes and the female characters have much more power. Actually this show has very little in common with Hulu's favorite child. Few shows can so deftly balance wit, raunch, tragedy, humor, and a killer cast with the aplomb that Harlots does. The show has wigs, fuchsia gowns, schemes, and murders. To address the powdered elephant in the bedchamber, there is also sex happening...in the background. It's the wallpaper of the show and the foundation of its characters' commerce, but it’s not gratuitous though. The characters, most of whom are women (there has never been more interesting women and talented actresses in one TV show), carve out a place in society for themselves through their pluck and backstabbing. Come for Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, and Jessica Brown Findlay's saucy, ferocious performances and cutting one-liners. Stay for the entire array of lovable characters. You won't mind getting your hem dirty by going for a walk with this naughty, wonderful show that has plenty of thought intertwined with its sass. (Ellys)



Hart of Dixie:
4 seasons, 76 episodes
CW Seed, Netflix

Hart of Dixie chronicles the story of Dr. Zoe Hart, a promising big city doctor, who after a bout of bad luck in her career and her personal life decides to join the practice of a small town physician in the middle of nowhere Alabama. Learning some long lost secrets about herself in the process, she’s a big city Yankee girl, in a small southern town. You can only imagine the humour that ensues. This adorable “fish out of water” romantic dramedy is reminiscent of the classic WB shows of old and uses its built-in strengths to their full extent: Rachel Bilson’s disarming easy charm and effortless on-screen charisma, a zany little town with crazy but lovable locals, and some dreamy men to ogle at. The supremely talented cast, Wilson Bethel in particular, only help to elevate those elements. However it’s the show’s strong writing, with its consistent character development and cohesive narrative that really sets it apart. The way it also navigates some of the genre’s worse tropes (love triangles and will-they-won’t-they drama) simply works to its benefit. (Folie-lex)



The Haunting of Hill House:
1 season, 10 episodes
Netflix

Hauntingly beautiful is the best way to describe this show, so much Stephen King himself called it a masterpiece. In 1992, the Crane family went through a terrifying experience at Hill House that resulted in the death of one of their own. The five Crane kids and their estranged father grew up defined by the tragedy, becoming who they are for better or worse. When another member of the family dies 26 years later, the Cranes are forced to confront their past, face their demons, and ultimately return to where it all began. Amidst the heart racing terror, this show does a superb job of blending an in-depth look into the state of the human mind and the connections and conflict created by haunted and broken individuals. Watching the Crane family come to terms with one another over the tragedy is just as interesting as the paranormal phenomenon behind it. (The North Remembers)

When I first read up on “The Haunting of Hill House,” I thought it’d be an easy pass: another horror series plagued by unnecessary jump scares, gratuitous violence and twists that I could smell from a mile away? No, thank you. But after I saw the opening ten minutes, I realized that this was an ambitious, non-typical horror show that was going to delve into the characters it presented to us. There’s not all too much I can say about the show without spoiling major developments, but it’s one of my favorite shows of 2018. It’s a dark, exhilarating, character-driven drama, where the horror is rooted in the tragic fallout of certain events that occur at Hill House. Director (of all ten episodes) and writer Mike Flanagan is an absolute genius who does the impossible by defying all horror genre clichés. The cast is an embarrassment of riches, from leading lady Carla Gugino to all its supporting players, including arguable standouts Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel and Victoria Pedretti. There’s not much more I can say, but keep an eye out for episodes five and six, which are some of the most outlandishly good episodes of TV that I have ever seen. (Missions)



Haven:
5 seasons, 78 episodes
Netflix

Before Once Upon a Time, Haven was the original “quiet little town with a big mystery” show. Based on The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, FBI agent Audrey Parker arrives in the town of Haven for a routine assignment only to realize the secret behind the seemingly quaint town and its people. There are supernatural afflictions called Troubles that breed chaos and destruction, and these afflictions seem to have a connection to Audrey. Over time, Audrey discovers more to the town and how the place may be the key to her past and ultimately her future. Haven is a fascinating, supernatural mystery show that keeps you guessing or if you just need something of the same vein as Once. (The North Remembers)



House MD:
8 seasons, 176 episodes
Amazon Prime

I hate medical dramas, not because of the genre but because everything I have seen since this show paled in comparison. None of the doctors were as memorable or compelling as Gregory House, a medical genius who lacks a good bedside manner. He will figure out what ails a patient and how to treat it but along the way he will do things that will shock and even disgust his patients and colleagues. House is a painkiller addict but a brilliant diagnostician, who hates dealing with people he feels are beneath him. To him, it’s more about the mystery illness that his patient suffers than their well being. His team originally consists of the eager Chase (Jesse Spencer), Foreman who reigns House in, the good-hearted Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) who puts patients first, and Wilson, the only friend House will ever confide in or go out of his way for. House solves the most baffling medical cases in the direst of circumstances and, despite being an all around jerk, will show rare instances of humanity. (The North Remembers)



How to Get Away with Murder:
5 seasons, 75 episodes
Netflix, ABC

When someone asks me what‘s so great about “How to Get Away With Murder,” I don’t initially know how to answer? Is it the unpredictable twists thrown at viewers left and right, the incredibly juicy dialogue, or the fully realized characters? My ultimate answer: all of that, but most of all, the performance by leading lady Viola Davis, who plays Annalise Keating, a brilliant lawyer who buries her struggles under the mask she wears every single day. “Murder” is a show that didn’t have a great trailer and didn’t initially spark my interest; I didn’t need another show about college students and their sex lives. Thankfully though, “Murder” wasn’t that show at all. If you’re looking for something that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat and your eyes glued to the screen, this is the perfect show. It incorporates a murder mystery, crime thriller, and character drama into one fabric. I promise you won’t be able to smell the twists from a mile away, but what arguably stands out most is how daring this show can be, whether it’s a woman going to bed without makeup or a gay couple front and center. (Missions)



In Plain Sight:
5 seasons, 61 episodes
Amazon Prime

Another of USA Network’s earlier lighthearted shows is part dramedy and part mystery of the week. Mary Shannon is a sassy, prickly, take no crap US Marshal, who helps deal with the people in witness protection from court witnesses to criminals. Mary helps them get situated in their new lives, while protecting them from the many who want them dead. In addition, she also has to contend with her overbearing, recovering alcoholic mother and her equally problematic sister, who constantly drag Mary into their issues that are more trouble than they’re worth. Mary perseveres, knowing she’ll be able to get through it with the support of her partner and confidant Marshal Marshall (yes, a US Marshal named Marshall). With cheeky humor and probably the best platonic TV relationship I have ever seen, this show is a must watch. (The North Remembers)



The InBetween:
1 season, 10 episodes (counting this summer’s episodes)
NBC, Hulu

Creepy yet heartfelt, this supernatural crime drama can go from making your blood run cold to making you feel sentimental in an instant. Cassie Bedford is a psychic medium who can see and talk to the spirits of people trapped in the InBeween, a veil between the living world and the next. She helps the dead find closure or at least justice, being their voice and confidant. In addition to those already gone, Cassie also helps those who can be saved, using her gift to assist her supportive police detective father (Arrow’s Paul Blackthone). Unlike The Ghost Whisperer, the show also has dark elements. In addition to victims, Cassie is also haunted by more unscrupulous spirits like that of an executed murderer who helps her understand her powers more in exchange for her help in moving on. (The North Remembers)



Instinct:
2 seasons, 26 episodes (counting this summer’s episodes)
CBS All Access

CBS decided to do the unthinkable last year: team up with Alan Cumming, the legend, to create the first gay male lead on a network drama. They also, unprecedentedly, renewed it for a second season despite dismal ratings. Indeed, all other broadcast networks should hang their hats in shame. But is it actually good? The short answer is that it's so bad that it's good. It's a magnificently dumb show. It basically has two pilots. It has a bunch of cookie-cutter character development. Dylan rides a motorcycle. He's writing a book and his publicist is Whoopi Goldberg. But Dylan and Andy's relationship? That's your real reason to watch. Their marriage is so refreshing. It's a pre-established relationship that cleverly and thankfully means that they avoid having to have enervating coming out scenes and that awful will-they-won't-they trope between the main male and female leads that cannot die out soon enough. Their chemistry is so well realized and adorable. There was even a regular procedural episode at one point that was wall-to-wall intersectional and inspiring. I would recommend to watch the show, and call it what it is: a guilty pleasure with immense potential to be even more someday. (LauraLoo)

To be honest, I never watch a show because of inclusion or representation. I either like a show or I don’t. It either sparks my interest or it doesn’t.  I do love how Instinct nullifies stale shipping tropes, and I agree that scenes with Dylan and Andy are a highlight, but mainly because Andy makes Dylan less obnoxious.  For me, the secondary characters - Julian, Andy, and Lou - are way better than the mains. I also agree that the first season had rough spots, but I would never call the show “dumb.” There are too many annoying filler scenes trying to make Dylan a hip Sherlock, but the cases are interesting, the secondary characters are fun, and there are some serialized elements. Instinct feels like a cross between Perception and Elementary, not bad for a summer show. It even has some good character growth in the lead female, Lizzie. Basically, if you like procedurals with some serial elements, chances are that you will like this gap show too. (Dahne)



It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
13 seasons, 143 episodes
Hulu

Name me 10 shows set to air their 14th season that are still capable of producing content that is on par with the absolute best they are capable of. Then throw Sunny at the top of that dwindling list. Yes, it's true, Sunny is not for the faint of heart. This is a show about the most deplorable people. They say disgusting things, do disgusting things, and they are disgusting people. If that's a problem for you, then it may not be the show for you. If you can stomach these things, then there's a lot to love. Not to say it's all bad. It has one of the best coming out stories of all time, and some of the best acted work from a comedy is on display. I would truly call Sunny the king of comedy; it's the longest running sitcom that FX has ever aired. It's also one of the most quotable media on the planet. It's a really easy binge once you start; the seasons just start flying by. I promise, if you can look the other way on some vulgarity, like Arrested Development, Archer, South Park, etc., it's some of the most fantastic TV out there. (LauraLoo)



iZombie:
5 seasons, 61 episodes (counting this summer’s episodes)
CW Seed, Netflix

iZombie is a new take on the zombie genre that is fast-paced, quirky, and just all around fun. Liv Moore is scratched and turns into a brain-craving zombie the night of a yacht party. Now working as an ME for the police, Liv discovers that she has the ability to gain the memories, personality, and skills of the deceased person whose brain she eats, allowing her to help solve their murders. Working alongside her is her eccentric boss Ravi and Detective Clive Babineaux. Liv tries to keep her secret from her roommate, Peyton, and her ex-fiancée, Major. As the series progresses, Liv learns there are others like her and that not all of them are as friendly as she is. Also, the accident that turned her into a zombie may not have been an accident after all. (The North Remembers)



John Doe:
1 season, 22 episodes
YouTube (pilot), maybe Hulu

The intro blurb from Wikipedia describes the premise of this show so neatly. “I woke up in an island off the coast of Seattle. I didn't know how I got there...or who I was. But I did seem to know everything else. There were things about me I didn't understand ... the brand, being colorblind, extreme claustrophobia. And while my gifts provided answers for others, I still search for my own. My name is John Doe.” Each week John would receive a clue to his identity, usually in the form of an item or person that appeared to him in full color. It was a great effect that always made me play closer attention when each episode started. When John wasn’t pulling at those threads, he would use his special knowledge to help the police solve crimes that ranged from theft to murder. The key to the success of this show was Dominic Purcell’s portrayal of John Doe. He had chemistry with everyone he shared the screen with. If you enjoy cop shows and intriguing mysteries, I strongly recommend this show. Be warned though, it was canceled in the middle of a cliffhanger. (Prpleight)




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