Freeform’s entrance into Marvel, Cloak & Dagger, makes a standout appearance in its official trailer. The footage sets up the entire series premise as expected, but gives a world that feels right at home with the network’s flagship series while still feeling fresh and pushing into where the channel wants to evolve as they say goodbye to fans who grew up watching Pretty Little Liars, and attempt to entice a new generation. That’s not to say this series won’t appeal to twenty and thirty-something millennials as well though! On the contrary, the trailer starts off with throwback vibes to the Julia Stiles film Save the Last Dance as it combines hip-hop and ballet, and with Gina Prince-Bythewood at the helm of the pilot you know this series is a lot more than your typical sudsy, teen romance.
Meet your new favorite comedy series that you had no idea you needed or wanted. The show is Alone Together from The Lonely Island crew (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone of SNL) and while it’s set up as a young When Harry Met Sally, following a platonic friendship, the trailer’s vibe feels more like Girls-meets-Mad About You (without the romantic involvement) as it follows two best friends in their twenties with a never-ending well of deadpan zingers to hurl at one another. Freeform (and its previous incarnation ABC Family) have had several strong comedies over the years that had small followings but never found a breakout hit. Expect that to finally change when Alone Together finally premieres in 2018.
Much like the coming-of-age ladies the show centers around, the trailer for The Bold Type is still finding itself. With the announcement of the show last development season, the dramedy felt like it would be in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada and Sex in the City, so fun and smart but not necessarily in step with millennials. That element is definitely hear, but the best part about this trailer is when its three lead characters confidently take action or declare what they want, even if it’s in defiance of one another. I have to wonder how much the emergence of Teen Vogue‘s political writing and its breakout writers like Lauren Duca (who famously stood up to Tucker Carlson’s dismissal of Teen Vogue) effected the direction this show too, or if the writers’ room was instinctually already on that path. Either way, this series is looking like the fun, feminist ride to replace the void left by Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt.
Of all of Freeform’s new offerings, Siren may be both the most expected and surprising. The trailer has the eerie tone of Pretty Little Liars mixed with the genre-fare of Dead of Summer. The former was a breakout hit but the latter never fully clicked with viewers. I expect this will be a big hit for the network, if only for the fact that the trailer shows someone try to take advantage of the titular character and she instantly slays him. It looks dark, defiant of similar shows that came before, and clearly knows its audience.
Emily J | TV Editor