LOS ANGELES — For two weeks, I’d been seeing shows that promised to be fresh or fun or edgy or some other good thing.
And then, on the final day of the Television Critics Association tour, I saw my new favorite show. It’s called “Perfect Harmony” and it’s a perfectly harmonious blend of comedy, warmth and music.
Now, I’ll admit that:
— We’ll have to wait a while. This will be 8:30 p.m. Thursdays on NBC, starting Sept. 26.
— There are other worthy newcomers. On the comedy side, I especially like “Bob (heart) Abishola,” a low-key pleasure from Chuck Lorre, the “Big Bang” and “Mom” producer. Promising dramas include ABC’s gritty “Stumptown” and Fox’s “Almost Family.” Cable has lots of strong things, including two shows that aren’t for everyone, but are perfectly crafted – AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” (starting Aug. 12) and Showtime’s “Work in Progress,” which has the handmade quality of FX’s “Better Things.”
— And there’s the non-fiction side from National Geographic, Discovery, BBC America and PBS – which showed us some great documentaries. That included ones on Woodstock (already aired, Aug. 6), Joe McCarthy and – especially – Ken Burns’ brilliant “Country Music,” which starts Sept. 15.
— And yes, sometimes shows can’t live up to their pilots. But “Perfect Harmony” is off to a great start.
Bradley Whitford has been doing op work ever since “The West Wing,” but this is new for him. He plays a music conductor, a former Princeton prof, now widowed and suicidal … until he’s saved by church music.
Not good church music, but enthusiastic stuff so badly rendered that he must stay on this planet to correct it. He’s soon working with his opposites, a rag-tag bunch played by one familiar actor (Anna Camp of the “Pitch Perfect” films, shown here with Whitford) and lots of newcomers. In particular, you’ll like Geno Segers, a mountain with the body and the voice of Paul Robeson.
For this first half-hour (well, 22 minutes plus commercials), at least, NBC has a perfect comedy.