Fall TV Preview
Valor Pilot Preview

Fall TV First Impression: The CW's Valor

The broadcast networks have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall, including The Orville‘s maiden space voyage, ABC’s rapping Mayor, David Boreanaz’s SEAL drama and NBC’s “true” new Law & Order. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | The CW’s Valor (Mondays at 9/8c, premiering Oct. 9)

THE COMPETITION | ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, NBC’s The Voice, CBS’ Kevin Can Wait/Me, Myself & I (new) and Fox’s The Gifted (new)

RELATED Read Our First Impressions of ABC’s The Mayor and The Good Doctor, CBS’ SEAL Team and Young Sheldon, and The CW’s Dynasty

THE CAST | Matt Barr (Hellcats), Christina Ochoa (Animal Kingdom), Charlie Barnett (Chicago Fire), W. Trè Davis (Shades of Blue), Corbin Reid (How to Get Away With Murder), Nigel Thatch (Selma) and Melissa Roxburgh (Star Trek Beyond).

THE SET-UP | Barr and Ochoa star as Captain Leland Gallo and Warrant Officer Nora Madani, elite Army helicopter pilots who conceal a dark truth when a mission in Somalia goes sideways, leaving crew chief Jimmy Kam (Davis) behind. Barnett plays Madani’s boyfriend/First Lieutenant Ian Porter, while Thatch, Reid and Roxburgh costar as an Army commander, Kam’s wife and a CIA investigator.

RELATEDFall TV Poll: Which New Shows Are YOU Most Looking Forward To?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | Yes, this seems like an odd (whirly)bird for The CW… when viewed as a straight military drama. But rest assured, the pilot seeds enough soapy elements (including one of the more vivid sex scenes in recent CW memory) to rouse the Gossip Girl crowd. In fact, I would argue that Valor‘s biggest liability may be its lofty, righteous-sounding title, when a snippet of dialogue — “blurred lines” — jumped out at me as offering a juicier, more apropos hook.

Among the cast of seven, maybe one-and-a-half characters — primarily Ochoa’s conflicted, dutiful pilot — are meaningfully established within the pilot, while at least one peripheral player comes off as amusingly CW-ified. But with some ironing out of any casting kinks (and the probable, eventual addition of an older, “name” actor), there is some potential here, more so than I thought after viewing just the trailer. Fun fact: Looking at Gallo, it would seem that Barry Allen traveled to the future to confirm that by October, the Army will have followed through on lifting its beard ban.

RELATED Fall TV Schedule: What’s on When? And Versus What?

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | A military drama amid so many superheroes, supernatural beings and comedic romantics? You can’t kvetch about The CW’s #DCTV O.D. and in the same breath chide the network for branching out. At the end of the day, the only pertinent question is: Will Valor pair better with Supergirl than Jane the Virgin did? With savvy marketing/promotion — playing up the cover-up and how it leads Gallo/Madani down a taboooo path — it just might.

Watch the highly spoilery trailer for Valor, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. fightfan3 says:

    As of this posting, the poll is at 52.94% saying “No thank you”. Not a good sign IMO.

  2. Ray says:

    Hard pass.

  3. Gospino says:

    It sounds better than I expected.

  4. Tea says:

    I know Melissa Roxburgh from high school, that’s probably the only reason I’d watch a few episodes.

  5. Patrick says:

    The army typically waives the “beard ban” for special operations units.

  6. Shaun says:

    I don’t think even the air force would allow a scruffy beard like that,lol.

  7. herman1959 says:

    No. I have no interest in sticking around to find out about the coverup.

  8. Phillip says:

    This looks terrible. Terribly acted and written. It’s a bit laughable.

  9. Sarah G says:

    Looks AWFUL. Sorry Matt, but I’m totally gonna kvetch at them when branching out looks this crappy. Like, I’ve been desperate for them *to* branch out bc DC over-saturation + simultaneous nose-dive in quality killed my interest in those shows – but Valor looks beyonnnd bad. Bad acting (even from the usually decent Matt Barr), bad writing, bad everything. Neck and neck with Dynasty as the worst trailer I’ve watched for the new season by a lonnnng shot. CW, I was rooting for you.gif.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      By all means, kvetch. #BecauseInternet

      • Sarah G says:

        Lol sorry, believe it or not I’m usually more about positivity on these here interwebs, I’m just verrrrry disappointed with a lot of the choices the CW is making lately. In the spirit of positivity tho, I’ll repeat what I said on another fall preview article, which is that I really appreciate you guys doing these previews for us – thx!!!! :)

  10. Kevin Tran says:

    SKIP IT. Won’t last that long :-(

  11. Lysh says:

    I’ll check it out even though it’s completely not my thing. I’ll already be sitting down for Supergirl.

  12. Mary T says:

    I have no problems with the CW branching out, I do watch iZombie. They just haven’t shown me anything I want to see outside of the superhero shows besides iZombie.

  13. Dominique says:

    I’ll pass. nothing about the trailer has me excited, it just makes all the characters look insufferable. i might feel differnetly if they would out a different, better trailer, but so far.. no thank you.

  14. kmw says:

    There is a lot of military shows right coming on and I hope the CW can make this work but I have a feeling this will be the first one to go by the wayside

  15. Ally Oop says:

    In a lacklustre year for fall new shows (the bulk of the best-looking new shows next season won’t appear till midseason) Valour is one of the better-looking new shows for this fall. A longtime CW fangirl, I give almost every new CW show at least a two episode gander so I will check it out for sure.

  16. Vince says:

    Why is that hobo wearing a military outfit?

  17. Lyndy says:

    My interest was piqued when I saw the words Gossip Girl & Soap…will def give it a try. I’m so ready for something else other than superheros on CW…So far I’ve officially dropped Arrow, I still have about 18 episodes of TF to catch up on and 6 or so LOT eps as well.

  18. Bradley Laing says:

    Matt, I am really [mathmatical symbol for cubed here] interested in the pilots for “Reverie,” “Marvel’s Inhumans,” “The Crossing” and the magician turned FBI consultant show “Deception.”

    Will you review them?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Midseason. Not released. Midseason. And midseason. (Fall pilots get previewed first, during summer. ) .

      • Bradley Laing says:

        I am grateful fro your reply. But I have seen articles saying that “Marvel’s Inhumans” finished production in hawaii, of 8 episodes. I assume they have to do post-production work before sending you either not-for-review screeners or for review episodes of “Marvel”s Inhumans.”

        But if they picked up a series for mid-season, do television critics see it at the long Press Tour in August?

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Yes, I have several midseason DVDs on my desk as we speak. Just not a priority by any means.

  19. fernando933 says:

    Seems like the first cancel show of the season

  20. M3rc_Nate says:

    When it comes to military dramas I want authenticity (and minimal soap) and that isn’t going to happen on The CW. So no, I MIGHT check out the pilot but I basically won’t watch this series.

  21. Sydthekid says:

    Not my cuppa. Too many CW shows look promising and then end up in the garbage bin.

  22. Erika says:

    I’m a very reluctant maybe. Which means I’m expecting to shut off the pilot halfway through. I’m not a huge fan of military/law-enforcement programs (there are far too many of them anymore), but if it’s really well done, I’ll give it more of a chance. I watch too many shows, so I need to cut back on the new things. This seems like a likely candidate for skipping, but we’ll see.

  23. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    I’ll probably watch. Nothing else worth watching on Mondays after Supergirl is over now that Fox has moved Lucifer to 8:00 pm/