Snippet Wednesday 2013.40...
Happy anniversary...

Sitcoms 2013...

As I've stated before, Katie and I love sitcoms. After a long day of work, it's nice to laugh. And after exhausting ourselves (very happily, mind you) taking care of Nathan upon arriving home, half-hour sitcoms are about all we have the attention span or energy to watch.

So when a new big-four network TV season starts, we tend to tune into nearly all the new sitcoms to at least give them some kind of a chance. If, after two or three episodes, we don't like them, we stop watching. If we do like them, they remain as a season pass on our DVR. Although, sometimes, the networks themselves might trump our methodology, but you see where I'm going with it.

How about a recap of what we've seen so far?

CBS Sitcoms
CBS premiered four new sitcoms this fall - The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams, The Millers with Will Arnett, We Are Men with Tony Shalhoub, and Mom with Anna Faris.

  • The Crazy Ones isn't exactly great yet. I haven't been a Robin Williams fan in years as his tendency toward over-the-top humor grates on me. So, yes, I was hesitant about this show. But the promise of also being able to watch Sarah Michelle Gellar (as William's straight-laced daughter, no less), James Wolk (one of my favorite characters from this past season of Mad Men), and Hamish Linklater (who, along with Clark Gregg, was the only reason we kept watching The New Adventures of Old Christine), was just too much. The first episode was too much OTT Williams, but the second episode found him a bit calmer and with more of a focus on the other three actors. There's hope, I think.
  • The Millers is just another run-of-the-mill, laughtrack-laden sitcom. I've never been a big Will Arnett fan and the idea of his divorce leading to his parents separating and the "hilarity" that ensues may not really hold me for long. Maybe one or two more episodes before we decide for sure.
  • We Are Men is a show I was both looking forward to and dreading at the same time. "Looking forward to" because I love Tony Shalhoub and Kal Penn. "Dreading" because I can't stand Jerry O'Connell. We don't really have to worry as this show was cancelled by CBS last night.
  • Mom couldn't even nab our interest. We never bothered watching.

ABC Sitcoms
ABC premiered four new sitcoms this fall as well - The Goldbergs with Jeff Garlin, Super Fun Night with Rebel Wilson, Back in the Game with James Caan, and Trophy Wife with Malin Akermann.

  • The Goldbergs is based on the life of actor/director/writer Adam Goldberg and inspired by videotapes he made as a kid that he uncovered a few years back. It's a cute premise and has been executed decently so far. But I wonder how long until the "yelling-but-loving family" schtick gets old.
  • Super Fun Night held no appeal from the get-go although the ratings seem to be pretty strong so far.
  • Back in the Game suckered us in because of Maggie Lawson whom we love from Psych. Sadly, it's just another recycled family member moves back home thing and not all that original. Even with grumpy old pop James Caan in the recliner.
  • Trophy Wife just needs to die. It has its endearing moments every once in a while, but not nearly often enough to make it a must-watch.

NBC Sitcoms
NBC premiered three sitcoms all on Thursday to fill in the gaping holes in the now-beyond-antiquated "Must See TV" Thursday of the 90s. They are The Michael J. Fox Show starring, duh, MJF, Sean Saves the World starring Sean Hayes, and Welcome to the Family starring Mike O'Malley.

  • The Michael J. Fox Show is yet another one of those documentary style sitcoms made famous by The Office and Modern Family where you have action but it cuts to talking-head commentary from the "stars." The problem with this is that they mix in Fox's own Parkinson's Disease as a plotpoint/character all its own and you feel a bit uncomfortable laughing at it and Fox for suffering from it even though it's obvious he wants you to. Katie looked at me the other day and announced that she's ready to be done with the show if this week's episode isn't any better. I'm cool with that.
  • Sean Saves the World features my least favorite cast member from Will & Grace, Sean Hayes. And now we get to see him overacting as the focal character. I'll watch one or two more episodes.
  • Welcome to the Family was a show we didn't even want to watch. But we recorded the first episode and, shocker, really liked it. Mike O'Malley is a good actor and a decent leading man and it's cool to see Ricardo Antonio Chavira (formerly of Desperate Housewives) in a comedy. He's a good counterbalance to O'Malley's every-man in this Romeo & Juliet-esque love story about their two kids falling in love and having a baby right out of high school and how it affects their plans. My only complaint is that they make Molly (Ella Rae Peck) almost too dimwitted to be believable as the girlfriend of class valedictorian Junior (Joseph Haro). It doesn't matter how cute you are, if you're dumb, you're just dumb. Maybe, if the show lasts (which it's not looking like it will), they can tone that airheadedness down several notches like they did with Kaley Cuoco in The Big Bang Theory who started off similarly dim.

FOX Sitcoms
FOX only debuted two new sitcoms - Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Andy Samberg and Dads with Seth Green.

  • We watched one episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and knew we were done despite a cast that includes Andre Braugher and Terry Crews, both of whom I'm a fan. Alas...
  • Dads never stood a chance with us. Sorry, Seth. If we're not being suckered in by Mom, why would we buy into Dads?

Any favorites or skips from all of you?

Comments

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Marty Mankins

I've seen two episodes of The Michael J. Fox Show so far and I like it. I do see your point about laughing when you are not supposed to or having it feel unconformable, but I think MJF seems to be wanting to put out there what he has to deal with (and what others with Parkinson's deal with) on a daily basis. Plus, I pretty much have to like anything Marty McFly does, right? Seriously, it's a good mix of funny and clever that I like so far. I'll keep watching.

I have The Crazy Ones queued up here. Robin Williams is a hit or miss with me on his movie career so I'm mostly curious to see how he makes it work on TV after all these years (has he done anything since Mork and Mindy?)

kapgar


My other issue with Fox is that I'm getting burned on the doc style. Too many shows do it. I'm not sure Williams has been on TV since Mork. I may have to check IMDb. 

nicole

We're such opposites! I have no desire to watch The Goldbergs and deleted my season pass for Welcome to the Family after watching the 1st EP because I hated it. I do like Mom and Dads, but wouldn't be surprised if either one is cancelled sooner rather than later and wouldn't cry over it either.

kapgar


Wow. Total opposites. Dang. 

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