Saturday, September 15, 2012

TV Pilot Marathon: Episode 1: New NBC Comedies

    Now, I know I said this would be an Adam McKay movie marathon, but that has been pushed back to November (I have something nightmarish planned for October). However, this month I wanted to take a look at the new pilot episodes for all the new shows starting this television season. In our first episode, let's take a look at three of NBC newest comedies, The New Normal, Guys With Kids and Go On.

The New Normal- The newest show from Glee and American Horror Story Ryan Murphy, New Normal follows Goldie (Georgia King) as she helps gay couple David (The Hangover's Justin Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells) by being the surrogate mother to their child. Alongside her own daughter Shania (Bebe Wood), her racist mother Jane (Ellen Barkin) and Bryan's assistant Rocky (NeNe Leakes), they create a "new normal" for families.
   All and all, not bad. The most hyped of NBC new comedy line up, the show is pretty good. I mean, the humor is there and is does work. The cast is very good and  aren't as stereotypical as they could have been. But, I don't know. The whole thing just feels been there done that. The jokes were funny, but nothing too funny or that I haven't heard before. And the premise is interesting, but takes the predictable way out of most of it. Is Goldie a push over who becomes confident in the end? Do David and Bryan argue over who's sperm it should be? Are there other, weird surrogate mothers for David and Bryan to get through before getting to Goldie? Is the sky blue and is this show predictable? Yes, yes it is. The New Normal gets 4 stars out of 6.

Guys With Kids- Produced by Jimmy Fallon, Guys With Kids is probably the most traditional sitcom on TV now outside of Whitney. The show follows a group of guys friends, who, you guessed it, have kids. Gary (The often funny Anthony Anderson) is the stay-at-home dad to four kids,whose wife Marny (Tempestt Bledsoe), works all day. Nick (Zach Cregger, giving me horrible Miss March nightmares) is a working dad, whose wife Emily (Jamie Lynn-Sigler) stays with the kids. And Chris (Jesse Bradford) is the divorced one, who controlling ex-wife Sheila (Erinn Hayes) constantly bickers with him.
    It's alright. Though, if New Normal was predictable, then this show is a Nostradamus prediction. You don't even need to know about the show to guess what's going to happen. Just off of the title alone, you can figure out the jokes and the plot points. It still works though. I did laugh watching the show and I do think that the cast is spot on. That said, the show is probably not gonna make it out of 2012, let alone get a second season. Guys With Kids gets 3 and a half stars out of 6.

Go On- Now, I should mention that I didn't get a chance to see the pilot, but I did see the second episode,so this is a review on that. Matthew Perry is back on NBC in this new show. He plays Ryan King, a radio sportscaster whose joins a therapy group after his wife Janie (Christine Woods) dies. Lead by Lauren (Laura Benanti), Ryan and the rest of the group, which includes the blind George (Bill Cobbs), Owen (Everybody Loves Chris's Tyler James Williams) a teenager whose brother is in a coma and Sonia (Sarah Baker), whose cat has died.
    Perry is in full force in this series. He has hardly lost a beat since Friends and is great in this show. If only the rest of the show was as good as him. Sure, the humor is inoffensive and can get a chuckle or two out of you. And sure, the rest of the cast is good, but not that great. But what kills the show for me is the pacing. Never before have I seen a show where they set up a storyline in the very beginning of the episode and resolve it before the first ten minutes are over. The second episode features a story where a lonely Ryan forces his assistant Carrie (Terra Nova's Allison Miller) to stay and hang out with him. The conflict is resolves after just the first commercial break. It's strange. So, while I have to commend the show for it's dark and interesting story (This does, after all, deal heavily with traumatic events), the show unfortunately is just too weirdly paced and unmemorable to be worth watching again and again. Go On gets 3 stars out of 6.

So overall, I'll probably keep watching New Normal (Which will mostly likely get a full season), give Guys With Kids another shot (Though it probably won't survive) and skip Go On. 

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