Thursday, September 27, 2012

TV Pilot Marathon: Episode 3: Partners, Ben and Kate, The Mindy Project and The Neighbors

    Today, the TV Pilot marathon continues with reviews of four of the news comedies this year, Partners, Ben and Kate, The Mindy Project and The Neighbors.

Partners (Mondays, 8:30, CBS)- CBS's new sitcom to join the ranks of Rob, Worst Week and The Captain, Partners is about as interesting as a blank piece of paper. It follows Joe (Numbers's David Krumholtz), who is getting engaged to girlfriend Ali (Sophia Bush) and Louis (Michael Urie), who is date male nurse Wyatt (Brandon Routh). Joe and Louis have been best friends their entire life and work together at an architecture firm. Hyjinks ensue.
    Saying Partners is anything more than completely uniteresting is a lie. Just read the premise. Does that remotely sound interesting? The show certainly doesn't. This is one of those comedies where I'm not sure if the writers just aren't making jokes or the jokes just aren't funny. I mean, it's mostly harmless, but then again, so is Earth. The cast isn't that interested either. I haven't seen a TV show where the actors were this aware they were acting in a long time. When a scene ends with two characters just walking of screen, somethings gone wrong. Partners gets 2 stars out of 6.

Ben and Kate (Tuesdays, 8:30, Fox)- One of Fox's two new hyped-up comedies being paired with awesome hits New Girl and Raising Hope, Ben and Kate is so far the only pilot I have as of yet seen that I would watch a full season of off the pilot alone. The show follows Ben Fox (Oscar winner Nat Faxon), a dreamer who returns home to visit his sister, Kate (Dakota Johnson) and Kate's daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones). After a run in with an ex and breaking up Kate and a loser, Ben decides to stay to help Kate raise Maddie, while Kate tries to bring Ben back down to Earth.
    Ben and Kate is an honestly sweet, surprisingly funny show with a great cast. Now, granted, the pilot episode wasn't the best I've ever seen. It wasn't incredibly funny (Sans one part about a U-turn), but it was solid. The premise might get old quick, but then again I thought the same thing about New Girl and Raising Hope, and I love both those shows (By the way, both of their premieres were great). But the pilot was undeniably entertaining and is enough to make me watch a few more episodes. Ben and Kate gets 4 and a half stars out of 6.

The Mindy Project (Tuesdays, 9:30, Fox)- The other new mega-hyped comedy Fox has paired with New Girl and Raising Hope, The Mindy Project is a project that gets a failing grade. The show follows Mindy (Mindy Kaling), a doctor who has been obsessed with romantic comedies since she was a kid and now dreams of her life being a romantic comedy. However, when the love of her life marries someone else, Mindy realizes things are as easy as they are in the movies. In her life, their's a doctor she hates, Danny (Chris Messina), a doctors she's sleeping with Jeremy (Ed Weeks) and her best friend Gwen (Anna Camp).
    The biggest downfall of The Mindy Project is the worst possible downfall for a comedy to have: it's just not funny. Of course, since comedy is subjective, the show is in my opinion not funny. I see the jokes being made and I just don't laugh. Maybe it's because they're bad jokes. Or maybe it's because the commercials showed ever single funny joke months before the show aired. Mindy Kaling is usually funny. She's really not here. Maybe she just isn't ready for a starring role. Or maybe she's just not as good a writer as she is an actress. Whatever the reason, The Mindy Project is just not good. The Mindy Project gets 2 and a half stars out of 6.

The Neighbors (Wednesday, 8:30, ABC)- There's a good chance this new ABC show flew under your radar (Or maybe I just don't watch ABC that much). Anyway, I had never heard of this show up until a few weeks ago,and for now, it looks like there was a reason. The show follows the Weavers. Husband Marty (Lenny Venito), wife Debbie (Jami Gertz) and their children all move into a rich neighborhood, when they discover something isn't right with their neighbor; they're all aliens. Led by Larry Bird (Simon Templeman) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), the famies all try to get along down here on Earth.
    As the pilot stands, the show's not that great. The first half is painfully unfunny, with the joke being that the aliens are, you know, weird. They're weird because they named themselves after athletes and do the dishes by throwing them out a window. Classic comedy. Right? But as the pilot progresses, it does get funnier, with the show going deeper into the whole "alien" thing. The cast is fine and the show itself has a lot of potential to be good. So,I guess, I'd give this one another shot. (However, the big joke about their alien device being call a "Pooper"is one of the worst jokes I've heard in a long time). The Neighbors gets 3 and a half stars out of 6.


  1. I’m so disappointed and surprised to see The Mindy Project with such a bad grade. When I first heard about the show from one of my co-workers at DISH, and then watched the trailer, I was honestly excited to watch the whole series. I didn’t get to watch the premiere when it aired, but I know my Hopper recorded it since the Primetime Anytime feature records FOX everyday during primetime. Perhaps her grade will go up after a few more episodes. It’s possible that the premiere was spoiled by all of the funniest moments being released in the trailer.

    1. Although I admit that trailers sometimes distract us from looking at shows, or any media, as a whole, however as reviewers, we are trained by practice to ignore this and acknowledge this. So I have faith in Alex that he took this into consoderation.