Monday, April 28, 2008

Back to You gets Back to the Funny

The most recent episodes of mediocre classic sitcom Back to You have been a return to the best the show can be. After post-strike changes that resulted in the loss of the weather girl Montana (played by Studio 60's Ayda Field), and the recasting of Chuck and Kelly's daughter Gracie (from spunky and smart to cute and innocent), Back to You came back missing some crucial pieces but making the most out of what they had left. While revered sitcom veterans Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton's stories are always boring and their chemistry forced, the supporting cast and their B stories haven't been failing to make the 22 minutes worth the watch as of late. Josh Gad and Fred Willard are great as the producer Ryan and the sports caster Marsh respectively and, as I've said numerous times when reviewing this show, Ty Burrell shows off his impeccable comic timing time and again as the show stealing field reported Gary Crezyzewski. Burrell is the perfect antidote for the mediocrity that sometimes infects this show. The most recent episode "Hug and Tell" is no exception. When Gary realizes he is the only person whom the security guard doesn't hug, he sets out trying to figure out what it is about him that makes him un-huggable. After withstanding a hilarious scene of abuse from Marsh and Ryan in which they cathartically vent about his unintentionally cold demeanor and arrogance, Gary confronts the security guard, only to find that the animosity stems from a harsh review Gary had written in grade school about a production of Grease in which the security guard had played Kinicki. It's these B stories (Gary being attacked while reporting on a bizarre convention, Ryan and Gary discovering the frightening sexual murals in Marsh's home and Marsh trying to choose a new sign off catch phrase) that make the show anything more than just a bad conventional comedy unworthy of its prestigious cast, crew and creative team. Completely worth a watch just for the sake of the supporting cast, don't discredit Back to You before really giving it a chance. That said, if you feel like making a contribution to television comedy may I suggest inundating FOX studios with letters calling for the return of the original Gracie, a new deal for Ayda Field, less of Heaton and Grammer and MORE TY BURRELL!!!

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