Friday, October 01, 2010

Thoughts on The New Fall Sitcoms

We're two weeks into the new television season, just far enough to start really forming opinions about the new shows. This season has 6 new network sitcoms on the docket and their quality to junk ratio is sadly low so far. Here's the low down on all 6, including a surprise hit and a whole lot of misses.

The Surprisingly Good
Raising Hope (FOX). This quirky offering is the last thing I thought I would like. I wanted to turn it off 10 minutes into the pilot but I didn't, and it grew on me. The characters are engaging and well-meaning, even if they are crazy urban hillbilly-like folk; the problems are relatable, even if the premise is outlandish; and though shrouded in hipster shock-value crassness, the show is ultimately very sweet. I'm shocked that this is true but Raising Hope may be the best new sitcom of the fall.

The Merely Mediocre
Better With You (ABC). This sweet and silly sitcom isn't as clever as its company on ABC Wednesdays (Cougar Town shout out!), but it's got an interesting premise and a promising cast. It will never be groundbreaking but it could be a little bit funnier.

The Depressingly Bad
Mike & Molly (CBS). Mike & Molly is a whole lot of not-funny wrapped in cliche with all the tact surgically removed. Seeing Melissa McCarthy suffer at the hands of such bad writing just makes me want to cry.

Running Wilde (FOX). This has all the ingredients for greatness (a showrunner and star from Arrested Development, just for starters) but is really pretty terrible. The potentially adorable Keri Russell brings back that holier-than-thou attitude that made me hate Felicity and uses it as a premise for an entire sitcom. The whole thing is aggravating.

$#*! My Dad Says (CBS). The crime of $#*! is not that developing an entire sitcom out of a twitter feed is idiotic (thank you Community, for pointing that out in your season premiere), it's that it's just not very funny. Unlike some of the others, it's not offensive or annoying, it's just not funny, at all. But also unlike some of the others, that's not surprising or upsetting, just predictable.

Outsourced (NBC). The show that bumped Parks & Rec from the fall schedule (NBC, you need a new brain), however, IS offensive AND annoying. I've already written about it so I will refrain from ranting here. But MAN, this show is everything that's wrong with everything. It's ignorant, showy and boring all in one.

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