With all of the new TV programs airing this fall, Tiffany and I have had a ton of homework to do… This week, we tuned in and watched two of the most recent additions to the comedy lineups for our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews—NBC’s Guys with Kids and ABC’s The Neighbors.
I feel the need to preface this review with the following information: as I type this, I am battling an ear infection. If you’ve never had one, imagine coupling partial deafness with the dental pain.
It stands to reason that I MAY just be a bit crankier than usual given the circumstances. I should also note that I watched this show pre-infection, so, take that as you will.
Guys With Kids revolves around the lives of three guys played by Jesse Bradford, Anthony Anderson, and Zach Cregger. Each man has kids, although in slightly different situations, Chris (Bradford) is newly divorced with a baby, Gary (Anderson) is a married stay-at-home-dad with four boys (a set of twins among them), and Nick (Cregger) is married with a little girl and baby boy.
Conversations between the three friends often take place at a local bar, one they frequent with their babies in tow, strapped to their chests in non-branded Baby Bjorns.
The idea, I guess, is that fathering is funny.
And I’m not saying parenting overall isn’t. There are plenty of opportunities for laughs. (If you’ve ever had a baby pee in your face, you know humor is a key element in parenting.)
This show, however, missed the mark when it comes to humor. Which is problematic, since, you know, it is a sitcom. It’s also a big let down, given that Jimmy Fallon and one of the creators of The Office are involved in the show’s creation. (For the record, I’ve been a fan of The Office in the past, and enjoy Fallon.)
Adding insult to injury is the voice that tells us at the beginning of the show that this show is being taped in front of a live studio audience. If that canned laughter does actually come from the live audience, I fear for our future.
This show just isn’t funny. I watched three episodes, hoping that maybe the pilot was a fluke. After all, there are shows that need time to come into their own. (I would have never guessed that I would love Parks and Rec the way I do based on the pilot.) Sadly, I didn’t laugh.
And the acting is so…overdone. I don’t blame the actors for that one. I feel like that is the direction they are getting. “If you act like the joke is hilarious, the audience will believe you!” Yeah. Not so much.
I will say this much. One, I can’t remember any instances (at least in those first few eps) that made me want to cover my little guy’s ears. It’s fairly rare that I can watch anything that comes on after 8 PM without worrying about what my three year old is hearing. So, if NBC’s intent is to bring back the family sitcom, I give it props for trying.
But I’d like them to try hard enough that the show is worth watching. At least in the days of Full House and the like, the show was cheesy but could be funny to a kid, even some adults. This show just wasn’t funny.
The only other thing about the show that stood out for me was Zach Cregger. For any of you who remember Ryan Reynolds from his sitcom days (Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place), Zach reminds me a lot of him. Now, I know most ladies love Ryan Reynolds for other reasons, but I always loved the funny version of him way more than the “I just did a thousand crunches shirtless” version. So, I find Mr. Cregger’s presence comforting.
In the end, even Mr. Cregger couldn’t compel me to watch this show. Unless NBC is listening and makes some serious changes, I’m afraid this is some LOTV – liver and onions. Which would probably make Cregger the promise of bacon.
Did you watch Guys With Kids? What did you think? Are my comedy standards set far too high? Did you miss the show? You can catch all the episodes on Hulu.
Now head over to Tiffany’s blog and see what she thinks of another new sitcom, Neighbors. Has TV forgotten how to create comedy?
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech