Summer. Comedies. Two things that have not traditionally mixed well with each other. That most networks tend to stick with the time-honored tradition of slotting in comedic timing into dramas doesn’t help. Slap on a new name (dramedies), sprinkle in a cast with chemistry and the recipe works for most shows (Rizzoli & Isles and Psych in its younger days come to mind).
With Weeds, The Big C, Hot in Cleveland (hello, Betty White!), Curb Your Enthusiasm, Web Therapy (marking the return of Friends’ star Lisa Kudrow) and Futurama lighting the way, there may be potential in 2012. But then again, maybe not.
Chuck Lorre might be eating his words right about now. The Two and a Half Men creator vowed former Men star Charlie Sheen would never work in the industry again, after the very public brawl between Lorre and Sheen resulted in Sheen walking from the comedy series.
Teaming up with his brother Ramon Estevez, Sheen returns to TV in one of the most anticipated comedies of the year. Though no official trailer has been released for Anger Management yet (Sheen’s holding all the cards), what is known is that it’s the small-screen adaptation of the Adam Sandler / Jack Nicholson movie of the same name. Sheen will be taking over where Nicholson left off as a psychiatrist with his own rage-control issues. We were at The Devil’s in the Remote aren’t sure what to make of it; true, the parallels are interesting but do we really want to see Sheen try and reign in his anger on screen when he’s had a murky (at best) track record of it off-screen?
Men at Work
This buddy TBS comedy is about Milo (Danny Masterson, That 70’s Show) as he struggles to re-enter the world of dating as his support system — friends and co-workers, each presumably with their own baggage (James Lesure, Adam Busch and Michael Cassidy) rally around him. The premise is pretty stale, so the success of the show will depend on the quality of its writing; it could go either way.
The first two episodes leave far too much to be desired, the actors are yet to find their comedic timing, especially with each other, the writing is lazy and the choice for lead is all wrong.
Following the success of family comedy Raising Hope, ABC Family has jumped on the bandwagon of an out-of-his-depth single dadraising his baby daughter with the help of friends and family. The 30 second trailer doesn’t say much about the show’s potential, but once again depending on the cast’s strength and good writing, it may defy our (admittedly low) expectations.
Sullivan and Son
Steve Sullivan (Steve Byrne) is an attorney in New York, but decides to move back to his Pittsburgian roots to run his family’s bar after his parents, Jack Sullivan (Dan Lauria) and OK Cha (Jodi Long) decide to retire.
Bryne has worked with Vaughan (who serves as the show’s co-producer) before on multiple movies including The Wedding Crashers and Couples Retreat and the pilot is being penned by Rob Long of the “Cheers” fame. This gives me hope that the show may just pull off a good story and find its comedic beats at the same time, but we’ll know more once the pilot is out.
Coupled with the dramas, it looks like a pretty full calendar for the summer. We’ll try watching at least two episodes of each new show before casting judgement; after all, we have a full roster with all the other TV shows we’re watching!
Comments, suggestions, feedback? You know where to put em!
Shazia is part bionic, part crazy (parts not mutually exclusive), and would be happy conversing solely in TV quotes, forever hopeful she’ll be one-upped in her obscure TV references. She blogs here and microblogs here.