we are men premiere 'We Are Men': Will Jerry O'Connell and Tony Shalhoub get you back in the pool?CBS debuted one of several new fall comedies Monday night (Sept. 30) in “We Are Men” — what did you think?

For as meathead-y as the show could be at times, we thought there were several bright spots that kept this show from being a throwaway “Two and a Half Men” retread.

First off, it’s not a multi-camera comedy with a laugh track and/or live audience, which automatically makes it feel more “now” than a lot of other CBS comedies in recent years.

Secondly. the cast is infinitely likable. The characters may not always be, but we have always enjoyed Kal Penn and Tony Shalhoub in particular, and Jerry O’Connell can be a lot of fun. Plus, relative newcomer Chris Smith is an affable, charming guy.

Third, the characters have potential. Sure, there was a lot of neanderthal “women, amirite?” going on in the pilot, but there were flashes of interesting storylines.

Carter (Smith) is obviously going to be taking what are basically his first steps into the dating world, having established that jilting fiancee Sarah is the only woman he’s ever been with. There’s some sparkage between him and Frank’s (Shalhoub) on-screen daughter Abby (Rebecca Breeds) that could be fun to watch.

Penn’s Gil is also more of a sensitive soul who desperately wants to put his failed (albeit failed because he cheated) marriage back together and also have a good relationship with his daughter. That could be a nice parallel with Carter’s journey.

So far Frank and Stuart (O’Connell) are mostly “comedic” relief — and we put that in quotes because not very many of their jokes landed with us when they were being pervy divorcés. Hopefully the show finds some room to grow with them because that schtick will wear out quickly.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • The “Mrs. Robinson” music cue was a nice touch at the wedding scenes.
  • Tony Shalhoub being drunk and playing children’s basketball was hilarious. We loved him on “Wings,” we loved him on “Monk” and he’s one of the big reasons we’ll give “We Are Men” a couple more episodes.
  • Best lines:

    Frank: “That’s the new guy, Carter. His bride just dumped him at the altar.”
    Carter: “Do you have to lead with that?”
    Gil: “It’s really your defining characteristic right now.”

    Frank: “Carter, you’re a genius. We should play children’s basketball every day!”

What did you think of the “We Are Men” premiere? Will you be joining their band of brothers?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."