Welcome to another installment of “5 Questions and 500 Words,” The Boob Tube Dude’s approach this year to reviewing the sundry pilots that will be unspooling over the course of the next few weeks. Given the glut of shows, and the glut of reviews that will be published for these shows, I’m keeping things short and sweet. This is for your convenience and my sanity.
“We Are Men” premieres at 8:30 p.m. Monday (Sept. 30) on CBS.
I’m confused why we’re seeing another “comedy” about why it’s so hard to be a man. Is it 2011 again and no one told me?
It’s a fair question, as “We Are Men” is one of the more tonally appalling shows to air this fall season, and that is saying something considering “Dads” is in the mix. You won’t laugh while watching this show, but there’s a more-than-small chance you’ll cry.
Is there anything redeemable about this show?
The idea of a show about four men who spend their days hanging around each other rather than confronting their own demons isn’t a bad premise … for a movie. But this is a TV show, one in which it seems no real progress will be made on a week-to-week basis. As such, it’s just men behaving badly, but also blandly. There’s no real edge to anything that happens in the show, which might have had a slight (emphasis on slight) chance of working as an FXX vehicle with a complete attitude overhaul. But right now, it has the problem most network comedies attempting cable attitudes have: The instinct is there, but it’s buried under an avalanche of network notes.
I recognize a lot of names in this show. Who should be firing his agent first?
It’s a tough call. Jerry O’Connell is probably delighted to be on a network comedy, even one that seems destined to be the next “Rules of Engagement.” (Still, “Rules” got to 100 episodes, so the laugh’s on us, not him.) Tony Shalhoub deserves much better, but also really hasn’t done much since “Monk” ended. Maybe the person most ashamed will be President Obama, since he once recruited Kal Penn to work for him after his first election.
It’s only the pilot. Don’t lots of comedies get better in subsequent weeks?
Oh sure. But it’s also easy to see when certain shows either will fail to transcend the initial outing, or already have plateaued. “We Are Men” isn’t a show about men who are disconnected from the world around them. “We Are Men” is a show itself disconnected from the world around it. Nothing contained therein bears a resemblance to the real world, therefore none of the observations it makes will strike a chord (comedic or emotional) with anyone watching. This is a terrible, terrible comedy that manages to be unfunny while also intellectually insulting. At least “Dads” had the common courtesy to be so offensive that it was easy to discuss. Here, there’s simply no “there” there. It exists, albeit barely. It will be the answer to a super hard bar trivia question four years from now. That will be its legacy.
Maybe this is just a stealth sci-fi half-hour dramedy posing as a sitcom?
Maybe. Just maybe. Perhaps I’ll watch more, and you should too, just to be sure.
OK, no freakin’ way. Just skip it.