Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]
Show: "How To Be a Gentleman" (CBS)
The Pitch: "It's a reverse Pygmalion with a buddy comedy twist... Or something."
Quick Response: "How To Be a Gentleman" is the last of the fall pilots to get the Take Me To The Pilots treatment. I did a half-dozen midseason shows earlier and the reason for that is that I had more to say about those shows. I had more to say, in fact, about almost every single show ordered for fall or midseason. But that cuts both ways. "How To Be a Gentlemen" is just very "meh," which doesn't mean that it's dreadful, but it also doesn't mean that there was anything about it that I latched onto as memorable. Part of me likes to think that the whole series is just a Pygmalion episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" in which The Gang somehow was able to train David Hornsby's Rickety Cricket to become a gentleman and then rather than pulling the rug out from him at the end, they just left him in unnaturally civilized shape. But since it's Cricket, we all know that eventually, he's going to bottom out again. As it stands now, "How To Be a Gentleman" is a comedy that needs to be let loose, that needs to stop wallowing in a core premise that's at least 15 years behind the cultural curve (something about a GQ-style magazine attempting to fight off the Maximi-ization of society). It's unclear how much of the ongoing premise is going to be about Hornsby's character's week-to-week efforts to change Kevin Dillon's lunkheaded trainer (and vice versa), but I'm not sure who will be served by sticking to that formula. As it stands now, this is the sort of sitcom you can imagine Johnny Drama [Dillon isn't asked to flex any new acting muscles] landing in the finale of "Entourage," but it isn't the type of comedy that's going to make proper use of Hornsby, Rhys Darby, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Nancy Lenehan and David Foley. That's a lot of comedic fire-power and while it isn't entirely squandered in the pilot, nobody's got the sort of character initially capable of utilizing them to their full potential. But in addition to being a funny in-front-of-the-camera guy, Hornsby had a long run as a writer on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," so I have at least some confidence in him and his ability to recognize the value of the full ensemble here. Eventually. I don't know if "How To Be A Gentleman" quite fits after "The Big Bang Theory," but I'm guessing it could be smarter than the shows that aired in that time period last year, not that "Feces My Dad Says" and "Rules of Engagement" raised the bar very high.
Desire To Watch Again: I'm curious. And it's a time slot in which I end up being generous, once I've already watched "Big Bang Theory" anyway (and with the NBC comedies either frequently available via screener or else easily accessible OnDemand in a way that CBS comedies rarely are). But it's hard to get excited by something this average.
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Prime Suspect'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Man Up!'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Free Agents'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Suburgatory'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Ringer'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Terra Nova'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Whitney'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Pan Am'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Alcatraz'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Person of Interest'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's ' 'The River'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Last Man Standing'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Two Broke Girls'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Up All Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Revenge'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Awake'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
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