[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. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Show:"Guys with Kids" (NBC)
The Pitch: "You know how sometimes babies have fathers? That's pretty CRAZY, right?"
Quick Response: Oh dads. So biologically and evolutionarily unprepared to take even a partial interest in raising their children. I mean, put a person with man-parts together with a baby and that's just an instant recipe for hilarity, right? I mean, you don't even have to add water to watch the wackiness ensue. You can just add a little spit-up or some poop and the punchlines write themselves. Don't they? Hmmm... The team behind "Guys with Kids" seems to be hoping that the punchlines will write themselves. It's not that there aren't a couple laughs in "Guys with Kids." Anthony Anderson makes me chuckle occasionally. And there's a cameo that was appealingly absurd. And... Yeah. I did laugh a couple times. That's something. But it isn't much and I cringed many more times. Anderson is easily the funniest of the core trio. Zach Cregger, who I vaguely remember from "Friends with Benefits" -- you don't want to have been in my brain when I was trying to go through my internal screener queue trying to place him -- has comedic timing, but no real punchlines to work with. And Jesse Bradford is, unfortunately, pretty bad. It's not completely Bradford's fault, though his sitcom rhythms aren't close to natural. He also has the least appealing character, the least amusing pilot plotline and, at least in the pilot, the most toxic relationship with the female in his life. That could change, though, because Bradford's ex is played by Sara Rue, but Erinn Hayes will be taking over. I have no objections to Sara Rue, but I happen to have actively liked Erinn Hayes since "Kitchen Confidential" and "The Winner," so that feels like an upgrade and that upgrade will have me watching at least one or two more episodes. Based only on the pilot, I don't see much overall upside, though. This is lazy, broad, generic multi-cam comedy that is just much, much more amused by its core premise than I am. I understand that it's apparently Salvador Dali-level surreal to have men as caregivers but... I need more to sink my teeth into, or more than just rehashed man-mockery and babies-as-props, all egged on by a loud studio audience/laff-track. Ultimately, I have very little to say about "Guys with Kids," but it doesn't have very much to say either. I suppose that if this show reflects your personal life circumstances you might find it funny. I can't say.
Desire To Watch Again: I'll give it that courtesy episode or two, but it feels like NBC already has a more nuanced comedy about child-rearing with a cast that I like much more than this and I can't bring myself to regularly watch "Up All Night" either. This isn't on that level.
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Mindy Project'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Partners'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Nashville'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Made in Jersey'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Mob Doctor'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Animal Practice'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Last Resort'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Vegas'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's '666 Park Avenue'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Chicago Fire'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Ben and Kate'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Elementary'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Arrow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Neighbors'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Revolution'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots entries