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Friday, September 30, 2011

PILOT REVIEW: How to Be a Gentleman


Starring: David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon, Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rhys Darby, Nancy Lenehan
Created by David Hornsby
Written by David Hornsby, Directed by Pamela Fryman

How to Be a Gentleman is a new CBS sitcom that seems to be a throwback to past sitcoms... but not the good old sitcoms, no this is a throwback to the generic crap the networks churned out year after year in the late 1990s. Gentleman is about snooty etiquette columnist Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) whose magazine is going for a hipper vibe. He enlists the help of a former high school classmate Bert (Kevin Dillon) who used to beat him up and is the opposite of him in every way. Yes, it's another Odd Couple spin on the sitcom. Rounding out the cast is Andrew's boss Jerry (Dave Foley), sister Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), brother-in-law Mike (Rhys Darby), and mother Diane (Nancy Lenehan).

THE GOOD: Um, this might be the shortest "The Good" section I've written yet. Let me think... well, it's nice to have Dave Foley back on TV since I liked him in Newsradio. The supporting cast could be decent with better writing. That's about it.

THE BAD: More-so than Free Agents, this is the clinker of the fall season (I might have spoken too soon when Man Up premieres, but for now this is it). There is pretty much nothing to like about this cookie cutter sitcom. Every joke was tired and stale (example: "ok but only one shot" - cut to Andrew being drunk). Is the show trying to be Frasier with its snootiness? I'm not sure but if it is, it's a pale imitation. Both Hornsby and Dillon are caricatures and not very believable in their roles. The writing is terrible and the opening was exceedingly lame. There's a reason this show had such little buzz coming into the season, it feels like a failed sitcom from the late 1990s/early 2000s and that's not a good thing because those weren't good to begin with and now the style feels dated.

BOTTOM LINE: If you haven't watched it yet, don't. It will be gone before you know it and you wouldn't have wasted your time like I did. I'm not saying it's the worst sitcom ever, but aren't we beyond the point of greenlighting garbage like this during pilot season? Was this really the second best new sitcom CBS had in pilot season to air this fall (2 Broke Girls being the first choice)? Looks like it's back to the drawing board for Thursday at 8:30pm.

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