Monday, September 27, 2010

Pilot Review: Shit My Dad Says

Shit My Dad Says (CBS)
Premieres September 23 at 8:30pm

Title issues aside, this show has other problems. Like "Running Wilde," it's a series crafted around one actor that doesn't have a leg to stand on - except for that actor. That means, more crucially in this case than FOX's new Will Arnett comedy, that the rest of the show and the supporting characters are hopelessly underdeveloped. Fans of "Boston Legal," "T.J. Hooker," "Star Trek," or just the big guy himself may enjoy seeing William Shatner do just about anything, and this show isn't quite as terrible as it could when looked at through that lens. Calling it funny would be a stretch, but Shatner does have some decent comic timing, and succeeds marvelously at dishing out insults. The trouble is that the style of comedy is modeled after something like "Two and a Half Men," where jokes are made to be as vile as possible while still being appropriate for broadcast television before 10pm, and as a result it often feels like sitcom quip overload. The laugh track is fine here considering it's helpful to laugh along with others at anything that comes out of Shatner's mouth. This show is based on a Twitter account where someone tweeted all the ridiculous things his dad said, and therefore it's understandable that anyone but Shatner is hardly as interesting. Unfortunately, they're completely and totally uninteresting, and this series might work better as a one-man show with Shatner just putting people down for the entire half hour. CBS has found success with ensemble comedies, including this show's lead-in, "The Big Bang Theory," and therefore it's odd to have this lone duck series which only has one thing to recommend. That one factor can also only go so far, and while this review is more positive than I expected it to be when I started writing, it should mainly be taken as saying that it's not as awful as it could be.

How will it work as a series? Shatner will do fine, but I can't imagine that anyone is actually interested in what happens with his relationship with either of his sons. Tim Bagley (Harold Crenshaw on "Monk") sparred well with him in the pilot, but I doubt anyone else can do as well in the coming episodes.
How long will it last? CBS is the place to laugh track sitcoms, and therefore this show might enjoy a longer life than it would on another network. This is pretty much the first time that "Survivor" has been evicted from the Thursday at 8pm time slot, and "The Big Bang Theory" and this show performed commendably, so this one may even last the entire season.


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