Monday, October 7, 2013

Pilot Review: The Millers

The Millers (CBS)
Premiered October 3 at 8:30pm

I didn’t have high expectations for this show, but it’s actually decently entertaining and funny. It fits the bill of a laugh-track-accompanied CBS sitcom, and, fortunately, it seems to be more like “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother” than some of its other less funny recent offerings. Its cast is assembled from a handful of familiar TV faces, and these roles all seem to fit them very well. Will Arnett didn’t have much luck with “Running Wilde” after his run on “Arrested Development,” and now he’s back as Nathan Miller, a recently divorced man whose mother moves in with him after she finds out about his divorce. I’m thrilled to see Jayma Mays, who’s been playing the obsessive-compulsive Emma on “Glee” for a few years now, in a part that lets her be energetic and normal, and even gives her a chance to gloat when she briefly has the upper hand in her relationship with her brother. Margo Martindale, who won an Emmy for her magnificent work on “Justified,” is more than equipped to play a live-in mother who takes a lot of sleeping pills. There’s a bit too much farting that goes on, but otherwise their dynamic is actually pretty fun. Beau Bridges is also well-cast as Nathan’s father, who seems to have a predisposition towards irresponsible and dangerous actions like microwaving metal. J.B. Smoove, as usual, doesn’t seem to fit in but is doing his own thing as Nathan’s friend, but that shouldn’t be problematic. This show is hardly the best comedy I’ve seen, but it’s much better and more tolerable than I had anticipated.

How will it work as a series? Bridges’ Tom deciding to leave Carol because his son had gotten divorced was a bold and hilarious move. How the show can follow up on that is a different matter, but as long as it doesn’t fall into the traditional trappings that make live-in parents on TV shows irritating, I think it could be enjoyable.
How long will it last? CBS has high expectations for its shows, but that may not be a problem since the pilot ratings were actually pretty good. They were almost as strong as those of “Two and a Half Men” last year, so, for now, we can put this one in the likely to succeed category.

Pilot grade: B

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

we finally agree on something!!!!