Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pilot Review: We Are Men

We Are Men (CBS)
Premiered September 30 at 8:30pm

As soon as I heard about this show, I thought immediately of a past attempt to capture the glory of male buddies in their 30s and 40s. Dylan McDermott, Joshua Malina, Michael Vartan, and Christopher Titus all starred in ABC’s very short-lived 2007 show “Big Shots,” which was far from memorable. This sitcom, which, unlike most other CBS comedies but like another one of its new offerings, “The Crazy Ones,” doesn’t have a laugh track, features four single guys all living together in an apartment complex trying to get over the women who shaped them into who they are. Its setting feels similar to an even less memorable CBS sitcom, 2008’s “Welcome to the Captain,” and predictably involves many shots of its protagonists relaxing in or by the pool. The cast assembled is truly odd, led by newcomer Chris Smith as the noble-minded young blood of the group. It’s very peculiar to see Tony Shalhoub in his first post-“Monk” TV role as a four-times-divorced bachelor who beds at least one woman per day. Kal Penn, whose last TV gigs were on “House” and “How I Met Your Mother,” makes more sense, though his character appears to be considerably tamer than usual. Jerry O’Connell, whose past three series, “The Defenders,” “Do Not Disturb,” and “Carpoolers,” all lasted less than a full season, fits in perfectly, which doesn’t say much for the quality of the show. At the very least, its characters are having fun, which counts for something. That doesn’t make it a good show, but it’s not all bad.

How will it work as a series? After the rather ridiculous stunt that was Frank, Gil, and Stuart convincing Carter not to marry Sara, these guys are going to be spending a lot of time together doing ill-advised things. That should make for decent if uncreative entertainment, and a brainless, enjoyable time.
How long will it last? The show was the least watched of the four CBS comedies to air on Monday night, and it was about on par with the numbers presented by the quickly-cancelled “Partners” in its timeslot season. CBS is not in the habit of hanging on to its lower-rated shows, so I think this one will be out the door by November.

Pilot grade: C-

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