Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pilot Review: Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told (NBC)
Premiered October 16 at 8:30pm

Every season, there are creative, fresh offerings on each network, as well as some reboots, remakes, and reimaginings that feel familiar for a number of reasons. And then there are those shows that have different characters but feel like every single show that have come before them. “Truth Be Told” definitely falls into that category, presenting two couples who are neighbors whose husbands constantly get themselves into trouble while the wives laugh at them for thinking that they can get away with whatever they’re scheming about or secretly thinking. This pilot presents the conventional plot of one couple hiring a babysitter who, shockingly, is very attractive, and who sets off a red flag for Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Mitch, since he knows that being attracted to her can’t end well for him. Predictably, his wife Tracy laughs off the idea of his being a threat, but then Mitch’s best bud Russell recognizes the babysitter from porn. Nothing about that is new, and while this show isn’t nearly as grating as some of the awful sitcoms that have come before it, it has nothing fresh or enjoyable to offer either.’s description explains the premise as “a black couple and a white couple, who are neighbors and best friends, vigorously discuss the issues of the day.” That’s pretty accurate, and very little of that sounds remotely appealing. I preferred Gosselaar in “Franklin and Bash” in full-on ridiculous mode to his awkward, subdued husband trying not to fall into a trap every moment that he’s not protesting class or racial injustice.

How will it work as a series? The premise leaves the door open for a million different storylines, since these friends can talk about or fight about anything that piques their interest. It seems like Mitch and Russell will be the focus of the show while their wives will be there mostly to chastise them, but I assume that switching it up could prove interesting and creative, two adjectives I doubt will frequently apply to this show.
How long will it last? It’s not as if Friday nights were a promising place to start new shows, let alone comedies, but ABC did it pretty well, which means that NBC is almost guaranteed to fail. The pilot performed worse than the inexplicably popular “Undateable,” which itself didn’t score a home run. I think this one won’t last too long; certainly not past its initial order.

Pilot grade: D

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