Monday, November 16, 2015

Pilot Review: Donny

Donny (USA)
Premiered November 10 at 10:30pm

I’ve seen this show advertised a lot over the past few months on buses and signs all around New York City. The tagline “Love thy selfie” didn’t inspire much confidence, and this show is about what I expected. I have no interest in watching talk shows of any kind, particularly the soapier and vainer ones, and as a result this mockery of such things isn’t too appealing. Having a protagonist who does a whole show on how someone sending a partially nude photo of herself ruined her life and then does the same thing himself has a certain entertainment value, but it’s just ultimately not that funny. There’s more to this show than I might have expected, like the fact that Donny has two children who he ferries to school on a regular basis even though they don’t speak to him. Having three assistants is also a superb sign of self-involvedness, and he seems to behave in a rather subservient way to all the women in his life. I’m not familiar with the real Donny Deutsch, and maybe if I knew him that might make me more interested in this show. I do give USA credit for offering the most diverse range of programming on television right now, since this doesn’t feel like any of the network’s other comedies, past or present. That said, I don’t think it’s a particularly good thing in this case, since this is an equally harmless and missable show that just doesn’t feel all that original.

How will it work as a series? Donny nearly tanked his entire career in episode one, and so I can only imagine how much more trouble he’ll get himself into in future episodes. Most of it should be relatively predictable, and some of it might even be funny.
How long will it last? I haven’t been able to find much of anything in the way of how the show performed in the ratings, but every review I can find is not favorable. I think USA has found some success with other shows it’s recently debuted and continued to air, and therefore I think this one will complete its initial order and then fade into obscurity.

Pilot grade: C-

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