Monday, April 25, 2016

Pilot Review: The Detour

The Detour (TBS)
Premiered April 11 at 9pm

I’ve wanted to like TBS comedies that have debuted recently and haven’t been too satisfied. I’m evidently still catching up on TV post-honeymoon, reviewing this episode a full two weeks after its premiere. I didn’t expect much, but when I sat down to watch it, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I didn’t know until after I finished the episode that this show was created by star Jason Jones and his wife Samantha Bee, who has her own highly-publicized TBS talk show, and that this series is apparently based on their real-life experiences. My first thought is that a road trip hardly seems like the basis for a weekly TV series, but I’ve made that note a lot recently and it hasn’t been much of a problem. To me, what’s best about this show is that it finally gives Natalie Zea a proper role that makes tremendous use of her talents. I loved Zea back when I first got to know her on “Dirty Sexy Money,” and while she has had some good roles since then, in “Californication” and on “Justified,” among others, she has also starred in duds like the awful “The Following” and Amazon’s “The Rebels,” which didn’t make it past the pilot stage. It’s clear that she is very funny and that the writing on this show is perfect for her. Jones is a bit more unhinged, but purposely so, and I like both of the kids, who proved that they were terrible children when they nearly got taken by truckers who thought they were saving kidnapped kids from their abductors. This isn’t the funniest show I’ve ever seen, but as more Monday shows are ending, I’m inclined to give this show another shot.

How will it work as a series? I didn’t realize until I started writing this review that the second episode of the show actually aired immediately after the first, so I’ll have to tackle that when I review the third, which I’ll do when I catch up another week. As long as the road trip provides more adventures, this show can do okay, but it may also have to reboot itself and air some normal hours if ever they circle back home.
How long will it last? This show was renewed for a second season a week before it even started, and it’s been performing very well since then. Reviews have been pretty good as well, and the network airing Bee’s talk show suggests that it’s all for having two former “Daily Show” correspondents behind some of their most popular flagship series.

Pilot grade: B+

No comments: