Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pilot Review: Uncle Buck

Uncle Buck (ABC)
Premiered June 14 at 9pm

I’ll say a few things about this show. The first is that I’m not at all familiar with the John Candy movie on which it’s based, but I do imagine that there was no one clamoring for this series to get made. This show represents a return to more traditional sitcoms based on oddball family members whose interactions with the rest of the clan are almost entirely ridiculous. I’m not too fond of that kind of show, and while I did laugh a few times, I just don’t have that much to say about it. Mike Epps seems to be having fun playing Buck, a character who managed to turn selling girl scout cookies into a drug trade and does his very best to go against every smart urge he has and do the opposite. James Lesure has tried his hand at a number of different TV gigs since “Las Vegas” ended, and something tells me this one, in which he contributes minimally, isn’t going to stick either. I liked Nia Long a lot on “House of Lies” a few years ago and I wish that she was doing something at least slightly more substantive than this show. I know I’m not the target audience for this show for a number of reasons, and I think I might have smiled once or twice over the course of the hour I spent watching this episode. I’m never going to get that hour back, however, which is a shame. I don’t have too much in the way of positivity to offer about this show.

How will it work as a series? It’s a typical sitcom, so there’s an infinite number of situations that could occur and pave the way for season after season of Uncle Buck. Having crafty kids who are more than able to get themselves into trouble helps too, though they’re not that endearing either, not enough to make me want to watch this show.
How long will it last? The first two episodes did fine, and the third installment fared less well on a not-too-crowded early summer night. Unsurprisingly poor reviews won’t help, but this show might be what ABC viewers are looking for given the other series it’s picked up in the past. I still think that this show won’t last too long, and I’d be shocked to see it on the air past this summer.

Pilot grade: F

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