Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pilot Review: Kevin Can Wait

Kevin Can Wait (CBS)
Premiered September 19 at 8:30pm

I’ve been seeing Kevin James’ face on billboards and buses everywhere for the past month or so. He’s lounging in a deck chair on his roof holding a beer in his hand with a smug look on his face, and the tagline below him reads “Hello again, America.” If ever there was a sign that there are few truly original shows left on television, this would be it. I’m not even sure what the title is supposed to mean, but it identifies (Kevin) James as the show’s lead, serving as a recognizable face to the audience that is America. I never watched “The King of Queens,” the long-running CBS sitcom that netted James an Emmy nomination towards the end of its run. That show ran nine seasons, and now it’s been nine years, completing the cycle of no James on regular television and apparently necessitating his return. This show is pretty much what I expected, showcasing James as a freshly retired husband and father who is more than ready to just sit back and enjoy his life with no responsibilities. This is the definition of a sitcom, pandering to the laugh track and presenting obstacle after obstacle in Kevin’s quest for relaxation. The big joke of the pilot was Kevin being a disapproving father to his daughter’s boyfriend, an issue made worse by the fact that another friend of hers fits his bill of who she should be with much better. Erinn Hayes, best known for “Children’s Hospital,” tries her best to liven up the show and her costar, but there’s not too much to be done for either. This show is entertaining enough but fails to bring anything new or vital to the table to make it watchable.

How will it work as a series? Not only has Kevin come to terms with his daughter’s boyfriend after maturely passing up the opportunity to get him out of the picture, now he’s also invited them to come live in their house. That’s sure to create plenty of family friction that has no better home than on CBS. That’s not what I’m looking for in my comedies these years, but I imagine that many will disagree.
How long will it last? It seems like the ratings were pretty good, keeping in mind CBS’ very high standards for performance as compared with other networks. Reviews were expectedly poor, but I don’t think CBS takes that into consideration too much. I don’t think a renewal is around the corner but it wouldn’t surprise me if this show ended up lasting a few seasons.

Pilot grade: C-

No comments: