Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pilot Review: Nobodies

Nobodies (TV Land)
Premiered March 29 at 10pm

A show about three comedy writers who aren’t famous enough to make it is a funny concept since it’s inherently giving a spotlight to those same people in real life. This reminds me of another comedy that’s currently airing on Hulu, “Difficult People,” which frequently features well-known comedians and actors playing themselves as they interact with the main characters, presumably because those involved in making both shows are actually friends with the more famous people and more than happy to come do a guest spot mocking the whole idea of fame and celebrity. This first episode featured its share of big name appearances, starting with Jim Rash, Nat Faxon, and Maya Rudolph, who were joking about the male duo’s Oscar win for “The Descendants” but who I preferred in the great Sundance hit featuring all three of them, “The Way, Way Back.” Ben Falcone, best known and utilized here exclusively as Melissa McCarthy’s husband and “Bridesmaids” costar, and Jason Bateman, who I remember also playing himself on “The Muppets,” were decent additions to the opener as well. And then there’s the big three: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, and Rachel Ramras, an entertaining trio who do a great job talking over each other and trying not to sound too embarrassed when everyone assumes they write for FOX and not the show “The Fartlemans.” I’m sure comedians will enjoy this show, or fans of any of the work of the main three. I think it’s a bit more tolerable than “Difficult People,” but it’s still not exactly my cup of tea.

How will it work as a series? Failing to get Melissa McCarthy on board was an unfortunate start, and I suspect there are going to be many, many more cringeworthy developments like that, probably multiple times in each episode. It wasn’t all that uncomfortable, which was good, and if the humor can dwarf the awkwardness, I think that’s a plus.
How long will it last? Well, the show is receiving decent to mild reviews, but it was actually already renewed by the network back in January for a second season. Unlike past Starz missteps like “Boss” and “Magic City,” which quickly faded after their pre-debut renewals were up, I think this show may catch on a little more, especially as a younger-skewing offering from a historically older-skewing network.

Pilot grade: B

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