Friday, October 6, 2017

Pilot Review: 9JKL

Premiered October 2 at 8:30pm

I think there’s a certain type of sitcom that was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and a new kind of sitcom that’s premiered more over the past five or ten years. This show, which airs on the network most tethered to the former type of series, is a prime example of something that feels very outdated. It’s the kind of comedy where the laugh track seems to prompt the dialogue rather than the other way around, and though it’s not nearly as cringe-worthy as it could have been, it does manage to get irritating pretty quickly. I liked Mark Feuerstein on “Royal Pains” after not liking him very much in what I saw of “Good Morning, Miami,” and he does seem to be a good fit here even though I preferred him on USA’s medical show. David Walton is funnier in a more dastardly role, like the one he has on “Brockmire,” or even “Bent,” “About a Boy,” or “New Girl.” Elliott Gould was a superb part of “Friends” (and obviously did much more in his career long before that), and he and Linda Lavin do exactly what’s asked of them given what I imagine are the role descriptions. Liza Lapira has been on a number of shows before, including “Traffic Light” and “Apartment 23,” and this seems like a good new direction for her. My wife liked this show a lot more than I did, so it’s possible I’ll continue watching, but I don’t think there’s much new to be covered here.

How will it work as a series? Josh managed to get the doorman to stop calling his mother every time he walked in, at least for the moment, but he’s also been made aware that his family has no intention of leaving him alone anytime soon. That’s a pretty formulaic setup, and as long as the other characters get their own chance to be featured, it could work fine.
How long will it last? The reviews for this show are not good, with a very low 37 rating on Metacritic and a horrendous 11 on Rotten Tomatoes. The ratings do seem to be better, which is most important for CBS. I’m not sure this will stick out in comparison to other shows, but for now this one appears to be on decent footing.

Pilot grade: C

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