Friday, October 27, 2017

Pilot Review: Hit the Road

Hit the Road (Audience Network)
Premiered October 17 at 10pm

This is one of two new comedies on Audience Network that I’m a bit late on reviewing since I neglected to watch them right away. This one has the draw of starring Jason Alexander, most well-known for his role as George Costanza on “Seinfeld.” Since then, he has anchored two sitcoms, “Bob Patterson” and “Listen Up,” neither of which made it past a first season. I certainly hope the same fate will befall this show, because it’s truly awful. What might have originally been titled “The Swallows” is a truly unfunny and very crowded show about a family of musicians on the road with a bit of talent but no sense of decorum or decency. It’s difficult to pinpoint what’s so bad about this show, but I’d start with its profane nature. It’s meant to stand in stark contrast to the family image that they’re trying to create which is contradicted constantly by the things they do and in particular by Ken’s cursing tirade during a radio interview. The depravity also feels very dated, with Ken pretending that his very gullible adopted son had AIDS to garner sympathy promotion, and an exchange of sexual favors that comes off as especially ill-timed with all the recent sexual harassment scandals and would certainly not be portrayed as funny if Ken weren’t male. I think I’d like this show better if it starred the cast and characters of “Shameless,” since these people are just unlikeable and not the ones to carry whatever this show was supposed to be.

How will it work as a series? They’re going to keep having to do ridiculous things as they struggle to put together a tour, and going to Idaho because Ken read it off a magazine isn’t likely to pan out very well. There are sure to be hijinks along the way that should provide material, but I can’t imagine it will be funny.
How long will it last? I can’t find much in the way of ratings data, but the reviews are expectedly poor. I don’t think that Alexander is the hook that people think he is, not when he’s in this kind of role, at least. With a stronger series airing after this one, I suspect that Audience will opt not to keep this one on the road.

Pilot grade: F

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