Friday, October 27, 2017

Pilot Review: Loudermilk

Loudermilk (Audience Network)
Premiered October 17 at 10:30pm

Here’s the second Audience Network comedy I didn’t get a chance to review last week, and I’m thrilled to report that this one is infinitely better than the other one. The opening featured a pretty memorable exchange about chivalry and the selfishness of coming in with a coffee order for one hundred people, and this show did its best to very quickly and effectively portray Sam Loudermilk as a despicable person, who does things like push old men down the stairs. He strikes me as a cross between David Duchovny’s Hank on “Californication” and Hank Azaria’s title character on “Brockmire,” meaning well but not trying all that hard to make sure that his self-serving actions aren’t misunderstood as what they really are. The fact that he runs an organization that helps people and that he leads AA meetings makes him very interesting, and I think that Ron Livingston, recently seen in a very different but equally memorable role on “Search Party,” is absolutely the right person to play this character, a far cry from his signature “Office Space” character. The summary of this show on explains that Loudermilk puts the “S.O.B. in sobriety,” and I think that’s a fitting way of summing up this show’s warped sense of humor. I’m not sure yet what will come of the focus on his friend Ben or the new neighbor he’s trying and failing to impress, Allison, but I think there’s something very substantial here. I’ll certainly be back to check out episode two, which conveniently is already available and will be reviewed shortly!

How will it work as a series? Maintaining his sobriety is probably the least of Loudermilk’s challenges since he has to keep his group together and try - hard - not to offend every person with whom he comes into contact. Watching him navigate that should be very entertaining, and this show feels fresh enough to sustain itself.
How long will it last? Without much to go off in terms of ratings data, I’ll point to the simple fact that this show got much better reviews that its lead-in series, “Hit the Road,” and therefore it’s likely that Audience Network will choose to invest in seeing where it goes. I’d hope for and expect a renewal.

Pilot grade: B+