Sunday, September 30, 2018

Pilot Review: Single Parents

Single Parents (ABC)
Premiered September 26 at 9:30pm

I didn’t know much about this show going into it other than what its title suggests, and what I found didn’t surprise me at all. Almost a decade ago, ABC redefined the modern-day comedy series with “Modern Family,” a sweet, fresh depiction of an extended family unit with a whole host of personalities to be found within it. Since then, I feel like so many different series have attempted to do the same with decidedly mixed to negative results. We’ve seen other shows featuring single parents trying to raise kids, and most have been comedies. This show throws a whole bunch of them together as it struggles to find a way to legitimize bringing them together, with sympathy for the new guy actually being overwhelmed by pity and a desire to prevent his poor fashion choices and questionable relationship decisions from spreading. Once Taran Killam’s Will professed his love for his date just as they started kissing, it was clear that this show isn’t offering anything new, regardless of two of its characters singing a song from “Moana” together trying to push the envelope. What we have here is a case of immature parents and unbelievably – literally, unbelievably – precocious children who are often much abler to function than the single people who raise and support them. I knew I recognized Killam from somewhere, probably from his six-year stint on “Saturday Night Live.” I’m a huge fan of Leighton Meester, who tries to do her best to save this show, but I preferred her colonial role on “Making History.” And of course there’s Brad Garrett of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “’Til Death” fame, playing the most buttoned-up and conservative of these parents who somehow get along because of their similar situations. This show might provide a chuckle or two, but that’s not worth spending half an hour watching it.

How will it work as a series? Meester’s Angie rallied everyone to support Will and pulled them away from what they were doing, so now they’re going to be bound together as an unwilling “village” to help each other whenever anything comes it. We can expect predictable sitcom antics to follow as they try to stay focused on their kids while being entirely distracted by the actions of adults.
How long will it last? The reviews for this show are actually better than a number of other pilots, including ABC’s other series that premiered on Wednesday night, “A Million Little Things.” Airing right after “Modern Family,” now in its final season, probably helped, but it’s not clear right now that it performed well enough to continue. I’ll tip the scales towards this show being renewed down the line.

Pilot grade: C-

No comments: