Monday, January 14, 2019

Pilot Review: Fam

Fam (CBS)
Premiered January 10 at 9:30pm

In an age where most comedies don’t have laugh tracks anymore, CBS continues to churn them out. There have been so many series about families being brought together as the result of an engagement, and usually they couldn’t be any different before slowly and heartwarmingly finding common ground. In the case of this show, the bride-to-be told her recently-promoted fiancé that her father was dead because she found him to be such a terrible influence. Setup-wise, this show is extremely familiar, but it does have a rhythm, one that feels closest to “Will and Grace” but with the style of “How I Met Your Mother,” where lines sometimes feel choreographed to lead in to the next joke. I thought that I recognized the lead actress from something, but I wouldn’t have imagined that it was Nina Dobrev from “The Vampire Diaries,” a show that I didn’t watch past the pilot. This is certainly a different role for her, and she seems to do fine in it opposite Tone Bell, who I remember from “Bad Judge” and a handful of other short-lived series. I also thought I knew Clem’s sister Shannon, though maybe that’s from the family resemblance between Pamela Adlon and her daughter Odessa, who plays this role. I’m always happy to see Gary Cole in anything, including the upcoming final season of “Veep,” and this is a great part for him as the world’s worst father, who also happens to be a police officer. I don’t have any plans to watch this show, but it’s not the worst or least amusing way to spend half an hour.

How will it work as a series? Shannon living with Clem and Jay is sure to be a disaster, and now that Jay’s parents know that Cole’s Freddy is alive, there are sure to be plenty of opportunities for them to interact and learn about each other. This premise is all about setting up situations in which they can speak and realize their differences, which should work pretty well.
How long will it last? Its ratings debut was trumpeted by Cinema Blend as an improvement on “Murphy Brown” in the same timeslot earlier this season, and that’s probably the best thing for the show since it can be marketed as a success. Its reviews are less enthusiastic, but that’s never stopped a CBS sitcom from living a long and healthy life. I say this one gets another few seasons.

Pilot grade: B-

No comments: