Friday, September 24, 2010

Pilot Review: $#*! My Dad Says

$#*! My Dad Says (Thursdays at 8:30 on CBS)

Now, I haven't watched every new pilot this season (nor do I plan to), but of the ones I have seen this is the worst by a long shot. Actually, I can't imagine any of the other shows yet to premiere will be able to be worse.

Let's start by getting this out there: this show has nothing to do with "Shit My Dad Says," the hysterical Twitter feed and subsequent book on which it is supposedly based. Fans of that father know the reason it's funny is because he is completely honest but also completely crass. CBS isn't going to have William Shatner screaming jokes about "fucking" his wife or cursing up a storm, even though that is what the source material is. So that's the first roadblock. Then you have the fact that none of the new jokes in the pilot script are funny within the context of the show; I laughed once in the half-hour, and it was at a joke which had nothing to do with the story (it was a jab at Shatner impressions). The two leads, Shatner and Jonathan Sadowski as the son, are both hams with no sense of character. Sadowski is especially awful in his line delivery, breaking up sentences and emphasising every other word he speaks, probably because that's what he was taught at his acting summer camp as a kid (I mean, come on... his biggest credits are small roles in She's the Man and the remake of Friday the 13th). He is never funny, though he did garner the most noise from me: I groaned just about every time he opened his mouth. The only decent actor on display here is Nicole Sullivan as Shatner's daughter in law (see, I don't even know the character names); she has good comedic timing and an amiable presence... she's the one thing I didn't completely hate (and an amusing cameo by Tim Bagley).

I just expected so much more from this. Aside from the stupid new title ($#*! My Dad Says, pronounced Bleep My Dad Says), I thought with Shatner on board and the wonderful team behind my all-time favorite sitcom Will & Grace (creators David Kohan & Max Mutchnick and director James Burrows), this would have turned out better. But it's a mess from beginning to end. I'll try to give it another chance next week, but I think this will be the first new show of the season to get dumped from my DVR.

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