Monday, October 3, 2011

Pilot Review: How to Be a Gentleman

How to Be a Gentleman (Thursdays at 8:30 on CBS)

I don't know why I'm even bothering to review such an unbelievably mediocre show as this, but here goes. How to Be a Gentleman is a rehash of The Odd Couple about Andrew (David Hornsby), an etiquette columnist at a magazine, and the development of his unlikely friendship with gym owner Bert (Kevin Dillon), the guy who used to beat him up daily in high school. Andrew's job is threatened when his magazine is bought by a new company who want to transform his "How to Be a Gentleman" column into something more appealing to the demographic referred to as "guys in their 30s who act like they're 15."

It's a mess of unfunny stereotypes about masculinity and etiquette. "Gentlemen," according to Andrew, hold doors open for people, stand to greet friends, and wear three-piece suits. "Gentlemen" also then, looking at Andrew's life, have no friends or romantic relationships. The implication is that Andrew is too much of wuss and too full of himself for anyone to like him. In order to have more friends he has to punch people in the arm and frequent strip clubs like Neanderthal schlub Bert. It's a hideous way of thinking that men have to be total pricks in order to get women to date them or friends to like them. And aside from the offensive material, it's just not funny. The only funny moment in the pilot was unintentionally so; Andrew has just remembered that Bert was expelled from their high school for credit card fraud, and then Bert asks him to hand over his credit card info to set up a membership at the gym. And there's no joke made about the fact that Bert used to steal credit card numbers. How can you get behind a show in which you're smarter than the writer?

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