LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV 11 Film Critic Jonathan Nettles couldn't find a movie so instead he's talking about the new CBS shows.
This week, the local theaters didn't have any new movies showing on Thursday night which created quite the conundrum for this film critic. How can I review a movie if I haven't seen it? I can say things like "it should be good" or "it has an actor/director/producer whose work is usually good" but often I've said that about a film before going to see it and I've been disappointed. So, what does a film critic do when he hasn't seen a movie for his weekly segment? Sometimes, a gift like CBS premiere week drops in your lap.
Let's talk about these new CBS shows.
On September 23rd, CBS launches the fall season (that means new shows) and this year, they're giving us 3 comedies, 1 drama, and 1 looks-like-a dramedy.
Starting with Monday, September 23rd, TV hit-maker Chuck Lorre (Two and Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) launches his latest creation, Mom about newly sober single mom Christy who is struggling to raise her two children in a world of temptations. Testing her sobriety is her formerly estranged mother who is back and eager to share passive-aggressive insights into her daughter's many mistakes. Christy is played by Anna Farris who is best-known for her comedic roles in the Scary Movie franchise. The mother is played by Allison Janney, best known for her Emmy Award winning work on The West Wing.
Mom is just another comedy from hit maker Chuck Lorre so expect it to be funny and expect it to be a little different than what he's done before but at the end of the day, it's another sitcom. Just laugh at it.
The next big premiere of the night is Hostages starring Emmy Award winner Toni Collette and Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott in a high-octane suspense drama about Dr. Ellen Sanders, a premiere surgeon thrust into a political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage by rogue FBI agent Duncan Carlisle who orders her to assassinate the President of the United States when she operates on him.
The premise of this one sounds like a story arc that can only go so far. I felt the same way about Under the Dome and they found a way to make us wait until summer of 2014 for that one to continue. I'm curious to see what liberties they take when it comes to how the President is protected and how they can drag this out and keep it exciting for a full season. CBS is putting a lot of marketing behind this so they're pretty confident the show will succeed and since Jerry Bruckheimer is the executive produer, you should definitely give it a chance.
A week later, also on Monday night is We Are Men a single camera comedy about four single men living in a short term apartment complex who find an unexpected camaraderie in their many failed relationships. Carter, the most recent addition to the group, moved in after being left at the altar mid-ceremony and is ready to re-enter the dating scene with help and advice from his fellow apartment dwellers: Frank Russo, a successful middle-aged clothing manufacturer and four-time divorcee who still considers himself a 'ladies man'; Gil Bartis a small business owner who was caught having the world's worst affair; and Stuart Weber, a speedo-wearing OB/GYN who's hiding his assets until his divorce is settled. Armed with a hot tub, pool-side barbeque and plenty of questionable advice, these losers in marriage take Carter under their wing.
We Are Men has a lot going for it. It has a funny premise that will attract viewers in the demographic of Two and Half Men (this looks to be that shows replacement). It also has a very funny cast. Frank is played by Tony Shalhoub and is best known for the OCD detective series Monk. Jerry O'Connell plays Stuart and shot to stardom in the classic film Stand by Me and has continues successes with TV shows like Crossing Jordan and Sliders. He's considered quite the looker by the ladies and I think he wears a Speedo often in this series. Kal Penn plays Gil and is best known for his roles in the "Harold & Kumar" franchise.
A funny premise and a funny cast usually equal a funny show.
On Thursday night, Robin Williams makes his return to TV comedy in The Crazy Ones opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar as a larger-than-life advertising genius whose unorthodox methods and unpredictable behavior would get him fired...if he weren't the boss. He's the head of a powerful agency with the biggest clients and brands in the world, but even more important is having is daughter (Gellar) at his side.
This is the show that has me excited. Robin Williams is very funny but he's also a very talented dramatic actor. If the writers can keep him contained and still utilize his abilities, this could be huge hit.
On the next Thursday another family comedy, The Millers begins right before The Crazy Ones. The Millers stars Will Arnett as Nathan Miller, a recently divorced roving news reporter looking forward to the single life until his parents' marital problems derail his plans. After he breaks the news of his divorce to his parents, Carol and Tom, his father is inspired to follow suit and leaves his wife of 43 years. Things get more complicated (or hilarious) when Nathan's meddlesome mom decides to move in with him.
Generally, I think any comedy that involves son and a meddling mother is going to be funny. Some of the funniest episodes of popular shows like The Big Bang Theory, Two and Half Men, even Seinfeld and Friends have been ones that involved the parents.
That's it for now. Next week, I hope I can tell you about a movie.