Back To You
fired national newsanchor returns to local TV (and an ex-lover)
Type of Pilot: Workplace Sit-Com
Similar Shows: Stacked (group of funny people working together...), Mary Tyler Moore Show (...at a local TV station), Good Morning Miami (another workplace sit-com, set at a TV station)
Strengths: Kelsey Grammar.
Weaknesses: Patricia Heaton. She's not funny, and I hope the show devotes lots of time to the workplace ensemble and not very much time to the romance between the leads.
Impressive Characters: Chuck Darling is an instantly likable central character. He's vain, not-very-nice to people and - by the end of the pilot - taking stock of his life in a major way. He's also, thanks to Kelsey Grammar, very very funny. The other real highlight is: Gary Crezyzewski, the out-in-the-field reporter, desperate to get a shot at being the news anchor. His desperation, and his unpronounceable name, are the source of a few good laughs.
Impressive Actors: Kelsey Grammar is hilarious, as always. He's also likable on-screen, so even when Chuck is being mean to the people around him, we still like the guy. Ty Burrell & Fred Willard get lots of good laughs as Crezyzewski the reporter and McGinley the sports guy. Willard, more than anyone else in the cast, is a perfect fit with Grammar (status-wise) and the show works best when they share a scene.
Less-Than-Impressive Characters: Montana Stevens is the sexy/slutty weather girl. Such a cliché. The character (even the Latina accent) is a direct lift from Good Morning Miami. And, it's lazy comedy: Make one of the characters a slut and have another character make quips about it. Over and over and over. Yawn.
Less-Than-Impressive Actors: It's a rock-solid cast. But, I didn't find Heaton funny or likable in this role. Ayda Field is wasted as the fake-Latina weather girl. The audience will tire of sex-jokes very fast. Josh Gad didn't impress me much in the pilot (he's the news-director) but I think he'll prove to be very funny later on. Maybe. With Grammar, Burrell and Willard in the cast, he's have to shine to be noticed.
Continuity: Can't imagine there being any.
Rewatchability: The opening minute of the pilot if one of the funniest things I've seen in ages. I've probably watched it five times and laughed each time. The pilot, itself, is well worth a second viewing. There are a lot of quality laughs here.
Other Info: This is from the guys who did the fantastic Pamela Anderson sit-com Stacked. That was a very, very funny show. And, I think, this one will be, as well. Maybe Pamela Anderson will do a guest shot? As Chuck's ex or something. That would be funny.
Three Things I Really Like About This Pilot:
Three Things I Really Don't Like About This Pilot:
Patricia Heaton. I don't find her funny, and I don't see any spark between her and Kelsey Grammar
Fake-Latina weather girl, and the ensuing sex-jokes.
Not sure about the twist/revelation at the end of the pilot. Better off being a standard workplace sit-com, I think.
Ditch Heaton, and the romantic sub-plot, and you've got a rock-solid, very funny, ensemble comedy here.