four men, successful in business, are running scared from various women
Type of Pilot: Comedy-Drama; Soap Opera.
Similar Shows: Desperate Housewives (four friends of the same gender sit around and dish the dirt)
The Inner Light: Men are the new women.
Strengths: Great cast. Dylan McDermott as Duncan. Joshua Malina as Karl. Michael Vartan as James. Christopher Titus as Brody (who has the least screen-time).
Weaknesses: Wimpy, uninteresting lead characters.
Impressive Characters: Karl's mistress, played by Jessica Collins, is an impressive character, and the only one I cared about when the credits had rolled. She's insecure about her relationship with Karl. She thinks he's spending too much time with his wife, so she insists that they go to couple's therapy. The same therapist that Karl and his wife go to! That's brilliant. And Collins is fantastic in the role. It's a pity that hers is a minor character, relegated to a few scenes.
Impressive Actors: Jessica Collins shines as Karl's mistress. She's funny and sweet. And off-the-chart sexy.
Less-Than-Impressive Characters: The four main characters come across as wimpy and uninteresting: Duncan is immature, prone to casual sex with transvestites and unable to form adult relationships with his daughter/ex-wife, Karl is cheating on his wife and too weak to stand up to his mistress, James is fired by his boss, who - he then discovers - is sleeping with his wife, and Brody is terrified of his wife. None of them are cool or interesting. And, if not played by such a talented cast, they would be unwatchable. The are idiots. Compare them with Hank (David Duchovny) on Californication. Hank is similar, except that he's got a dark side, and edge, and his journey is interesting to watch. These guys don't come across - in the pilot - as being on a journey. This is them, this is who they are, and we are supposed to enjoy them every week.
Less-Than-Impressive Actors: Jazzmun, the transvestite, was awful. While Wendy Moniz effects an impossible-to-like screen presence. I never warmed to her on The Guardian, and I disliked her here playing James' cheating wife. Because I didn't like her, I couldn't care less about their split. His wife is awful, and so is the girl James has lined up at the office. Consequently, James comes across as an idiot. Moniz would have been better cast as Karl's wife.
Continuity: The continuity will probably be moderate. Each episode will probably have a strong theme running across the plots and the various story arcs will advance a small bit each week.
Other Info: Jon Harmon Feldman previously created Tru Calling and Reunion, two of the best shows ever. But he appears to have missed the boat with this one, quality wise. Also, this opening episode had poor ratings, so it may not last very long.
Three Things I Really Like About This Pilot:
The idea of the mistress and the hubby going to Couple's Therapy.
The male cast.
Three Things I Really Don't Like About This Pilot:
Wimpy, uninteresting lead characters.
I could probably watch a show like this, no bother, if it was well-written and interesting. But I have to wonder who exactly the intended audience is. Most men, I think, won't respond to these four wimps. And most women might dislike them for being so relentlessly mean to the women in their lives.