Yet Another TV Review Podcast

I write an occasional TV Review blog (Click Here) as time permits,
You can follow me on twitter (Click Here) and/or Facebook (Click Here).
And I've collected some of my old reviews into a book (

Back To You episode reviews

Back To You, Kelsey Grammar

Episode 1. "Back To You" Kelsey Grammar is back on TV. His new sit-com is standard fare, and it's funny. Kelsey Grammer & Fred Willardare both especially good. The rest of the cast are okay, but it will take a few weeks for them to hit their stride. I hope FOX gives them the chance to do it. I loved Stacked (from the same producers), and I can't understand why it didn't last longer. Sigh.

Episode 2. "Fish Story" The key thing about a second episode, after you have enjoyed the pilot, is: is it as good? In this case, the answer is a resounding 'Yes'. It's the next day, and Chuck is still getting used to the idea that he is now a father. When he kills a fish (by accident) he tries to prevent Kelly from finding out (because she'll think he's irresponsible, etc. etc.). Cue lots of fish replacing, following by lots of fish deaths. Is it funny? The answer is a resounding 'Yes'.

Episode 3. "The First Supper" This episode gives a lot more screen-time to the ensemble cast. It turns out that the overweight, shy boss is secretly in love with the sexy weather-girl. And he spends much of this episode in her dressing-room, helping her through a romance crisis, while she wears nothing but a towel. Yawn. The other two plots are funnier, but this isn't a very strong episode.

Episode 4. "A Gentleman Always Leads" A simple idea, a very funny idea. Chuck is worried about playing second fiddle to Kelly on the Evening News. So he steals what looks like it could be the lead story from her. But - in the run up to broadcast - events change in both stories, over and over, and a tug of war develops. After a so-so episode last week, the show delivers a very funny outing this week. My favourite cast member was missing, though.

Episode 5. "A Night of Possibilities" The show finds a clever way to mix and match it's characters: carpooling. All plot lines are funny, and some of their co-workers notice that there's an attraction between Chuck & Kelly. A top-notch episode.

Episode 6. "Gracie's Bully" A group of kids visit the TV station, including Chuck's daughter, who is being picked on by a boy. And Chuck is determined to interfere. Standard sit-com plot, with a few good laughs. Mostly raised by Ty Burrell. Ayda Field, who normally annoys me, was funny (and gorgeous) in this episode. I just wish they'd drop the sex jokes.

Episode 7. "Something's Up There" Once again, the writers find a clever way to keep the characters together in a non-work setting. And, since this is a very funny ensemble, it leads to a lot of laughs as they chase a raccoon around a suburban house. Patricia Heaton has started to grow on me, I must admit, but the star of the show is always Ty Burrell.

Episode 8. "Business or Pleasure" Mostly unfunny. And a big disappointment after the previous episode (in airdate order). This time out laughs are few and far between, with Marsh - in particular - having a dreadful plot(?) to shoulder. Some nonsense about searching for a new sigh-off. A total Laugh Free Zone. Sigh.

Episode 9. "Date Night" Wow. Possibly the best episode. Hilarious from start to finish. Unlike many episodes, the chemistry between Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton is sparkling, and the supporting cast/plot is simply superb. In the main story, Kelly is dating a younger man and Chuck is teasing her about it being a younger version of him. "You're obsessed with me," he declares. It's fun to watch him being all arrogant and even more fun to watch her go to extremes to prove him wrong. She gets revenge by trapping him in a date with someone he does not fancy. And, being a sitcom, they all end up on dates in the same restaurant. What makes it work (and very funny) is the way Kelly reveals that she is obsessed with Chuck, while he (in a lovely twist) really connects with his bookish date.

Meanwhile, back at work, there are some wonderful scenes with the rest of the gang. Marsh, Ryan and Gary in the make-up room is one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen. It's the old guys-talking-like-women gag, this time played out in a make-up room at a TV station. And, boy, does it ever work. These three guys know exactly how to play it and I was in hysterical laughter from start to finish.

Episode 10. "Cradle to Grave" Another winning episode. The gang from WURG head to a funeral where - of course - misunderstandings abound. Meanwhile Chuck opts to spend some time with his daughter. Not that she knows who he is. Both storylines generate lots of laughs and this episode gives everyone - even the kid - a chance to shine.

Episode 11. "The New Boss" Uncomfortable to watch. Some genius thought it would be funny to write about the firing of Montana after Ayda Field was fired from the show. Or maybe she left the show? I don't know. But the point is she is not in the last six episodes and this laugh-free zone is too self-conscious about the whole affair to be anything other than excruciating. Really, honestly, who thought it would be funny to watch Ryan (who has a crush on her) firing Montana? To watch him crying as he did it? Or watch her crying after it had been done? Genuinely tasteless TV. Nice one, FOX!

Episode 12. "House of Tomorrow" An okay episode. Kelly's fascination/obsession with Chuck drives the story in this one. He is dating a younger woman (again) and Kelly is tauting him about it. Chuck sets out to prove that he is more mature than she is willing to admit and, in the process, buys a house that he has never seen (!!). It turns out to be a 'futuristic' house with loads of voice-activated devices, which go awry in the episode's frantic conclusion. It's not a very funny episode, since most of Kelly's rants are just unfunny rants, but the bit at the end (in the house) is funny even if it is too forced to be genuinely hilarious. Best bit? Chuck's date thinks she is watching him being spanked by Kelly (he has, in fact, set his pants on fire).

Episode 13. "The Wall of Fame". Oh dear. Not just a Laugh-Free Zone, but a Re-Vamp zone time time. Two actresses are gone, and one of the parts is recast. Plus, the story (such as it is) indicates that the show is going to more focus more onto Chuck and his daughter. While it is admirable that the show is being revamped (Montana being a particularly pointless character) I get the impression that they are missing the point of the problem, ie. it's not very funny. Kelly's attempts to hide the picture in this episode are stupid, not funny and make the character look stupid, too. Ty Burrell (the show's funniest actor) is wasted in a pointless plotline, and nothing about the show's impending change of direction look good. Sigh.

Episode 14. "Hug & Tell" Except for some very funny slapstick at the very end (Chuck faints, then Kelly faints) this is a laugh-free dreadful episode. The first third is a therapy session with Chuck and Kelly venting their mutual anger. Yikes! No giggles there. Next up is a lengthy sequence where Kelly reveals her romantic feelings for Chuck. Hmm. When this is then revealed to be a delaying tactic, I pretty much gave up on Kelly the character and Back To You the show. Seriously, this is god-awful rubbish.

Episode 15. "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back" It's a bit late in the day, but Back To You manages to deliver a good episode. I still think changing the focus of the show completely over to Chuck's reunion with his daughter was a mistake but this is a funny episode. It takes place on the night that Chuck and Kelly finally tell their daughter the truth. She takes it badly. And while they deal with this, we get to see flashbacks to the night they slept together (possibly as a means to get the rest of the cast into the episode?). There are plenty of gags and the ending is good, where is looks as if Chuck has run off (again) but he's actually managed to find a way to put things right. Good stuff.

Episode 16. "Chuck and Kelly, Doin' It Again" Oh dear. Another dismal post-revamp episode. Although it is set in the workplace, this is - once again - driven by Chuck and Kelly's daughter. And, guess what? The little tyke has managed to suck the funny out, once again.

There are laughs, yes. Fred Willard and (the great) Ty Burrell have a funny plot about swapping ties, but most of the episode has Chuck and Kelly dealing with an ad campaign with strong sexual undertones. On the same day they have decided to tell the world about their daughter. There's not a lot of mileage in that idea. And the point of the episode seems to be to engineer problems so Chuck and Kelly can make a grand gesture at the very end and tell everybody about their daughter live on air.

It's undoubtedly meant to be warm and fuzzy.

But it's false as frak! The sort of crap that only happens on TV. It might work on an emotional level if we - the audience - cared about this daughter. But we don't and I resent having yet another episode devoted to her.

I'd suck it up if there were laughs, but there's aren't. End of review.

Episode 17. "Hostage Watch" I've had a love-hate relationship with Back To You since it started, but I must admit that it's final episode was very funny. Chuck is called in when a man holding hostages at a bank specifically requests him as the person he wants to talk to. Everything that plays out inside the bank is funny, and the reaction from Kelly is great, too (she calls out "I love you" to Chuck and then regrets it). The script gives Chuck a nice epiphany wherein he realises he has to stop being reckless like this now that he has a daughter. And it works perfectly within the framework of this being a workplace sit-com.

I liked it a lot. And there is a part of me wishing that it was coming back for a second season.

No comments:

Ignoring Friday Night Lights renders the Emmy's meaningless.

The podcast's URL is View RSS XML Simply enter this url in your podcasting software of choice. Thanks!

A Briefing With Michael

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Yet Another Film Review Blog

    Yet Another TV Review Podcast

    Yet Another TV Wallpaper Blog