I thought I’d review the CBS Monday night comedies. Not this past Monday because I haven’t seen them, but the week before. Thanks to my DVR I got around to them on Friday. And I figure, if you missed any of these I’m sure they’re on the CBS website or Hulu or YouTube or rerunning on CSPAN.
I know this is subjective and you're welcome to say "Huh? You liked THAT?" or "How come you didn't say Charlie Sheen is the greatest comedian since Alex Karras?" Just leave your name when you comment.
BIG BANG THEORY – Jim Parsons (pictured left) as Sheldon is hilarious. Imagine people watching a comedy because the star is funny, not handsome. The stories are not very complicated. In this episode Sheldon tried to keep Leonard and his new girlfriend together. That’s pretty much it for every scene. But the jokes were good. And BIG BANG THEORY barrages you with jokes. Thank God a lot of them work. I appreciate that BBT really makes an effort to make you laugh. And they’ve got the right writers and cast to pull it off.
TWO AND A HALF MEN – Wish they’d take the high road more. Wish I created a show even half that successful. But note to director: Tell the kid to stop growing.
WORST WEEK – Americanized version of the British sitcom. Not much in sophisticated storytelling here either. It’s the wedding day, things go wrong, the show ends. It’s slapstick farce, something you rarely see on weekly sitcoms. Why? Because it’s so damn hard to pull off! There were some big laughs in this episode. Great misunderstandings, terrific payoffs, ambitious stunts, they set a swimming pool on fire, and Fred Willard substituted THE BARNEY MILLER THEME for “Here Comes the Bride”.
Kyle Bomheimer as the less Jewish/more middle America-friendly version of Seth Rogen is pitch perfect as the hapless groom. He’s just real enough, just sweet enough, just earnest enough that you root for him and don’t think he’s a total schmuck.
Of the two versions I think I still prefer the British but that just may be because Sarah Alexander (pictured right) is in it.
My big question about this show is how do they sustain this farce every week? FOUR CHRISTMASES can’t sustain it for fifteen minutes.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – For my money, the best of the four. You really get the feeling the writers are trying to tell unique stories in inventive ways. “The Naked Man” episode was a good example. I’ve never seen a show built around whether it’s good form on a first date to surprise your date by taking off all your clothes when her back is turned. Not even on THE FLYING NUN. But it was funny, there were some nice twists, and everything paid off nicely. Maybe it’s my CHEERS bias but I like shows where characters with different comic points-of-view all get together and bat around a topic. The humor here is more observational and character specific (also a personal preference) and you gotta love Doogie. I wished they’d use Jason Segel more and dressed Cobie Smulders in less. How about “the Naked Girl”?
CBS has a good Monday night line-up. Some week I might actually watch it on a Monday night.