Monday, March 10, 2008

TBG Reviews: Unhitched

One of the first lines of dialogue uttered by Rashida Jones' "Kate" character during last week's pilot episode was something to the effect of:

"I gotta get back to the office…"

True dat, Rashida. True dat, indeed.

Fresh off a stint as "Jim Halpert's" love interest on NBC's The Office, Jones is part of the cast for the new FOX sitcom, Unhitched. The premise revolves around a quartet of longtime friends who've recently divorced their respective spouses, including Craig Bierko as "Gator" – the neurotic one, Johnny Sneed as "Tommy" – the idiot freeloader, Shaun Majumder as "Freddy" – the naïve/heart-of-gold guy and Jones, who plays the hot chick who is inexplicably bad at dating.

Executive produced by The Farrelly Brothers, it became immediately clear that their, uh, "broad" cinematic comedy style might not play as well on the small screen. The opening moments from the pilot involved an absurdly unfunny sex scene with Gator and a blind date imitating the mating rituals of gorillas.

I'm sure someone like Joe Reid or Tom Daniels can tell me which modern sitcom popularized the single camera/no laugh track approach, but now all of them think that this style can make "stupid" look "inspired".

We're only two episodes in and Kate has been on two dates that have gone horribly awry, as she's fallen for guys whose careers aren't what they seem. Last night's air guitarist was, admittedly, funnier than the prior week's "leprechaun", but come on. We're expected to believe that this bi-racial inferno of fine can't land a decent man? I mean, I'll grant you that the show is based in Boston, but still…

Meanwhile, Majumder's clichéd character gets conned by a hooker and her pimp in the opener and became BFFs with a taciturn African-American bouncer in last night's episode. The over-the-top Indian accent is really a bit much in 2008 and the whole "childlike innocence" schtick is already old. Anyone wanna take bets on how soon he misinterprets a meaningless gesture from Kate and then falls in love with her?

The Gator and Tommy characters seem to solely serve as the gross-out components. If it ain't gorillas in heat, then one of them is enlisting the other to remove a "skin tag" from the back of a prospective girlfriend.

FOX ordered up 13 episodes, but it'd be a minor miracle is all of 'em ever see the light of day. These are four mostly unlikable, annoying characters and no amount of midget-inspired pratfalls or intentionally latent gay storylines can cover that fact for long. Still, Rashida might keep me watching for a few more weeks. She wore boots last night. Yum.


that nicka said...

kudos to Rashida. Maybe she can ride the wave of hotness like Alba and Garner did by being on horrible piece of shit television shows and make the jump to horrible piece of shit movies if for no other reason than to keep hotness onscreen at all times.

JPinAZ said...

Yet shows like Arrested Development and Futurama get cancelled.

Burn in hell, Fox!

Oh, wait. They do give us the quality television that is Moment of Truth. I take it back.

Mathan said...

For you Rashida fans you should check out NY/Lon which was the first thing she was on that caught my attention. It ran on BBC America a couple years back, but she stars and it's full of her hotness.

(Though, in fairness, I'm not sure how I feel about being attracted to her.)

that mexican guy said...

I say give in to the lust, Mathan. Rashida is "teh goodness" to coin a phrase. Plus she's got those musical genes that you love.

Mathan said...

And she's funny!

But for me it boils down to race. I'm not really comfortable with folks who can "pass" or sidestep the issue of race. It's like, if I cut her slack then I've got cut Tiger, Derek and Mariah slack too. And I'm not sure I can do that.

Plus her mom is one of few the Aryan-esque women who I had a crush on when I was younger, which might make Thanksgiving (after my whirlwind courtship) nutty.

NYjon said...

I hear ya Mathan but I haven't heard of Ms. Jones outwardly running from her heritage in interviews and a la Tiger, Derek, etc. Then again, before this post, I had no idea who her dad was. I can't blame her for being cast as the white chick sidekick in Office and Unhitched.

If she ever shows up at The Essence Awards, though, all bets are off.

mikey mejor said...

I read that Rashida and John Krazinski (her romantic interest on The Office) were dating in real-life at one point. This amazes me since their characters really had no chemistry on that show, IMO.

More to Mathan's point (and to quote AJC) I think we know which set Rashida claims.

Mathan said...

Yeah, Rashida and John dated years ago. Last I heard she was engaged to super DJ Mark Ronson.

I mean, not that I keep tabs on her romantic life, looking desperately for an opening...or anything like that.

Um, I gotta get out of here.