Tuesday, October 5, 2010
TBG TV: Sh*t My Dad Says
10-Word Premise: Resurrecting Archie Bunker on the 40th anniversary of his debut.
Starring: William Shatner as the mouthy, politically incorrect curmudgeon whose primary adversary is the young, idealistic guy who lives under his roof. (I mean, really, CBS…you could've solved this show's over-reported problem with America's DVR search functions by just calling it Still All in the Family. It's the SAME thing.) Jonathan Sadowski as "Meathead 2.0". Former WCW superstar Will Sasso as the obnoxiously successful sibling and Nicole Sullivan as the superfluous, unlikeable daughter-in-law.
The Best Thang: There was one – ONE – solid line of dialogue in the pilot episode. With the week's conflict resolved and the closing credits about to roll, the father (Shatner) and son (Sadowski) are sharing a comedic moment that involves the son impersonating the father. Shatner's "Ed Goodson" character laments, "Why can't someone do a GOOD impression of me?" That bit of self-referential fun was the only time this show exhibited even a shred of heart or soul.
The Worst Thang: I can't ever remember watching a pilot episode – the episode that is ostensibly an audition for the network suits and, ultimately, the audience – in which everyone on-screen seemed so disinterested. Shatner shuffles from scene to scene dispensing lifeless zingers and lightly pushing the boundaries of broadcast television ("…I'll decorate my Buick with your balls…!") In one scene, the son wistfully reminisces about his childhood and a series of insults received from his father. The monotonous detailing of each individual dig could've been read straight from the Twitter feed that inspired this show.
The Verdict: The "Archie Bunker" character worked because he was oblivious to his character flaws and written with such a brilliant comedic bent that he was easy to lampoon. Shatner's "Ed Goodson" is just an unlikeable d*ck with a handful of background characters who wait patiently for his verbal abuse. This show's a shamelessly lazy and unfunny effort from everyone involved.