Thursday, January 04, 2007

Snap judgement: Two new sitcoms

Besides The Office -- when I remember to -- I don't watch any of the current network sitcoms and haven't in many years. Although sometimes, usually during a sporting event commercial break channel surf, I will land on an anonymous network sitcom. When I do, I often stay for a minute or two and generally find that most of the jokes and gags that fly by are mildly amusing. Once in a while I'll even let out a cackle.

So I figure sitcoms are, on a whole, funny, and if I ever got to the point in my life when I needed a regular infusion of humor between 8 and 10 on weeknights I'd become a sitcom watcher.

I decided to put my sitcoms are funny theory to the test last night. I was going to be watching Notre Dame get blown out for their seven hundredth straight bowl loss anyway, and had been well-informed -- through a drum-beat of promos during other bowl games -- ABC would be premiering two sitcoms at 9:00 and 9:30.

The name of the first sitcom was to be "Let's Rob Mick Jagger." Only Mick Jagger objected to having his name attached to a sitcom and it was changed to "The Knights of Prosperity."

"Let's rob Mick Jagger" nicely sums up the plot of the first episode. A janitor, played by "that guy" actor
Donal Logue, is sick of his station in life. Even though he is a native born white American with the verbal wit of a sitcom writer, the Queens' native is forced to clean bathrooms for a living. Watching television, he sees Mick Jagger showing off his opulent 52 million dollar Manhattan apartment and decides to rob it.

He then informs everyone he meets of this decision. Terrible criminal strategy, which would be totally excusable if it led to comic situations. Unfortunately it doesn't. The janitor puts a crew together, yada, yada, yada and by the end of the episode they haven't robbed Mick Jagger -- or made anyone laugh.

Mick Jagger, on the other hand, is a riot. With perfect Spinal Tap aplomb Jagger appears in a series of cameos where he takes a camera crew on a MTV Cribes-like tour of the 52 million dollar apartment in question. Although, since he didn't want his name on the show, I doubt Jagger will be appearing every week.

The next show was called "In Case of Emergency" and it starred
Jonathan Silverman of Weekend at Bernie's fame and David Arquette of having two famous sisters and an even more famous former-sitcom-actress wife fame.

"In Case of Emergency" didn't have much in the line of a fancy "let's rob a rock star" plot, but it did cram an admirable amount of sight gags, fat jokes, crude sexual innuendo, ethnic stereotyping and physical violence in to its first fifteen minutes.

Then it started to fade, or maybe 45 minutes of sitcom watching was enough, but I didn't make it the end.

In short, I'm not as confident as I was before that sitcoms are universally funny, I have gained new found respect for Mick Jagger's comic chops, and I am pleased the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are still
exactly what everyone outside of South Bend thought they were.


Anonymous said...

After Mick’s parody of band mate Keith on SNL, Mick should never have to reprove his comedic chops.

JT said...

When you do an image search for Mick Jagger, you get a surprisingly large percentage of Keith Richard's photos.

Or, maybe not so surprising. Like a dog and its owner, Mick and Keif look more similar with each passing year