Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Show Review: "Mr. Sunshine"

Matthew Parry is very cynical on "Mr. Sunshine"
Credit: ABC

Another show that I haven't been able to review since it premiered because of other factors is the new Matthew Perry show Mr. Sunshine. My very brief review of the series is after the jump.

Usually pilots aren't good bars for judgement on a comedy. Usually the pilot isn't what the series will be like because the writers are figuring out what will work and what won't. With Mr. Sunshine I found the pilot to be a good example of what the next two episodes would be like, not particularly funny.  It's one of the darker comedies I've seen premiere in awhile, with this show that doesn't work towards its advantage. A show with jokes that keep on saying "your life sucks" isn't funny. I see the potential, but it's not showing in the first three episodes.

Matthew Perry plays a very sad man. The show hits you over the head with the fact that he's a sad, lonely man. That's where most of the jokes about him come from. Matthew Perry is a funny man, but with this material I don't laugh at anything he says.

Allison Janney is batshit crazy. That's probably the best way to sum up her character. She doesn't get the best material in the world so she doesn't come off as anything but unfunny. Her character is quite frankly unlikeable, even though I like Allison Janney quite a bit from West Wing. She can be funny, she's just not being used correctly and she's not given good material.

Andrea Anders is another actress who I like a lot who is being wasted on this show. She's playing a watered down, less funny version of Linda from "Better off Ted" (*) I don't hate her presence on the show but she doesn't come off as interesting or even funny. (And it's difficult to make Andrea Anders not funny). Her boyfriend played by James Lesure is one of the better characters on the show. He plays egotistical very well, but it's not enough to save a not-so-good show. As a couple, they seemed forced together as a way to keep Ben and Alice from getting together. There's not much chemistry there.

(*) Which, if you haven't seen it, is a very funny show. Brilliant but cancelled, sigh.

The other couple is played by Portia Doubleday and Nate Torrence. Heather (Doubleday) is probably the most annoying character on the show because they use the constant threat of her going crazy for laughs. It's not funny, it's just stupid. I doesn't work at all. Roman (Torrence) has a youthful innocence that is funny sometimes, but not funny others. He is one of the better characters on the show. As a couple they seemed forced together, I'm not sure that there's any chemistry there.

I really want to like this show because I see the potential in the cast. This is a funny group of people so they should just be allowed to be funny. Until the show allows these people to do what these people do, it won't be good. It will just be another comedy this season that didn't land correctly (and judging by the ratings it didn't land correctly with audiences either). I'm going to stick with the show for the next few episodes to see if it gets better (it's on an easy night for me so I can do this). Don't expect me to write anymore about this unless it gets really good.

Who has seen this show? What do you guys think?

Mr. Sunshine airs Wednesdays at 9:30 ET/PT on ABC

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