The Crazy Ones (thurs 9/26)
Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBS
For my money, no new sitcom of the season has a more impressive cast than "The Crazy Ones."
TV legends Robin Williams (who is also an Oscar winner, need I remind you) and Sarah Michelle Gellar play a father-daughter duo running a big time ad agency in Chicago. James Wolk ("Lone Star"? Okay, how about, Bob Benson from "Mad Men") is an account executive and Hamish Linklater (brother Matthew from "The New Adventures of Old Christine") is the agency's art director. Toss in Amanda Setton ("Gossip Girls") as an assistant.
Now that is a sitcom cast.
And I could really, really like this if Robin Williams would just dial it back a few notches. On a scale ranging from "Patch Adams" to "Dead Poets Society," Williams' performance is somewhere in the middle. Which is to say, it's all over the place. Some of his manic bits (which are frequent, but thankfully, brief) may have you reaching for the remote, but when he calms down and plays a bit lower-key, he's just the best.
I'm so hoping the future of the sitcom steers him a bit more toward the low-key funny he's so good at. But the series is from David E. Kelley, who isn't exactly known for his subtlety. Kelley never met a wacky character he couldn't wacky into the ground.
Gellar does a great job playing the more grounded counterpart to Williams' manic genius, and even has to get a little crazy herself in the pilot.
The real surprise in the pilot is how funny Wolk is. He absolutely holds his own in scenes with Williams, including one where the two riff on McDonald's song lyrics for guest star Kelly Clarkson, whom the firm is trying to land for a commercial. I'm telling you, out of nowhere sometimes, I start singing, "Drive-thru lovin'. Drive, drive-thru lovin'…" And I hate myself for it. In another scene with Clarkson, Wolk sings -- lead -- on an overly sexy hamburger song, and it's mesmerizing.
"The Crazy Ones" isn't perfect, but I'll happily take it -- at least for as long as it lasts against "The Michael J. Fox Show," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Glee" (yikes!).