"Worst Week" (9:30 p.m. Mondays, CBS)
"Gary Unmarried" (8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, CBS)
Every fall, as new TV shows are rolled out for our approval, no genre causes more trepidation than the situation comedy. Do we really need any new ones?CBS does nothing to allay our justifiable skepticism this week, as the network debuts two more: "Worst Week" tonight at 9:30, and "Gary Unmarried," at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The single-camera, no-laugh-track approach of "Worst Week" suggests an edgy comedy of the new school, and indeed, it has some edgy moments, such as when the hapless protagonist Sam (Kyle Bornheimer) accidently urinates on a goose that his girlfriend's mother is preparing to cook.
Yep, you read it right, and you probably gets the imagery — it's Sam's own goose that gets cooked (or, you know, the other thing) over and over again, as he unwittingly walks into a series of mishaps while trying to impress the parents of his soon-to-be wife (Erinn Hayes).
The cast is fine, especially Bornheimer and "That 70s Show" alumnus Kurtwood Smith, once again playing the sourpuss dad. But if you immediately thought of "Meet the Parents" when you read the description, you're right on the money. This show is nothing new, and the formula gets tedious fast.
As unpromising as "Worst Week" is, it's "The Office" compared to the horribly-titled "Gary Unmarried." This cute, depressingly average comedy stars Jay Mohr as a newly-divorced working stiff who tries to start a relationship with a new hottie (Jaime King) whose house he painted, while navigating the difficulties of sharing custody of two kids with a control freak of an ex-wife (Paula Marshall).
The snarky one-liners fly, the kids (Ryan Malgarini and Kathryn Newton) are as precocious and quirky as most TV kids, Mohr acts like he's dying to say something that's actually funny, and the show is nothing more than a tepid, modestly pleasant way to kill a half-hour — really kill it, in the sense that you won't remember a thing.
GRADES: "Worst Week," C plus; "Gary Unmarried," C