Sunday, February 24, 2019

TV: TBS airs another bomb

It's a tough call: what's harder to believe -- that TBS has aired so many bad sitcoms or that it's still trying with sitcoms?


The debris of so many bad sitcoms still is scattered on the ground -- including TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE, SULLIVAN & SON, ARE WE THERE YET?, MEN AT WORK, WEDDING BAND, PEOPLE OF EARTH, SEARCH PARTY, THE GUEST BOOK and WRECKED.

And to that list of disappointments add MIRACLE WORKERS.

It's a bad, bad show.

It only has two things going for it: the comedic timing of Karan Soni and Daniel Radcliffe's star wattage.  The rest of it is just a dreary, long slog.

The premise of MIRACLE WORKERS is that God (Steve Buscemi) isn't pleased with the earth -- that includes Bill Maher -- whom he doesn't find funny -- possibly the only point that everyone in the audience can relate to.  Being displeased leads God to announce that he's decided to destroy the earth.

Craig (Daniel) and Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan) are attempting to save the earth by creating a miracle (hence the title) and getting two people to fall in love.

It should be something but it isn't.

It's getting good ratings (over twice what a new episode of SEARCH PARTY pulls in) but that's really because of Daniel Radcliffe's star power.  Watching, you have to wonder why THE CW isn't wooing him for a SUPERNATURAL spin-off (both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have gotten long in the tooth -- at least Jensen still looks like a man)?  He'd seem a natural.

There's nothing natural about this TBS program and the fault for that goes to the creator, producer and sometime writer Simon Rich.  It's surprising just how unfunny Simon Rich is.  You have to wonder if he tried bitchy if that would work better -- it gave his father Frank a long career.  He's earned great reviews -- as only the child of a member of the press can.  He hasn't deserved any of the raves.  His books don't actually sell and his time as a writer for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE provided nothing that ever stood out.  Then there's his last 'sitcom,' MAN SEEKING WOMAN, which lasted ten episodes.

With no evidence of even a slight talent, Simon Rich has become a writer and a producer.  He'd be an actor as well if he didn't look the way he does -- not even Daddy could help him there.

But few can be helped.  As we noted, Daniel Radcliffe has real star power.  You either do or you don't.

We were sick last week and often fell asleep with the TV on.  That's actually an illuminating experience.  You react instinctively.

For example, with regards to TCM, Ben Mankiewicz speaking -- never a simple sentence when he prefers to speak in commas -- was enough to have us moaning, curled up in a fetal position.  The same fever state welcomed Dave Karger whose voice was soothing and whose physical presence was reassuring.

It's a powerful lesson and one that people should really consider when casting projects.  For example, about half the cast of MIRACLE WORKERS would still be seeking work if any real standards applied.  But then if real standards applied, Simon Rich wouldn't be producing TV shows. 

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