[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all “These are reviews.” If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Show: “The McCarthys” (CBS)
The Pitch: “Ethnographically Specific Multi-Cam Family Comedy #432”
Quick Response: When I did my Take Me To The Pilots on “The Goldbergs,” I took the show to task a little bit for all of the shouting and Adam Goldberg told me on Twitter that his real family is just loud. I can't argue with that. Well, “The McCarthys” is a passion project for creator Brian Gallivan and it's at least semi-autobiographical, so who am I to say that his actual family isn't a loving hodgepodge of Boston Irish stereotypes and that family get-togethers don't become a non-stop stream of gay jokes that really might have been edgy and pushing the conversation forward in 1974, but seem stale and dated in 2014. And if Brian Gallivan says that, honest-to-goodness, he and his mother bond over their love of “The Good Wife,” I can't say, “Lies, you've inserted at least three 'Good Wife' jokes as CBS cross-pollination.” All I can say it, “Well, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, but usually fiction is funnier than fact” and that now that we've introduced The McCarthys as being a lot like The Gallivans, perhaps it's a good time to take them in a funnier direction. I know I say, “TKTK is a funny guy” a lot in blurbs on unfunny comedies — See “Mulaney” just two days ago — as an excuse for why things might improve, but not EVERY comedy show creator actually *is* funny. It happens that Brian Gallivan? He's funny! And the versions of the family stories he told at press tour? They came across as funnier than the easy and lazying braying that takes up most of the pilot. I'm certain you can do funny things with Laurie Metcalf and Jack McGee as the louder-than-life parents. I'm certain that as the Gallivan proxy at the show's center, Tyler Ritter is charming and likable, because John Ritter's DNA seems to have been strong in some of the virtues that both Jason and now Tyler have conveyed. It's interesting that nobody has asked either Jason or Tyler to try to emulate their father's masterful manic wackiness and I don't know if that's because comic leads aren't written for John Ritter types or if there's a Hollywood fear of typecasting the sons based on their father, but “The McCarthys” establishes Tyler Ritter as a watchable presence, but I'd love for them to next try to make him funny. In addition to providing his ample Beantown bona fides, Joey McIntyre is also the funniest and most comfortable piece of the pilot. I don't exactly understand why he hasn't been given the opportunity to star in his own project at any point. He's good. Kelen Coleman hits her punchlines decently, but struggles with being as Boston-y as the rest of the cast, while Jimmy Dunn, in contrast, is Boston-y enough for three or four people, but overhits every punchline. I've got enough New England in me that parts of this world felt authentic, but the over-reliance on sports jokes and gay jokes pushed everything into a generic realm, other than one delightfully random Mike D'Antoni gag.
Desire To Watch Again: Frankly? Almost none. The very, very best version of “The McCarthys” would probably be a comedy I'd be willing to let pass me by and this isn't that. But I give comedies a couple episodes and this will be no exception. I wouldn't dread watching more, though. This is yet another of the years' bad shows that at least don't anger me.
Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'How To Get Away With Murder'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: FOX's 'Mulaney'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: 'Marry Me'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: CBS' 'Madam Secretary'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'Forever'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: FOX's 'Red Band Society'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: NBC's 'State of Affairs'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: CBS' 'Stalker'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'Selfie'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: The CW's 'Jane the Virgin'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: FOX's 'Gotham'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: NBC's 'Constantine'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: CBS' 'Scorpion'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'Black-ish'
Take Me To The Pilots '14: The CW's 'The Flash'
All of my 2013 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries