Three New Comedies This Fall… That Are Actually Making Me Laugh

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine
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This new Fox sitcom stars Andy Samberg as obnoxious cop Jake Peralta who doesn’t seem to take his work or cases seriously enough for his by the book boss, Captain Holt, played by Andre Braugher. I went into this show expecting it to be the Samberg half-four, full of Andy being loud and ridiculous, but his performance is actually fun and charming. Samberg fits into the group cast, standing out as the main character but not stealing the show. I was trying to find ways to complain about it and cancel my pvr setting, but I’m actually looking forward to Brooklyn Nine-Nine each week. All of the characters are finding their own voices and the writers are giving lots of great dialogue and jokes to all the cops, not just Samberg. What’s really making this show work for me is the relationship between Detective Peralta and Captain Holt. As opposites, the natural tension between these characters creates conflict, but the writers have gone above and beyond creating interesting back story for Ray Holt. The police captain is gay, married, and this is his first command. Braugher is so believable and real as this character that he manages to pull off delivering emotional dialogue, like he just walked out of an episode of The Wire, straight into comedy gold, telling Terry Crews to act like a man and take his nap. Oh yeah, Terry Crews is in this show, playing Sergeant Terry Jeffords. Jeffords has twin baby girls named Cagney and Lacey. How awesome is that? The women of this show, Melissa Fumero as Detective Amy Santiago, Stephanie Beatriz as Detective Rosa Diaz, and Chelsea Peretti as the administrative assistant Gina Linetti, are growing on me. At first, they seemed bland and the female detectives interchangeable, but as the season progresses, I’m enjoying their different characters. Detective Diaz is my favourite, the tough, secretive cop, and although Gina can be indifferent and annoying, she’s kind of like a cruder April from Parks and Rec.
I watch and love procedurals, but it’s refreshing to have a comedic sitcom version in the mix.Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a keeper this season.

 

The Crazy Ones
the-crazy-onesThe new show from David E. Kelly, creator of Ally McBeal and Boston Legal, is kind of like Mad Men 2.0, but with Robin Williams playing a mashed up Denny Crane-Don Draper, Simon Roberts. The sitcom also stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as William’s daughter, Sydney, as they run their ad agency and heal their father-daughter relationship. The single-camera show looks great, as expected, but has laughs and heart. I’m not surprised that this show is hitting on so many levels, it nails the work environment and personal relationships, but also manages to be surprisingly insightful about marketing and pop culture. The honest communication that grows between Simon and Sydney as they learn to trust each other is the best part of the show. Robin Williams is fantastic as he shifts from outrageous physical comedy to tender moments with his daughter. I’ve missed SMG so hard since Buffy, and during an outtake she even referenced Sunnydale, leaving me smitten. So far, the rest of the characters have their moments and I’m hoping that the pretty assistant, Lauren (played by Amanda Setton) gets more interesting. She also wears too much make up. Or something. She’s too plastic for me. I can tell that they want her to be “smarter than she seems”, but that stereotype is confusing and condescending. We’ll see.
There is an episode with Josh Groban. So, The Crazy Ones is going to steal your heart. Obviously.

 

Trophy Wife
Bradley Whitford! Bradley Whitford is on TV and I can watch him every week! Ahh! Sign me up to be the next ex-wife.
trophywifeBradley Whitford (swoon) plays Pete Harrison in ABC’s new sitcom, Trophy Wife. A lawyer with two ex-wives, he marries the young and beautiful Kate, Malin Akerman, throwing this whole concept into action. Pete’s first ex is an intense, focused surgeon played by Marcia Gay Harden. Dr. Diane Buckley rules her house like a fierce tiger mom, and their teenage twins are fun kids (sort of an Alex and Luke pair, if you watch Modern Family). Michaela Watkins plays Jackie Fisher, the second ex and a new age, granola toting mom to their adopted, Chinese son. There are a lot of characters in this show, but it works. The rushed lives of moms and dads are exaggerated in Trophy Wife but like the best comedy, it’s always funny when it’s true. I could do without Kate’s voice over, it’s not necessary and we know she’s the main character here, it’s in the title. But the title is actually pretty clever, because Kate is a surprisingly down to Earth woman who wants to make her new family work. Being a pretty blonde must be a tough gig, because Akerman is often cast as the sexy, bitchy, annoying sister type. Well, maybe only once but I don’t like romantic comedies that much. I think I was holding that against her. But she’s winning me over on Trophy Wife. In fact, that she isn’t just a “trophy wife” is the strength of the show. And not just for Kate, but all the women on Trophy Wife. The female characters are an interesting blend of contradictions, making them way more likeable and realized than many women on TV. I like the surgeon that pushes her kids but also rules at beer pong. I like the new age, bongo playing mom who embraces internet dating. The problem with having an awesome cast and great writing for all these super women, is that it doesn’t leave enough time for all the Bradley Whitford I desire.
My problem with Modern Family has generally been the lack of people 20-40, which I get a fix from every week with New Girl. I like Trophy Wife because it throws a young woman who was living the single girl life into a modern family. Check it out.

– Roz Y.

A microbiologist turned screenwriter, she loves all things science. Roz enjoys video games (the cake is a lie!) and reading comic books, and arguing with other geeks about both. Inspired by screenwriters like Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright, Fran Walsh, and Joss Whedon, her favourite genres are science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Roz is so cool she plays the French Horn and has a collection of fabulous head bands.

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