Pilot Perception: Ground Floor

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Ground Floor, TBS in the U.S. on Thursdays at 10/9c and The Comedy Network in Canada on Thursdays at 10:30/9:30c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) and Greg Malins (How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls). Lawrence executive produces with Jeff Ingold (Undateable, Surviving Jack) and Jeff Astrof (The New Adventures of Old Christine). The pilot was written by Lawrence and Malins and directed by Gail Mancuso (Cougar Town, Modern Family).

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect), Briga Heelan (Cougar Town), John C. McGinley (Scrubs), Rory Scovel (Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous), Rene Gube (Ben and Kate), Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect), and James Earl (Glee).

The Premise: Ground Floor is billed as a Romeo and Juliet comedy of corporate America, in which an ambitious young “top floor” banker and a “ground floor” maintenance office worker have a one-night stand, and then must figure out if and how their very different lives and worlds can mesh.

A Taste:

What Works: What I love about Lawrence’s Cougar Town is the way it combines strong, serialized character-based stories with the laughs, and the Ground Floor pilot at least gave me hints of characters I could grow to care about, so I’ll watch another episode or two, at least, to see if it heads in that direction. But . .

What Doesn’t: I wanted to like this, because as I mentioned I love Cougar Town, but it just . . . wasn’t funny. There were the apparently mandatory-for-comedy-pilots racist and sexist “jokes,” and while the upstairs/downstairs element could lead to some interesting commentary on class and education and ambition and priorities, so far, the treatment is pretty stereotypical.

Our Favorite Line: “There was this girl.” “Ah, yes. The start of every tragic story.”

You Might Like This If you like workplace comedies with a romantic element, or maybe if you like Lawrence’s previous shows like Cougar Town and Scrubs.

If You’re Interested: Ground Floor premieres tonight (Thursday, November 14th) on TBS at 10/9c, with a second episode immediately following at 10:30/9:30c. On Canada’s Comedy Network, the pilot airs at 10:30/9:30c, with the second episode next week at the same time.

(Photo courtesy of TBS.)

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