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 Pedigree: The show was created by John Mulaney (Saturday Night Live), who wrote the pilot and executive produces with Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), among others. The pilot was directed by Andy Ackerman (Seinfeld).
The Cast & How You Know Them: Along with Mulaney, the show stars Martin Short (Damages), Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live), comedian Seaton Smith, Zack Pearlman (The Inbetweeners), and Elliott Gould (Ray Donovan).
The Premise: John Mulaney is a young stand-up comic who gets what’s supposed to be his big break working for a comedy legend, but the job doesn’t turn out to be what he expects.
What Doesn’t: Everyone’s delivery was very slow and wooden, and I had trouble telling if and when this was deliberately for effect. While, as I said, some of the jokes were funny, some just didn’t land at all, and that’s a common problem but sticks out more when most of the characters are literally supposed to be comics. I have zero interest in stand-up, so the bits we saw from Mulaney’s performances did nothing for me.
Our Favorite Line: “I’m sorry, you’re from Maryland and you yell at video games. You’re not a Buddhist.”
You Might Like This if you like comedies about weird, dysfunctional groups of friends. It’s getting a lot of Seinfeld comparisons, and it does follow a similar template, but it probably does everyone a disservice to expect it to be as good as such a legendary show right off the bat. It’s also not as good as You’re the Worst, but it reminded me a bit of that one in the way the characters interact and relate to each other.
(Photo courtesy of FOX.)