Friday, October 10, 2008

Last Night's Premieres: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Last night we were presented with three new comedy offerings. How did they stack up?

The Good: Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday, NBC
This show is exactly what it sounds like. The folks at SNL are starting a new show that is essentially one sketch and 15 minutes of Weekend Update. It's like The Daily Show but without those pesky guests sucking the funny out of the room. This week's debate sketch fell a little flat without Tina Fey in the room but it was nice to see Chris Parnell reprise his role as Tom Brokaw. The highlight of the show for me was the return of one of my very favorite Weekend Update features, "Really, With Seth & Amy."

The Bad: Kath & Kim, NBC
I was expecting big things from this show. I have a girl-crush on Molly Shannon and anything that John Michael Higgins touches is gold in my eyes, but this just didn't cut the mustard for me. I have no problem watching characters that are a bit flawed and nutty (ex. The Office) but this was just too much. The mall culture, the fitness craziness, the child-like attitudes, etc. Any one of those pieces separately would be fine, but the combination is little much.

It was hard to watch at some points, not because it was awkward, but because the comedy was so self-indulgent. I could almost see the writers on this show cracking up while they wrote it, meanwhile, I just wasn't in on the joke. It's one of those shows that will need to hook people right away and since the promos for it have been a little slow since the Olympics, I don't know that it will. The only thing saving it right now is its timeslot.

The Ugly: Testees, FX
Oh my God this show sucks. Seriously, I can't believe I watched the whole thing. It's about two schlubby guys who take tests for the local pharmaceutical company (get it, they're Testees?). The rest of the show is not that creative. Last night's pilot had the fellas getting some sort of suppository injected. One got the placebo, the other got a big belly and thought he was pregnant. Then out of nowhere, he tries to abort the baby with a coat hanger...through his butt...because that's how he thinks the baby got in there.

This show had the potential to be hilarious. The possibilities for humor in the pharmaceutical industry are near endless. Too bad this show decided to bypass all of them for scatological humor and dick jokes.

I expected more from creator Kenny Hotz, but then again, prior to this effort he was best known for his work on the hilarious game/reality show Kenny vs. Spenny. (By the way, Spenny was on Testees last night too. He played a guy who was testing out some penis enlargement spray. I rest my case.)