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TV Show Review – Guys With Kids
Rating: 2 (out of 5). Guys with Kids is a new comedy from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jimmy Fallon, about three 30-something dads who try to hold on to their youth as they face the responsibilities of having kids. Almost all critics found this to be a “can miss” comedy.
The New York Times says “some of the jokes are amusing, but the show is a traditional sitcom that looks slightly dated.”
The Hollywood Reporter was uninspired, calling it “a one-note joke.” They lamented “It never garners more than a smile at best because it’s so patently not unusual” as well as “it’s less funny because the pretense that it should be unique is insulting. It’s 2012, not 1955.” The Reporter noted this is “Obviously a limited-potential series.” They closed their distaste by noting it “works on paper but not in the pilot. It’s a show that should never have been put on paper to begin with.”
Variety also viewed it with disfavor, calling it “broad and silly”, remarking it “appears to exist largely on the basis of one sight gag — the image of three guys in a bar exulting over a game, high-fiving while wearing baby carriers.” Counting Jimmy Fallon among its producers, “it’s another attempt at a throwback, easy-to-market concept — harmless, but about as inspiring as any forgotten sitcom from the Reagan Era.” The show’s execution “brings such a stale approach to sexual politics as to feel dated by the first act break.” Variety was cool with it’s praise, noting “spare time is precious for harried parents — probably too important to squander on a date with ‘Guys With Kids’.”
The Chicago Tribune hated it, saying “‘Guys with Kids’ is the sitcom equivalent of a loaded diaper. It stinks.” The show “feels more like one overlong ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit then a real sitcom.” They continued, ranting “the crew seems to be clueless, opting for a hook that would have been funny in, I don’t know, the 1950s.” The review revealed “I’d rather babysit a dozen children between the ages of 2 and 10 then sit through more of this.”
The San Francisco Chronicle did not like it, saying “There’s not a single laugh-worthy line in the entire show”, adding “The only thing ‘Guys With Kids’ has going for it is that parents may be able to identify with the concept.” They frowned, concluding “the show certainly couldn’t survive on the basis of its humor, because there is none.”
USA Today found it weak, describing it as “an idea in search of a show. And a better idea.” This offering is “as bland, generic and forgettable as that name implies…Guys Without Jokes would be even more accurate.” They announced “If only there was something else to discover here: one tiny new insight on fatherhood, perhaps, or one actually funny moment.” Instead, it’s “all tried and tired jokes about smelly diapers and kids running wild and guys trying, without any visible signs of success, to be good fathers and husbands.” They warned ”watch something else.”
Newsday was not onboard calling “it a crying shame…. everybody talks in sitcom voice: Too loud. Too insistent. Too google-eyed.” This debut is “NBC’s attempt to get back in the live-audience sitcom game. But ‘Frasier,’ it ain’t.” They were uncertain, admitting “You’d think there’d be plenty of character-based humor in situations ….. Not here.” In closing, Newday found it unpromising, stating “There’s long-tired sitcom shtick and incessant transition shots of the outsides of buildings. Nothing to see here. Move on.”
The Boston Globe felt it was inadequate, saying “The most pointlessly rehashed concept of the past few years has got to be the 30-something-men-acting-like-kids sitcom.” They sadly proclaimed this edition of the show “as generic as its title.”
The Washington Post complained “It’s precisely what the title says: just new iterations of the same spit-up and teething jokes.” They suggested “The rest of the gang, including the other babies, should just get out of their way. Then we’d magically have that thing no major network seems capable of ordering: a funny comedy about black people.”
The Kansas City Star was more upbeat, recognizing “ ‘Guys With Kids’ know what they’re doing, sort of. It might get messy, but if you don’t sweat the details, everyone will have a little fun.” The pilot features “A traditional, multi-camera sitcom feels a little retro these days.” While the topic “isn’t breaking new ground with its man-love triangle, Their dynamic works.” The Star gives is a prohibitive thumbs-up, “OK, these guys mostly know what they’re doing. It’ll be fine.”
The Huffington Post found it substandard, calling it “ferociously awful. Where’s the humor?” The writing left them questioning “What rock have the people who created this show been living under?”, adding “It’s neither unusual or necessarily hysterical to see men caring for the their children.” Their negativity continued, admitting “the vibe is both manic and tired, and overall, the decent cast is given nothing funny to do.” In the end, they frowned “All things considered, if you’re going to watch a very broad comedy on NBC, make it the one with the monkey.”
The Tampa Bay Times labeled it behind the times, calling the problem “this series’ insane premise… What’s next, a show about women registering to vote?”
The Knoxville News Sentinel was undecided, and stated “When it comes to personality, “Guys” has plenty to spare. It’s well cast.” Unfortunately, this sitcom “lacks in just about every other area.” The cast “has a very nice and organic chemistry, making ‘Guys’ tolerable.” They felt, however, that “the canned laugh track and predictable writing don’t do them justice.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes, ““Guys with Kids” plays the old guys-can’t-raise-children stereotype, one so tired it’s no surprise there are few laughs to be had.”
The Miami Herald likes the show, noting that “while the novelty [of men being unable to manage children] may be gone, but the concept, executed well, is as hilarious as ever. And (pardon the expression) boy, does Guys With Kids execute it well.”
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Our daily TV show pick for tonight, Sunday, March 9, 2014 is the series premiere of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" on Fox at 9:00.
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When not busy performing stand-up or taping his new TV show, Saint George, here's what George Lopez like to watch on TV:
For more insights from the actor/writer/comedian, check-out our interview with George Lopez.
Jim Jefferies is the co-creator and star (and writer) of FX's Legit. When not busy working (which is rarely), here's what he's watching:
For more, check out our interview with Jim.
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New on VOD
Here are the new VOD films for the week of March 4, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
12 Years a Slave. Rating: 5 (out of 5). Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, is abducted and sold to slavery in the 1800s. This year's Oscar Winner for Best Picture (amongst other awards) comes to VOD on March 4. Critics loved this movie, New York Post calls it “The "Schindler's List" of slavery films.” Reviews, video and more.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Rating: 4 (out of 5). Katniss Everdeen is back on the big screen in this second installment of the Hunger Games series. She returns home safe with fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, but their reunion with their families and friends is cut short when they learn that they have to compete in the Hunger Games for the second time. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, March 7, and has been positively received by critics. The Boston Globe thinks, “Book’s good. Movie’s better.” Reviews, video and more.
After The Dark. Rating: 3 (out of 5). A philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty students with a thought experiment: faced with a nuclear apocalypse, they must determine which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race. The experiment turns deadly as everyone in the group turns against each other in a fight for survival. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, March 4. It has received mixed reviews from the critics, but Los Angeles Times thinks, “While the story's conceit brims with metaphor and symbolism, it rarely comes off as didactic or heavy-handed. Instead, it's smart and provocative. The movie's late-breaking twist also feels about right.” Reviews, video and more.
Oldboy. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Joe Doucette, an advertising executive, was kidnapped and held in solitary confinement for 20 years. When he is released without any explanation, he begins to search for answers as to who and why he captured, only to find out that the bigger question is to why he was released. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, March 4. The critics gave Spike Lee’s remake of a South Korean film mixed reviews, with inevitable comparisons to the original Oldboy. But according to Chicago Sun-Times, “It’s generally a respectful homage that has every bit as much stylishness and visual flair.” Reviews, video and more.
The Bag Man. Rating: 1 (out of 5). Jack is hired by Dragna, a legendary crime boss, to complete a simple but unusual task, and is made to wait for the latter’s arrival in a remote location. While waiting for the crime boss, Jack meets Rivka, a stunningly beautiful woman who becomes emotionally and physically entangled with Jack. When Dragna finally makes it to the location, there are sudden and extreme consequences for all involved. The film will be premiering on VOD on Tuesday, March 4. Most critics were not pleased with the film, and Los Angeles Times thinks, “"The Bag Man," starring John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Rebecca Da Costa, is a brutally violent, misogynistic mind game gone wrong.” Reviews, video and more.
Perfect Sisters. No Rating. Tired of their mother’s dependence on alcohol and abusive boyfriends, two sisters devise a plot to kill her. The film premires on VOD on Monday, March 10. No critic reviews are available as of writing.
Missing William. No Rating. A 30-something artist based in Rhode Island, Abby, is caring for her husband, William, who got injured in a bar fight. While nursing her husband back to health, her childhood sweetheart, James, tries to show her that life can be enjoyable again. The movie will be available on VOD starting Friday, March 7. No critic reviews available as of writing. Video and more.