Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NBC Fall Pilot Review: Guys with Kids - Sneak Peek Tonight, Premieres Sept. 26; ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween for 2012


Guys with Kids

Guys with Kids - Wednesdays 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Sneak Peek Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:00PM ET/PT and
Premieres Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 8:30PM ET/PT


By Pavan

Guys with Kids is a new comedy from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jimmy Fallon about three thirty-something dads who try to hold on to their youth as they face the responsibilities of having kids. Thankfully, Gary (Anthony Anderson), Chris (Jesse Bradford) and Nick (Zach Cregger) have each other to help navigate the highs and lows of fatherhood -- while still trying desperately to remain dudes. Balancing work or staying at home, happily married or happily divorced, taking care of the "littles," while maintaining a social life is a daily challenge. Whether it's hosing down their babies in the kitchen sink or hitting the bar strapped with "babybjörns," these guys are taking on fatherhood in ways no one has ever seen before. Nick and Gary's wives -- Emily (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Marny (Tempestt Bledsoe)--as well as Chris' ex-wife Sheila (Erinn Hayes)--also offer their own parenting advice. Dads today are more involved in their kids' lives than ever, and these guys are no exception. No tantrum is too loud, no diaper is too dirty -- Nick, Chris and Gary are up to the challenge.


Cast Details:

* Anthony Anderson as Gary
* Jesse Bradford as Chris
* Zach Cregger as Nick
* Tempestt Bledsoe as Marny
* Erinn Hayes as Shiela
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Emily

Anthony Anderson (Gary) has appeared in over 20 films, and his performance on NBC's Law & Order earned him four consecutive NAACP Image Award nominations, the most recent for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for the 2010 season. He first gained attention as one of Jim Carrey's sons in Me, Myself, and Irene. Over the years, Anderson has displayed his bountiful talent in Transformers, directed by Michael Bay; as well as in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning feature, The Departed, alongside a stellar cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson. Anderson brought his talent and humor to the small screen in his own sitcom, All About the Andersons, which was loosely based on his life. He appeared in the police-drama television series, The Shield, opposite Michael Chiklis and Glenn Close. Before joining Law & Order, Anderson starred in the New Orleans-based drama K-Ville. One of his first roles was in the T-NBC sitcom Hang Time.

Jesse Bradford (Chris) has quietly amassed a body of work matched by few actors of any age. In 2007 he received a Vision Award for his performance in Clint Eastwood's remarkable WWII drama Flags of Our Fathers, depicting one of the three surviving soldiers from the infamous photo of the raising of the U.S. flag on Mt. Suribachi. As an adolescent, Bradford received a Most Promising Actor nomination from the Chicago Film Critics for his breakthrough performance in Steven Soderbergh's gem King of the Hill (1993). The late Gene Siskel declared "a really powerful performance.... he has all the moves... a complete actor," while Jeffrey Lyons called him "a revelation." Bradford guest starred on a season of NBC's Emmy Award-winning television series The West Wing, which he followed with the comedy Eulogy opposite Ray Romano and Zooey Deschanel. Additional television credits include Merchant-Ivory's Heights opposite Glenn Close, the NBC drama Outlaw, and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.

Zach Cregger (Nick) was a series regular on the NBC series Friends with Benefits. He co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in Fox Atomic's feature Miss March, which had a theatrical release in 2009. The film chronicles two friends' cross-country trip to the Playboy Mansion. He also appeared in Lionsgate Films' College, with Drake Bell and Nick Zano. He will next appear opposite Gary Cole and Megan Mullally in Gay Dude for Lionsgate.

Tempestt Bledsoe (Marny) has enjoyed success in the entertainment business since the age of four. She began her career singing jingles for radio and television commercials in her hometown of Chicago. By the age of ten, she was cast as Vanessa on NBC's The Cosby Show. The family comedy starring Bill Cosby broke new ground in television and is widely regarded as one of the greatest shows in television history, giving a unique look into a "traditional" family home. While working on The Cosby Show, academics were always foremost in her pursuits, and she was chosen as a finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Negro Students. Bledsoe later enrolled at NYU's prestigious Stern School of Business, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in finance. She became the host of her own nationally syndicated talk show Tempestt, produced by Columbia Tri-star and Dick Clark. Some of her most recent television work includes the original movie Wishing Well, Steven Bochco's Raising the Bar, Oxygen's Husband for Hire, and the voice of Abbey on The Replacements.

Erinn Hayes (Sheila) is perhaps best known for her role in the series Children's Hospital where she starred opposite Rob Cordry, Megan Mullally, and Lake Bell. Previously Hayes starred opposite Kyle Bornheimer in Worst Week, based on the hit BBC series My Own Worst Week. Additional credits include a recurring role as Sam Jaeger's love interest in NBC's Parenthood, the female lead on the sitcom The Winner opposite Rob Corddry and from comedy giant Seth MacFarlane and Bradley Cooper's love interest on the Darren Star produced Kitchen Confidential. From her first series regular role on On the Spot, Hayes demonstrated her comedic chops opposite comedy legend Tim Conway. Since then, Hayes has guest starred on numerous shows including Grey's Anatomy, The Wedding Band, Royal Pains, Hawthorne, Unhitched, Notes from the Underbelly, Shark and Will & Grace among others. She starred as Pam Dawber (aka Mindy) in the hugely successful television movie, The Unauthorized Story of Mork and Mindy for NBC.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Emily) is perhaps best known for playing Meadow Soprano on the critically acclaimed drama The Sopranos. Her recent television credits include recurring roles on Ugly Betty and Entourage. Sigler's work on The Sopranos earned her the 1999 and 2000 Hollywood Reporter Young Star Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series, as well as two ALMA Award nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2001 & 2002.) Feature-film credits Homie Spumoni, a comedy co-starring Donald Faison, Joey Fatone and Whoopi Goldberg, Lovewrecked opposite Amanda Bynes and Chris Carmack, and the thriller Dark Ride, in which she has a starring role.


Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs Wednesday, September 12, 2012)
When Chris (Jesse Bradford) is asked out to a Knicks game, he must find a babysitter without his ex-wife Shelia (Erinn Hayes) finding out. Elsewhere, Gary (Anthony Anderson) and Marny (Tempestt Bledsoe) find an unusual spot for some alone time. Meanwhile, Nick (Zach Cregger) is in the dog house when he forgets about an important event with his wife, Emily (Jamie-Lynn Sigler).

Guest starring in "Pilot" are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Himself, Alex McKenna as Megan, Marleik Walker II as Yoda, Brian Mgganga as Clark, Mykayla Sohn as Violet, Bianca D'Ambrosio as Violet, Chiara D'Ambrosio as Violet, Brian Huskey, Jessica Blair Herman as Waitress, and Bruno Amato as Fan.
The episode was written by Matt Lawton and directed by Scott Ellis.

Analysis:

The show is about three guys who are taking care of their own kids. Two of the guys are married, while the other is divorced but the ex-wife is still around. It is nothing out of the box or anything, but it is for sure something that could have mass appeal. The three guys are Gary, Chris and Nick. I think Chris, played by Jesse Bradford, is probably the main character. He is the one that has the ex-wife, Sheila, played by Erinn Hayes. Sheila seems a bit annoying and stuck-up. She even has a date with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That is just weird and the joke didn't come out that well (they met on J Date?), I thought. We actually do see Kareem at the end of the episode, and that works better. Does Sheila have a date with him actually? You'll have to tune in. I like Gary, played by the funny Anthony Anderson. He has four kids and the two older kids are very naughty but that is pretty funny. He and his wife, Marny, seem scared out of their minds of their kids. Marny is played by Tempesett Bledsoe and we are so glad she is back on sitcoms! In her first scene, there was one point where I thought if she was trying to talk like Bill Cosby? But that's cool! The final guy is Nick and he is married to Emily, played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler. I think they are the most uninteresting pair on the pilot. I like Sigler in the role, but so far her character isn't there yet.

Basically in the pilot, Chris finds a girl and is asked out to a Knicks game. That kind of sounds weird that the girl is asking the guy to go to a game? He has to find a babysitter without Shelia finding out. Sheila doesn't want any babysitters for some reason. She is just weird and unlikeable. Gary and Marny just wants to find a place for some time to themselves, because their kids are just out of control. This story is probably the funniest of the pilot. And Nick forgets to go his daughter's school thing and his wife wants to go. That sounds really bland, doesn't it? There is a touching scene between them at the end though. The three couples do interact with each other often, so it doesn't really feel like three separate storylines, so that is a good thing.

I think the chemistry between Gary and Marny works and I think in the future it will be there for Nick and Emily. I think Chris is definitely the lead but I don't think the ex-wife thing will work if she is demanding and annoying all the time. The chemistry between the three guys is probably the best one for the show...and it should be since the title is implying the guys. That's why I have some better hopes for future episodes, so hopefully the show delivers. The pilot is just OK and needs more funny stuff. Some of the jokes do not work at all and seem off. It is not the worst comedy though, and there are some positives for sure, as I mentioned.


Conclusion:

This is a multi-camera sitcom and I always like to see those. This seems like a '90s throwback style comedy, like how ABC Family is doing Baby Daddy (which is a really good sitcom). However, I wish the pilot were a little more funnier. The cast is pretty good (Tempsett Bledsoe returns!) and all, but the show really didn't bring in the funny. Yes, this is a pilot and it is a set-up for things to come, so I hope the funny comes soon. Usually pilots are not that strong for sitcoms (unless you're Modern Family), so I have some hope that this show will get better. This sitcom previews tonight with the pilot episode airing at 10pm after America's Got Talent. Episode two will not air until another two weeks, though, on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at its regular time of 8:30pm on NBC. They quickly nixed the plans we told you about yesterday about them airing episode two next week (Sept. 19), see our story.

I never like pairing a multi-camera sitcom with a single-camera comedy and that is what NBC will be doing by airing this series after the single-camera comedy (and the worst sitcom pilot of the season) Animal Practice. This show has much more potential than that show. I wish NBC found a better companion for it. Whitney would not have worked either, as that show is just bad. Guys will be going opposite the ABC comedy block, so I don't think it will be beating that, even though new comedy The Neighbors is the comedy on ABC. After watching the Go On pilot, no other new NBC (or any network for that matter) comedy pilot has come close to that. Jimmy Fallon is an executive producer on this sitcom (and I think he even is the "taped in front of a live studio audience" announcer at the beginning of the show), but I really don't see his style of comedy on this sitcom pilot. But maybe it will come! For now, we're thinking it will get better. And we hope it will.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 12 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Guys with Kids Photo Gallery

    Preview:






    ABC Family scares up 13 Nights of Halloween for the 14th consecutive spine tingling year, with programming filled with chills and thrills as you countdown to Halloween. The popular programming event, starting Friday, October 19, and concluding on Wednesday, October 31, features a brand new episode of Pretty Little Liars featuring special guest "glampire" Adam Lambert, and the season finale of Switched At Birth. The stunt will also include the basic cable premiere of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the ABC Family feature film premiere of Monster House, and Poltergeist III, and a massive mix of Halloween-themed programming airing for the 13 nights leading up to Halloween.

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    Bob Hearts Abishola - "Welcome to Lagos" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
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    • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/The Cleveland Show) - Watch Seth on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
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    • Awkwafina (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens) - Awkwafina appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • Fran Drescher (Indebted/Happily Divorced/Living with Fran/The Nanny/Princesses) - Fran is a guest on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • Tia Mowry (Family Reunion/Instant Mom/The Game/Moesha) - NBC's Today has easy power snacks with Tia on The Quick Fix Kitchen in the 10am hour.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Do Not Disturb/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry will be on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.


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