Now all he has to do is find a talented director. The character of "Mr Sunshine" is a tractor beam to all of the nervous nerdy types who look for direction in how to handle social situations in life... from their television. I am one of these people. Obviously, Matthew is putting himself out there... and coming on as a somewhat more animated Bob Newhart character... and it works.
Chandler Bing lives, indeed, in the character of Ben Donovan. This would be him some years later... after the young adult stage of marrying Monica, etc. He is the caring, passionate general manager of a sports stadium in San Diego. Fortunately for us, the audience... none of his staff or the owner gives a damn about their job! He is the one sane man in the character list of the show whose last nerve is being stepped on minute by minute by the crazies who surround him in his life.
Those who feel paranoid about life being out to get them will feel at home and identify with this man surrounded by demonized nutsoes who live to make his life hell! (Fortunately for us, again!) ...As Larry David responded to Jason Alexander of Seinfeld upon questioning the believability of the show scripts for Seinfeld, "Yes, this all can happen. I know...these scripts are based on true events from my life...I lived it!" Perry must be ADHD, as I am. The funny lines come so quickly you will really need to set your VCR to play this back again to see things that you missed.
My one criticism and caveat with the whole show is the direction. The verbal deliveries and timing of some of the lines is sometimes sloppy. Funny can be lost in sloppy editing and direction. A second or two too long in a shot after a line can destroy a good joke. Too quick of a response to a question by a character can destroy the credibility. Too low of a volume level on a punchline by one of the main characters can make a joke non-existent.
The writing is funny, and flawless. Kudos to Mr Perry and company. Translation to proper acting and character direction is crucial in getting "funny" across to the audience. The direction appears amateurish. I noticed on several occasions (with two episodes broadcast so far) that camera shots are too tight. In older classic sitcoms you will notice most of the time a tight shot does not serve comedy well. Tight face shots work well in drama and soap operas, not comedy. Witness the original sitcom of Perry, "Friends." It is much funnier to see the whole room of characters in a scene all respond to funny lines than it is to just see a tight shot of the character speaking. (Pull the cameras back a little.)
Comedy is a group thing because the moment we are laughing is usually because the character is in a situation where he is not laughing. There is tension and stress on the character... but we are convulsing wildly on the floor gasping for air. Would love to see a James Burrows or a James Widdoes directing this sitcom. The writing and brilliant creation of Matthew Perry here certainly deserves it.
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