Review

  • This was my favourite show from this past T.V. season and I really hope it gets picked up for next year. It's a sharp, well-written sitcom with great comedic performances by virtually the entire main cast. The premise revolves around Ben (Matthew Perry), who is the manager of a major sports arena in San Diego, and his off-beat staff members and wacky boss (Allison Janney).

    Janney really sinks her teeth into this quasi-insane character, who, despite being the owner of the arena, delegates most of the work and responsibility to Ben. I really enjoyed the season-long arc involving her awkward and contrived attempts to be a better mom to her 20-something son and new employee, Roman (Nate Torrence), who seems to have been neglected by her and is just looking for a healthy mother-son relationship. Actually, I liked any scene or plot line which involved Roman. Torrence is hilarious and charming pretty much every time he appears on screen and gets a laughs from me simply through his delivery. I've read some people saying they find him obnoxious and don't like him, but I just can't understand why that is, because to me, he's my favourite character.

    Even though the performances are great, I think the real star of this series is the writing. I just watched the 'Celebrity Tennis' episode on NETFLIX and I was laughing consistently throughout. You can't find a lot of new shows with scripts this smart and so densely packed with humour. However, I have a sense that it may not have mainstream appeal, since there didn't seem to be a lot of buzz and fanfare for it.

    I really hope people discover it on NETFLIX (The first 8 episodes are currently available) and a fan-base starts to develop that is large enough to keep it going indefinitely on ABC. I also think ABC should have been airing more reruns of the first season this summer to give it a chance to catch on, and I really hope this does not indicate that they are giving up on it.

    I encourage you to watch it if you can (start with the first episode just to get a sense of all the main plot lines and relationships) and decide for yourself if you think it's as good as I do. Note, however, that this is one of those sitcoms without a laugh-track, which is an important feature of this show since I just can't imagine it working as well with one.

    Season Rating: 3.5 stars out of 4