27 July 2008 | darrylb500
A forgotten show
The Second Half was one of those shows that just came and went within a year, and without any of it's cast members becoming big stars, has become forgotten, sadly. This isn't one of those shows where you can discuss an actor who got his or her start on this series and have people say "oh yeah! I didn't know they were on this show, that's cool!"
In The Second Half, we witness John Mendoza going through his single life as a sports writer (also named John in the series) and whatever happens to him and his co-workers. Nothing complicated there, and you don't even have to be into sports to enjoy the show, I'm not into sports myself and it's not like I ever groaned "oh no, they're going to talk about sports for the next few minutes" or anything like that. It pretty much mentions sports about as often as on the later show Everybody Loves Raymond, as the main focus was on Ray and his family for the majority of the time.
The supporting cast was decent too, especially with Mendoza's boss, played by Wayne Knight (who is best known as to being Jerry Seinfeld's nemesis on Seinfeld), and his sister Denise Palmaro, played by Jessica Lundy, as they stumbled around through everyday life. There was also a red-haired guy (I don't know the actor's name) who played a different part every week, which he also had some very funny moments every time he was on screen.
The show was perfectly fit for Mendoza's deadpan (as hell!) delivery, as I used to watch him on Comic Strip Live whenever he was on. The Second Half was just pretty much a bunch of one-liners (like his acts), like when during one episode a co-worker of his was working on his computer. "John, do you know anything about CD-ROM?" "Wasn't that the trash can-shaped robot on Star Wars?" John immediately shoots back. There was also another great comeback line in another episode where John is dating a tree-hugger, which's John sister immediately does not like; she says she doesn't believe in cars because they pollute the world. When she finds out John's sister is a nurse, she also states that she doesn't believe in doctors either (for some reason or another). "So, I guess if you were to get hit by a car and have to see a doctor, you'd have to start believing in both!" retorts Lundy. Classic.
Unfortunately this show debuted not long after network TV competition with cable and all started getting fierce and was canceling shows within only a few episodes if they didn't reach 100 million viewers each week or so (ok that's somewhat sarcastic, but you get my drift). Granted it actually ran an entire season but that's not exactly bragging rights though. Even though the cast was decent, no one was really famous at the time (although Knight was doing really well then, as he was in the first Jurassic Park movie that same year, which a promo ran with Mendoza making fun of just that, saying "weren't you in that dinosaur movie?"), so that probably didn't help either.
And all these years later, at the time of this writing, not only is this show not on DVD, but this is also the very first review of it, 15 years after it went off the air. A bit sad, considering other crap that makes it through several years of TV that only are sporadically funny (which several shows come to my mind, but I won't glorify them by naming them).
Not that I'm WISHING it, but I suppose Mendoza would have to die in a plane crash for this show to get some more attention that it deserved.