10 March 2004 | Rogue-32
Mike White Scores Again!
I was extremely excited about this show, since its creator is the brilliant Mike White, who wrote Chuck and Buck, The Good Girl and School of Rock, among other things. I was surprised that he was going back to television after speaking out a few years back about how frustrating it was to try to bring 'quirky' characters and stories to network shows; apparently after School of Rock was such a monster hit, the people at Fox had the foresight to court him, and what a superb show he's given them, and US.
The first episode last night (3/9/04) was genius from start to finish: great set-up, perfect introduction of all the major characters, hilarious interaction between them. AND the best part, boys and girls - - - NO laugh track! (This is the thing that makes me not want to watch any sitcom; the dreaded laugh track is just so hideous - rolling my eyes just thinking about it.)
The characters on this show could (and probably WOULD) be stereotypes in a lesser writer's hands, but Mike is too sharp for that, too subversively bent (his best quality). The cast is perfect as well, especially Molly Shannon, and if Cracking Up gets the audience it deserves, there is hope for the world after all.