6 October 2010 | emckinney3
Needs some work...maybe even reworking
This show comes very close to pure gold in terms of its premise and casting. Unfortunately it is lacking in fulfilling its own promise. The characters are interesting and well-acted.
The most conspicuously absent part of the show is an anchoring "straight man" a la Jack Lemon or Dean Martin. The zany characters are no good without an accomplished and mature actor capable of acting as a stand-in for the audience. My guess is that the writers intended for this to be Puddle, and while Stefania LaVie Owen is a good child actress, she has not yet developed the nuance and complexity of facial expression and voice intonation to make her more than the show's cute kid.
Another problem that will eventually become evident is that the show can only do so many episodes before its audience loses interest in whether or not Emmy and Steve sack out together. There is only so far that this show can go, and I'm not certain that it will get there.
I love Will Arnett, and really want him to have a stellar show, and maybe if there is room for a sympathetic character along the lines of Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, then these lovable (though not likable) characters will shine and the audience will gain an appreciation for their quirks and a sense of familiarity that is currently lacking. In the meantime, though, I feel like some writers and producers just tried to cram a bunch of far out characters into one show without any hope of development or perspective.