11:36am PT by Daniel Fienberg
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Me, Myself and I'
[I'll remind you at the top of every single one of these: These entries are not reviews. They're gut reactions to not-for-air pilots that could change in big and small ways between now and September or October or midseason. Full reviews will come then. They'll be longer. And more carefully considered. The opinions may even change. Who knows?]
Show: Me, Myself and I (CBS)
The Pitch: "This Is Us, only it's a sitcom and instead of a diverse family learning lessons from the past, it's one troubled, rich white guy!" "Sounds like a CBS show to us!"
Quick Response: There's been some confusion why the new season has so few This Is Us knockoffs, but thematically no show mirrors the NBC hit as much as CBS' new single-cam in which life lessons ripple through a single character's life at three ages, when he's played by Jack Dylan Grazer, Bobby Moynihan and John Larroquette. I think the premise is an interesting one and all three leads are just fine, but the pilot's execution on the structure is haphazard at best. Rather than feeling like a single show with tonal and thematic flow between each segment, Me, Myself and I feels simultaneously like an ABC sitcom, then a subpar season of How I Met Your Mother and finally a bland arc in the future that has been realized with no imagination at all on why it would be interesting to tell a story set partially in 2042. You never feel the time frames communicating with and through each other and it doesn't feel like a unified piece. A smattering of jokes land but the attempted heart is unconvincing, so rather than achieving its ambitions, Me, Myself and I comes across as a less successful version of Life in Pieces and, let's be honest, Life In Pieces is only sometimes a successful version of Life in Pieces. My fear is that this sort of balancing act is so tenuous that if the pilot doesn't offer convincing proof-of-concept, there's no reason at all to believe that subsequent episodes written under time constraints and in a writers room by a disparate group of scribes will be able to pull it off. And all of that is before I get into the distraction of Larroquette and Sharon Lawrence, 14 years apart in age and looking every bit of that gap if not more, being asked to play characters who were the same age as teens. It's very distracting.
Desire to Watch Again: More like Meh, Myself and I. Probably I'll watch a couple more episodes, but if they don't show improved facility with the format, I won't last long.
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All of My 2016 Take Me to the Pilots Entries