Thursday night saw the return of two TV veterans to the small screen. Both Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Geller got their start on classic, quality shows and The Crazy Ones marks their return to the format. Unfortunately after one episode its pretty clear The Crazy Ones won’t be going down in the history books along with Mork and Mindy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Chicago set comedy centers on an advertising agency helmed by father daughter duo Simon and Sydney Roberts (Williams and Geller, respectively). Simon is a once brilliant advertising giant who is falling behind (because that’s what they said, not because it was actually confirmed by the story) and Sydney is the tightly wound ying to his yang.
Obviously when you cast Robin Williams in something you want his high energy, somewhat manic brand of comedy. The problem is, without the help of high-grade pharmaceuticals, most people can’t keep up with that frenetic pace. The attempts to do so were uncomfortable. There was a lot of fast-talking, a lot of clearly improvised bits, and a lot of yelling over one another, but there weren’t a lot of laughs.
Perhaps it takes time to get accustomed to Williams’ comedic stylings coupled with creator David E. Kelly’s brand of weird, so perhaps in time the cast will find its footing. I honestly hope so because these two TV vets deserve some more success, but lack of chemistry is a hard obstacle to overcome.
The show may be a disappointment, but it was worth the time if only for my new Mad Men theory that Bob Benson is a time traveler intent on finding advertising success, working his way up the ladder decade by decade. Hey, it could happen. It’s certainly not the weirdest Bob Benson theory floating around.
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