Last Thursday, America got another TV series premiere. CBS debuted its new comedy How To Be A Gentleman (HTBAG), which was adapted from John Bridges’ book of the same name and is starring David Hornsby, probably better known as Rickety Cricket from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
My, how you’ve changed, Rickety.
The show centers on Andrew Carlson (Andy), one of the last true gentleman on earth. He writes a column in a magazine which focuses on etiquette, but the magazine is sold and is getting “revamped for the younger generation” (read “exploit horny people with sexiness”). Andy must figure out a new column to write in order to stay employed. Thanks to a gift certificate given to Andy by his sister, he meets Bert, an old high school bully, at a gym. With the aid of Bert, Andy hopes to appeal to the males of the younger generation in his column.
This show has a lot of potential, not only is David Hornsby in it as the lead character, he plays the uptight, straight man to Kevin Dillon’s comic idiot character Bert. Dillon is probably best known for his portrayal of Johnny Drama in HBO’s Entourage. The more I write (this being the 3rd article with a mention of the show) the more I see how much that show is in my life…
For supporting actors HTBAG has two comedy greats, Dave Foley and Rhys Darby. Foley is the co-creator of Kids In The Hall, and starred in NewsRadio as the new boss Dave (way to think outside the damn box on that one, Paul Simms). In this show, Foley plays Jerry, Andy’s boss/editor who lights a fire under Andy’s ass to change his column.
Andy’s sister, Janet, and her husband, Mike, are played by the great Mary Lynn Rajskub and Rhys Darby respectively. Rajskub is probably most known for her character Chloe O’Brian on 24, but I’ll always know her as Gail the Snail in Always Sunny. And anyone who has at least been partially aware of popular comedy shows, or has been on YouTube in the last 7 years, knows Darby as the great Murray (present) from Flight Of The Conchords.
I must say, while this show has the potential to be great, the first episode was less than stellar. Hornsby’s part just reminds me of early Rickety Cricket but without the dress and paper collar (yeah, I said it, hit me all you want with your Catholic hate and guilt, I don’t care). Dillon’s character Bert just seems like one of Johnny Drama’s characters, a very stereotypical jock archetype and slightly overacted.
Sweet, HBO already started the hype for this season of Entourage-wait, never mind.
Darby’s character Mike is very muted and neutered by his wife. The comedic moments they try to give Darby are all awkward-guy-trying-to-be-funny bits, but it rarely works. This Mike makes Michael Scott from The Office look suave, and not in a good way.
“It's a bird, Andrew? It's a plane? WHOOOSH! No, it’s Superman!” ./cringe
I hope this is only the pilot episode effect, and tonight’s episode will be higher quality since, as I said before, this show has a lot of potential to be a great fish-out-of-water style sitcom with this cast and story set up. If we’re lucky, once the actors understand their character, and the writers don’t have to focus on getting all the exposition and back story out for the audience, the show should pick up and be an awesome little sitcom to watch on Thursday nights.
Questions or comments about the show or for me? Type away in the comments box and I’ll respond.!!!!!