Airs on: CBS
Starring: Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Wolk, Hamish Linklater, Amanda Setton
Showrunner: David E. Kelley
My Rating: Currently, 6.5 but I think if we give it some time, it will find its voice as a show and the cast will either mesh or change.
Clairometer: Holy Golightly, it's a network primetime show, I think you know what to expect in this area.
I've given most of the new network sitcoms a chance - at least as much of a chance as my schedule permits. I prefer single-camera as opposed to multi-camera television shows. If you're not in the industry, or have more of a social life than I do, then you may not know the difference. Single-camera is shot with (you guessed it) one camera, meaning that it is shot similar to a movie, with multiple takes. Some good examples are The Office, Veep, and How I Met Your Mother. Multi-camera shows are often shot in front of a live audience with multiple cameras (you're getting good). This is usually conducive to one take because they can shoot reactions from many angles. Examples of this are The Big Bang Theory, Cheers, and Friends. If you watch television with these differences in mind you'll most likely start to notice a stark contrast.
The Crazy Ones is single-camera, meaning it facilitates fast-talking dialogue and frequent set changes. Confining Robin Williams to a small room for a long scene with slow dialogue would be a recipe for disaster. David E. Kelley, the show's creator, has a pretty extensive resume (Boston Legal and Ally McBeal to name a few). I think if we trust him for half a season to create the vibe he wants, this show will be quite good. In its current state, it is fast, funny and quirky. I have to put forth a substantial amount of effort not to miss a reference or a joke. However, the plot seems a little disjointed and the cast is missing someone (I'm not sure who). The show will find the missing cast member and the plot will become less episodic. If you want to see a truly awful start to an eventually great show, watch the first six episodes of 30 Rock.
Luckily for us, The Crazy Ones airs on CBS and not FOX. Lacking any shred of evidence, it seems to me as though CBS tends to give shows more of a chance to fully develop and live up to their potential. I'm still holding a grudge against FOX and Peter Rice's overused trigger finger for Arrested Development, Traffic Light and The Goodwin Games. These may or may not have been his ultimate decision, but he shall henceforth be blamed in my mind.
All tangents aside, I always attempt to give a new show per season a chance while constantly ignoring my strong urge to re-watch old episodes of Community or Saturday Night Live. Last season it was The Mindy Project and it was absolutely worth it. Here's hoping The Crazy Ones is absolutely worth it, because thus far, it is at least better than every* other sitcom that premiered this season.
*As one final tangent I add that The Michael J. Fox Show is quite good as well. It sheds light on a misunderstood disease while proving that people don't have to be defined by what's in their medicine cabinet. Although his on-screen wife is comically taller than him, Michael J. Fox proves as endearing as ever. Why isn't my post about this you ask? I can't seem to stomach more that one show where a teenage girl is a main character. Thanks for that Dana Brody.