September 29, 2008

Fall TV Review: Worst Week

Worst Week is an American adaption of a British series about a guy going to visit his girlfriend's family preparatory to asking for her hand in marriage. Along the way, there's a series of contrived mishaps that put him in increasingly embarrassing situations.

There's one episode of The Brady Bunch (Season 5, Episode 18, "Two Petes in a Pod") that I use as my farce benchmark. This is the episode where Peter meets an identical looking kid at school, then puts him to work when he accidentally has two dates on the same night. The doppelgänger later backs out, and Peter has to keep both dates on opposite sides of the house, while running back and forth keeping them entertained. One date expects to be going to a costume party, so Peter's dressed up like Dracula, with a cap, and fake hair and teeth. Everything starts to fall apart when Peter forgets to take off part of his costume when going to the other side of the house.

If I'm watching any sort of show where there's any case of mistaken identity, or someone has to keep someone else occupied while pretending to be something else, or there's some giant misunderstanding, I immediately think of Dracula and try to determine if what I'm watching is better or worse than "Two Petes in a Pod".

So, back to the review. In the opening credits, there was an "Adapted for American television" credit. Becki saw this, and said "It must have been French. Or worse, Belgian". I thought about this for a second, and actually, this show would have been way better if it had been French. I don't mean of French ancestry, but actually French, like with French actors, speaking French, with English subtitles. If I went to the movies and saw something this silly and contrived (example: guy pees in a pot containing a marinating goose, thinking he's in the bathroom), but in French, I'd probably be rolling in the aisles. I would expect that out of the French. Instead, I'm just groaning.

There are other things wrong with this show besides the fact that the premise of ridiculously forced predicaments can't possibly last more than a few episodes. Example: the male lead looks like a potato. There were a couple of good things about the pilot, though. Aziz Ansari was in it, which made it a little more bearable for the 30 seconds he was on screen. In a scene in a funeral home, Herb Alpert's "A Taste of Honey" was on in the background, which is funny because it's so out of place.

We recorded the second episode to see if we could figure out how they could possibly extend the premise past the pilot, and see if by chance it got any better or what. It didn't.

So, anyway, this is worse than the one where Peter left his Dracula cape on.


Supercords said...

Or, you could have noted that this show followed Two And A Half Men, (AKA: The worst show on television) and realized it would suck simply by coming into contact with Charlie Sheen's waste product.

Captain Emus said...

The thing is, it doesn't get any better but I just keep watching it. I've now seen three episodes and the lead character and his girlfriend have yet to inform the family that they are pregnant. They keep trying, but too many preposterous hijinx are found around every corner so the plotline cannot move forward.

I decided to give this show a shot when I saw extensive billboarding for it in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. With that much marketing push, the show must be good, right?

Well, no, but now I feel obligated to see this through and find out if the plot will ever advance. The title of the show itself seems to doom any longevity, but if they keep coming up with unbearable contrived situations, in a cosmic blending of "Money Pit" and "Meet the Parents", they just might get this thing to run a full season before giving in to any real plot advancement.

Either way, I'm stuck watching it.