Tag Archives: friends

My Review of Mr. Sunshine.

15 Feb

February 15, 2011

Before I begin, I have to note that this is a “blind” review. That means that I am reviewing the show without having seen it. It does not mean that I am sightless. If I were then I wouldn’t be bothering with this review. Why am I doing this blind? I don’t want to watch this show. It puts me among the ranks of professional critics, who often send interns or assistants to movie screenings or have them watch a new show. The critics then write their review based on what they are told. (Some of you older folks out there may remember a time when there was a little thing called “journalistic integrity.” Today we have bloggers like me.)

Mr. Sunshine is the long awaited- no, no, I can’t finish that. No matter what the network execs claim, no one was waiting for Matthew Perry to come back to TV. He’s only doing television because his movie career, not too bright to begin with, has fizzled out. But for the sake of “journalistic integrity” (What’s that?) I have to admit that I liked the one where he knocked up Salma Hayek, but I should probably attribute that to Salma Hayek.

Perry is the final Friends actor to come back to TV. Even the guy who played Gunther did an episode of Scrubs back in 2005. He’s also probably the least successful, unless you count David Schwimmer. OK, Matt LeBlanc’s spin-off tanked, but to be fair, he was the worst actor of the bunch.

Part of his appeal on Friends was that you could watch him shrivel away as his drug habit got worse and worse, then after he kicked the habit you could watch him get bigger and bigger as he couldn’t stop eating.

Mr. Sunshine stars Matthew Perry and probably some other people. I don’t expect it to do well. Take any classic sitcom. To be successful you have to start with characters you care about. Largely, wacky guests and “funny situations of the week” are secondary. I’ll show you what I mean.

The Honeymooners. Everyone knows and loves Ralph, Alice, Norton, and Trixie. Once you have likeable characters that you can relate to you’re almost finished. They didn’t need a lot of sets. Nearly every show was set almost entirely in the Kramden’s living room.

I Love Lucy: Two main sets- The Ricardo’s apartment and the Club Babaloo or whatever it was called.

All in The Family: The living room.

Seinfeld: Jerry’s apartment and the coffee shop. Sure, they went places, but 90% of the time they were in one of those two sets.

Everybody Loves Raymond: Ray’s house, his parent’s house.

Friends: The prototypical show where a bunch of people sit around and talk. The coffee shop and the apartments were really interchangeable.

On the surface, Mr. Sunshine seems to fit right in because it is set in one place, an arena. Don’t be deceived. In a sense, this show is a reverse Doctor Who. The Doctor travels through time and space, always landing in one strange situation after another. You never know where he’ll land next. Mr. Sunshine is the opposite because while he never moves, the wacky situations come to him. He works in an arena and one week the circus is in town! Clowns! Elephants! Next week, the Smurfs are putting on a show! Everyone loves the Smurfs! After that, wrestling! Let’s get Matthew Perry in the ring with a wrestler! A concert episode! We can have a wacky mix up with a celebrity cameo!

Re-read the second half of the last paragraph- that was probably the network pitch right there.

See the problem? This show was conceived backwards. Instead of coming up with interesting characters they came up with they think is a funny set up and began from there. No commercial I’ve seen focuses on the characters. They focus on the Smurfs, the elephant, the clowns, the guy in a mascot suit, the hockey team. Matthew Perry could be a cardboard cutout because all the commercials show is him grinning. Oh, there is the one commercial that shows a semi-funny gag, where Perry is on the phone talking to Springsteen’s rep. But guess what? That fits into the celebrity cameo cliché I mentioned above. What happens when they run out of funny events for the arena? Ask that question in six weeks. Then you’ll see what happens to a comedy where you don’t like the characters. (The same thing is happening to the has-to-be-cancelled-soon-because-it-sucked-from-Day-One Better With You. Man, that show is a chore to watch.)

Have you noticed the motto for the USA Network? “Characters welcome.” They get it.

Could the show have been funny? Sure, there is a chance. I didn’t see it. Of course the reviews say it was mediocre but as you may be thinking by now, what do the critics know? I simply don’t think the show has any staying power.

I wore a dress today……….. and I liked it.

13 Nov

from October 25, 2007

Mr. Social went to lunch today.

“Who is Mr. Social?” you’re wondering, “and why do I give a fuck if he went to lunch?”

Mr. Social is me, so watch you language. And you care because the odds are you went to lunch with me. (This reflects very poorly on the size of my friends list. Especially since one of my friends is a fake-news organization and another of my friends is a fake me, which I will continue to deny even though we all know otherwise. So don’t shatter my illusion, OK)

STATISTICS- Length of time working at the HS- 7 ½ years. Percentage of coworkers whose name I know- 12% or less.  Times I have gone to lunch with them- oh, three or four. (Tell me about the rabbits, George!)

I like my coworkers, at least those I bother with. I really do, especially this group. (At the risk of ripping off Sally Field at the Oscars, “I like them, I really like them!”) So it only took 7 ½  years to find a bunch of people I’d eat a meal with. (And I am neither Kosher nor too picky about my food.)

So I went to lunch with a group of very nice and attractive female coworkers, four of them and me. So what did we talk about? Gossip, silly! We talked girl talk! All the latest dish about Mr. X, the trash-collecting man­slut, and Ms. Y, who is under the delusion that she looks like a movie star, and we talked all  about what Z, D, E and did behind closed office doors and in what positions. We especially talked about whose closed and shuttered doors hid secret orgy rooms. This just brings up the point- why am I so oblivious to all of this? And why am I not invited to the fun? (And this brings up another point. Do people gossip about me? I sat back and pondered this, as well as why I did not start a new paragraph right here. Well, at the risk of making this paragraph long and unmanageable, like that ever stopped me, I had to figure that if anyone did gossip about me it would be pretty boring. As I said to someone or sometwo today, I don’t shit where I eat. Over the years I have been here I have gone one exactly one date with a colleague. And since it was while we doing summer school it doesn’t count. And she left the following semester and got married too- I drove her to marriage, ha ha- and that was as far as that went. Maybe people wondered if I was gay, that was about all I came up with. Ah well, I’m boring. There was a mini-flurry of tepid speculation last year, and that was it.)

But all of this isn’t to say that I wouldn’t [CENSORED FOR MR. BLOG’S OWN GOOD, AND CENSORED SOME MORE, JUST TO BE SURE THAT NO ONE GETS THE WRONG IDEA.] but I work with them.

Anyway, I fit right in with the girls. And that says a lot about me. I’m not sure what, but maybe I’m just the non-threatening brother type.

Well, ignoring that can of worms, there is the fact that when I am at work, I am Work Mr. B. Work Mr. B. is more serious than Not At Work Mr. B. NAWMB might not be the brightest star of the entertainment sky, but he gets to say what WBarry might think but not say. Too bad NAWMB was with work friends. But I have to say that it is rare that I get to spend time with four women and not worry about who brought the condoms. Just kidding! I am always a gentleman. (And I don’t kiss and tell. Remember that, my friends. I carry on only discreet affairs.)

But to get back on track and away from some dangerous territory, I liked hanging out with the girls. I am already planning our next lunch; a trip to Macy’s, some Hagen Das ice cream, and maybe a kicky new hairdo and getting our nails done at the place with the purple awning, or was it the blue awning, or was it the one that had the name on it? I don’t know, someone figure that out. All I know is I want the guy near the sink, right?

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