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Extremely Right When, Again?

(Two things first -- number one, if you're one of those people into the Facepage craze -- or cars, or peanut butter, or squeaky-clean laundry -- then you might enjoy my latest romp: Prank Reviews: Zolton's in Yer Facebook.

And number two. If you're in the Boston area a few Saturdays from now -- June 16th, to be precise -- some chums and I will be carrying on in a sketchy way, if you know what I'm sayin', at ImprovBoston's Sketch CageMatch.

That's right. We're Deli Juices. And it's all downhill from there, I promise. Come see.)

Meanwhile, I have to admit watching an awful lot of TBS lately. I like The Big Bang Theory. The Teddy Flagship station picked it up a while back to syndicate fourteen episodes a night. And I only watch what Lord Master TiVo tells me to, so TBS is on the TV a lot. This is not, in and of itself, a problem.

But this is: TBS, after a long and rich history of regurgitating ancient cobwebby reruns of other networks' moderately successful sitcom franchises -- Beverly Hillbillies, Sanford and Son, the Andy Griffith Topless Aunt Bea Hot Tub Sexatorium or whatever it was called -- has finally seen fit to gurgitate up a comedy of their own.

It's called Men at Work, apparently. And I'm not going to link to it, because frankly it doesn't look like my cup of tea.

That's no crime. I've tried writing a couple of sitcom scripts myself, and maybe they'e nobody else's cup of tea. That's not actually the point. There are awful shows all over television, and most of them -- yeah, I'm looking at you, everything Rob Schneider has ever touched -- know the score. You can be mostly bad, but a little entertaining, and nobody's going to give you any shit.

Seriously. Ask David Schwimmer. It's fine. No biggie.

"The dialogue, the characters, are all extremely right now -- and I don't think there's anything else like that on TV."

But here's the thing. TBS is turdstorming ad after ad for this show. That's their prerogative. But one of these commercials is a 'behind-the-scenes' deal, where the actors talk about the show. And one of those actors, Adam Busch, has the following to say:

"The dialogue, the characters, are all extremely right now -- and I don't think there's anything else like that on TV."

And you know, maybe that's true. Maybe this show, this TBS original joint, is breaking new ground left and right and keeping it real before it ever knew it was real in the first place. I've never seen it, obviously -- it debuts this week, from what I understand -- so I can't refute the guy for certain.

But here's the evidence I have. In that same commercial, just before that heaving hunk of heartfelt hyperbole, TBS shows us two jokes from the show, as glistening examples of the hilarity to come.

The first joke involves pointing out an orange spray-tanned girl and referencing an Oompa Loompa. Now, maybe I'm off in my personal thinking about what constitutes "extremely right now". I'm wrong about things on an hourly basis, at least. But these are the facts:

The first movie with Oompa Loompas came out in 1971.

The remake of the Oompa Loompa movie -- the remake, now, mind you -- came out in 2005. Thirty-four years after the original. Remember that.

Orange spray-tanned people have been around since... well, since whenever New Jersey was founded, most likely, What am I, a history book? Two hundred years, let's say, for the sake of argument.

Now, is an Oompa Loompa joke made seven years after a frightening sequel and anything more than ten minutes after The Jersey Shore first aired "extremely right now"? No. No, I believe it is not.

The second joke involves a guy complaining about his friend grousing about his recent breakup. But... but, says Grousy Gus, it's only been an hour. Then a beat. And Complaining Cal, sarcastically:

"And yet, we're still talking about it."

Is that fresh? Is it unique? Is it breaking new comic ground, when there's nothing else like that on TV?

I can only say this. Google "And yet, we're still talking about it."

"About 285,000 results"

Ouch. For "extremely right now", these punchlines -- the lonely two chosen from a long half-hour pilot -- seem to have been pretty well covered, recovered, hashed, rehashed and indexed online. I'm not saying the show's going to be bad -- or that I'm ever going to watch to find out -- but I'm not buying the hyperactive hyperbole.

Maybe I'm just "extremely last week". Meh. I can live with that. At least it comes free of Willy Wonka cracks.

Permalink | Comments (2)



I've seen lots of commercials for that show too and you are right, it does not look good. It looks like a lot of those others shows that seem to be coming out these days that want to have that

I agree, it looks bad. But that's not even my problem. There are plenty of mildly entertaining bits of fluff out there.

I'm just saying if you're a bit of fluff, you've got to OWN being a bit of fluff.

"Extremely right now". Puh-lease.

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