Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Speaking of the tv show Angel winding down in its fifth season, I've been losing a lot of my favorites lately: Buffy ended last year. Friends will be ending. That's 2 1/2 hours of TV gone per week. Which means I'll have a lot more time for more meaningful pursuits, right? Wrong. What it means is that it's time to start searching for new shows to replace the old! So, towards that end, I've been trying some new shows.

I stumbled on an extremely modest little ABC Tuesday night comedy called Less Than Perfect. It's a workplace sitcom, like Drew Carrey or NewsRadio, but what I like about the show is its simplicity: it's purely a showcase for its comedic actors to be variously charming, funny and goofy. As with the later seasons (esp. post-Harry Connick) of Will & Grace, the characters are much more like cartoon characters than "real" people. And unlike Friends, there's absolutely no soapy element. In fact, there's really no story. Unlike Seinfeld, there's not even the agenda of the humor being about "nothing." It simply is nothing. And on a Tuesday night after the hardest two days of the workweek, it's just the ticket. The cast is an exceptional assemblage of comedic skill, and I'm surprised how much mileage they get out of mugging for the camera. Sara Rue, the lead, is cute as a button, and the supporting cast includes sitcom pros like Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld, The Tick) and, occasionally, French Stewart (Third Rock from the Sun). Andy Dick, Zachary Levi, and Andrea Parker are all enjoyable, but my favorites are Will Sasso (so funny! so cute!) and Sherry Shepherd. It's true of the whole cast, but the two of them especially remind me of cartoon characters, with their unusual body types and thorough charm. Hence the Rogues' Gallery above. Good solid junk tv. Pass the nacho chips!

The search for more tv shows To be continued...


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