Written by Don Reo, who was the executive producer of the ABC series My Wife & Kids, this new program has the same look and feel. I dare say the show even has a similar set, just a slightly different and more upscale design. Yet, sadly, this show is no where near as funny.
My Wife & Kids was hilarious for one reason. It had great casting. The show was a vehicle for Damon Wayans who like every member in his family is a comic genius. The other actors in it were also perfect fits that had done sitcoms previously. The castings in this show aren't exactly perfect fits, though they would seem like they are.
Michael Strahan stars as Mike, a pro athlete who returns home to his parents' house after burning through his cash. Strahan isn't an actor or a comic. In real life, he's a former defensive end for the New York Giants who at 37 retired from the NFL.
So, for Strahan, who is a pro athlete, playing one on TV isn't much of a stretch. Strahan is basically playing himself. He's nice, and good-looking even with his gap teeth, but, with no Astro Turf to field, that's pretty much all he is. I suppose with good writing he could become more, but, as of the first few episodes, Strahan isn't given much.
The heavy lifting goes to the other three principal actors, Daryl Mitchell who plays Chill, CCH Pounder who plays Mrs. Trainor and Carl Weathers who plays Coach Trainor.
Some may recall Mitchell from The John Laroquette Show. Mitchell is a comedian. He doesn't just play one on TV, though Mitchell was paralyzed in real life a few years ago. On the show, he and everyone else try not to let the wheelchair limit him and in fact they use it for comedic purposes. I can't recall a physically disabled person like this as the lead in a network comedy, but Mitchell does a fairly decent job. Yet, I wasn't overly impressed.
Pounder is more of a dramatic actress, having recently finished a fantastic run on my favorite TV series The Shield, which wrapped up last year. She proves how great an actress she is and how great her comedic timing is. Hers is probably the best character. It's good to see her in a role like this. I just wish it was on a better show.
Weathers, another pro-athlete-turned-actor who many may remember from Rocky, has lately been making a mockery of himself. He continues with this show, seeming more like a character from a Tyler Perry play, or really any sitcom father figure from the last decade. He's basically a bumbling idiot. With the supreme lack of blacks on TV, at least FOX had the audacity to put one on the air.
Two Stars out of Five
Running Time: 30 mins.
Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX.