Sunday, September 21, 2008

Preview: CBS' Worst Week isn't the worst premiere of the new season

Worst Week (Monday, Sept. 22, 9:30e / 8:30c)

CBS rather undersold this new Monday night sitcom with those commercials showing Sam Briggs (Kyle Bornheimer) standing on a doorstep in what looks to be a big ol' diaper with a dorkified look on his face. Based on that, I had dismissed it as a likely asinine sitcom and an unworthy successor to the previous occupant of this time slot, the excellent New Adventures of Old Christine, which has been unceremoniously bounced to Wednesday night's new comedy hour. But the premiere episode is really a cleverly crafted exercise in misfortune and misunderstanding endlessly piled one upon another as Briggs tries in vain to impress the parents of his knocked-up girlfriend, Melanie (Erinn Hayes). Clever, even if urine does figure into the episode. Who knows if the show can sustain the momentum of the first episode, but the cast is a hoot, thanks largely to Kurtwood Smith, the stern and disapproving father from That '70s Show, hamming it up as Melanie's — you guessed it — stern and disapproving father. The gentler condescension of My Name Is Earl's Nancy Lenehan as Melanie's mother, Angela, is equally hilarious. Premiere episode: &&&1/2

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