The Crazy Ones premiere made one thing evident: Robin Williams is still brilliant. The best part about this show is him and his ability to ad lib with almost anything. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a perfect foil for him. It is obvious that she knows how to do comedy and, although she doesn’t get the laughs, she often makes the laughs possible.
Williams plays Simon Roberts, an aging ad executive who owns his own company. (There is a huge graphic illustration of him that includes the elevator and a florescent neon light bulb.) Sydney is his serious daughter who is also his partner. The premise isn’t particularly original, but the writing is funny and the supporting cast is quite good. I particularly enjoyed the chemistry between Robin Williams and James Wolk, who plays the handsome bounder Zachary.
Unfortunately, it is a show about advertising and I really wasn’t impressed by the obvious plug for McDonalds. I’m not really a fan of Kelly Clarkson, although to be fair, she did manage to be funny. It seemed there was some hope of satire when Lauren used the way her hair smelled to inspire Simon, but the bits about family time and even the reference to the “Crazy Ones” commercial by Apple (where the title of the series came from) were a bit too “heartfelt” for my taste. I’m a bit worried that this will be a show about the “good” advertisers, although if 60% of your business comes from McDonalds I think it is hard to claim to be virtuous.
The other issue is the objectification of women. Lauren is the ditzy assistant, who flashes her legs to keep clients amused. I think they have tried to address this by objectifying Zachary, just to be fair, but that is hardly progress. Good comedies have depth and I am hoping this one starts to develop some instead of relying on stereotypes and overused tropes.
Overall, there were some very funny bits in this pilot. I’m going to continue to watch and hope that the writing develops as it goes along.
Bits and Pieces
The beginning bit was great with Sydney and Andrew talking over each other. It really would be that impossible to get kids to act “eating a cookie”.
The riff between Simon and Zachary, as they made up a “sexy” song about drive-through food was hilarious.
What is it with Sarah Michelle Gellar and her hair? The side bun annoyed me. It looked terrible.
I really enjoyed Sydney trying to sing and then getting right into it.
There were lots of little things that Sydney did that really added to the comedy in the show. I loved her walking over and casually putting Lauren’s arm down when Simon asked who had slept with Zack.
Quotes (All from Simon of course)
Simon: “I can walk, I’m a good walker. I can also amble, I could saunter, I could sashay.”
Simon: “Past tense. We have a past. It’s tense."
Simon and Andrew: “Drive through lovin', drive through lovin'.”
Simon: “That’s like a vasectomy with a melody.”
Simon: “You’re my net, you know. You always appear.”
Simon: “I’m changing it from Roberts and Roberts to Roberts and Roberts.”