Wednesday, January 03, 2007

TV premiering tonight: The Knights of Prosperity

This is another pilot I saw way back in August before the season began, and my memories of it are a little fuzzy. The one thing I most clearly recall, though, is disappointment. This was one of the pilots I was most looking forward to, with its clever concept (following a group of loser friends as they ineptly plot to rob Mick Jagger), good pedigree (from David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, also responsible for Ed) and glowing early reviews. But I checked it out and I don't remember laughing once. The characters were one-dimensional and annoying, the jokes obvious and in-your-face, and the concept already tiresome after one episode. I don't expect the storytelling complexity of Lost or 24, but I can't imagine they're going to sustain even the semblance of a longform narrative with this over any period of time. They'd have been better off just going with a straightforward show about a group of loser friends (which, actually, is what the producers have indicated this will essentially be).

So I don't understand all the accolades for this show, nor do I see it succeeding as part of ABC's new lineup of ultra-bland sitcoms, with fellow new show In Case of Emergency (this one actually just a straightforward show about a group of loser friends, which admittedly I have not seen) and stalwart old-fashioned bores According to Jim and George Lopez. It's not really quirky enough to attract the slightly more discerning audience that tunes in to NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup, but it's probably too offbeat to fit in comfortably with Jim and George. After months of hype, I see this not as the next new comedy sensation, but as forgotten by the spring. ABC, Wednesdays, 9 p.m.

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