Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Glory Daze

I wouldn't trust anything associated with Wild Hogs and Old Dogs director Walt Becker, who co-created Glory Daze, and indeed the new TBS dramedy has his dumb-guy fingerprints all over it: It's set in 1986 for no reason other than to wallow in lazy nostalgia, and it's full of lazy stereotypes and tired plot devices. Four dudes at a generic state college join a misfit fraternity; cue large-scale appropriations from Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds and any other college-themed movie of the last 30 years. Daze isn't as offensive as Becker's movies, maybe because it isn't full of big stars mugging for the camera in desperate bids for attention. But even if the acting is a little more low-key, the writing is still one-dimensional and predictable, and the jokes are tired and unfunny.

Also, I have no idea why this show is an hour long; it's essentially a comedy, as evidenced by Cheri Oteri, Brad Garrett and Time Meadows all guest-starring in the first episode, along with the deep debts to big-screen college sex comedies. But it plods on endlessly, with labored set pieces about pranks gone wrong and far too much time spent on go-nowhere supporting characters. I suppose it's positive that TBS is trying something new with its original scripted shows; at least this isn't another Tyler Perry-style sitcom. But a nostalgic comedy-drama set at college in the 1980s could have been bittersweet and genuinely funny, and instead Glory Daze is barely a step or two above Blue Mountain State.

Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on TBS.

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