Sunday, March 02, 2008

TV premiering tonight: Unhitched

Just in case you thought all the unspeakably awful sitcoms had already premiered this season, here comes Unhitched, which rivals The Big Bang Theory as the worst new show of this strike-damaged season. It's disgustingly crass, ugly and often misogynistic, sort of like a comedy version of ABC's worthless Big Shots (which fortunately looks to have gotten the ax). The Farrelly brothers, whose movie career has gone steadily downhill, executive-produce and direct the pilot, about four friends (three men, one woman) all coming out of long-term relationships and trying to get back into the dating world. It trots out every cliché you'd expect, and then amps them up with what I suppose are meant to be Farrelly-style gross-out moments, but just come off as sad desperation. The pilot's opening involves the main character getting sexually assaulted by a monkey. Hilarious, right?

Craig Bierko is good at playing smarmy, but he probably shouldn't be emphasizing that quality in the main character, with whom I guess we are supposed to sympathize. His Indian buddy mangles English in allegedly comedic fashion (and is a socially awkward doctor, of course), and his other buddy is a slacker who hits on anything that moves, a character type we have totally never seen on TV before. Rashida Jones seems to be the rational one as the guys' female friend, but even she ends up dating a guy who becomes the butt of lame short-people jokes. Although the six completed episodes will likely all air thanks to the strike-depleted programming slate, it doesn't look like any more are on the horizon, so I suppose there's at least small comfort in that. Fox, Sundays, 9:30 p.m.

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