"Back To You" has been hailed as the savior of the traditional sitcom. Unfortunately, what it mostly does is remind you why the format needs saving.To read the full thing, click here.
Not that it's an awful show, by any means -- especially compared to some upcoming alleged comedy product like ABC's "Cavemen." Stars Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton still know how to deliver a good punchline -- and on occasion, their writers give them one. It's a perfectly amiable show, the sort that might have been a hit during the Great Sitcom Glut of the mid-'90s.
But that same Glut -- the period that gave us Grammer's "Frasier" and Heaton's "Everybody Loves Raymond" but also "Jesse," "Suddenly Susan," "Veronica's Closet," "Caroline in the City" and many more unstoppably mediocre half-hours -- so thoroughly built up the audience's tolerance for the setup-joke, setup-joke language of the traditional laughtrack sitcom that only the great ones are bearable anymore. (See the continued success of "Raymond" and "Seinfeld" on cable and in syndication versus the continued failure of almost every new network sitcom.) And "Back To You" is much closer to hackiness than greatness.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Today's column reviews tomorrow night's premiere of Fox's "Back To You":