This is not a good week for new network comedies.
Wednesday brought the dreadful premiere of ABC’s “Super Fun Night,” to be followed tonight by CBS’s “The Millers” and NBC’s “Welcome to the Family” and “Sean Saves the World.”
I didn’t have the heart, or time, to watch “Sean Saves the World,” in which “Will & Grace” vet Sean Hayes plays a single dad whose teenage daughter comes to live with him. It looks pretty terrible.
But I am here to tell you that despite talented casts, both “The Millers” and “Welcome to the Family” also are a slog to get through.
“Welcome to the Family,” which premieres at 8:30 p.m., is the better of the two — thanks to very funny performances by Mike O’Malley (last seen on FX’s “Justified”) and Mary McCormack (USA’s “In Plain Sight”) as beleaguered parents who think they’re finally getting their irresponsible, “challenging” daughter out of the house when she graduates from high school.
“Suck it, doubters!” McCormack’s Caroline cheers, with daughter Molly’s (Ella Rae Peck) diploma in hand, while O’Malley’s Dan declares that she’s “Arizona State’s problem now.”
That is, until Molly tells them she’s pregnant, and their plans to refocus on themselves are thrown right out the window.
Every scene with O’Malley and McCormack pops, and I can’t help but think there’s a better show in there, focusing solely on the two of them.
But, unfortunately, the central conceit of this series is how Dan and Caroline interact with the parents of Molly’s straight-A student, Stanford-bound boyfriend, Junior (Joey Haro).
Ricardo Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”) is his father, Miguel, and Justina Machado (“Six Feet Under”) his mother, Lisette, who are none too happy to find out that their son’s bright future could be in jeopardy.
The tension between Dan and Miguel is completely forced, and not very funny, and whenever the action switches over to Molly and Junior, it turns into a total snoozefest.
I might be able to tune in again if we get less of them and more of O’Malley and McCormack playing off of each other.
There are no such bright spots on “The Millers,” which also premieres at 8:30 p.m. and stars Will Arnett and “Glee’s” Jayma Mays as a brother and sister whose parents move in with them after their dad (Beau Bridges) leaves their mom (Margo Martindale, “Justified,” “The Americans”).
Everything about this one is just plain bad, from the grating laughs of the studio audience to the cringe-worthy fart and sex jokes.
If you would’ve told me that Martindale would one day be subjected to being the butt — pun intended — of fart jokes back when she was starring as one of “Justified’s” best villains, I never would’ve believed it.
Arnett, so funny on “Arrested Development” and even NBC’s “Up All Night,” has little to do here, other than be horrified by his parents’ antics.
He and Martindale deserve better than this hacky material.
Contact Casey Gillis at (434) 385-5525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.