Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday—Is “1600 Penn” Laugh Out Loud Funny?

Television’s winter premiere season is officially here!  With all of the new TV programs airing these next few months, Amber West and I have a ton of homework to do.  We have had so much fun these past two weeks posting dual reviews, we’ve decided to do it again!  Will Amber and I agree or disagree after watching NBC’s new sitcom, 1600 Penn?

1600 Penn follows the Gilchrist family… just a normal family dealing with everyday things like adult children moving back home, teenagers who know everything, and step-parents trying to form bonds with their new families.  The only difference is this family has to learn how to do all these things while living in the White House!

The new sitcom stars: Bill Pullman as President Gilchrist… he also played the president in Independence Day… he must enjoy playing POTUS; Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) as Emily, the president’s new wife; Andre Holland as Marshall, the White House Press Secretary; Josh Gad as Skip, the grown son moving back home with his family; Martha MacIssac as Becca, the president’s oldest daughter, who up until recently has set the perfect example for her younger siblings; and Amara Miller as Marigold.

I don’t require a lot out of the sitcoms that I watch… but I do ask for one thing: for comedy that makes me literally laugh out loud.  And after the two episodes of 1600 Penn that I’ve watched, I didn’t “LOL” one single time.  Not once.  I’m not kidding.

Now, I’m not saying I hated every aspect of the show because I didn’t.   As expected, Jenna Elfman is fantastic… by far the most likable character on the program.  Her comedic genius has been missed on television.  Plus, Andre Holland’s timing and delivery are great.  Heck, even the actors who play the younger Gilchrist children aren’t bad.

But Josh Gad is almost unbearable.  His character is considered a screw up and his actions aren’t funny—they are annoying.  He loves his family and he wants to make his father proud, I just wish they would have written his role in a different manner.  Maybe he’s too cliché for me, or maybe it’s his voice and dialogue; regardless, it only harms the show as far as I’m concerned.

There’s even something wrong with Bill Pullman.  I can’t quite place it, but he looks uncomfortable in his wardrobe and it shows through his performance… almost like he’s being choked.

Characters aside, I will say this: I do appreciate that the sitcom is not political.  Even though the Gilchrist family lives in the White House, and the president attends military briefings here and there, the program is more about the family and the family’s dynamics… something that is lacking on TV today.

When I saw the previews for 1600 Penn initially, I wasn’t sold.  But, as usual, I set my DVR to record the series.  I gave it a shot; I really did; the sitcom just failed miserably as far as I’m concerned.  If I don’t laugh, or at least smile, I won’t watch any further.  For that, I must award NBC’s new Thursday night sitcom with the NIV rating.  Pretty much the only way I will watch this series again is when I’m in bed looking for white noise to help me fall asleep.

Sorry this review is short… there’s just really not much to say.

What do you think?  Have you watched 1600 Penn?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about the new comedy.  Did we agree or disagree?  Trust me; we usually have very different tastes in our television viewing pleasure… if our last two dual reviews didn’t convince everyone.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something…  Stay tuned!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

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