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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Men at Work… on Dating

This week Amber West and I take on two new television programs on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in our first Boys versus Girls post—ABC Family’s Bunheads and TBS’s Men at Work.

TBS, a channel we don’t usually watch in our house, has launched a new sitcom created by the great Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash).  Men at Work follows four friends who all work together at the same magazine as writers, photographers, and reporters as they help a buddy get back on the dating horse after a disastrous breakup.

The series stars: Danny Masterson (That ‘70s Show) as Milo, the recently dumped friend; James Lesure (Las Vegas – we are big fans of Mike Cannon here at The Ooo Factor) as Gibbs, the sexual and sensual best friend; Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Neal, the only one of the four in a serious relationship; and Michael Cassidy (The O.C.) as Tyler, the beautiful and stylish one.

Rarely do we see a comedy centered around all men, about men.  Plus, Men at Work features four funny television character actors we’ve missed seeing around the TV screen for the past few years.  Add the funny-man creator to this, and we couldn’t help but think Men at Work could potentially be summer dynamite.

We weren’t far off—Men at Work is thirty minutes of fun.  I’d say it puts the “fun” in “funny,” but that might sound a bit cliché.  It’s nice having a comedy my guy and I both enjoy watching.  Not only are the relationships between the friends enjoyable, but the foursome introduces hilarious and spot-on new terminology for everyone to throw into their daily conversations with phrases like:

Heterotexual – a modern man who pleases a woman with his thumbs
HotZone
– things that pose the risk of infection
TruthBomb
– boom goes the conversation dynamite, or saying truths your friends might not otherwise want to hear
CrazyHot Paradox
– a woman who is easy on the eyes, but insane in the brain

And another one…

Honestly, these sayings remind me of “Barneyisms” from How I Met Your Mother, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them just the same.

Men at Work’s humor is a bit on the raunchy side, but then again almost anything sexual anymore is considered raunchy.  Perhaps that’s why the new sitcom is on TBS and not the basic network channels, joining the ranks of FX (Archer), Showtime (Californication and Weeds), and Comedy Central (Workaholics).

And since TV ratings are all about the guest stars here lately, Men at Work has ‘em lined up as well: Amy Smart (Milo’s ex-girlfriend), Stacy Kiebler (a girl who likes threesomes), Kathy Najimy (a sex blogger), J.K. Simmons (the owner of the magazine and Neal’s girlfriend’s father), and fellow That ‘70s Show‘ers Wilmer Valderrama (Milo’s upstairs neighbor) and Laura Prepon (not sure yet about her role, I think she guest stars this week from the previews) to just name a few.

Oh, yeah… and the four friends like to have meals at a local diner. Kinda reminds me of the girls from Sex and the City…

So how does Meyer’s baby rank?  All in all, I’d say I must award Men at Work with the JFTV rating—it’s like that bag of potato chips that we know we should put away after a few bites, but can’t help going back for more.  The crunch of the chip and the explosion of flavors is just what the doctor ordered to accompany an ice-cold beer after a long day at work—technically a long week at work since Men at Work airs on Thursday nights.

What do you think? Have you watched Men at Work?  How would you rate it?  Do you have any phrases you’ve coined that you feel we should incorporate into everyday conversations?  I’d love to hear from you!

For more Men at Work’isms, follow @MenatWorkTBS or the hashtag, #MenatWork.  TBS also has four of the episodes available online.  Check them out!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC Family’s Bunheads.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something..it’s summer time and the heat is taking a toll on our planning ahead.

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