He’s ba-a-a-ck and wow, what a premiere. Thursday night TV shines with the newest sitcom, “The Crazy Ones,” starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
I do not watch a lot of television and yet, I’ve had my eye on four shows during the upcoming season. “The Crazy Ones” happened to be at the top of the list, being a Robin Williams fan. The other show I was curious about is opposite “The Crazy Ones,” unfortunately. “The Michael J. Fox Show” is the new NBC sitcom, featuring the return of Michael J. Fox to the living rooms of millions of Fox fans.
In “The Crazy Ones,” Robin Williams brings his gift of humor to his character, Simon Roberts. That alone makes the sitcom worth watching. In an interview with those operating behind the scenes, they reveal that Williams is allowed to do what he does naturally during most of the show. His lines are spoken in the true Robin-esque fashion; teetering between crazy and absolutely hilarious.
Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the ever-so-slightly uptight daughter of Simon Roberts. Together, the combination of serious and hilarious rides the rainbow into that pot of comedy gold on the other side.
James Wolk evokes the comical genius in Williams and is a great addition to the show. Wolk plays the role of Zach Cropper, advertising staff member and hilarious partner of Williams’, at least in the first episode.
Amanda Setton is an employee of the advertising firm, however I found her to be a bit annoying after a while. She is the sex-crazed portion of the sitcom and we all know there is always at least one of those in every show. Having a crush on Williams, she giggles over everything he says. The annoying giggle was closely followed with the obnoxious callout of her name, Lauren, by Gellar. Gellar was not annoying, per se, and neither was Setton, but the combination of the name yelling and the constant giggle became old after the first time or two. Hopefully this will calm down with a possible glare from Gellar in the following episodes.
The advertising firm of Simon and Simon is about to be fired by their largest client, McDonald’s restaurant. It is up to the team to get them to stay with the firm. As father and daughter attend a meeting with the “big-wigs,” Williams puts his genius to work (and his comedy), to convince the woman at the helm that they can get a celebrity voice to sing their jingle. He promises a new and improved, “You Deserve a Break Today,” using the voice of a prominent super star. Enter singing super star, Kelly Clarkson.
Clarkson attends a lunch with Wolk and Williams, who are attempting to get her to revamp the old jingle. Clarkson announces she doesn’t do jingles because she wants to sing about sex instead. Williams and Wolk take the opportunity to venture off into a world of their own.
Williams presents his version of the song, sexy style. Wolk doesn’t miss a beat and joins Williams in crazy town, rapping about the condiment world. The two present a hilarious moment of pure genius; good enough to be giving out high-fives and kudos to the writing staff of the show. During the interview with crew, this was one area that denotes Williams’s true gift of comedy, as he is left to his own devices.
Wolk needs to be welcomed as a comical genius as well, if this was, in any form, a free-style comedy routine. Williams’ routines would be difficult to keep up with if, at best, the comedian had years of experience, let alone an off-the-cuff routine. Wolk attended the University of Michigan drama school and has landed several roles in shows, such as “Solving Charlie,” “Midland,” “Front of the Class” and a few others. His roles do not seem to be indicative of any past comedy experience and yet, he plays a wonderful enhancement role with Williams in “The Crazy Ones.”
“The Crazy Ones” shot far ahead in viewer ratings over “The Michael J. Fox Show,” although it sure helps to have hit sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory” ahead of the premiere slot. “The Crazy Ones” scored the largest audience of any series premiere this fall and landed a second best spot behind the new series, “Marvel’s Agents of Shield.”
This is a show to keep your eye on. If “The Crazy Ones” can keep the laughter going the way they did for the premiere, this will be a hit that will bring good television sitcom viewing back into the living rooms of America. In case you missed the premiere, it can be seen through the On Demand section of your local cable listings.