TELEVISION

THE EXES

Man, TV is quite the wasteland these days. I’ve already bemoaned horrible shows like THE FIRST FAMILY and MR. BOX OFFICE, and I just caught two episodes of this show, airing on TV Land. Just like those other shows, this show, a half hour sitcom, has a solid cast of actors, several of whom are TV veterans who’ve been on other hit shows, so I know that they’re not the problem and could perform well if given decent material. And the premise of the show is decent enough to give them room to set up some good storylines. But it’s like the creators of the show aren’t even trying to make something memorable. I don’t think this show has the guaranteed syndication deals that the other shows have, but perhaps because it’s on a smaller station like TV Land, the threshold for ratings they need to get to be considered a “success” are so much lower that they can coast on mediocrity? I looked it up, and the show is on it’s 3rd season, the first one being 10 episodes, the 2nd one being 12 episodes, and now this third one is scheduled for 20 episodes. So I guess it’s doing better for the network each year. But based on the two episodes that I mostly watched, I can’t imagine why.

The shows stars Donald Faison from Scrubs, Wayne Knight from Seinfeld, and David Alan Basche as Phil, Haskell, and Stuart, three recently divorced single guys all sharing an apartment. Kristen Johnston from 3rd Rock From The Sun plays Holly, a perpetually single divorce lawyer, who represented the three men in their divorces. Holly also owns the apartment building they all live in and lives in the apartment across the hall from them. And Kelly Stables from 2 and A Half Men plays Holly’s young legal assistant, Eden. So the five of them all frequently hang out together, as they all try to find new relationships with varying degrees of success.

The first episode I saw, called “What Women Want”, focused on Stuart’s attempt to get back into the dating scene. But he was too nervous to approach women in public, so the gang tries to boost his confidence to no avail. Then later, back at their apartment, Holly accidentally walks in on Stuart as he’s getting out of the shower, though he doesn’t notice her because he’s drying his hair with a towel, covering his eyes, but she’s astonished to see that Stuart has a really big penis. She sneaks out of the bathroom before he catches her, and tells the other guys and Eden. This now becomes a major topic of conversation among the group, causing them all to look at Stuart differently. Both Holly and Eden, who never had any interest in Stuart beyond just a friendship, start finding themselves being attracted to him, despite themselves. Phil and Haskell invite Stuart to a sauna with them, just so they can see him naked, and when they confirm Holly’s opinion, they become intimidated around him. Meanwhile Phil has no idea why everyone is acting strange around him now. It culminates with the gang back at the local bar, as Phil finally gets the nerve to go ask a woman out, and as the others see that he appears to be striking out, Holly tries to help him by going up to the woman and letting him know that Phil has a huge penis. The woman gets offended, assuming that Phil set Holly up to say that, so now she thinks he’s a pervert and leaves.

The 2nd episode, “Defending Your Wife” guest-starred Lisa Ann Walter as Haskell’s evil ex-wife Margo. On the eve of her wedding to another man, which Haskell is looking forward to because that means he’ll no longer have to pay her alimony, she gets in an accident and wakes up with amnesia. The hospital calls Haskell, because she told them he’s her husband. She doesn’t remember them ever getting divorced and thinks they’re still happily married. So Haskell takes her back to his apartment, forcing Phil and Stuart to temporarily move in with Holly, until she gets her memory back, or he can get in touch with her new fiance. But during the next few days she’s extremely nice and sweet to him, so and he likes having her around and goes along with the pretense of their marriage, and this apparently includes having sex with her which, considering that she is mentally impaired, makes it RAPE. But this was all just laughed off like it was typical wacky hijinks.

I’d had enough at that point, and didn’t bother finishing watching the rest. It was painful to watch these talented actors recite these cheesy lines, punctured by an obvious laugh track. It’s garbage.

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