The pilot is not entertaining enough to want to watch more of this family but because of the acclaim the series eventually received, us late comers, know it'll get funnier.
[7.1/10] I’m more enamored with the premise than the execution in the early going here. As Arrested Development proved, there’s a lot of comic mileage to be wrung from a family going through a riches to rags story. Seeing a bunch of wealthy socialites being forced to deal with small town life is a solid bit, and in the first episode, the show already finds the silliness in those used to luxury having to deal with the way the rest of the world lives.
The catch is that I didn’t actually laugh all that once in this episode which, hey, is okay. Especially when you’re setting the stage, smiles and mild chuckles are perfectly fine, I just hope that once things are fully established, the show brings the guffaws a little more consistently.
Otherwise this one does a nice job of establishing the basic character dynamics, both among the family members and with the handful of folks from the town we meet. I’ll admit that I already find Chris Elliott’s character (Roland) pretty broad and annoying, but the desk clerk has a fun dry sarcasm about her which I enjoy.
There’s some solid bits involving Alexis trying to be positive about the town when she’s abandoning her family and then falling to pieces when it turns out that her boyfriend isn’t coming to pick them up. Catherine O’Hara is also great in this, playing the disgust and over-the-top reaction to a moneyed matriarch being forced to interact with the locals. The most pointed satire in this thing is when she accuses the clerk of stealing her earrings and then complains to her son over the clerk’s rudeness about it. It’s not setup-punchline humor, but I still really enjoy it.
Overall, this is far from a homerun out of a park, but pilots are hard, and it does a good job of table-setting and establishing the premise. Hopefully the show can have a little more fun with that premise from here.
I spent half the episode thinking Eugene Levy looked like Judd Hirsch—in the early scenes, he reminded me of Hirsch's father character on Numb3rs. Boy, was I bloody wrong about that… Except it turns out that Levy did an impersonation of Hirsch on Second City Television, which I'd never even heard of until just now when I was googling to see if others thought they looked a bit alike. So I'm not completely nuts for noticing a resemblance.
As for this show? Sigh. It's not really my style. I understand that being over-the-top is the point, but such exaggerated characterizations always quickly get on my nerves. There were some genuinely funny beats, though. I'll at least award it the Three Episode Rule.
Nice start but I hope this evolved a little more to another direction than just mocking the people from the countryside
Funny epic shit great actors.