Friday, August 04, 2006

Fall 2006 TV Preview – The Singles Table – Pilot

Currently scheduled to Premiere on NBC during Midseason

A show about a single Asian guy at weddings. Oh! Finally a show about my life! The Singles Table is another one-camera show about the singles table at a particular wedding. Now, I’m not sure they will keep attending more weddings, but seems like they will follow these 5 strangers and their impending friendship at various occasions.

What’s great about the show is that they don’t become friends within the first episode. In fact, some things are left kinda awkward, so I’m excited to finally see friendships develop over a series of episodes rather than 22 minutes.

Still, it’s nice to see an Asian lead a show, let alone BE in a show period. Really it should be called The John Cho Show since the pilot was basically all about his antics and his comedic hatred toward his ex-wife who happens to be the bridesmaid at the wedding party of a couple HE introduced together. So banished off to the singles table beside the port-o-potties he goes where he meets his four tablemates. The grooms boss Eli, Adam the Rabi, Georgia, the beautiful doctor in a re-used bridesmaids dress, and Stephanie the perpetual sarcastic single gal. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Can they mine a whole series of jokes out of it? The pilot, which has enough laughs, isn’t gut-busting like Scrubs or Arrested Development but is still funny and enjoyable enough and with just slightly off the beat plotting that it might have a better than expected future.

Still, I like John Cho (Harold of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), Conor Dubin (Eli) and Rhea Seehorn (as perpetual single gal Stephanie, Rhea is always the actress who seems gratingly annoying yet throws her lines with wit and sass) enough to keep watching these random single people show up at every Doug and Martina (the wedding couple) occasion. It could be interesting, or they could get repetitive quickly.

The pilot felt just different enough not to be a typical sitcom, though deals with all the regular wedding cliché jokes (though with Cho acting his usual angst, I still laugh). I enjoyed it more than CBS’ The Class but with so few comedy spots left in NBC’s schedule, I’m not sure where it will really fit in. Word is they are also re-shooting the pilot to replace the actress playing the doctor, so this pilot that I saw is probably not the final one that will eventually get shown.

At this point, it’s Tapeworthy (Tivoworthy if you’re that advanced. I however am a Mennonite) enough as some good filler material when in need of some light moments, but not a Must Stay at Home to watch THAT night show. (I’m still figuring out my system okay? Give me a weekend). Like a slightly lighter My Name is Earl, but above Freddie (hey, I know it's not saying much but I liked it in that Growing Pains mediocrity way, okay?), at least in terms of watching priority.

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