Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm Not Sure I Will - Trust Me - Pilot Review

Trust Me - Before and After - Ep. 101 - Series Premiere, All Hell The Victors - Ep. 102
Premieres tonight (Monday, January 26th at 10pm on TNT)

The two Canadian boys Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh are back on TV! And together in a show together! Sadly it's on Trust Me, the new TNT show that is like a dumber version of Mad Men and even less funny than the AMC show (wait, you say Mad Men isn't funny? Exactly).

I SOOOOOO wanted to like this show and there are some saving graces (mostly in the words "Tom" and "Cavanagh") but considering the expectations, it feels a bit fraudulent.

The show follows two best friends, Mason (Will & Grace's McCormack), the responsible advertising creative director and family man, and Connor (Ed and Love Monkey's Cavanagh), the impulsive and unpredictable creative director. Things go awry when Mason gets promoted and becomes Connor's direct boss in a modern look at the advertising world.

Watching Cavanagh and McCormack interact can be fun as they seem to really be friends for years now (even though they aren't, though I do remember an old interview where they joked that the NBC party was a Canadian reunion) but their characters seem to much like pegged archetypes they must adhere to and it dampens the natural flow between the two. Eric McCormack's Mason must seem like a straight laced fussbucket and it doesn't help win him over as a likable lead. I've always said McCormack's Will Truman was a great underrated performance often ignored for Sean Hayes and Megan Mullaly's larger-than-life roles, but he's not helping my argument on this new show (and his Grace's Debra Messing is faring a lot better in the silly but entertaining little trifle The Starter Wife).

Luckily we still have Tom Cavanagh whose natural charms are enough to infuse his Connor with the regular likability that propelled his popularity as Ed. Cavanagh manages to milk every comedic moment and mines it all for all its worth in a show that thinks it is funnier than it is.

The problem with the show is that the writing is pretty generic and the characters are weak and irritating. The loud and obnoxious boss (Life On Mars' Jason O'Mara in a guest role) is enjoyable mainly because we know payback is coming (since we know O'Mara has his own show to star in). Sadly, the rest of the audience is filled with dour sourpusses. Monica Potter (Boston Legal) is supremely annoying as a fussy and annoying star copywriter brought into the firm, only to find herself not in the starring role. Geoffrey Arend and Mike Damus round out the office with their childish antics while Griffin Dunne gives the show the little credibility it can muster up. Meanwhile, Sarah Chalke (24's Nina Meyer) is completely underused (so far) as Mason's wife and fascinating at this point mainly for not being Nina Meyer's and instead, being a lovely supportive housewife.

It's not an entirely unenjoyable show, but I'm not sure I want to entrust myself to spending more time with the show. I love watching Tom Cavanagh on any show and he's still enough of a draw here for now, but I would probably just rather see him in Stuckeyville again in Ed redux.

At this point I'm being very positive and optimistic and giving the show **1/2 (out of 5 stars) but it is mainly for the McCormack and Cavanagh alone.

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

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