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Friday, 5 of March of 2021

Mr. Sunshine – “Pilot”

“Just melt the ice, Bobert!”

I love Matthew Perry. Let me just affirm that first. Chandler was my favorite character on Friends and I have loved the majority of his film career (that includes “17 Again”). That makes the following very hard for me to say.

Mr. Sunshine is really not that good.

Could I be any more disappointed? I was very excited for Matthew Perry to be back on TV and producing and writing and starring in his own new show. I was sure it would be great. And he is. The show itself? Not so much.
Mr. Sunshine suffers from a disease that seems to be running rampant throughout new comedies of the past few years: they’re not funny. I said the same thing of Running Wilde last year, although stick with me, Mr. Sunshine is not as bad as Running Wilde. There are jokes, or at least what the writers and actors perceive to be jokes, but they aren’t funny. To me, this is a prime example of a name attached to a project holding more weight than the content itself.

The only times I found myself laughing (and I use the term very loosely) were in reference to Matthew Perry’s character himself. And that’s mainly because he always plays the same character. Remember I love him, so this is in no way a bashing, but he does. So I think my enjoyment (another term I use rather loosely) came mostly from the fact that I was watching Matthew Perry be Matthew Perry.

The other characters seem so out there. They’re huge caricatures and it really turned me off. I kept comparing it to 30 Rock and I couldn’t pin down why this show irked me while 30 Rock does not. I think it had to do with the aforementioned unfuniness. Both are crazy workplace comedies with over the top characters. Granted 30 Rock didn’t really hit its stride until season 2 s maybe I’m being unfair comparing it to one of te best comedies on TV that’s been running for five years. But even on a purely pilot level, 30 Rock still wins.

I like Allison Janney a lot, but her pill popping, slightly racist Crystal came off more like a bad Kristen Wiig Saturday Night Live sketch character. Alice (Andrea Anders) could be a potential saving grace. She has good banter with Matthew Perry Ben and their rocky relationship could be the source of some good comedy and some good heart. And that’s only cause I’m trying to be nice. Everyone else on the show bugged me.

Except Bobert. Jorge Garcia makes a cameo in the pilot (Matthew Perry is also a huge LOST fan) so that was a nice surprise. Too bad he’s in Alcatraz (new JJ Abrams pilot at FOX, not the prison) cause he could be a fun character and another reason for me to stick around.

Am I going to keep watching? Sigh. Yes. I’d like to see if it finds its own, hits its stride. More than anything I want a former Friends star to really have a hit and I’d love if it were Matthew Perry. Sure, Courtney Cox has Cougar Town which is supposed to be decent now and Jennifer Aniston is a “movie star” and Matt Le Blanc has Episodes (which I like but we’ll see how big it becomes, if at all) but none of them are really considered huge successes after Friends.

It feels harsh writing these words but I’ve gotta be honest. I expected better. I may have hyped it too much, but come on. It’s Chandler Bing.


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