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February 10, 2011

Pilot Review: Mr. Sunshine


Let me start by saying, again, that I'm not that much of a sitcom fan. Honestly, I'm not sure whether that means that the fact that I liked Mr. Sunshine means it's really good for the genre, or whether it means genre fans won't like it. But anyway, yes, I liked it. Going in, I was hoping for lots of Matthew Perry using sarcasm to veil his vulnerability while walking quickly down hallways, and that's exactly what I got. There are other good points to the show, and I'll get to a few of those in a moment, but basically, if you like Matthew Perry doing his Matthew Perry thing, you'll like this show, and if you don't, you won't. His character so far isn't particularly different from Chandler Bing or Matt Albie in speech and mannerism, although he does have a self-centeredness and resistance to relationships that those characters didn't necessarily have.

Allison Janney, as always, was wonderful. I'm usually not a fan of such over-the-top comedy, but the writing and her acting were good enough that her character worked for me. She has an aptitude for physical comedy - think of the falling in the pool scene on The West Wing, for example - and I'm glad she's getting a chance to show that in this show. The rest of the supporting cast was fine, and I'm sure I'll care more about them as the season progresses.

I was afraid I was just seeing things I wanted to see when I decided the show felt like a Sorkin show, but Troy Patterson agrees: "The timing and pace recall the work of Aaron Sorkin, which is the point." It helps that the episode was directed by frequent Sorkin collaborator Thomas Schlamme, and I'll be curious to see how much of that feeling is retained in future episodes with other directors.

The show isn't perfect, of course - I was more interested in the characters and dialogue than the plot itself, and some of the relationship set-up was pretty clumsy. But I definitely liked it enough to keep watching. You can watch the pilot here, and the next episode on Wednesday at 9:30 on ABC.

Posted by Kat at February 10, 2011 06:47 PM
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