Until CBS stops going for Broke, it may be hard for Mom, one of the season's more promising and pungent new comedies, to get the break it, and the title character, deserves. What's happening to CBS on Monday with its once-dominant comedy lineup is a slow-fade version of the freefall NBC experienced with its Thursday lineup in the wake of Friends. Holding on to shows too long (How I Met Your Mother, which could have wrapped this whole thing way earlier), promoting shows too soon with too little to offer (the shrill and increasingly charmless 2 Broke Girls), making odd decisions like keeping the award-winning Mike & Molly on the shelf in favor of an insta-dud like the abysmal We Are Men, this is one of those rare nights when CBS's programming acumen has mostly crapped out. (Monday's loss is, of course, Thursday's gain, with former Monday anchors The Big Bang Theory and, to a lesser degree these days, the played-out Two and a Half Men helping get early sampling for newbies The Millers and The Crazy Ones.)
We Are Men
Whatever the male species did to deserve the recent run of lousy comedies that neuter them into a bland, whiny pudding — the trajectory of Man Up through Guys With Kids to CBS's new and painfully bland smarm-com We Are Men (8:30/7:30c) — can I just collectively say on behalf of the entire gender: We're sorry! Haven't we suffered enough?
Apparently not, because Men hits new lows in bromance abuse, cheapening the whole idea of "band of brothers" with its soggy account of male bonding at an apartment complex for jilted and/or unhappily divorced losers. The new kid on the block, Carter (Chris Smith), is left at the altar in a reverse-Graduate gag that's the cleverest part of the pilot. Such a milquetoast he makes How I Met Your Mother mensch Ted Mosby seem as dangerous as Ted Bundy, Carter is adopted by an unappealing threesome that includes middle-aged horndog Frank (Tony Shalhoub, slumming), sad sack Gil (Kal Penn, who's almost as hilarious here as he was as a wet blanket during HIMYM's dark period, which means not at all) and arrogant Stuart, overplayed by Jerry O'Connell, who parades around shirtless in a rainbow of Speedos that flaunt what some might call manhood. But they would be wrong.
These Men of no certain age and character aren't so much bad influences as terribly unfunny company.
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Question: On your recommendation, I watched the first episode of Mom. Why do sitcoms insist on using these horrible laugh tracks still? I found it so distracting it took away from any viewing pleasure. I'll sample the show again because I really like the actors, but do you hate laugh tracks as much as I do? — Rob
CBS' Mom may be about a mother/daughter team (Allison Janney and Anna Faris) who are both struggling with recovery and sobriety, but not every character on the show has stopped living life in the fast lane.
Enter the "overtly not sober" Chef Rudy (French Stewart), who runs the kitchen at the high-end restaurant where Faris' character, Christy, works.
Allison Janney, Anna Faris
Did you find Mom's family issues funny? Will Hostages hold onto its audience? Will you bet on The Blacklist's Red Reddington? Vote!
Happy (and busy) premiere week. It's a killer thriller showdown when two of the fall season's slickest new shows, NBC's The Blacklist and CBS's limited-run suspense serial Hostages, square off Monday (at 10:01/9:01c) in a contest of marquee power and derivative but inviting high concepts. They take on ABC's durable Castle, opening its sixth season (10:01/9:01c) with its star-crossed leads facing a personal and professional crossroads.
Anna Faris and Allison Janney
Like mother, like daughter. That's the premise of CBS' new sitcom Mom, which stars Allison Janney and Anna Faris as dysfunctional mother-daughter pair Bonnie and Christy, who are both recovering addicts and less-than-exemplary parents. But they're working on it.
"Christy and her mom Bonnie are funny, intelligent women that have a bit of mess to them," Faris tells TVGuide.com. "I love that [Christy's] just hanging on by a thread. I love playing messy characters. ... She's been a really selfish person for a long time, and now she is really trying to turn over a new leaf, be a very present mom."
C.J. Cregg made a glorious return on The Arsenio Hall Show Tuesday night.
During an appearance on the talk show, Allison Janney mentioned Press Secretary Jay Carney had asked her to teach him "The Jackal," referring to her character's infamous West Wing lip-sync from Season 1.
Anna Faris and Allison Janney star in the new CBS sitcom Mom. But to help promote the freshman comedy (premiering Monday, Sept. 23 at 9:30/8:30c), spots currently airing for Mom focus on another superstar: executive producer Chuck Lorre.
Allison Janney and Anna Faris
Chuck Lorre has a gift for making even the most unsympathetic characters seem relatable, whether it's Charlie Sheen's manwhore on Two and a Half Men or a bunch of social misfits on The Big Bang Theory. The prolific executive producer will add...