Didn't UPN once have a show called Jake 2.0? Too bad. ABC could have used the title, because that's what this second-season premiere essentially was: an updated pilot for the series' new direction. What that direction is, alas, remains to be seen. John Stamos and Co. have tweaked the Jerk in Progress angle, giving Jake an ex to pine over in an effort to make him a little more vulnerable. They should have gone for a little more funny. Say what you want about Stamos (and you probably want to say something about Full House, or his hair, or the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" video), he's just a likable guy. But is likability reason enough to watch a situation comedy short on other criteria? And what was with the occasional, completely unnecessary split screens? This ain't 24. As a producer, Stamos should have given himself some punch lines. His scenes with Charlotte Ross' Annie the girl he apparently obsesses about despite the fact that she's never been mentioned before were sweet and loaded with potential but just not funny.
The supporting cast did all the heavy lifting in this episode. Rick Hoffman had a nice bit with the cupcake bakery called Muffin, and the biggest laugh of the night came from his Patrick mispronouncing the name Eugene. And Wendie Malick's Naomi as a mother was hilarious. As a father of an infant, I totally get the humor in lines like, "What if I break the baby?" and "This hospital makes you go home!" The final piece with her hitting the baby's head was, however, a little much. Besides, shouldn't a show with the name "Jake" in the title give the final word (and laugh) to, I don't know, Jake?