Question: I was annoyed when ABC scheduled Emily's Reasons Why Not opposite Two and a Half Men (which is uneven but sometimes very funny). I needn't have worried. ABC couldn't produce a funny sitcom if it tried. The Watercooler review of Emily was glowing, but I think it tried too hard to be funny and the jokes were cliché. There is only one word to describe Emily: insipid. What did you think of the premiere? P.S.: Although many of your readers (and you) would disagree, I think there is only one truly funny show out there: South Park.
Answer: I would agree that South Park is one-of-a-kind funny, and if that's your standard, then everything else is bound to come up short, because no one (especially on network TV) is going to have the freedom to be that outrageous, crude and topical. But that gives way too short shrift to great comedies like Earl, Scrubs, even Two and a Half Men. As for Emily: I'm glad ABC is trying to broaden the tone of its comedies beyond the Jim-Rodney-George Lopez-Freddie school of out-and-out mediocrity, but Emily seems way too derivative of Sex and the City to truly stand out, though I find Heather Graham charming (although too cute, if that's possible), and it is funnier and more promising than Jake in Progress, which I still can't believe ABC renewed for a second season. Given the early numbers for Emily and Jake, I doubt they'll be around long enough for us to debate one way or the other. Turns out it wasn't smart to target CBS' dominant comedies with more comedies, especially ones as familiar as these.