Review of "Back to You" From The TV MegaSite
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Primetime Show Reviews

Grammer and Heaton at their anchor desk

"Back to You" Review by Suzanne 11/24/07

The most important facet of any sitcom is that it is funny. That's the "com" in sitcom, and it stands for COMEDY!  Too many comedies today are just not funny. It's like the writers feel that it's more important for you to like the characters or think they have chemistry (i.e. for a romantic triangle like "Friends"), than for them to be funny. Well, that just doesn't work.

The sitcoms from the past that had those things were also funny, and in fact, if they weren't funny, you wouldn't know about them because they wouldn't have lasted more than one episode.  The only exception are shows that are aimed at kids, like "Family Matters" or "Full House". They are not meant to be funny to anyone over 10.

And then there are shows like "Arrested Development", "Scrubs", and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" where they don't seem very funny unless you are a critic or some other kind of snob (In other words, they're still not funny, but everyone pretends they are because they're so highbrow).

Recent sitcoms that were funny include "Frasier", "Everybody Loves Raymond", "Friends", "Seinfeld", "Girlfriends", "Married with Children", et al.  Now, obviously, I don't have to like the characters, or else I could never stand "Married with Children" or "Seinfeld". Those people are horrible and should be put to death (were they real people).  But I don't like shows where the people are whiny or annoying, which is why I could never stand "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Home Improvement".  But at least I can concede that they have funny jokes.  Actually, "Arrested Development" also had annoying and whiny characters, as well as not being funny. Oh, and I forgot "The Office", which is just plain annoying and uncomfortable to watch.

I'm very happy to say that "Back to You" is both funny and does not have annoying people. The characters are even likable.  It is not what I'd call a ground-breaking show or one that really pushes the envelope.  But nowadays, just being funny (especially on FOX) is a huge achievement.

Kelsey Grammer is always very funny, and some of the people behind "Frasier" are responsible for this show, so that helps a great deal.  Instead of the prissy, uptight Frasier, he plays a newscaster who is a bit of a skit-chaser.  He's still pompous and conceited, though, like Frasier.  His character, Chuck Darling, had been a local news anchor in Pittsburgh for years, but he left for the "big time" and had gone to L.A.,.  However, he had to come back to Pittsburgh in disgrace after he swore a lot on air one night.  The same people he left behind are still there, especially his co-anchor, Kelly (played ably by Patricia Heaton).  She's not happy to have to share his spotlight again, particularly since they slept together before he left town.  They have good chemistry, and both are sitcom veterans, so they do a great job.

The other cast members are very good, especially the legendary Fred Willard. He actually steals the show quite a bit.  I'm not very fond of the sexpot weather girl, but this is FOX, so what can you expect?

Anyway, if you get a chance to see any of the reruns from this season, I especially liked the pilot, "The Fish Story", and "Something Is Up There".  This is a very funny show for adults of any age (it's not particularly dirty, either, but it's not really for kids).  It is one of only two new shows I am watching this year, so that should tell you something.  Please, watch it before FOX cancels it because they tend to cancel shows I like....


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Updated 11/24/07 

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