Review of "Undateable" on NBC From The TV MegaSite
 

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Undateable

"Undateable" review by Sundi 6/2/14
Airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC

Usually I am reluctant to like shows that use phrases like “crushing ass” or refer to breasts as “cans;” or for that matter, have male characters that call themselves “daddy,” but I am tentatively on board with  NBC’s Undateable. This show, simply, is a buddy, hang-out comedy about a bunch of unlucky in love oddballs that look to learn from a disheveled playboy who comes into their lives unexpectedly and teaches them about love and relationships.

The disheveled playboy, Danny, is played by Chris D’Elia (Whitney) and D’Elia has mastered the art of facial-expression comedy, and can articulate the joke without ever opening his mouth. In the first episode, Danny loses his roommate and asks Justin (Brent Morin) to move in. With Justin, comes his group of weirdo friends that include a raging misogynist (Rick Glassman), a newly out-of-the-closet Brit (David Finn), and an oddly sensitive and soft-spoken Lions fan (Ron Funches). While the pilot offers less chemistry than subsequent episodes, the spark is there and you can start to see where this show is heading. Sure, it feels a little like they are shouting at us in that first episode, and the humor is clubbing us over the head, but that establishes momentum helps to form the tone of the show.

The tone is a silly kind of funny, that finds its funniest stuff in the uncomfortable moments telegraphed by the awkward characters. Some of the funniest scenes happen between Danny and Justin. The student/teacher dynamic that the show hints at is upended when it becomes apparent Danny as the teacher is just as hapless as his student, Justin. I love that Danny calls Justin “baby bird,” and I desperately love that Justin goes home with Danny’s sister in the first episode, and then gets scolded by Danny for not sleeping with her.

Danny’s sister, Leslie, played by Bianca Kajilich (Rules of Engagement) is a little too lecture-y for me, and I think she’s meant to serve as a straight (wo)man for Danny’s complete irresponsibility. I like her as a guy’s girl, and her character did enough evolving from the pilot to the second episode that I am more interested in her as the emotionally-challenged train wreck she becomes than the nagging, finger-wagging mother stand-in she was in the first episode.

I like a show about friends, especially the kind of friends that don’t look like models and have actual human emotions, and I think this show has the potential to offer a less artificial approach to the hang-out genre. It’s a little clunky at first, but I like it and I am going to keep on watching it. However, if you don’t want to hear a bunch of young-ish single folks talking about getting sex all the time, this show is NOT for you. Seriously, I am not sure there was one scene in which the characters weren’t plotting how to separate another characters from their knickers. But that’s the bit – making these Undateable schlubs appealing to other folks, and so far, chasing ass is the main thematic element.

I’ve been wrong in the past about some 30-minute comedies. Am I wrong this time? Tweet me your thoughts about this show. @sroseholt


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Page updated 6/17/14

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