Saturday, September 28, 2013

On The Air: The Crazy Ones (2013)

AMC's Mad Men has proven that the advertising business still provides fodder for some good stories. Veteran producer David E. Kelley returns with a laugh-track-less sitcom set in an advertising agency, whose owner isn't exactly the most stable of people.

The Crazy Ones marks the return of Oscar winner Robin Williams to series television, 31 years after his seminal sci-fi sitcom, Mork & Mindy, ended its 4 year run. This time, Williams is an advertising executive whose bizarre behavior might cost him his job anywhere else. What keeps Simon (Williams) grounded is his daughter, who is now his business partner (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who manages to succeed where Simon fails, especially in the opener, in which Simon decides to revive an old McDonald's ad campaign from the 70's, provided he can convince singer Kelly Clarkson to sing the jingle, "You Deserve a Break Today".

Williams' 1st scene is typical. Simon is sparring with a giant Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot. Kelley gives Williams room to do some of his improvisations, the better to liven things up. However, it's Gellar, whose 1st post-Buffy The Vampire Slayer series was a bust, who holds everything together, even knocking out an a capella rendition of "Break" to convince Clarkson to take the gig.

To give you some idea of what to look forward to, here's a trailer:

The only downside is where CBS placed Crazy Ones. NBC has Michael J. Fox's new show airing directly opposite it, as CBS is unwilling to split up The Big Bang Theory & Two and a Half Men, the latter of which deserves to be moved to 9 (ET) due to its more ribald, adult themes. We'll see how the viewers vote, but if Crazy gets in trouble, the critics could have a word at the ready that Williams himself coined 35 years ago------"Shazbot!"

Rating: A-.

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