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July 25, 2014

The Class: The Class Goes to a Bar

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 7th 2006 12:01AM
The Class(S01E07) Maybe the writers of The Class are getting the hint and following what seems to be a pretty obvious suggestion: take out storylines! Let the characters breathe! Get rid of the high-strung socialite and the husband she doesn't realize is gay! This episode managed to do all of that; we don't see Holly and Kyle (and Holly's Paul Lynde sound-alike husband) at all, and Duncan and Nicole get some time to interact without Yonk in the way, and take Lina and Richie along for the ride. And, of course, Kat and Ethan do their goofy stuff, this time in a bar (notice most of the episodes have been named for the Kat/Ethan story of the week? I just figured that out tonight... I'm slow, I guess).

So, now that things are a bit smoother and less cluttered, there'd be more room for the funny right? Well, that's what you might think, but you'd be wrong.

I've got to tell you, when I realized that we wouldn't see Holly and Kyle, I was praying that their elimination would make the episode better. But the only thing it did was make it less cluttered. The episode had a much more measured pace than previous episodes because two of the main characters were gone, but it also seemed less irritating because they dispensed with the storyline that had a) the most annoying characters and b) the least potential to go anywhere. Problem was, the other storylines weren't that funny.

Even the Kat/Ethan story wasn't that good. Hijacking blind dates was a good idea in theory, and of course Kat had a couple of good lines as usual. But the story hinged on Ethan needing to keep the charade up because he really likes his blind date. Jeez. All of Kat's bad influence hasn't gotten to him yet, though Ethan likes being Dan Slutzky, because he can be a more exciting person than the one he really is. But at this point, I'd really like to see Kat and Ethan's relationship explored a little more. There's still very little to hold them together as friends, and it seems like the two of them are just there for comic relief, because the other storylines are much heavier.

Of course they are: both Duncan/Nicole and Richie/Lina involve deception and adultery. Fun stuff, right? Sure, Richie's wife (or whatever she is) treats Richie like dirt, but we don't know why she does; Richie could have completely screwed her over. Lina seems to be an innocent victim here, but it's not like she hasn't been warned; Kat thinks Richie's bad news, even so many weeks after the accident, and tries to tell her. But Lina's just happy he calls her his "girlfriend" while fending off the slutty waitress. And they are cute together, as we saw when Richie picked Lina up and danced with her. But this is going to get ugly quickly, especially now that Sara Gilbert's character knows about Lina.

Duncan/Nicole is Ross/Rachel. That's all there is to it. His band gets back together; she blows off a football wives' function and goes to the dive bar where he's playing. He writes a song for her; she makes doe eyes at him. They try not to say what they really want to say (at least Nicole does), but her actions say otherwise. And then we see that Duncan has slept with said slutty waitress.

Whoopdee-damn-doo. I mean, is that a bad thing? Who's he cheating on? The ex who's married to a former football star and doesn't want to cheat on him again? After playing the song and seeing Nicole leave, he was so fired up he grabbed an easy lay. Fully within his rights. But the writers want to make this plot point seem like a gaspworthy moment, when it really isn't. The funny thing is, even though Andrea Anders and Jon Bernthal have chemistry, I really couldn't care less if these two ever get together. That's not a good thing to see a third of the way into the season.

I'm pretty much done with the show, if you can't tell at this point. It should be getting better, but it's getting worse. If I do cut this loose, I'll let you know. But I can't write weeks and weeks of the same mediocre review. It's just not that interesting to me, know what I mean?

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Devante

this show is slow and it kinda sucks! but the episodes arer OK!

November 29 2006 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jordy

Joel, I think this is just a misstep (i hope). i really loved the episodes prior to this, and had a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. don't drop it...yet!

November 08 2006 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Ponti

Just read your review of "The Class". Boy, somebody must have eaten a big bowl of sour grapes this morning. How you can find this show inferior to "HIMYM" is mind boggling. Last night I watched both shows, back to back. The first part of "Mother" felt like a bad FRIENDS script. Then the Barney nickname run, which you enjoyed, was completely idiotic, heavy handed and just plain obvious.Oh and funny free. Following that was the "Seinfeldian" rip-off (they wish)of "crazy eyes". Could they have beaten that into the ground any more? All of it improbable and... oh yeah, NOT at all even amusing. Next, comes "The Class" which you can find nothing worthwhile to like. I'm not counting your approval of the ommission of two characters. The Richie and Lina story was sweet, charming and often funny. I actually felt the chemistry between Duncan and Nicole was stronger than ever. Nobody (other than you) judged Duncan for screwing around with the slutty waitress. He has every right too. That never seemed to be implied. It was just a case of...what if he was alone when Nicole called him. Would something have happened between them? Frankly if you don't appreciate this show stop watching it.You just sound like a bitter, jealous hack writer. And don't be surprised when this show eventually becomes the hit it deserves to be and you're still writing a blog.

November 07 2006 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SamMalone

You really don't seem to enjoy it. It's a show which probably gets spoiled the more you disect it.

I thought it was a good episode. I didn't even realize 'til later last night they'd dropped the boring characters/storyline. The whole meeting another class member that hasn't been mentioned before could be a way to add some different stories and sidelines (like the slutty waitress).

November 07 2006 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Porchland

I don't hate the show as much as the posts I've been seeing for this show all season, but it pales in comparison to the season "How I Met Your Mother" is having or even Fox's now-cancelled "Happy Hour."

Dropping one of the character pairs this episode improved the pacing of the show. Lina's voice still irritates me but less as the season goes on.

However, listening to Vinnie Barbarino sing to Andrea Anders was just cringe-worthy. I nearly turned it off.

I'll probably continue watching, but the lack of a full-season pick-up by CBS probably means this show isn't going to be around very long.

November 07 2006 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel

Tracy, I expect to laugh at a sitcom. Not chuckle, not go "heh", but laugh out loud. The Class hasn't made me laugh in weeks. That's why I'm dropping it.

November 07 2006 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tracy

It's a sitcom for crying out loud-what more do you want out of it. It's 30 minutes long-the cheap laughs are all you are ever going to really get out of it, and they do those pretty well. If you want something with more substance go for a drama-not a comedy. It's had less than 6 episodes, give it time!

November 07 2006 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony C

Gawd-Awful.

Not your review, Joel... the show.

November 07 2006 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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