Welcome to the Captain -- An early look
My first impression of this show is that it has a great cast. Al Madrigal is a very funny guy who has been kept off of TV for way too long. You may remember that Al was the star of the aborted sitcom The Ortegas a few seasons ago. I have always thought Chris Klein was funny but never got a chance to show it off and, of course, Jeffrey Tambor has now become a fixture in the comedy landscape due to his brilliant work on Larry Sanders & Arrested Development.
Madrigal plays the doorman of the building named Jesus, who insists that you pronounce his name like the well-known savior. Klein is Marty, a tenant of the building and best bud of the new tenant, Josh (Fran Kanz). Tambor plays Uncle Sol, the veteran of the building who used to write scripts for Three's Company. Ironic, in a way, since Tambor actually starred in the Three's Company spinoff, The Ropers.
Most importantly, the show features Raquel Welch as the building's resident cougar. I can not express what a great bit of casting this is. The last time I saw Raquel Welch look this sexy was on an episode of Mork & Mindy. I'm not sure what the exact demographic is for Ms. Welch, but I, for one, fall directly inside of it.
Which leaves me feeling a little torn because as much as I love the cast the show just isn't very funny. It's shot single camera, so it has the air of a sophisticated sitcom but the jokes just aren't funny enough to find their way through the screen.
More importantly, the premise of the show is as old as sitcoms themselves. Josh, the new resident, doesn't really want to stay in the building and plans on moving to New York until, Hope, the pretty acupuncture student, cries in his arms and tells him that she will be staying in the building for an undetermined amount of time. You can guess what goes on after that.
The second episode gets slightly better, but only slightly. Madrigal's delivery and funny faces work to make me laugh and the constant references to 70's sitcoms and their stars score big points for me but there's very little else to watch for. I've never encountered this before but it seems like The Captain actually might fare better as a three-camera show. It's just really hard to sit through the pauses knowing they are there for laughs and yet not laughing.
I suppose the show could eventually settle into a groove by concentrating more on the COM-edy than on the SIT-uation, but that is pretty unlikely.
Weclome to the Captain premieres on Monday, February 4, at 8:30 PM ET on CBS.