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October 24, 2014

Gary Unmarried -- An early look

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 24th 2008 5:02PM
Gary Unmarried
Jay Mohr moonlights away from his regular gig on Ghost Whisperer to star as Gary Brooks in this traditional sitcom. CBS has paired Gary Unmarried with The New Adventures of Old Christine, which creates an interesting dynamic. First, you have Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a divorced woman trying to live her own life while dealing with her ex and their kid. Then you get Jay Mohr as a recently divorced man trying to live his own life while dealing with his ex and their kids.

In fact, this seems to be almost the same show, only from the ex-husband's point of view rather than the ex-wife's point of view. Husband is a bit more lax with the kids while mom is overbearing and a bit crazy. I do like that in this variation, the kids have more distinct and important personalities. In fact, Gary (premiering tonight at 8:30 PM ET) has a much wider cast altogether. Both spouses have new relationships and Gary's girlfriend has a kid of her own.

Ultimately, there wasn't anything particularly groundbreaking about the show, it still stands up as a pretty good sitcom. And I think it will make a very comfortable fit with Christine. Her audience should find this equally appealing and charming. I always thought Jay Mohr was a better fit in a comedy than a drama, and while I've enjoyed his presence on Ghost Whisperer, it was more for the role he played in helping Melinda than for his acting prowess. That said, I don't mind losing him to this little show.

Bits and Pieces
  • "I can't invite a girl over here. What if she expects me to tap it." I love the son and daughter, and the fact that Gary is encouraging his son to explore relationships with women, whereas Allison thinks he's not ready.
  • It was a bit of a stretch that Gary's former marriage counselor Walter, and current fiance to his ex-wife Allison, offered to mediate the discussion between Gary and Vanessa and even moreso that the two took him up on it.
  • A lot of it all just came together a bit too conveniently, but then again this was the pilot establishing the relationships and characters, and for that it did a fine job. There were enough chuckles to keep it humming along and now we know who's who and how they're all connected.
It's from here that we'll see if they can put together a show. Christine succeeds because of Louis-Dreyfuss and just how obnoxiously ridiculous her character can be. I don't see that in Gary, so it will survive more on its storylines and writing. I'm willing to ride out a few episodes to see if it finds its legs.

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