An open letter to Jay Mohr about Gary Unmarried
by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 12th 2009 4:02PM
Let me start by stating that I think you are a very funny man. I have been following your career for years and you're great. You were wonderful in Jerry Maguire. Of course, you were speaking lines written by Cameron Crowe, so that was a plus, but you delivered the performance. Bravo, Jay Mohr.
That said, I have to talk to you now about Gary Unmarried. Jay, you can make this so much better. Really, you are capable of so much more. Yes, you don't have Cameron Crowe writing for you now. I'm fully aware of that. But you're there.
Gary Unmarried may have started as a formula, and it still has too much of that formula intact. The bitchy, controlling wife/ex-wife? Haven't we seen the Allison character on Two and a Half Men (Judith), Everybody Loves Raymond (Deborah), The King of Queens (Carrie)? Do you see the pattern here? I do.
It's all well and good that Gary's a guy's guy, a working class, sports-loving, barbecue-grilling, girl-chasing man. That's also a typical character, but you can pull it off. I like Gary. I just want you to make him funnier. He needs more Jay and less Gary. Do you know what I mean?
Right now, Gary Unmarried is barely ahead of ABC's The Middle -- another family/working class comedy -- that's in the same timeslot. If you want Gary to survive and thrive, you have to get in the writers' room and kick some butt. Add the Jay Mohr snark and rework the formula before it's too late.
Why not take advantage of Allison being Gary's business partner to give them a joint conflict -- what if a new painter was going after Gary's clients? Allison and Gary would be compelled to fight together, and that'll give you a new foil for the comedy. Why not make them friends instead of antagonists? I know that actress Paula Marshall can play more than a one-note character. Let her.
It's just a thought, but I worry about you, Jay. I'm in your corner. Just please, take this advice to heart and give us something Mohr better.
Allison J. Waldman
[I love a lot of these clips from Gary Unmarried on SlashControl.]