Forecast for Mr. Sunshine: Partly Cloudy

I don't want to declare Mr. Sunshine a failure, mainly because Matthew Perry is working so hard (both in front of and behind the camera—he's a co-creator) to make us like it/him, that to write it off completely based on the pilot would be the equivalent of kneeing Chandler Bing in the nads. And nobody wants to do that. So let's put it this way: If we're judging Mr. Sunshine based purely on a delivered-laughs-per-minute ratio, then there is definitely room for improvement.

Taking a cue from its Pollyanna-ish (if sarcastic) title, then, let's look at the bright side and focus on what we do have in Mr. Sunshine. For starters, we have Matthew Perry. He plays Ben Donovan, the manager of a sports arena in San Diego who comes off like a far less sensitive and emotionally needy Chandler Bing, dumped unceremoniously into the rough of middle-age. That character is a pretty appealing anchor for any show. (The ratings prove that: It drew 10.6 million viewers, making it ABC's highest-rated new series premiere.)

We meet Ben on his 40th birthday, looking a little worse for the wear. Ben has a limited skill-set for dealing with stress, and—surprise!—moves within a work environment that produces nothing but the stuff. There's his boss, arena owner Crystal Cohen, who's a clueless, self-absorbed, prescription drug addict. Despite Allison Janney's best efforts, the character comes across as stock and underwritten. Crystal's chubby, adult son (Nate Torrence), a learning-disabled (I think?) people-pleaser, gets dumped in Ben's lap early in the episode. He's the show's designated dope, and Torrence pushes hard with the lines he's given to mine sympathetic laughs. He just never quite achieves the idiotic alchemy of 30 Rock's Kenneth the Page or Parks & Recreation's Andy Dwyer.

Marketing director Alice (Better Off Ted's Andrea Anders) is Ben's romantic foil, and can stay quiet no longer about their friends-with-benefits arrangement. Lost's Jorge Garcia pops up in a thankless role as a maintenance engineer whose name Ben can't remember, despite the two of them having worked together for several years. Finally, there's co-worker Alonzo (James Lesure, formerly of Las Vegas). The zen-ying to Ben's harried-yang, Alonzo only sees the bright side to life—despite, as Ben callously reminds him, having missed a crucial throw that tanked his pro-basketball career, ultimately losing the city their team.

I actually thought this show was going to focus on the world of spectator sports, from the fresh point of view of the people whose job it is to cater to the pro-athletes and rowdy fans who pass through its battledomes. So I'm not sure why they chose to focus on a traveling circus for the show's silly inaugural plot. Let's hope that future episodes do a better job at mining a good premise.

And as for Ben, well, I think we can all see the redemptive path ahead. Will he stop trying to get Alonzo to admit that it sucks being a social pariah? Will he learn Hurley's name? Will he commit to Alice? Will he finally become a nice guy? Could it BE any more obvious?

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Lets see......Quota Hispanic (talking spanish) quota African American and a white (racist) woman (of course). I am sure in one of the next episodes they will include somebody gay Thank god I am out odf it after the Pilot.
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I think it has potential, the setup is intriguing I would hope it only gets better.
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While I agree there's room for improvement, that's true of every show on TV. No one seems to remember that it's a half-hour comedy pilot--those are rarely as funny as the shows become later. I mean, FRIENDS' pilot pretty much sucked, but it lasted ten years and holds up in reruns in a way few shows can. Matthew Perry and Allison Janney are two amazing actors who work well off each other (watch the West Wing episode Life On Mars for the best example) and I think, given a little more time, Mr Sunshine will have more to offer than zany intos and rogue elephants.
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I liked it, although there were a few too many idiot characters. And I wouldn't judge the show by laughs per minute; those sort of shows tend to have nothing but dumb jokes. This one seems to take the time to properly set up the jokes. A sitcom should have jokes, not just punchlines. This show could get me back into sitcoms.
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I was looking forward seeing Matthew Perry in a comedyshow once again. And although I have some difficulty (well for now atleast) not seeing Matthew as Chandler but I have confidence that feeling will fade once I see this show weekly.

I thought the Pilot was decent and the characters were introduced very well I am looking forward to the next episode.
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I am loving it. It will probably get better as it goes along, but i think Matthew Perry has done a great job. Once it develops over the next few episodes, it will be a much better show
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It was okay, will continue watching in hopes of it getting better...
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cougar town this years sucks, 1st year was fine, now it is just plain horrible!
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How much made up for reality the non-reality shows are, can we take?
Doesn't anyone else see how ficticious they are???
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This show will grow. let the characters develop!!! There is a lot of mindless stuff on right now and this has a bright hopeful future. And Perry is cool, sarcasm is great!!!!!
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it was actually not bad
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Arena management opens the door for all sorts of big, over-the-top problems, but the fact that it's not meeting preconceived notions you came to it with or being completely different, other shows you already know and love ... well, you're a viewer, it's a show. There's only one show, there's millions of viewers. It can't be everything to every viewer. So why don't you let it drive you around in a golf cart, sing something loopy, feed you a white tablet with some Spanish on it, break the ice with some ax-wielding clowns, give you some third-degree burns, forget your name, stray your elephant, mess with your best friend's girlfriend, send a child airborne and otherwise ENTERTAIN YOU, you JADED PIECE OF AGING HIPSTER. Honest to god, next you'll be wondering where his other five friends are.
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I like Matthew Perry no matter he will be funny or not...he is so cute!! I like his new series Mr. Sunshine!! It's not gonna be a failure but much better than all that stupid reality shows!
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I liked the first episode not because it was that funny, but because anyone can see that it has potential. Also, the cast(friends-lost-betterOffTedd-LasVegas) is great. Looking forward for the second episode
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I liked it, much better than any cougar town episode made in the last year.
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I like the no laugh-track policy the new shows for our three former friends! It gives you a second to think about the joke...
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Not worth losing Cougar Town over, sorry.
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"clowns with axes!!! clowns with axes!!!!" i like matt perry, and i've thought this pilot was mediocre (but then again, so was Episodes, but it's great now), but my first big laugh(and it was huge) was definitely the clowns with axes freakout, that was friggin' hilarious! not a bad start, sets the premise. the kid of the boss could be really funny, too. i am ready to laugh whenever i see him.
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I thought it was great! Of course, I would probably watch Matthew Perry reading a phone book, so I'm a little biased. And possibly too easily entertained. That said, I WAS entertained, and that's really all I ask. Will definitely watch it.
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I thought it was pretty good. After the first five minutes, I looked at it more as a comedy-drama, so I didn't judge it on how often I laughed.
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i thought it was good......it wasn't great though, but i think that maybe it's one of those shows that gets better the more you watch it
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I enjoyed it, excited for the future episodes, and hope for perrys sake that its a hit, I've missed his face on the screen. And i definitely like this show the most of the friends on tv these days (cougar town, episodes)
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I enjoyed it and will be back...
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I thought that it was quite good! I love the fact there is no laugh track (I know when something is funny, I don't need to be told) and that the humor is rather dry. I can see glimpses of other characters that the actors have played and that is one of the things I liked about it. I makes me think, "That's something that Chandler would have done!" I also think the whole circus idea was brilliant. Something for the pilot about basketball or hockey would have been way too obvious. They will have lots of time to deal with those things later.
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I liked it very much :)
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It was ok, I think if it wasn't for Matthew Perry I would've stopped after the pilot, but I think it laid a good base for future episodes still. So like everyone else I'll keep watching in hopes of it getting better. Can't judge a show on a pilot alone. Some of my favorite shows only started getting good halfway through the first season.
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Total thumbs down. It sucked big time.
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I'll reserve judgement until a couple more episodes air, but so far it's not very good..
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I quite liked it, but I do see some room for improvement. But what I'd want in the improvement department would be more walk-and-talks and it trying to adopt a more Sorkin-esque style.
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...last sentence, yes. Lets see after four, five episodes... pilots are always a bit "weird" :)
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much better than Traffic Light
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Nice one with the last sentence :) I had high hopes for Mr. Sunshine and there was a tad of disappointment in the pilot. I really hope for the show to get better.
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