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Guys With Kids Series Premiere Review: Damn Kids Ruined These Guys' Lives!

Guys With Kids S01E01: "Pilot"

After Jimmy Fallon proved himself worthy of staying in a late-night chair for more than a few hours, NBC decided it owed him one and greenlighted his production company's first sitcom, Guys With Kids. But if tonight's pilot is any indication, it's going to take a lot of Tim Tebowie musical numbers to make up for this effortless multi-camera mess.

Look, we all knew that Guys With Kids would be terrible based on its premise alone, the gist of which is right there in the title. But it's the complete lack of warmness that makes Guys With Kids more of a "Scared Straight" PSA for males to practice abstinence rather than spill their seed into their wives, girlfriends, or hookers and *GOD FORBID* enter the phase of life that we're biologically designed for, parenthood.

Here's the plot: Three male friends have kids. I don't know their names because the show never baited me to try to learn them. (I do know that one of the kids' names is Ernie, though, because it was shouted over and over.) One of the guys, played by the very funny Anthony Anderson, can't say three words before reminding you that his four kids have destroyed his social life and that he does nothing but sit around while they terrorize him. Another guy is the happy-go-lucky one (or maybe he's always drunk) who lives with his wife with their infant and provides the regular "married man" perspective. The last guy is a recently divorced single dad with a soaked-blanket she-shrew for an ex (played by the very very funny Erinn Hayes of Childrens Hospital). Set-up accomplished!

Aside from the push-button laugh track "live studio audience," forced jokes that exist just for forced jokes' sake, Kareem Abdul Jabbar's appearance as a baby-dunking prop, and too many other things to mention, there was one major problem with the Guys With Kids pilot: There was never a feeling that the guys LIKE having kids (unless they mentioned it while I was jamming knives into my ears). This show is heartless; the dads talk about their children like they're open herpes sores that won't go away and interfere with their chances to get laid. Guys With Kids is going to be an awful comedy no matter what, but it can at least be an awful comedy with a positive message about parenting. Instead, it might just be the message we all need to solve our overpopulation problem. A few episodes of this and not only will you not want kids of your own, you might be tempted to napalm your local preschool or put razor blades and ricin in Lunchables.

The humor is pretty typical multi-camera fare angled toward NBC's "broad comedy" initiative. Examples of jokes: The guys wear front-loading baby slings, the guys play a dancing game on Wii, the guys wash a baby in the kitchen sink, the guys yell at their kids off-screen because the kids are putting shoe horns in their butts. Other jokes are reminders of the guys' old frat-boy partying days and how they don't do that anymore. Why? Because they have kids, dummy!

The future of Guys With Kids doesn't look good, either. It's sandwiched between the goofy single-camera comedy Animal Practice and Law & Order: SVU because NBC didn't have anywhere else to place it. You'd be better off watching Arrow or Suburgatory in the same timeslot, or doing something else useful with your time, like having sex. But for God's sake please use birth control.



NOTES

– One thing that did seem to work was the married relationship between Anthony Anderson's character and Tempestt Bledsoe's character. It at least felt like pretty typical safe sitcom territory, and the fact that they're African-American but could have been any color was the most respectful thing the show did.

– It's a shame that Erinn Hayes (huge crushhhhh!) and Anthony Anderson are having their talents wasted here. Hope they get some fat paychecks and move on to something else soon.

– Kind of related: Am I the only one who thinks Jimmy Fallon is the opposite of funny?



What did YOU think of the pilot?




Comments (31)
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This really is a terrible show, and I hate that for Jimmy Fallon. None of the three guys was at all funny, interesting or even likeable. Dud Dud Dud!!!!!!!!
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At long last NBC.. Have you NO humanity ???
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I agree that Jimmy Fallon is generally not funny, but his personality comes off as sweet and his impressions are amazing, so I do watch his talk show - I just skip over the opening monologue and some of the sketches. (The Thank You notes bit is pretty good, though.) He also seems like a very nice person so I wanted to support this effort, but "Guys with Kids" was SO awful that I did not finish watching it. Could he really think it was good?? That is what I always think about these shows - do the producers, and actors even, think what they are doing is working?? I watched the pilot of "Rules of Engagement" right after (it is now on Netflix) because I catch it now and again (love Patrick Warburton - The Tick, anyone?) but had not seen the first season. What a smoothly acted and funny show by comparison, even with the use of stereotype. Is it the live audience that makes shows uncomfortable to watch? "Whitney" is another show I can not believe anyone finds interesting or funny. Rant rant rant...
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Word is they are already retooling "Guys with Kids" and will relaunch as "Goys on the Skids" - a Golden Girls/Bosom Buddies knock-off about some bankrupt old televangelists passing as Hasidic women to live in subsidized Miami Beach housing. For the rest of my 10 predictions for the fall season, check out the full blog at bit.ly/Ucs9xX
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The over use of the laugh track (or laugh sign to the live audience) did not succeed into tricking me this show was funny. This show should have been cancelled before it premiered.
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Ok first episode. I think Anthony Andersons' character will carry the show in the long run. If the producers consistently keep his character the same, it can survive a season.
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I am so very tempted to put this is my deadpool (especially after this review) but then I remember Whitney.....
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Maybe they could try showing a man who is actually competent with children for a change.

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Dear Jimmy Fallon: C'mon, Bud. You're awesome, but his show is a huge DUD. Like others have said, this concept is okay for a short segment on SNL. But totally unbelievable as a half hour sitcom. If there is still time to save this train-wreck, get rid of two of the Dads, and just focus on 1 Guy with a kid - trying to make life work with his buddies and his Ex - and perhaps a mother-in-law & his own father who buuuuugs. (See, we are laughing already.)



Cheers!
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I've never written comedy, but probably could have come up with something as non-funny as this show. I won't be watching any more of it.



Am I in the minority about NOT caring how many cameras it takes to make a show? TV.com has mentioned it many times of late.
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Deadpool.
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Jimmy Fallon proved himself worthy of that? I hadn't heard about that, when did it happen? He's as funny as a sponge on a shelf. A green cellulose sponge made by 3M.



"Ernie!" sounds like something Anthony Anderson would yell, something he'd improvise in a scene and yell to an imaginary friend that wasn't in the scene at all, so I'm betting that's one of his.



Holy crap, they put this on right before "The Rape Show", as most of my friends call SVU? Great job NBC, very appropriate work there.



Tempestt Bledsoe was so funny on The Cosby Show as Vanessa, she had to bear the brunt of the Rudy comedy while still cracking wise, and she did, so I was *almost* tempted to watch this based on that, but then I remembered the promos looked like the Bubonic Death of comedy.
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My mom: "How this show was green-lit in the first place."



Anthony was great in The Shield. I'd like to see him in another drama.
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Another unnoteworthy show that will likely get a few more weeks than disappear into the abyss of forgotten television .



- The characters were the typical cliche and uninteresting characters. I am ab bit tired of seeing dads portrayed as immature , childish and idiotic. Unlike some who complain about it because it is unrealistic , I find the whole thing just tired , cliche and unfunny. I also see it as very lazy writing. It might of been funny 5-10 years ago but the joke has run its course. Adding on to that the characters were not developed in any sense and were just boring and cliche.



- There were some jokes that were chuckle worth but most of them fell flat. I think it was because I have heard them before.



- the story was tired and cliche....much like alot of this show. There was nothing original or unique about it.



over all this was a rehash of all other shows about adults with kids. Alot of them better done.
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Okay here's the thing, shows involving men dealing with children should be funny. There is something fundamentally hilarious about guys in this day and age trying to comprehend parenthood. Honestly there is something fundamentally funny and real about parents in general trying to juggle parenthood and everything else in this era. Why so few people manage to successfully pull this off is beyond me. We're in an age now where gender roles are blurry and we're okay admitting that we don't know what the hell we're doing sometimes. This show could really be something decent if they didn't rely on all the cliches and instead of being caricatures of what modern day parenting entails they should just focus on being realistic. The irony of it all is reality is pretty darn funny without you trying to make it funny. Two weeks ago I ended up helping this charming but oblivious father trying to put his daughter's carseat into a shopping cart. The whole scenario was both quite funny and sort of endearing without this guy appearing like an idiotic, immature buffoon. The adventures a relative of mine had while babysitting me regularly as a child to this day make for great stories without him seeming like a Morin. Basically this show is trying too hard. I chuckled here and there but it was forced. It was a bit of disservice to funny man Anthony Anderson. It has the potential if if weren't being so blatantly cheesy.
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Jimmy Fallon has the typical SNL weakness of not knowing the difference between funny-once and funny-always, which is why so many 3-minute skits get turned into movies or shows. The only thing I've seen Jimmy do in recent history that's been consistently funny is the Thank You cards, which always has new material. But he obviously thinks he's hilarious, 'cause he's always cracking himself up.
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This show was the inevitable result of the last ten or so years of tv and commercials. Men are now more than usually portrayed as children that their shrewish wives keep around for sex and paychecks. They spend the non-sex hours of their day playing video games, watching sports, drinking, and figuring out lies to hide their hijinks from their wives who are forced to mom to both the real children and these weird male creatures. This is just an extension of that weird Hollywood mindset.
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I liked the characters, but everything else about the show was too shallow to enjoy. There seemed to be no real relationship between the parents and their children, and all the jokes that were about the kids (about 95% of the jokes) sucked.
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It wasnt that bad........more to the point,on to The Dead pool!!
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I wasn't disappointed at all... I choose it for my dead pool and I stand by that decision.
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Totally agree with you. Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe were the only funny thing about this show.
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Well i for one enjoyed it. But I enjoy all sit coms really
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It was a disappointment!
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I didn't think it was THAT bad, was funny. this could be because i assumed it'd be crap, so my expectations were basement level type low
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Couldn't have said it better myself. I might even watch a 2nd episode.
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This was the first thing put into my 'dead pool' picks, and nothing I viewed led me to consider changing my mind.
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I can't remember if I put this in my dead pool or not. I really hope I did. I had no intention of watching this beforehand, and this review probably just gave me more entertainment than actually watching the show. Thanks Tim for suffering through shows like this for the rest of us.
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Hm, I'll wait for ratings to come in before putting this on my dead pool
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i wouldn't surprised if NBC gone Wild And Crazy and renewed it for another season , because this is what NBC do , " screw up television for every body ... " their new slogan BTW ..

i watched the first episode just because of the cast .. but seeing how desperate the comedy plot is trying to bring the funny bits of every movies that has ever been made .. and laugh tracks or fake live audience which are the writers and jimmy fallon himself ..



i honestly didn't find it funny , its repetitive , milked from every comedy movies about parents and kids .. even " Baby Daddy " is slightly better than this crap ..
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not the best thing on TV but my wife and i were laughing steady through it i'd like to know if this is the same reviewer who said last man standing was crap ... bc that one was dead wrong i love that show ... it's like they have drama fans watching comedies when they have no sense of humor KIDS CAN BE A PAIN IN THE BUTT ... but we still love them this is a good show and i don't even like jimmy fallon at all

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You're certainly not the only one who doesn't get Jimmy Fallon but personally I think he's pretty funny. I don't mind his talk show, nothing special there if you ask me, but some skits he's done for the emmys or oscars or whatever were pretty great. He's also pretty funny in most movie roles I see him in. I general I think he's funny and you're a stick in the mud, Tim. Honestly Tim I hope you're reading this, I enjoy your reviews even when I disagree with them but buddy, try to lighten up! You just got married have some joy, don't pick everything down until it's nothing more than a skeleton. One thing I notice about move (or in this case television) reviewers is they seem to have movies (or tv). Sometimes a show doesn't have to hit all the right notes to still be watchable. This is a decent pass time but nothing more, don't go out of your way but I wouldn't steer clear. You see Tim the difference between you and me is I'm willing to stick with something even if it doesn't hit it's stride right off the bat, and maybe never will. You get paid to do this, try to take some joy in it.
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