Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Bill Lawrence's New Workplace Rom-com Ground Floor?

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TBS has had mixed success building a stable of original scripted and unscripted comedies. Few of its recent offerings have generated much buzz; its highest-profile first-run series only joined the lineup because it was canceled by ABC two years ago. The network’s latest addition is Ground Floor, a multi-camera workplace comedy about opposites attracting. But is it worth your time? I've already punched the clock and watched the first episode, and I'm hear to present my findings in a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation the latest edition of "Hey TV.com, Tell Me Whether I Might Be Interested in This New Show!" 


What is Ground Floor grounded in?

Brody is an uptight banker with slightly more soul than the Gordon Gecko wannabes he works with. Jenny is a laid-back facilities management staffer in the same building. After a Friday-night hookup, the two find themselves continually drawn back into one another’s very different orbits.


Who are these mismatched sweethearts?

Skylar Astin, recently seen flexing his a capella chops in Pitch Perfect, plays Brody (and gets to croon a few bars of Elton John in the pilot). Jenny is played by Briga Heelan, probably best known from a small recurring role as Holly on Cougar Town. John C. McGinley steals scenes in a supporting turn as Brody’s overbearing boss Mr. Mansfield, an unsurprising but entirely welcome variation on his Scrubs role. And hey, speaking of Cougar Town and Scrubs, the show was co-created by the man behind both of those shows, Bill Lawrence



When are Ground Floor's regular business hours?

The first two episodes air tonight—Thursday, November 14—at 10pm and 10:30pm on TBS; the show will air weekly at 10pm thereafter. The pilot is also available via on-demand, and streaming on TBS.com, for most cable subscribers. Finally, encore showings of the premiere are scheduled for Friday 2am as well as other times throughout the weekend, in case your DVR is jammed up with other Thursday-night offerings.


Who will get off on Ground Floor?

Fans of the aforementioned Scrubs and Cougar Town will recognize much of the same off-kilter comic sensibility, though paced for the multi-cam format rather than single-camera. There’s also a smidgen of early How I Met Your Mother in Ground Floor's DNA, with its alternately earnest and prickly tone.



What rises to the top?

Any romantic comedy lives and dies on the chemistry between its leads, and Astin and Heelan do establish an easy rapport from the opening scene. Although the pilot hurries Brody and Jenny together, it wisely lets them enjoy one another’s company despite their friction, instead of manufacturing phony conflict. Again, McGinley is largely playing an officious corporate version of Dr. Cox—whose paternalistic relationship with his protege is even more explicit here—but he plays it as impeccably as ever.


What’s stuck in the basement?

The pilot plays the office’s upstairs/downstairs divide a little broadly, but that’s natural for a pilot. The secondary characters, who will presumably play larger roles as the series evolves, are pretty one-note at the start, and none of those notes are especially appealing. One hackneyed “demanding Asian parents” joke is notably unfortunate.


So, should I watch it?

The pilot has its share of laughs, and the talent on both sides of the camera is promising. Sitcom fans ought to give it a shot.


Do you have an elevator pitch a trailer for me?

But of course:




Ground Floor premieres Thursday, November 14 at 10pm on TBS.


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