Back to You

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

1
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 19, 2007 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

8.2
out of 10
Average
169 votes
  • This Just In....It's Not That Bad!

    7.9
    Sitcoms, especially traditional sitcoms in front of a live audience, have become almost extinct nowadays. They've had interesting rides thru the years of television. They were the hot thing on the tube, then they weren't, then they were again and so on. They seem to be a dying breed. Oh sure, there are still some that litter the landscape of television, but mostly nobody watches them or cares all that much. Most of them are truly awful as well. Comedies nowadays are audience-less, and shot like movies(The Office, My Name Is Earl, etc.) and they are brilliant. It seems to be getting harder and harder to make a really good, quality sitcom today that is funny. One that you have to see every week. The end of "Everybody Loves Raymond" was, to me, the final nail in the coffin for that. And so now comes along "Back To You". Sadly, it doesn't exactly get the old classic sitcom back. But there is good news. I see a lot of potential here. I didn't think Back To You delivered as well as it could have in it's debut episode, but I saw a lot of room for improvement that I don't think is out of the question for the show to acheive. Not at all. With the people it has in front and behind the cameras, how could it not?. I don't normally write reviews for half hour shows, but I felt compelled to write one for this show for some reason. Anyways, let's dig in....

    Kelsey Grammer plays Chuck Darling, and Patricia Heaton plays Kelly Carr. The two of them were co-anchors on a local news show for years. Chuck leaves the station and goes on to bigger and better things in a couple of other stations around the country. He has an incident on air and is abruptly fired. So, he returns to his old stomping grounds and co-workers, and Kelly is not all that happy. The two have a past and don't get along all that well. At first, it appears that Kelly may be a tad jealous that he waltzes back in after she had made the place hers and was the top dog for the last 10 years. As the episode progresses, we learn that there may be more to her attitude towards him than we originally thought.

    So, the first half of the episode was setting everything up. The station, the characters, and the relationship between Chuck and Kelly. This was also the weakest part of the whole episode. It felt a little frenetic for it's own good. I am sure news rooms are busy and hectic, but it doesn't always make for good television. There was just a bit of too much rushing here and there. Thankfully, things slow down in the second half and get a lot better. What was also weak about this first part were the supporting characters that fill up the news room. All of them typical people we have seen again and again. We have the hot, sexy weather girl and her come hither stares and sexual innuendo. There's not much water left to drain from that well, I'm afraid. Then there is the news producer Ryan, who I think is the news producer. There was a lot going on. He was the young kid going this way and that way, sweating, and trying to keep everything going. Been there, seen that. There is also the "man about town" reporter, who desperatley wants to get off the streets and be an actual anchor on the news broadcast. Seen that a few times before too. Not surprisingly, the best part of this bunch is Fred Willard, as the sports guy. Willard is a god and a genius in my book. He can make anything work and funny. It's about time he got on a regular show as a regular cast member. Willard is great with improv, so hopefully they will let him run free here and there and do what he does best. Best In Show, anyone?. So that's that.

    We now come to Heaton and Grammer. You are not going to find classier, more utmost professionals than these two. There is a reason they are multiple Emmy winners. They have good chemistry together, and work off of each other wonderfully. Some of their jabs at each other were truly funny, but it is evident that it can get old pretty fast. Heaton's "preening gas bag" comment still gets me. Her role and performance doesn't seem to be too far off from her role on Raymond. That's a good thing because she was a master at it on that show, and she is bringing that to this one. Grammer is great too. There isn't much of Frasier here at all. I think the two really get to get into the good stuff in the second half of the episode when Grammer learns that the two of them share a child. That storyline can grow to something interesting and involving, if the writers care enough about it.

    In the end, Back To You doesn't re-invent the wheel in any way. I enjoyed it enough, and think there is room here to grow, find more of itself, and get better. The second half proves that they are halfway there. The news room and the supporting characters are what needs the most work. Fix some of these things up, and Back To You could really end up being something worth checking out every week.
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