The first time I saw a promo for "The Class," I was immediately turned off. The commercial boasted about how David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, creators of "Friends" and "Mad About You" respectively, had a new show. Then it continued with bland clips of an ensemble cast of B-Actors. CBS knows very well that America is desperate for something to fill the void "Friends" left, so they advertised "The Class" as exactly what it is, a "Friends" copycat. Smart marketing.
"The Class" has a little more originality than marketing wants to give it. Though the premise itself is boring, the jokes are clever, and the young cast has "Friends" fame possibilities.
With a slightly larger cast than most sitcoms, many of the talented actors don't get the opportunity to prove themselves. Three actors did. Lizzy Caplan was the standout of the pilot. Everyone loves a sarcastic, bitter character, and Caplan's Kat is just that. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Heather Goldenhersh are charming together as the socially and relationship-ly disfuctional of the group. Their awkward dialogue and quirky characteristics are a surprise treat.
Lucy Punch does all that she can with the little screen time she is given. If her character is given more material, she could easily steal the show. Andrea Anders made her mark on NBC's failed "Joey." She helped create a personality for her character and proved to be the only watch-worthy performer on the show. It looks like she'll have to to the same with her character Nicole.
The only true disppointment of the series comes from the show's unofficial leading man Jason Ritter. He is given the most screentime and does absolutely nothing with it. It is painful to watch him. He's just that boring.
The finaly complaint about the show is a common error made by many sitcoms. It predetermines relationships between characters. If you couldn't tell - Ethan and Kat will be getting together sometime in the future, Richie and Lina have already began a relationship, as well as Duncan and Nicole. It's most likely Kyle and Holly could become a goofy "Jack and Karen"-esque duo.
"The Class" is not a strong pilot whatsoever, but with Crane and Klarik as producers, maybe they can catapult it into something more. We have episode two to tell us that.