The John Larroquette Show

NBC (ended 1996)


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The John Larroquette Show

Show Summary

A fascinating case study in how to destroy a successful situation comedy. In its first season The John Larroquette Show was a daring dark comedy and a hit. Set in a St. Louis long distance bus terminal, with a recovering alcoholic protagonist adrift in a sea of losers, hookers, and street people, black and white, gay and straight, this was unlike anything seen in a sitcom since Hot'l Baltimore a generation before, a comedy that addressed issues on the dark side of the American dream: race, class, gender, abuse of authority, substance addiction, etc. In the second and third season NBC carefully removed each and every element that had made the show interesting, making nonsense of a premise and bland stereotypes of its hard-edged/bizarre characters, then cancelled the show abruptly once everyone had deserted its ridiculously bland fourth season; a great shame. In Germany the show is titled Nachtschicht mit John ("Night Shift with John")

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  • Great first season

    The first season was excellent because it had a dark edge, something rare on broadcast tv at the time. In some ways its was ahead of its time. Once could image a similar show doing well on HBO or basic cable today.
  • A show for John Larroquette fans.

    While off the air now, I have seen a few episodes on video. I have rated it a 6.1 because I Love John Larroquette. But this show was a little depressing seeing Night Court, when Larroquette played hilarious Dan Fielding, and then watching this show and seeing a not so happy version of Dan. Just a let down.
  • The first season sets the stage for a very insightfully written show with a stellar cast. Future seasons were slowly degraded by deliberately desperate cast changes and lightened writing tone to generate improved ratings.moreless

    Plenty of laughs, but enough intelligence to explain why the show never fit into the normal \"turn off your IQ\" sitcoms of broadcast TV of the era. Laroquette brings an intriguing subtlety and vulnerability to the show\'s lead character. The JLS teases you with stereotypes and then busts them to surprising delight. Chill Mitchell plays the show\'s odd moral center with a reverse racist twist. Gigi Rice is a gem with an understated performance. Would have loved to see what would happen to the show\'s development if hadn\'t made deliberately desperate cast changes and lightened writing tone to generate improved ratings. Though mildly similar in wit to "Seinfeld" but far deeper in content, this show was well before it's time.moreless

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