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The Paul Reiser Show

Season 1 Episode 1

The Father's Occupation

Aired Thursday 8:30 PM Apr 14, 2011 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Father's Occupation
While Paul competes with Larry David for a hosting gig on a new Mark Burnett game show, Jonathan, Brad and Fernando get stuck doing their kids' school projects.

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  • Wow, I thought this would be much better.

    It's insane how many shows premiered this year that I expected to be fun and ended up being complete let-downs. Add this show to that list. Being pegged as a tamer Curb Your Enthusiasm, I was looking forward to seeing how Paul Reiser would do with a new show and a format that works well for Larry David. Upon learning Larry David would actually be in the pilot, I was completely ready for something that would blow me away. Instead, I got a slew of supporting characters that are as dull as any I've seen and just two scenes that made me laugh. I would say that those scenes show the potential of the show, but the truth is, I don't even think those two scenes show the potential.. they're just two funny scenes that were funny.

    The two scenes I'm talking about is the one with Larry David and Paul and the one where Paul hosts a game show (or at least tries out for one). The scene between Paul and Larry (according to Paul) was unscripted and could represent how great the show could be. It's the one truly hilarious moment in the episode, one where the actors seem loose and Paul Reiser seems to be a complete pro at making fun of himself. It really does seem like a tame Curb.. and the second scene, where Paul tries out for a game show, shows Paul breaking out of his rigid scripted feeling character and acting like a complete jerk. Seeing him make fun of the people and their horrible answers was great (I particularly liked "Who won the Civil War?" "...We did?")

    It sucks that a show could include two superior scenes like the aforementioned ones and then throw drivel at us. I mean, I suppose it wasn't the worst I've seen, but it was so far below my expectations that it was making me angry. If the culmination of the episode was seeing one of the characters rip his pants off after getting them glued to a car, then count me out.. I might try the show one more time next week, but if it doesn't find a way to get better, I'm done for good with The Paul Reiser Show.moreless
  • An extremely underwhelming effort from Paul Reiser, although there are a few redeeming qualities that I hope are exploited as the series develops.

    I'm a huge fan of Mad About You, and thus was highly anticipating The Paul Reiser Show. It has also been described to be in the same vein as Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is one my favorite series of all time, so I became even more excited. However, those comparisons to Curb Your Enthusiasm were acting as a criticism; while Paul Reiser attempts to do his own version of Larry David's masterpiece, which was cleverly pointed out by Larry David himself in this episode, The Paul Reiser Show is mediocre at best, and the comparison to Curb is merely to point out Reiser's flaws.

    A major hindrance of The Paul Reiser Show is the fact that it is scripted. The magic of Curb Your Enthusiasm is that all of the dialogue is improvised. While a plethora of shows have found a way to make scripted dialogue work in the single camera setting, and make it seem improvised and impromptu, Paul Reiser is from the sitcom era, and I feel like his writing style has not yet adapted to the changing television climate.

    Paul's band of cohorts are certainly interesting, but almost too eclectic as it seems like they purposely went for the most diverse group of people you could possibly find. They do seem to have good chemistry, though, so hopefully we will see more character development over the next few episodes.

    Unfortunately for this episode, the highlights are the elements that won't be returning. Larry David's guest appearance was nearly perfect. I felt like I was watching a scene of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was terrific, but only due to David's presence. The game show sequence was also really funny, but once again, an element of the series that will not be returning.

    Overall, The Paul Reiser Show does have some potential. That might be a wasted argument, however, considering how pathetic the ratings were. I believe the six episodes that NBC ordered will be the only ones we will see… or possibly even less.moreless
  • Wow.

    I was not a Mad About You fan, but I am a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan and it is clear that the show is modeled after the amazing HBO series. The only thing this episode did though is build my anticipation for season eight of Curb as Larry David was great in his two scenes.

    I guess that the stage was set for this show in the opening when Paul Reiser's joke bombed about a woman saying he looks exactly the same as he did in the 90's only fatter.

    The supporting cast is absolutely terrible. You could not get some funny people to surround Reiser? This was just a disaster.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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