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Monday, April 22, 2024
'Napoleon Dynamite'
'Napoleon Dynamite'

A new semester is upon us, and that means a new season of television shows are here to distract us from said semester. A lot of airtime opened up for this spring, and nine new comedies have been approved. With all your favorite shows still on, there may be only time to give one or two new shows a try, so I've spent countless hours analyzing all the new shows, sitting through the funny moments and the painfully not-funny moments. I have compiled a guide of what to watch and what to pass over without a second thought.

Sure To Be Funny

"I Just Want My Pants Back" (MTV Thursdays, 11 p.m.): On the surface, "I Just Want My Pants Back" seems to fit into the typical MTV scripted show. Lead character Jason gets his heart stolen by a one-night stand (who, of course, left wearing his pants) and now is on an never-ending quest to find her again, leading to adventures involving sex, alcohol and living the poor, single life. While the premise is simple and overdone, I can only describe the sneak peeks and trailers in one word: cool. It doesn't look incredibly funny (or even moderately funny), but, like the recently canceled "How To Make It In America," "Pants" replaces jokes and humor with drinking games, midnight block parties and, as I mentioned before, lots and lots of sex.

The show won't match the smarts and wit of any of the elite comedy currently on television, but it will definitely find an audience on MTV, and it may just be the perfect show to watch before going out and making mistakes — which is ultimately what the shows seems to be all about.

"House of Lies" (Showtime Sundays, 10 p.m.): This will be the best comedy that is premiering this spring and the hardest to watch because it's on Showtime.

The premise couldn't be more timely: A consulting firm continually rips off the "1 percent" of America without guilt and gets the unsuspecting corporate bosses to thank them for doing so in the process.

The cast couldn't be more impressive. Don Cheadle has a great comedic streak going (just Google his name with "Captain Planet") and it will lead the all-star cast. Kristen Bell, funniest in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," leads Cheadle's supporting staff, which also features Ben Schwartz, best known as Aziz Ansari's business partner in Parks and Recreation.

The writing of this show would have to be monumentally unfunny for this show to flop, which doesn't look to be the case. So feel free to add this to an already-full Sunday night lineup.

"Unsupervised" (FX Thursdays, 10:30 p.m.): "Unsupervised" will be filling some very large shoes this spring, replacing one of the funniest shows of fall, "The League". The premise is extremely basic: Two best friends go through teenage life without any parental supervision.

However, the show is overflowing with reasons why it seems like it will be a success. It will be paired with "Archer" as an hour of animated comedy on Thursday nights. It is created by three of the original writers of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." It's animated by the same animators as "Archer." Finally, it will be voiced by the hilarious Justin Long, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell.

With so many successful comedies pouring out of FX in recent years, it will be a giant surprise if "Unsupervised" doesn't join them.

We'll See

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"Angry Boys" (HBO Tuesdays, 11 p.m.): "Angry Boys" is a mockumentary on HBO that originally aired in Australia about the issues young boys in the 21st century deal with. The creator of the series, Chris Lilley, also stars in the series in multiple roles, including a rapper, a Japanese mother and both twin brothers.

Of all the shows in the "We'll See" category, this is the one I'm least excited about. It's on HBO, but not because it holds as high a level of prestige as other HBO shows hold, but because it is so offensive that the material can't be aired on broadcast television. Furthermore, this offensive material appears to be just for the sake of being offensive. The more of the show I watch, the less I want to see it, but I may just not enjoy Lilley's comedic styling.

If you find him funny, then you will find the show funny. Although I do not, I still find myself chuckling during some of the bits.

"Napoleon Dynamite" (FOX Sundays, 8:30 p.m.): Each of the four main networks are introducing a new comedy this spring, and of all of them, "Napoleon Dynamite" is the only show I do not have in my "Skip It" category. Now, I am not a fan of the original movie.

I've never even seen the entire thing, so when I heard an animated series will be airing voiced by the entire original cast, I was not extremely interested.

Then I watched the trailer for the show and found the 30-second promo funnier than anything I've seen in the original movie.

Putting Napoleon into animated form is a risky decision by FOX because it looks like it will erase the incredibly distinct style that the original movie was filmed in. This will make it more appealing to audiences that didn't like the movie, but it could backfire with the film's fans.

If it doesn't backfire, the show will most likely become a mild success on FOX animated Sundays, but that's only if the writers have more up their sleeves than recycled "Gosh!" jokes.

"Key and Peele" (Comedy Central Tuesdays, 10:30 p.m.): Let me warn you now: "Key and Peele" will be canceled. These two "MADtv" actors and writers are not the answer that will solve Comedy Central's sketch show drought that has formed since the removal of "Chappelle's Show."

The show will be extremely stereotypical and less funny than Dave Chappelle's hit. I would put it a good leap above "MADtv" reruns in terms of the type of comedy you can expect, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

If it's on, give it a watch, but I wouldn't suggest planning your schedule around "Key and Peele," nor would I expect it to still be on the air this time next year.

Skip It

"Work It" (ABC Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m): "Juwanna Mann," "Sorority Girls," "White Chicks." This is the prestigious level of comedy "Work It" is attempting to reach with its premise: Two out-of-work men who, desperate for money to support their families, dress up as women. Wait, what? The show looks so unfunny, so groan-worthy that I would be shocked if it makes it past the fourth episode. ABC seems to know what they have on their hands as well, putting the show up against shows with monster ratings like "Glee" and "The Biggest Loser," almost solidifying its failure.

If you end up liking this show, you'll be in the minority. Enjoy it while it lasts.

"Are You There, Chelsea?" (NBC Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.): It doesn't matter whether "Are You There, Chelsea?" will be good or bad, because going up against "Survivor," "American Idol" and even the final season of "One Tree Hill" will make it impossible for it to gain enough viewers to satisfy the always-struggling NBC. However, after seeing previews for the show, I can sleep soundly at night knowing this show will be off the air soon. Based on Chelsea Handler's book with a similar name, "Chelsea" stars Laura Prepon (Donna from "That 70's Show") as Chelsea Handler and features her hysterical adventures as a bar waitress.

The actual Chelsea Handler plays the sister on the show. The show is surprisingly similar to the non-funny "Whitney," which will precede "Chelsea."

This means if you're smart, you will not be watching NBC on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. You'll find more laughs on "One Tree Hill."

"Rob!" (CBS Thursdays, 8:30 p.m.): How long will it take before Mexican jokes get old? That's the question Rob Schneider attempts to answer in his new series, "Rob!" The entire show seems to revolve around either insulting Mexican people or being insulted by them. However, unlike the previous two shows I've listed, CBS seems to think this will be a hit with audiences and has paired it with the successful "Big Bang Theory" to take on "Parks and Recreation" and "The Vampire Diaries."

If any of these network shows must succeed, I would prefer this one, mostly due to the chance of a Steve Buscemi cameo.

Oh, did I mention Cheech was in this? No? Probably because I didn't think it would help its case. Ay, caramba!

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