Fall Entertainment Guide 2011

Fall TV Tips: Sitcoms About Guys Trying To Be Men

Tuesday, July 26 by
Man Up! 

Fall TV is right around the corner, and just last year, I’ll provide you with some insight into the new series launching this TV season and throw down some advice on which shows to tune in to and which ones look like stinkers.

Let’s start with the funny — or at least the shows attempting to be funny. Every season networks churn out a batch of new comedy series hoping for the next great sitcom, and this year has so many, we split them into two categories: Guys and Gals. Here are the shows with guys trying to be men.

WATCH IT:

“Man Up” (ABC), Premieres Tuesday, 10/18 at 8:30 pm

Dan Fogler is a poor man’s Jack Black and can provide laughs in the right setting. This seems like a show certainly suited to his brand of humor. Mather Zickel and Teri Polo also star and Polo’s addition to the cast is particularly encouraging because she perfected the ‘straight woman’ role in the Meet the Parents movies, something that should serve her well in this series. The long and short is this show embodies what this whole category is about: guys trying to be men. Specifically, these guys are trying to figure out what it means to be a man while navigating their boring jobs, fatherhood, life in a metrosexual world…and hours spent playing video games.

To be honest, the batch of guy comedies this year are pretty weak. Man Up may not be destined to be an all-time classic, but it has enough laughs and potential to keep us from turning to our Carrot Top DVD collection for entertainment. Seeing these guys may also make you feel better about your own life. Except their wives and girlfriends are way hotter than yours, so probably not.

SKIP IT:

“Last Man Standing” (ABC), Premieres Tuesday, 10/11 at 8 pm (ET)

Oh, Tim Allen. We barely liked this show back when it was called Home Improvement, and we’re not going to like it now. I guess at least this time he mixed it up by giving himself daughters (those kids in Home Improvement were boys, right?). This show is Tim Allen doing what he does, except the big spin here is…wait for it…his world is dominated by women and all things female.

Hector Elizondo is on the show and he’s always good, and Nancy Travis is pleasant to watch, but pleasant doesn’t make funny and Tim Allen certainly doesn’t make funny, either. This is TV rehashing at its finest/worst. Avoid it.

THE REST:

“How to be a Gentleman” (CBS), Premieres Thursday, 9/29 at 8:30 pm

Kevin Dillon goes from playing Johnny Drama on “Entourage” to playing Johnny Drama on this show. Well, his character isn’t named Johnny Drama, but that’s essentially the character he’s playing. Rhys Darby and Dave Foley are in the cast, too, and always funny. CBS has struck gold with this sitcom formula before, and while it’s not my cup of tea, there’s a chance this one will last a season or two.

“Free Agents” (NBC), Premieres Wednesday, 9/14 at 10:30 pm

I’m big fan of Hank Azaria, but when he is carrying a project as the leading man, it never seems to work (i.e., the disaster that was “Huff”). This is a remake of a British show set in a talent agency and centers around Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as they try and maintain a working relationship after a one-night stand. Seriously. That’s the brilliant set up behind this future cancellation.