Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

“Better with You” Premiere Review

Posted by Mr. Feeny on September 26, 2010

I thought the biggest surprise of premiere week was that I didn’t hate Outsourced. Not any more. Now, it’s that I actually like Better with You.

This isn’t the greatest sitcom on television. It’s not even Top 5. But it’s traditional flavor and straightforward punchlines are enjoyable. I found myself laughing more than I have with any other new show this year.

On the surface, Better with You is just like Rules of Engagement. Three couples in different stages of their life. And I don’t find anything about CBS’s show very entertaining. It just serves up jokes and waits for someone deliver them. ABC’s Better with You is more conversational. The jokes seem to come more naturally. But there are some other key differences. All three couples are related in the new show. One of the couples is much older than the others, as they’re the parents. No side plots on dating like with David Spade in RoE. And — spoiler alert! — there’s a baby on the way.

Also, I think 5/6 of the cast is fantastic. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurt Fuller have veteran comedic timing. Joanna Garcia was always funny on Reba. And Jennifer Finnigan shows good range as someone who doesn’t want to get married but also wants her family’s respect. But the best is Josh Cooke as her 9-year boyfriend. He seems the most genuine and maybe the most relatable.  That might be because he’s the one thrown into this family dynamic, still trying map out the waters.

However, I absolutely hate the sixth character. The new boyfriend/fiance of Garcia. And I think it’s more the actor than the character. He’s supposed to be naive. Not the sharpest knife, etc. But newcomer Jake Lacy gives no layers to the role. There’s nothing to make us think this is actually a good decision for him to be entering the family. And he looks and acts like he’s acting…poorly (the guy on the left in the picture). If he weren’t a necessary part of the show, I’d hope they break up and get someone new in. I groaned every time he said a line.

But 83%’s not bad, right? I’ll keep watching.

Grade: B

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2 Responses to ““Better with You” Premiere Review”

  1. CJ Cregg said

    First of all, I totally agree with you about Jake Lacy as Joanna Garcia’s fiancee. He sucks. His character is horrible, and I still do kind of hope they break up. Josh Cooke is great, and when he says he believes that Lacy loves Garcia, I don’t believe it. Get him off the show.

    But other than that, I couldn’t find myself mustering up strong feelings about this show either way. I didn’t hate it, don’t really want to watch it again.

    I did like some of the jokes, and I did smile and laugh at times. But still. An all around ‘meh’ for me.

    Grade: B-

  2. […] of How I Met Your Mother but without the charm and lightheartedness.  I didn’t watch much of Better with You which premiered this fall, but this show has exactly the same premise.  And frankly, Rules of […]

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