TV Review- Me, Myself & I
This is the comedic version of This Is Us. That Emmy-winning drama follows the lives of three siblings in three, different time-periods. This comedy is a bit more refined. It only follows one guy in three, different time-periods, at age 14, at age 40 and at age 65. Like with any show, the attention is focused on his romantic life, at least in two time-periods. The third time-period puts some attention on his relationship with his daughter. Written by Dan Kopelman (Malcolm in the Middle and True Jackson, VP), the attention of those things are in my mind mis-balanced or in the wrong time-periods. The show also seems unwilling to portray the protagonist in any kind of negative light. Anything bad he does is purely accidental. He’s portrayed as perfect otherwise, which is a little boring.
Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) stars as Alex Riley at age 40 in the year 2017. He’s married with a daughter who is about 10 or so. He learns that his wife is cheating on him, so they divorce and he goes to live in the garage of his best friend, Darryl, played by Jaleel White (Family Matters). Alex is an inventor who’s in a bit of a slump.
John Larroquette (Night Court) co-stars as Alex Riley at age 65 in the year 2042. After having a near-death experience at the New York Stock Exchange, he decides to retire from his company. He still meets with his daughter who is running her own company. He seems lonely otherwise until he’s reunited with his teenage sweetheart, now a middle-aged woman, Eleanor, aka Nori.
Jack Dylan Grazer (It) also co-stars as Alex Riley at age 14 in the year 1991. He was an only-child growing up in Chicago until his mom married a pilot and moved them to the suburbs where he now has a social-climbing stepbrother named Justin, played by Christopher Paul Richards (Billions). Alex is a Bulls fan but Justin is a Lakers fan. Yet, Alex is perceived as being a nerd or a geek, but given his love of basketball, it seems like he’d be able to make some connections. It’s not long after he starts in his new school that he meets and falls in love with Nori and his goal would seem to date her.
One thing that seemed problematic in the second episode has to do with Nori. Alex meets her at age 14 but he loses touch with her until they reunite when Alex is 65, which means that in this show the Alex at age 40 won’t really fall in love with anyone or if he does, it won’t last. This is problematic because the show’s solution is not to show Alex at age 40 falling in love or dating, or having a relationship with anyone, which is a shame because it would have provided an opportunity to showcase Moynihan in a leading, romantic role. One of the cool things about This Is Us is the romance between two overweight people. Moynihan isn’t that overweight, but seeing a romance with someone of Moynihan’s body-type would have been refreshing.
Of the three actors, Larroquette is the one who’s short-changed the most. A sitcom that’s set in the future is something that isn’t normally done. It’s an opportunity for this series to be a live-action version of The Jetsons (1962). However, Alex at age 65 is such an afterthought. Instead of trying to cram all three time-periods into one episode, Kopelman might do best to focus on one time-period per episode. As of right now, it just doesn’t feel balanced. It also doesn’t help that there’s nowhere arc-wise for Alex at age 14 to go.
Running Time: 30 mins.
Mondays at 9:30PM on CBS.