103264_d00869bTonight on CBS, taking over the 9/8c slot, is the latest comedy offering THE CRAZY ONES.  CBS tells us “Academy Award winner Robin Williams returns to series television in THE CRAZY ONES, a single-camera workplace comedy about a larger-than-life advertising genius whose unorthodox methods and unpredictable behavior would get him fired… if he weren’t the boss. Simon Roberts is the head of a powerful agency, with the biggest clients and brands in the world, but even more important to him is having his daughter Sydney by his side. As his partner, Sydney is Simon’s exact opposite – focused, organized and eager to make a name for herself, but also too busy parenting her father, which she’d resent if he wasn’t so brilliant at what he does. Joining them in the firm are the dashing and talented Zach; art director Andrew, who’s as hard-working as he is neurotic; and the beautiful and deceptively smart assistant Lauren. With his team and his daughter behind him, Simon continues to set the advertising world on fire, and it looks like they are definitely buying what these crazy ones are selling.”  But what do I really think?

On the surface, THE CRAZY ONES has everything I should enjoy – Robin Williams being Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Wolk (perfection), Hamish Linklater, Kelly Clarkson (in the pilot, anyway), an advertising agency that we haven’t seen in comedy in a while.  And to a certain degree, I did enjoy it.  I am a huge fan of Robin Williams’ shtick – I could watch him riff all day, so his fast-speaking-quick-witted Simon is fun.  James Wolk continues to prove that he is indeed a revelation – funny, beautiful, suave, a singer.  Love him.  Hamish Linklater was the unsung hero of NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, and even his Jerry Dantana on NEWSROOM can’t dissuade me from loving his dry sense of humor.  Kelly Clarkson is hilarious (I hope all future guest stars are). And of course I love SMG.  But something still felt SLIGHTLY off about the premiere, which finds the Roberts team facing a firing by McDonald’s unless they can do something new, something interesting, etc. I don’t quite buy the chemistry of the cast yet, and I felt like SMG might have been phoning it in a bit towards the beginning.  All that said, when it works, it works well, so I think the show has something worth checking out in the future.  I’m giving it a tentative (and arbitrary) 3.5 out of 5 stars, with the option to increase my opinion as the season goes.

What say you – are you going to check out the premiere?

Check out a pretty gallery, with some Pilot episodic shots!