My Take On…ME, MYSELF, & I on CBS

In CBS’ ME, MYSELF, & I, premiering tonight at 9:30/8:30c (before moving to the 9/8c timeslot at the end of October), Bobby Moynihan stars as Alex, a 40-year-old inventor whose recent-ex wife threatens to take his daughter, Abby, away from him. He’s facing a mid-life crisis and needs help from his best friend and partner, Jaleel White’s Darryl, to say in line. Also starring as Alex? Jack Dylan Grazer, a then-14-year-old verson in 1991, whose mother moves him from Chicago to LA, marries a pilot, and brings a step-brother (Justin) into Alex’s life. His inventions are just beginning and as he tries to re-invent himself, he falls in love with Nori Sterling. Also, also starring as Alex? John Larroquette, a now-65-year-old version in 2042, he’s a successful businessman, who decides he once again needs to re-invent himself, with the help of his now-grown daughter Abby and a face from his past.

All three Alex lifetimes are fantastically played by Glazer, Moynihan, and Larroquette. Each one is funny, awkward, charming, sharing ticks and personality traits. I was drawn in by their performances and their interaction with Justin (I really like how they write Justin), Darryl, and grown-Abby, respectively. The show has depth, the show has warmth, I smiled, I laughed, I rooted for Alex, every time one of the Alexes was on screen. The first half hour feels like a mini movie, with well-established characters and people I want to continue watching every week.  I want to know what happened to get from point A (14 yrs) to point B (40 years) to point C (65 years).

But where I start to fall off the bandwagon is where I start to really think about the premise. The pilot follows this man at three very important moments in his life – life-defining moments that propel him forward, where what happens to Alex-14 directly impacts Alex-40 and Alex-65. Can a show like this sustain itself for a full season, let alone multiple seasons, exploring three days that are all directly connected in this man’s life?

For now, I’m choosing to believe it will become a multi-generational story that weaves tangentially related stories into one wide tapestry (LIFE IN PIECES on CBS has done a fantastic job of weaving seemingly unrelated stories across generations), but I reserve the right to change my mind, haha. I think there is myriad potential here, and I look forward to seeing a second or third episode to really get a sense of whether this is something ready for the long haul.