Saturday, December 29, 2012

NEW SHOW: 1600 Penn

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This was, hands down, my number-one choice of the mid-season shows premiering. Unfortunately, it led to a LOT of disappointment in the pilot. I think that NBC saw that coming, too, as they really pushed the idea that the second and third episodes were funnier after the initial airing of the pilot. By the way, I was surprised to see that this episode was actually given a name - that's so rare for pilots! I think the biggest disappointment was that Skip became quite annoying very quickly. Despite how much I enjoy Josh Gad, having his character be a screw-up who manages to embody so many personality traits I loathe in just 22 minutes is disappointing. But, I hold out some hope for him. Emily, however, is almost a lost cause already. WHY make her so unlikeable? I could handle a "wicked stepmother" issue without concern, but the fact that she can't seem to handle herself in private OR in public is annoying.

My first thought on how to improve this series? Change it to an hour-long drama instead. But, then I have to remember that Josh Gad is a creator of this show, so that's not in the cards. Not to mention that you can't change a show from comedy to drama after it starts airing. I'm almost ready to abandon ship now, but because I put such faith in this series before it aired, I'll give it a few more episodes. But, I'm extremely curious - what did YOU think?

1600 Penn "Putting Out Fires" (S01E01): Skip, the oldest son of the President of the United States, and some friends set off fireworks in the lawn of some bullies. [haha, Skip's code name is "Meatball."] But, they fly right into the frat house and Skip gets in trouble. He'll have to record a fire safety video but isn't happy about doing so. [this was a funny scene, though!] He'll also be coming home after seven years of college (he's been three credits short of graduating for a year).
Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC
President DeSoto of Brazil visits alongside other Latin leaders, and the President hopes to get a majority on an issue. The Press Secretary suggests that President Gilchrist throw the game to make the Brazilian happy, but Skip rallies the crowd and the patriotic cheering convinces Gilchrist to persevere. When Skip tries to clarify things, he winds up hanging out with some of the leaders and winning them over. [what's the message here, that's he's not "useless" after all?]

The First Lady, Emily, talks to some young girls about math but begins to lash out when one girl asks why she's called "Trophy Wife." [annoying.] "Miss Perfect" is the stepmother of Skip, plus his younger siblings Becca, Marigold, and Xander. College-age Becca is newly pregnant, and after asking Skip for advice on breaking bad news, she winds up telling Emily after her stepmother says that Becca is too wound up and needs to "let loose a little." [ha!]

Marigold and Xander arrive home from school after fighting, and Emily and Becca butt heads when they go to get to the bottom of it. [yay! it's Benjamin Stockham from Sons of Tucson! I love him!] It turns out that both have crushes... and Marigold's is on Jessica, another thirteen-year-old girl. [does this push the envelope a little far, maybe?]
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