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Rose
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PostSubject: Back To You   Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:51 pm

It premieres tonight and I'm going to give it a shot.




No one is better in the role of preening gasbag than Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”), and Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) has no equal when it comes to holding a look of long-suffering asperity.
Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift “Back to You,” a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour. It’s almost entirely thanks to their talent and chemistry as sparring co-anchors of a local news station in Pittsburgh, because many of the jokes and characters are paint-by-numbers and hark back to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Murphy Brown” and even the short-lived “Good Morning, Miami.”
But even that is a tribute to the adaptability of the television business, which reforms so that it may preserve. When reality shows were new, and sitcoms seemed on the verge of extinction, Fox tried to conform to YouTube-generation tastes with single-camera comedies like “Arrested Development,” a cult favorite that never found a broad, “Malcolm in the Middle” audience. Rather than compete with NBC’s best and more offbeat offerings, like “30 Rock” and “The Office,” Fox has dusted off the oldest sitcom format, with three-camera shots and a laugh track.
“Back to You” could not be more conventional, yet it still manages to be witty in a fresh way.
Mr. Grammer plays Chuck Darling, a once network-bound star who — after losing his job over an inadvertent on-air, off-color rant — has to return to the Pittsburgh station where he began a decade earlier. His co-anchor there, Kelly Carr (Ms. Heaton), took over as the sole anchor after Chuck left and is not thrilled to have him back.
The resentment is not just professional pique: they shared years of clashing egos and one brief, drunken tryst right before he left town. Chuck is vain, bombastic and childish; Kelly is controlling and uptight. Hostility rekindles the moment they are reunited.
The WURG-9 newsroom is populated by familiar types. There’s Montana (Ayda Field), the sexy, slutty weatherwoman, and Marsh (Fred Willard), the aging, politically incorrect sports commentator in loud plaid jackets. They are led by a nervous 26-year-old news director, Ryan (Josh Gad), a rumpled, overweight version of Murphy Brown’s nervous 25-year-old news director, Miles Silverberg.
There are a few concessions to the 21st-century media world: Ryan got his start in the business running the station’s Web site, and Chuck lost his job as an anchorman in Los Angeles because YouTube picked up his live televised rant. (“L.A. Anchorman Fired After Freakout.”)
Chuck naïvely thinks that his colleagues believe his story of having stepped down voluntarily, but Kelly snaps at him that everyone in the world has watched his career-splintering cameo on the Internet.
Chuck is crestfallen, saying, “I was hoping it got lost in all that furor over ‘baby slips off soapy dog.’ ”
There isn’t anything particularly new about a newsroom sitcom, but the setting is almost irresistible for comedy: Everyone is already in on the joke of local news and its weakness for preposterous sweeps-month killer-bee stories, gel-coiffed news readers and weather bimbos. Those were already familiar stereotypes when Mary and Mr. Grant winced at the malapropisms of Ted Baxter, and stayed funny all the way through Will Ferrell’s star turn in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
In August Fox oversold the gag in a reality show, “Anchorwoman,” which tried to test whether Lauren Jones, a former bikini model, could lead a local newscast in Tyler, Tex., an experiment that was canceled after one episode. “Back to You” returns to a more classic conceit and veteran comedy actors, and has real charm.
No comic preserve is too old as long as it is properly presented, and no actor is too old if properly preserved.
BACK TO YOU
Fox, tonight at 8, Eastern and Pacific times; 7, Central time.
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Rose
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PostSubject: Re: Back To You   Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:36 pm

It showed promise but was hit and miss - typical of a pilot. Grammer and Heaton carried the show, tho it is always nice to see Fred Willard he wasn't given much to do. The review above nailed the supporting cast - we've seen them all before, canned characters with canned lines.

The storyline has potential. I won't give any spoilers but I liked the 'surprise'. It was played with just the right amount of sentiment vs comedy. I'll admit it felt good to see Grammer working it again.

The laugh track is annoying - if it was filmed live before an audience I couldn't tell. If it wasn't it should be.

I'll watch it again.
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Zvon
'Barely' Here... *Eyebrows*
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PostSubject: Re: Back To You   Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:44 am

Hmmm...
Wish I caught this.
I like to catch premieres of shows I think might make my funny bone list.
This was certainly one of them.
With Kelsey's voice, this show should be a great vehicle for him.
Maybe the best yet, and he's had some nice rides.
Surprised he did'nt go straight from Cheers to an anchorman spoof/role.
(*Z closes his eyes real tight* doh ahhhhh content )
Whats he been doing since Cheers anyway?

Fred Willard : I'm a BIG fan ever since the Fernwood Tonight days.
The guys one of the best at deadpan classic comedy and his timing is impeccable.

I'll check this show out just to see Willard again, and if they don't use him to his potential,
I doubt I stay on, unless the writing takes a turn towards originality.
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Bam
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PostSubject: Re: Back To You   Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:29 am

I'm going to have to completely overhaul my sleep schedule if I'm going to catch any of the new prime time shows. This show does sound like it has potential.
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Zvon
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PostSubject: Re: Back To You   Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:33 pm

I read a totally awful review of this show.
Tini penis size jokes?
On network TV?!
Such humor is best suited for shallow, juvenile places.

Like here.
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Rose
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PostSubject: Re: Back To You   Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:49 pm

This one is consistently good now. It's a keeper.
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Rose
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PostSubject: Re: Back To You   Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:00 am

I was looking thru this sections to see if there was already a LOST thread and couldn't even remember what this show was.

What happened to it? Cancelled?
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