How to Be a Gentleman
CBS, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30 Central
Sep 29, 2011 Web Exclusive
While it does my heart good to see the wonderful Dave Foley on a new show—particularly a half-hour sitcom—his presence alone in this one isn't enough to make it a must watch. Good thing, then, that Kevin Dillon (Entourage), Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords), and lead actor David Hornsby are pretty compelling as well. Hornsby plays a man obsessed with proper etiquette who needs to lose some of the starch from his collar if he's going to adapt to his new circumstances: hipper bosses at the magazine that houses his "How to Be a Gentleman" column.
Dillon is just the man to help him do that: a former bully from their school days, his Bert character aims to help the weedy Andrew develop into a modern man. As Bert says in one scene: "You know everything about being a gentleman, but nothing about being a man."
Rhys Darby's character, Mike, seems like a slightly jollier version of his Flight of the Conchords character, and seems to be filling the weird relative role in a show where the protagonist is even weirder. His passivity oscillates from a little annoying to fairly amusing; the formula hasn't been perfected yet.
Foley wasn't in the pilot much, but made the most of his time as Hornsby's boss at the magazine who, rather than rail against the publications new, youth-focused owners, decides to go with the flow.
The women are strong and recognizable, particularly Mary Lynn Rajskub (24) as Janet, Andrew's sister and Mike's husband. Her outspoken sister/wife character is cute but decidedly one-note at this point.
There's a fair amount of the hacky sitcom moments you'd expect, interspersed with a few smarter jokes that help distinguish it. While How to Be a Gentleman takes its cue from such popular CBS brethren as How I Met Your Mother, it's not near that level yet. There's some potential with the strong cast, but it's more of a wait-and-see than a must-see. (www.cbs.com/shows/how_to_be_a_gentleman/)
Author rating: 6/10
Average reader rating: 3/10
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