Television: The Great Indoors, "Pilot"

If you watched Community you'll recognize Joel McHale's character here as just more of Jeff Winger. He's jaded and being forced to face the fact that he's not as young as he used to be. Sure, instead of a high-powered (faux) lawyer, he's now a known "adventurist" who does field work for a magazine. But as the magazine ends its print run and moves to online-only content, it also calls Jeff Jack in to helm an office job. In this equation the magazine office = Community's college, and there is yet another band of misfits that Jeff Jack will at first ridicule but then slowly become fond of.

Millennials probably won't like it, at least not the first episode, in which Jack broadly lambasts them (as do the show's writers). It's low-hanging fruit and nothing we haven't heard before: trophies for everyone! If you're not on Twitter and Instagram, you might as well not exist! You're such a dinosaur if you don't keep up with every new digital trend!

Jack takes it upon himself to try and teach this motley crew that there is life beyond their smartphones. Only in the moments when he passionately describes living with bears on Kodiak island does the character become warm enough to like. Meanwhile, none of the rest of this group is particularly likable (yet), though Stephen Fry does a fine job as the magazine's founder/owner/CEO. Having him wander through a scene is always a delight.

The jokes aren't very funny and the characters are alternately flat and/or too over-the-top to connect with, but I recall feeling similarly about the first couple episodes of Community, and I ended up being glad I stuck it out. I'm hoping The Great Indoors will similarly find its footing. I'll stick it out for another week or two.

1 comment:

Christine Rains said...

I'll try it again, but I was hoping for something different from Joel. And the millennials do annoy me!