Matthew Perry made his long-awaited return to half-hour comedy Wednesday night on ABC's "Mr. Sunshine," coincidentally in the same time slot as Courteney Cox's hit series "Cougar Town."
Perry plays Ben Donovan, who manages San Diego sports arena the Sunshine Center (hence the name), and his demeanor most of the time can best be described as frazzled (and not at all sunny, get it?).
He works for Crystal Cohen, played by Allison Janney (who is pretty much great in everything). As usual in most workplace comedies, she's not exactly easy to work for, and hasn't much of a clue about how to interact with most people.
Throughout the first episode, one certainly gets a feeling of chaos, which is likely par for the course in managing a sports arena, especially when a circus is in town. Also, in what was the most obvious possible plot point, an elephant is lost during most of the episode.
Managing a sports arena seems like a new concept, but the feel of the show and a lot of the situations don't. For example, Andrea Anders as Ben's love interest immediately makes one think of ABC's woefully short-lived "Better Off Ted" (and Crystal has quite a lot in common with Portia de Rossi's Veronica from that show). Fun fact: Anders was also Matt LeBlanc's love interest on "Joey."
If there is an actual Mr. Sunshine here, it's James Lesure as the always-positive Alonzo, friend and supposed foil to Ben.
Oh, and for "Lost" fans, Jorge Garcia shows up as the head of maintenance for the arena, but we know he won't be around long, since he's shooting "Alcatraz" for Fox.
So far, they still seem to be working out the chemistry between Perry and the other actors. They're all great, with lots of experience on various other series, but it hasn't quite gelled yet.
More importantly, while a lot of this may have seemed funny on paper, it doesn't quite play that way. I can't say that I laughed once through the entire episode, unfortunately. Still, I wouldn't count out Perry, or the great time slot ABC gave this show, so there's certainly hope for it.
What did you think? Will you watch "Mr. Sunshine" again next week? And did you also see the "elephant in the room" line coming a mile away? Share your thoughts on iReport or in the comments below.
This show is hilarious, as was Henry Winkler's "Out of Practice" which unfortunately was cancelled. I suspect this will be cancelled too because people don't seem to like funny anymore. I have watched "The Office", "Parks and Recreation", and "Modern Family" and can find nothing funny about any of them, but for whatever reason, they continue. None of them hold a candle to this show; Matthew Perry and Allison Janney are great, but the guy playing Roman is hysterical.
I love Mathew Perry. his humor is the great, but the show should let him run with it. i feel that it could be funnier then it is if he did his own thing. do not smother him.
Actually, I’ve been recording it and after three episodes just got around to watching it.
Watched 90% of the pilot, thought it has to get better than this, so I jumped to episode two.
Watched 50% of that and had had enough. Deleted all three episodes, won’t be back.
I thought it was funny and warm and definitely has places to go......I will definitely watch again and again!!!!
Pretty sorry!! So disappointed since I was hoping Matthew would again excel. Both Matt and Matthew have really struggled since Friends.
Well i gave it a second shot a week after the pilot......sorry....got a laugh here and there but it's NOT what I expected out of MP......"Friends" was one laugh after another...this definitely wasn't...it was definitely predictable....the laughs were so so....and the plots..well....kinda annoying....but that's just my opinion....big deal eh? Honestly...would rather be watching Steven Tyler's persona on American Idol....
Matthew Perry can't play a character that compares to Chandler Bing.. I'll give it another shot though...
I'm done...I make the school lunches and call it a night!
Where's Cougar Town?
I did laugh a few times, but almost entirely at Allison Janney. I knew she had comedic timing from her appearance as herself on 'Studio 60', but she really was astonishing here. Even in the resolution of jokes you could see coming from a mile away (such as 'clowns with axes'), she was still brilliant.
As someone said above, pilots are always a bit uncertain. The only Pilot I have ever fallen in love with immediately was Firefly, and look what they did to that brilliant show.
I'll watch Mr Sunshine again, and I suspect it will do fairly well...
Allison Janney made me wet my pants. Oh the blacks and the whites and the asians and the himalayans, too... GENIUS. I loved the show. I think people wanted to hate Matthew Perry as he's already had a hit series. But c'mon. He was funny! I loved the black guy. I loved it!
I can't believe an;yone would not laugh out loud at Allison Janney in any comedic roll. She is the best in whatever she does and i look forward to seeing the show again and again.
I thoroughly enjoyed it! Laughed out loud several times & will definitely watch again. Matthew Perry & Allison Janney were hilarious!
Only because I like Matt Perry will I give it one more chance.
this show literally gave me a headache. like the reviewer i didn't laugh once but i might give it a couple more chances. new shows like this do need time...
No more chandler thank you.
I was completely unimpressed – while it's a great premise for a show, they'd better get funny fast. I did not laugh at all and actually found parts of the show to be sad. I love Matthew Perry and may give the show another shot just because of him but one more show like last night and I'll tune out.
You are so right!!! Mr. Sunshine is Horrible!
Give us back Cougar Town!
There were some issues but I think they will work out. I will watch again...I think it takes a few shows for the easy flow to get going. The Middle started out a little rocky but it is great now so I will give Mr. Sunshine a chance!
I thought it was quite good for the first episode. I'l definitely watch again. Love Matthew Perry!
Really? You didn't laugh once? I laughed out loud several times, despite some of the "pilot" first-show jitters. I will definitely be giving it another go or two.
Will watch again. I thought it was funny and original.
30 min. I will never get back!
liked it! laughed out loud several times. it's about time there is show that's now a crime drama, not set in a hospital, not set in a typical office... way to go abc!
it's a pilot; all pilots are awkward. def rooting for it, though.
I loved it. Thought it was quite funny! I'll be watching again
I hope it's part of free-on-demand. If so, I'll watch it. I'm a fan of the whole Friends cast!
The beginning of almost every series starts out a little rocky, a little awkward. The writing is a little choppy, the chemistry hasn't really evolved. They just need to get in the groove of things and let the chemistry set in. Even in the beginning of Friends things did not flow nicely. The first few episodes were pretty awkward. I have hope for this one:)
Allison Janney was outstanding and hilarious. Henry, I am afraid that you don't have much of a sense of humor if you didn't laugh during her scenes. I grew weary of Matthew Perry towards the end, but overall I felt that it was very entertaining. I will definitely watch it again next week.
Mr Sunshine will last as long as one of my cycles.
Sounds bloody awful.
You are so right, Mr. Sunshine is horrible comedy!
Give us back Cougar Town!
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