Thursday, January 27, 2011

Retired At 35 on TVLand Pilot Episode

TVLand has a new sit-com, Retired At 35. The premise: 35 year old David Robbins had moved from Florida to New York. David, a manufacturing executive, takes some time off to visit his parents Elaine and Alan at their gated community in Florida to celebrate his mother's birthday. Stressed-out, he decides to quit his job [hence the show's title]. The demands of his job are putting David on the fast-track more rapidly than he can handle. Even though he's on vacation, no sooner is David on his parent's doorstep than his boss is non-stop phoning and texting. Or as David's dad says "texturizing". Oy!

i want to like this show. i really do. It has two of my favorite actors, Jessica Walter as David's mom Elaine and George Segal as his dad Alan. But it's lines that have expressions like "texturizing" for texting and "facialbook" for Facebook that tend to make me groan instead of giggle.

Inspired by her son's decision, Elaine announces she's leaving her husband. There are good comedic moments between Segal and Walter when they banter in a way that only long time marrieds would. Their timing and takes are flawless. There's also nice incorporation of Segal's trademark cigar smoking and banjo playing. Two other characters i enjoyed are Alan's best friend Richard played by George Wyner and David's buddy Brandon played by Josh McDermitt. They're both funny, charming and disarming. Texbook wingmen the fracks to Alan and David's fricks. Problem is they are only in 2 of a slated 10 episodes.

Retired At 35 reminds me of a theatrical production that's had a backer's audition, progressed to previews, with the goal having a successful Broadway run. You can see there are entertaining elements within the show, but right now it's still in the preview mode in terms of pleasing an audience---as a whole it hasn't quite completely gelled. But i'm rooting for you Retired At 35---your lead-in Hot In Cleveland while not my cup of tea [and i am a fan of all it's stars] is doing extremely well ratings-wise and i watched and enjoyed it's second season opener with Mary Tyler Moore's terrific cameo.

Retired At 35 airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on TVLand. Please check your local listings. TVLand also has the episodes available for viewing on-line for 3 wks following it's televised airings.

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