In 1951, I Love Lucy one of the greatest comedies of all time made its debut. It set the standard for comedy on television. At its heart were two big screen talents, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. Ball’s beauty, charm, and capacity for physical comedy made the show work. For the purposes of this review, screwball comedies revolve around physical comedy, exaggeratedly zany characters, and situations that border on the insane. CBS presents Worst Week … and it’s no I Love Lucy.

In this adaptation of the British sitcom, The Worst Week of My Life, Sam Briggs (Kyle Bornheimer, Jericho), an entertainment magazine editor, is soon-to-be-engaged to his already impregnated girlfriend, Melanie Clayton (Erinn Hayes, Kitchen Confidential). Their only relational hurdle is her parents approval. Her parents, Dick (Kurtwood Smith, That ’70s Show), a hard-nosed Judge, and his wife Angela (Nancy Lenehan, My Name is Earl) only want the best for their daughter and have intense hostility toward Sam. This in turn reduces Sam, who desperately wants to please them, into a bumbling idiot whenever he’s around them.

Sam has a turgid haplessness about him and is largely without charm enough to anchor the show. Dick glowers throughout, perpetual dourness as an attempt to enliven things. The “whatever the worst, most ridiculous thing that can happen does” plotting gives it a Three’s Company level of predictability rather than The Office’s inventiveness.

“I’m actually starting to wonder if something’s wrong with me.” –Sam

Parents want to know that their children, daughters especially, will be taken care of, provided for, or otherwise will just be happy. The courtship of them is simply a chance for everyone to know what they are getting into and a chance to observe the dynamic in action. Because not only are the parents/family environment the laboratory they grew up in, when you date someone, you date their families too.

“The only thing that matters is that I love you.” –Mel

I wanted this show to work but it fell flat. Maybe such an old school throwback is simply a hard sell to today’s audiences. It aims for wacky, but wrings few laughs out of it. Have you ever had a really nice person trying to be over-the-top and strain to be zany? That’s this show. And that’s besides the fact that its conceit—I want to please your parents—isn’t exactly built for long term sustainability. Not that this will have to worry about that.

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