Remember when, after FRIENDS, Lisa Kudrow tried to move on and leave Phoebe Buffay behind with The Comeback? Probably not right. Not many people watched, (you should have though – very funny) but people were not ready to see a popular actress portray another role other than the one they love. Heck, Megan Mullally’s next venture after Will & Grace didn’t fare any better. Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc, Doug Savant, Matthew Perry, Debra Messing, Laura Leighton, Jason Alexander…most have had numerous failed attempts at moving on before finding the right program for them
This is where some of Sean Saves The World finds it’s problems. Sean Hayes almost went into hiding after the end of Will & Grace until showing up in this so-so comedy and while watching the pilot, it felt like I was watching Sean Saves the World starring Jack McFarland.
Yep, I said it. This is a poor man’s Will & Grace where Grace is Sean’s teenage daughter Ellie, Karen is his loveable/hate-able mother Lorna and Hayes picking up the Will and Jack roles. The whole thing does not feel right at all. Strip everything back, you’d be left with a run of the mill sitcom about a gay man whose teenage daughter suddenly moves in with him while at the same time his work life becomes more demanding. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a sitcom after all. The heavy themes never really come into play here.
Blame however cannot be put solely on Sean Hayes. In the end, he is a master of his craft and works with what has been given to him (including the copious amount of make-up he sports in the pilot episode). The set-up of the teenage daughter suddenly appearing to live with him is confusing. I honestly don’t really know if they had much of a father/daughter relationship before this – I think there may have been a weekend on and off situation going on. They both act like they haven’t (insert awkward conversations about her conception here) yet Sean’s daughter Ellie (Samantha Isler) comes to his aid to help with save his job and Sean finds himself with literally no idea on how to parent his daughter.
Also, don’t get me started on Sean’s new boss, Max (Thomas Lennon). Yes, Max is supposed to be a character we’re not going to like but Lennon portrays Max with such evil boss cliques it’s like he is the new bad guy in the next Bond film – all he’s missing is the white fluffy cat on his lap. While i’m on it, the rest of Sean’s co-workers were pretty ‘bleh’ as well. I guess they are only fillers but I felt like Megan Hilty (Smash) as Liz was a bit of a wasted role. The only real saving grace here is Linda Lavin as Sean’s loud mouthed mother Lorna. She’s nabbing most of the laugh quotes and plays well off Hayes.
Look, If you can ignore Hayes’ over made face full of make-up and the laugh track that’s set on to loud you might like it. While there is nothing really ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ here, there are some (some) funny scenes and yes, it is great to see Hayes not only back on our screens but also exert some physical comedy but my advice to those behind the scenes…to make the show somewhat more watch-able, loose the laugh track and loose either the character of Max or remove Thomas Lennon…one or both are really hurting.
- Sean Hayes on new ‘post-gay’ role: It’s more real than ‘Will & Grace’ part (today.com)
- ‘Sean Saves the World’ premiere: Not exactly world-changing (popwatch.ew.com)
- Are You a Sean Saves the World Champion? (tvline.com)