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By Sean Mac

Spun Out is a new multi-cam sitcom produced by CTV, starring Kids in the Halls Dave Foley. The show follows a young failed writer played by Paul Campbell that ended up getting a job at a “dysfunctional Public Relations firm”. I had a chance to watch a live taping of this new comedy, and although the nearly 5 hour live studio audience taping event was not a complete episode, I can full heartedly say this is not a show I will be watching.

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This “new” sitcom is really nothing new at all. In fact, once you see Dave Foleys character Dave Lyons walk into the office and sit at his desk you will immediately be reminded of his 90’s sitcom show News Radio. That’s not the issue I have though. My problem is that Spun Out reminds me of every other sitcom that has come out since the 80’s, while having nothing distinctively interesting about it. When watching it from the bleachers as an audience member I could instantly recognize this cookie cutter sitcom trying its best to become the next Big Bang Theory. The thing is Big Bang has an interesting nerdy theme that is relatable to this generation, all the while being obscure and laughable to the older crowd.  Spun Out on the other hand is just a bunch of attractive people that are a bit quirky working together at a high profile Public Relations firm.

The humor in the show is the typical multi-cam sitcom humor.

A-“I was walking down the street when some homeless guys threw a beer can at me”

B- “Well that was stupid”,

A- “I know right”

B-“He could of got 10 cents for that can”, cue laugh track.

That wasn’t one of the jokes but I hope it makes my point. Here’s a joke, hope you like it, move on to next joke.

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One of the things that bothered me about watching this show is that the women aren’t funny. Yes these people are professional actors, and they have performed on various comedy shows, but none of them are comedians, or naturally comedic. There are tons of women out there that do stand-up comedy, that do sketch comedy acting and writing, or even just have a comical persona to them but are never seen on television. Instead we the audience are force fed these female actors that don’t fully understand how to tell a joke, and to me it shows.

I’m a picky guy when it comes to comedy. So I will say that while I was not laughing at the jokes, a decent chunk of the studio audience was. Whether it was sincere laughter, or because we were asked to laugh I don’t know. But I know there were people that generally liked this show’s humor.

For me the best experience that I was impressed with was the comedian Graham Chittenden whose job was to entertain the audience while different scenes were being set up. Graham was funny, had great relatable stand up bits, and entertained us spectators for the full 5 hours of taping. 5 hours, and he kept the audience going the whole time. Wow. Seriously, I don’t know how he did it, but he did.

So Spun Out is just not my cup of tea. Its formulaic, it’s campy, it’s predictable, and it’s been done before. If you like shows like 2 Broke Girls, and Two & a Half Men (with Ashton Kutcher) then this show will probably entertain you.  For the rest of us, just stick with watch you’re watching for now. I’m sure something good will come.

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5 thoughts on “CTV’s New Sitcom”Spun Out” Review.

  1. So clearly you are a part of Spun Out in some way. A real audience member would just say “actually no it was a funny show.” or “You’re a dumbass and your review is shit”. You must have some sort of deeper dedication to this show. More than just laughing at a crazEH character that was chilling beers with a fire extinguisher. That’s a crazy thing to do so it’s funny right?

    I compared the show wanting to be the next Big Bang Theory cause that’s obviously what any TV station craves. High ratings and dumb TV shirts that say “Bazinga” on it. Spun Out started with “Car Pooling” and is working from that great little zinger. I don’t watch Big Bang for the same reasons I explained about Spun Out. I just understand the appeal of Big Bang but couldn’t find any with this show.

    I even gave the show some credit and said a good chunk of the audience was laughing. Meaning I know I’m picky with comedy so here was the genuine feeling of people that were in the audience. I could have said the audience were throwing tumble weeds on the set when a bad texting joke was said, or when Mexicans were singing in a living room, or when a snake was being grappled out of a desk. I don’t laugh at this shit but I know assholes that do so I decided to mention it. Bazinga!

    Good shows to me are Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Workaholics, Peep Show, and The Inbetweeners. This is a short list of quality shows I watch and they are the reason why I can’t watch shit like Spun out.

  2. However, the taping I attended was approximately three hours, not five. Perhaps the writer was seated early and left late, but cameras rolled for about three hours. The writer was correct about the warmup guy, though. Mr. Chittenden was charming and funny. He kept the audience in the mood to laugh, which they did. Not a decent chunk of them, but most of them, most of the time.

    I hope the readers will consider the source when they read this review. His reasoning, if I may overstate whatever motivated him to perpetrate this review, is flawed from the outside. He criticizes the show for being generic and jokey, but juxtaposes it against “The Big Bang Theory,” a show that epitomizes everything he criticises in Spun Out. Is it possible for a premise to be more formulaic than a gang of two-dimensional misfits whose every sentence is a punchline representing the middle school stereotype of a nerd? Doubt it. “No, but see, they’re not stereotypes because a hot girl talks to them.” Wrong. That’s just what came out when the network set the Sitcominator 5000 to “eye candy masquerading as relatability.” Fortunately, BBT’s cast is gifted enough to entertain despite the whole dug for them.

    The author then seems ill-equipped, then, intellectually to analyze, much less criticize comedy. This may explain why he said the women were not funny in the episode when arguably the funniest storyline (and yes, it was actually funny, not just the best of a bad lot) belonged to two women, a female character with a neurotic need to have everybody believe she is nice, and the waitress she first frightens and then gets fired. There weren’t any “joke” jokes in it. The laughs came from the characters and the tension between them.

    “Spun Out” does not reinvent the form in situation comedy, but it is character driven, the best laughs come from Foley’s bemused reaction to what is going on around them, and it does not contain jokes that follow the formula the author contends that it does.

    Not that this will change the author’s mind. Readers should know that his experience was not objective reality.

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