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.
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.
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.