(2001)

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8 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Good idea, but major disappointment
MovieMusings24 December 2002
The premise for this show was perfect for our times. Spoofing the "self-improvement motivational guru" phenomena could have run at least a second season if it'd been done right, until we as a society had moved on to something else.

However, writers hit and miss (nobody's perfect) and the final product here was a definite miss.

It'd have been nice to see Bob Paterson actually do a seminar or speak at a corporate sales meeting or weight-loss clinic or MLM gathering...it'd have been nice to hear how they spoof the blurb. The promotional work for this sitcom was heading in this better direction ("the only thing standing between you and your dreams is you...and your dreams").

It'd have been nice to see this Bob Paterson as a character with an air of invincibility, one who can't hear how silly he is, while he takes his work far too seriously. It'd have been nice to see him running his business successfully, but we the audience sit back and see the humor in the guru industry as a whole. It'd have been nice to see fresh intelligent insightful humor that didn't insult the audience's intelligence, rather than a bunch of bumblers standing around waiting for the setup to drop their tired cookie-cutter one-liners. With a legacy of such mature sitcomes as Seinfeld and Frazier (mature for their subtle plots, subtle body language, subtle dialogue that is funny without telling jokes or one-liners), Bob Paterson was poised to connect with a mature audience ready to laugh at good material.

Alas, all we got was a self-doubting, insecure high school student in an adult's body, a transplanted George Costanza, and poor cliched attempts at set-up one-liners that were just not funny.

It's too bad, it coulda, woulda, shoulda been great, but it wasn't, not at all.
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2/10
You knew this show would be hugely lame ...
Ravenswing28 February 2002
... when the network was carpet-bombing trailers that were possibly the least funny and interesting promos in the history of cinema -- does anyone else think, for instance, that the plummeting of the credibility and popularity of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire dates from Regis Philbin hawking "Bob's book" as having made a huge difference in his life, on the Millionaire set yet, among other network celebrities pretending that Bob Patterson was a genuine motivational speaker?

This show lived up to that degree of promise. I would say that Bob Patterson was a flaming heap of dreck, but that presupposes it was exciting enough to be considered "flaming." Dormant, washed-out heap of dreck is more like it.

What I don't understand is this. Who were the network moguls who watched the rushes and signed off on it? Now for a big star, yeah, you take a dive on it because of the money invested and the name recognition. But this is *Jason Alexander* we're talking about. Who the hell cares whether you nark an Alexander off by telling him "The show bites, we're not even going to air it?"

Rating: 2/10, and only that good because Moment By Moment still exists.
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Didn't last long, but felt like it went on forever . . .
frankfob14 May 2002
The "Seinfeld" curse strikes again, and thankfully this cursed show didn't last long. Absolutely painful, hugely unfunny mess about a successful motivational speaker whose own personal life is as chaotic as his professional life is organized. It's actually not a bad concept, but when they put this thing together, they forgot one minor detail--comedies are supposed to be FUNNY!!! The first episode of this show reminded me of that scene in "The Producers" after the "Springtime for Hitler" number ended: you see a shot of the several hundred people in the audience sitting stone-still, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, absolutely dumbfounded at the mind-numbing idiocy of what they had just seen. How Jason Alexander, the writers, the producers, the network, and anybody else who had anything to do with this show could have foisted it on an unsuspecting public is a complete mystery. Don't these people look at the episodes before they get broadcast? How could anyone who had seen this disaster waiting to happen let it go on the air? Did they actually think it was funny?

Fortunately, this train wreck of a show didn't last too long before it was yanked. Thank heaven for small favors.
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Jason Alexander's post-Seinfeld TV project,Take one
S.R. Dipaling9 May 2006
This short-lived ABC offering that was pushed hugely,featured still Seinfeld fresh Alexander as motivational speaker--okay,HUGELY successful motivational speaker--Bob Patterson. Behind his outward appearance as a bright,charismatic seller of personal goals and dreams, he is underneath a wreck,reeling from divorce,unable to make a strong impression with his teenage son and facing a lack of respect among his own peers at the company he is contracted(a publishing company if I recall correctly).

On paper,it probably should've worked:short,balding Alexander being exposed for all his insecurities and pathos(much like his George Costanza character on Seinfeld). But somehow--and I'm not exactly sure how it failed,though the segway music through each show,which was merely an a Capella group singing "Bob" was ANNOYING--the exposition of Bob's frailties seem to be of little surprise and the jokes,which seemed to show potential in the first couple of episodes,became flat and predictable in short order. It didn't help the show,either, that,when the six episode ratings results came in,rather than try to retool the writing,reconfigure the cast(though Robert Klein didn't hurt) or even resched the show to a more forgiving time slot,the network simply gave it the quiet ax.I'm not saying the show was ALL that worthy of more chances,but the way ABC pumped it,you would've figured the net would've at least TRIED to give it the investment it promised. The again,compared to their most recent bail on "Emily's Reason's Why Not",this probably looked like a full-season commitment by contrast.

Mr. Alexander's first foray into TV regularity was,in all diplomacy,quite unmemorable. In my opinion,it wouldn't improve with "Listen Up!".
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actually not a spoiler opinion
occupant-111 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This show was absolute torture for me due to the zero-humor jokes. Worst writing I've seen the results of in some time. BUT it's always good to see Robert Klein working. In spite of Klein's presence, which would have helped the series if they'd let him write episodes or do his own material, this one died a quick death.
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Jason Alexander overcomes mediocre scripts.
Doug Fish16 October 2001
Jason Alexander does a good job especially when he sells bad jokes by underplaying them. The problem is I don't think they were intended as bad jokes. Klein has his moments but he's better foiling than being a foil. Contrived comes to mind but some of the best sitcoms were built on contrived plots. If this show can come up with some new contrivences it may have a chance. But so far it hasn't made me believe it will.
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Bob patterson talk
bp-3326 July 2005
This show wasn't always bad, in fact the last episodes that were aired, perhaps episode 4 and 5 were on par with any sitcom of this nature that has ever aired.

the concept of the show comments on American culture. The motivational speaker is both a good and a bad idea. Are we empty enough to run our lives on bob pattersons rules? The show showed us, that bob patterson, himself is empty.

The other issue is where do we decide that this is actually funny, that a mans struggles are humorous. If the show is too sarcastic, then we aren't enriching ourselves by watching it.

i wanted to and did give this show a chance, and given more effort jason Alexander would have had something on his hands. Maybe there was more comedy here to be developed.

Maybe he could have destroyed the entire field of self help books, by writing a book that completely convinces the public that the only self help book is yourself, which in turn destroyed popular authors jobs.

maybe then he goes back to school to become a certified social worker and a silly show becomes a serious drama.

thank you for reading
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A successful motivational lives a terrible personal life.
BradE06054 September 2001
This show is great! It has the humor of "Frasier" and the great cast of "Spin City." It deserves to make it into syndication, but probably won't because it's running against "Frasier," although ABC has no mid season shows planned.
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