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This is one of those surprising shows. You know, the kind that you see by accident and are completely amazed by. I'm not very well tapped into the hype of television (got Tivo, so I don't see much in the way of commercials), so I don't know if it was given a big promo campaign or not, but I really hope the network gives it multiple seasons. The idea, a British import, follows an idea similar to "Meet the Fockers". An average good guy who seems to have cataclysmic bad luck is marrying (and having a child with) his loving girlfriend who comes from an uptight upper middle class family with a domineering father. There are also echoes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" here, with themes of overbearing in-laws and the quirkiness of family.
While I loved "Meet the Fockers" and "Raymond", in many ways I appreciate "Worst Week" because of some subtle but gratifying different choices made by the creators. In Fockers, for example, Ben Stiller's character is almost always alone in his antics. When something goes wrong and he finds himself in the middle of a mess his girlfriend is, along with her family, a judgmental observer, leaving the viewer to feel like Focker, alone and ashamed. Of course, she forgives him by the end, but it always felt a little harsh to me as this was supposed to be his future wife and mother of his child. "Worst Week", by comparison, places the girlfriend often into the role of co-conspirator, so that even if everything goes wrong you still have the foxhole "at least we're in this together" sort of feeling. And while I'm a huge fan of "Raymond", I like that the story of Sam and Melanie (the two main protagonists) is starting much earlier. In many ways Sam and Melanie are still kids themselves, and it's kind of nice to watch as they grow into their roles of husband and wife (and mom and dad) rather than picking up the story much later in their life.
All in all, the humor is well written and acted. Especially Kyle Bornheimer, who is a real find as the hapless everyman Sam. And Erinn Hayes, who plays Melanie, does a fantastic job of portraying the formerly rebellious girl all grown up, neatly skirting the line between hip thirty-something and quasi daddy's girl who is drawn towards a conventional family life. Every show I've seen so far has consistently gotten good laughs out of me, so I think that if you enjoy a good warm family kind of humor you will really like this show.
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