Nick at NIte has been having some success by forming new sitcoms with pleasantly-remembered talent from successful shows. The latest follows a familiar path, when a newly-divorced domestic man becomes the roommate of a divorced couch lump and a divorced playa. The difference from The Odd Couple is not so much in the count, but in the lack of any existing emotional connection between the character… and the proves to be deadly. The characters are quickly acting as if they care for one another, but it doesn’t work, doesn’t sell. These don’t seem to be characters built out of empathy, so relying on them to support one another emotionally just doesn’t work.
One of the tricky things is that Nick is targetting this (and all their series) at people who have seen a lot of sitcoms… which costs them, because when they use all the standard rhythms, it’s stuff we’ve seen before. It’s not a surprised, not funny. The true sitcom buff needs something challenging, and Nick is generally not delivering. Leave the same-old-structures to The Disney Channel, where they face an audience who has not yet figured them out.