Half-hour comedies are hard to pull off. Finding a good one is like finding a four leaf clover; there are a lot of posers (those three-leaf clovers are sneaky), but the actual thing is rare. And when you find one, you hold on to it, sometimes until it falls apart. The four leaf clover comedies currently airing are Modern Family, 30 Rock, Community, and Parks and Recreation (some would say Two and a Half Men). The Office, in its heyday, was one of them, as were Friends, Scrubs, and Arrested Development. Notice that many of the half-hour sitcoms I just named are now cancelled. So you can imagine how impressed I need to be to give a shout-out to another.
Mr. Sunshine is the best new comedy of this season. Perfect Couples, Better With You, Traffic Light, and $#*! My Dad Says, are all a poor man's substitute. But Mr. Sunshine brings a ray of light to this dreary dearth of comedy choices.
Matthew Perry is back on TV as a manager of a San Diego stadium. Because his co-workers are crazy and the writing is sharp, this show is actually laugh-out-loud funny. Allison Janney plays Perry's eccentric, drug-addled, and slightly racist boss. Jorge Garcia found his post-Lost gig as the head maintenance man of the Sunshine arena. Together, they run the arena hosting musical acts, the circus, and a variety of athletic events. Granted, my opinion is based only on the pilot, so it may be too early to call the quality of this particular show. What I can tell you, however, is that Allison Janney + a runaway elephant + an original racist song + clowns bearing axes = a successful pilot.
Tune in to Mr. Sunshine on Wednesday nights at 9:30/8:30 central on ABC and let me know what you think. I'll definitely be there to see if it's worth my while.