|Sit Down, Shut Up
||[Apr. 19th, 2009|10:44 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
Your faithful TV Nerd continues his exploration of mid-season replacement shows with tonight's premiere of the new FOX animated series Sit Down, Shut Up. A workplace sitcom that takes place in a "hilariously" dysfunctional school, the only thing that drew me to it at all was the talent behind it. Sit Down was created by Mitchell Hurwitz, who brought us the sublime and much missed Arrested Development, and it features the voice talents of that show's Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Henry Winkler, as well as SNL's Will Forte, Cheri Oteri and Kenan Thompson. And they all certainly do their best. It's just that the show itself is oddly lacking.
The writing wasn't great. I think I laughed once, maybe twice, but they weren't big laughs. All the jokes felt easy and obvious, and the characterizations were almost too broad. Making matters worse, I didn't like the animation style at all: poorly sketched cartoons against non-animated photographic backgrounds. It was bad and distracting, two properties you definitely don't want in your animation.
I'm thinking of tuning in next week to see if it gets better, almost entirely because I have faith in the creative team behind it. But if it continues along this same mediocre route, Sit Down, Shut Up will be no better than The Life and Times of Tim on HBO, another example of a poorly animated and unfunny show, and will suffer the same fate. I stopped watching Tim in the middle of the second episode and never went back.
The TV Nerd gives Sit Down, Shut Up one and a half Final Countdowns out of five.