Thursday, January 25, 2007

"You're black." "I know.": The Knights of Prosperity

I won't even bother with a spoiler warning, since I know none of you are even watching this.

The Knights of Prosperity seems doomed to be ABC's vaguely critically acclaimed, low-rated sitcom that garners a small cult audience and flirts with renewal, only to be unceremoniously canceled a few days before upfronts for the year. From now on, when I try to describe this concept, I'll just say, "It's this year's 'Sons and Daughters,'" and you'll just say, "Oh!" except most of you will probably say, "I've never heard of that."

Anyway, Knights was probably doomed to fail when Mick Jagger told them they couldn't use his name in the title or the promotional materials. The original title -- Let's Rob Mick Jagger -- is way better than what they ended up with, and their use of the funny stuff he did in the pilot in commercials probably doomed his involvement anyhow. I don't know that there was a solution to this dilemma. Any celebrity who would have allowed ABC to use their name and image in the promotions probably wouldn't have had a high enough profile to draw the viewers the show would have needed anyway. (Let's Rob John Malkovich, perhaps? Malkovich, Malkovich?)

It's too bad nobody's watching, though, because y'all are missing a funny show. It's not THE funniest show on TV or even the funniest new show of the year (30 Rock, take a bow), but it's pretty clever and there are at least four or five good-sized laughs in every episode and a lot of incidental material that will make you smile. Sofia Vegara's character is becoming more and more of a Catalina from My Name Is Earl ripoff (tonight, she started talking about her life before she immigrated, and it sounded just as awful and bizarre as. . .Catalina's life), but the other characters are nicely drawn and well played.

So next Wednesday, take a break from American Idol and check this out. I think you might have a good time!


Anonymous said...

The original idea was to call it I Want to Rob Jeff Goldblum. They didn't have much luck with him either.

Anonymous said...

Let's Rob Jeff Golblum, wasn't it?

I've seen only the pilot so far, but I can't understand the critical acclaim for this show. The Mick Jagger segments were surprisingly funny, but the rest of it felt oddly stilted, like an especially polished student film. The concept is funny in theory but none of the jokes really land. And I felt like whatshername was a Catalina ripoff the moment she joined the gang.

I meant to give the show another chance and follow along with at least the first few episodes, but the pilot just didn't excite me enough to motivate that follow-through.

David Sims said...

Catalina grates heavily with me too. The "hot girl with a bunch of schlubs" joke is tired, too. I'm not as hot on this one as you, Todd (I haven't seen Sons and Daughters yet, but I already know I prefer it to this show), but it's a cute little thing.

But am I the only person who loves the title of this show?

Todd VanDerWerff said...

Yeah, Goldblum was attached to Raines. Having seen Raines, he would have been better off with this.

It's, honestly, pretty flawed (and I don't know if I adequately conveyed that), and this week's episode was a bit of a step down from episodes two and three where they had to figure out how the hell to do the show without Jagger and mostly succeeded. But it reminds me strongly of Ed (from the same creators), which took a while to find itself but had enough good gags along the way to keep me tuning in.

I was going to say it's the best ABC sitcom in years, but, honestly, it's not a patch on Sons & Daughters. So there's that.