Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—The Goodwin Games (2013) **½

TV-14, 7 23-min. episodes
Creators: Carter Bays, Chris Harris, Craig Thomas

Directors: Peyton Reed, Jesse Peretz, David Katzenberg, John Putch, Neil Patrick Harris

Writers: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Chris Harris, Tom Ruprecht, Greg Schaffer, Christine Zander, Rachel Axler

Starring: Becki Newton, Scott Foley, T.J. Miller, Melissa Tang, Kat Foster, Beau Bridges

Guest starring: Jerrod Charmichael, Sabrina Carpenter, Will Shadley, Jadon Sand, Robert Belushi, Brenna Bay, Laurie Metcalf, Ingrid Haas, Adam Rodriguez, Dave Foley, Mckenna Grace, Eric Guzman, Chris Diamantopoulos, Janina Gavankar, Kaitlyn Maher, Kara Royster, Stephanie Black

“The Goodwin Games” is a comedy that was essentially canceled before it ever even aired. FOX picked up the comedy about three siblings who have to return to their small New England town after their wealthy father passes away and perform a series of character building tasks in order to inherit the money he left for them. It never found its way onto their schedule until the last week of their regular season programming. How’s that for a “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out”?

This is a pretty high concept comedy that has a pretty low concept approach to it. It’s a little difficult to warm up to because while you’re watching it you wonder, what is the end purpose here? Meanwhile, the show itself is really pretty simple. The three siblings are very different. They all do stupid things and learn from them, like in almost any family sitcom. So what it comes down to are their personalities. Do you want to spend time with these three people?

Although, I was wary at first, by the end of its brief 7 episode run, I would’ve liked to spend a little more time with them. I got the impression they were really just getting warmed up. Comedian T.J. Miller plays one of the siblings. He’s pretty much the only reason I checked the show out. He is an oddball and he keeps that up in this role. In fact, his role was originally cast with someone else, but he was one of FOX’s tweaks after they picked it up. The other two, played by Becki Newton and Scott Foley, are just as interesting, and I think given the chance could’ve developed a unique repertoire for U.S. network television. Alas, we will never know. How cruel and harsh is the world of television these days.

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