This show is completely different from Everybody Loves Raymond. In THAT show, the adult son, his parents, and his adult brother live next door to each other, but they’re in HOUSES. In THIS show, they live in neighboring APARTMENTS.

Here’s another way this show is different from Everybody Loves Raymond. THAT show was hilarious, won Emmys and SAG awards and was on the air for nine years.

THIS show takes an immediate, irreparable controlled flight into terrain from the second it opens.

We open with Elliott Gould and Linda Lavin—the TV legend who played Alice1, making her triumphant return to a network show.

Elliott and Linda are looking down at the camera from above, their faces glowing with adoration.

“Would you look at this gorgeous baby,” marvels Elliott.

“I just want to eat him and squeeze him and chew on his squishy little tushy,” is the actual line … delivered by Linda Lavin. Maybe not such a triumphant return after all.

The laugh track thinks it’s a great line, though and we cut down to see that, big shock, the “baby” is actually a full-grown man.

Laugh track.

The adult son is a total “hey it’s that guy.” I recognize him, but he seems to have had a string of failed shows I never watched, so I’m not sure how I know him.

“Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may know me from 3 Lbs. Or Wet Hot American Summer 10 Years Later.  Or The Hustler. Or Good Morning Miami. Or 9jkl.”

The son wakes up and the parents explain that he just moved from Los Angeles to New York. He apparently used to be an actor, because his mother put a poster from his (presumably failed) show above his bed. For some reason, a production assistant hits the laugh track button at this point, even though there was no joke.

Linda Lavin continues to tell her son things he already knows, because the writers can’t think of another way to deliver the information to the audience. He just went through a bad divorce.

At that point, another “hey it’s that guy” Troy McClure enters and jumps on the bed. “You may know me from About a Boy, or Bent, or Perfect Couples.” The two guys playing brothers have combined for an absolutely stunning string of failed shows.

The new guy mocks his brother about getting divorced and paying alimony. The laugh track can’t get enough of this. I, on the other hand, already have.

Time of Death: 54 seconds.

  1. And Nana Sophie on The OC