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All Shows > Back to You > Season 1

Back to You - 1x02 - Fish Story

Synopsis: Chuck goes on a goldfish killing spree while Marsh explores how to sneak an orange down a person's pants...oh, and the guy with the name we can't pronounce gets tasered.

Review: I want to like this series. I really do, but episodes like this one are going to make that hard. First off, shows that need or think they need a "previously on" outside a few multi-part arcs they might air, annoy me. Especially in the case of Back to You, the series' mythology could be succinctly explained with a clever title sequence or theme song. Oh, I forgot, theme songs aren't cool anymore. But I also thought Back to You was supposed to be bringing back the traditional sitcom.

It's okay to have characters that aren't likable. Take Prison Break's T-Bag for example. It's okay to have characters who think they are hilarious but really aren't funny. Take The Office's Michael for example. It's not okay to have all your characters act exactly the same. There might be several cast members in Back to You, but there is only one character. Why don't they make one of the reporters genuinely witty and compassionate? The fact that the public seems to like the arrogant anchors more would be a source for endless entertainment.

The plot in which Chuck kills five goldfish falls completely flat and is indicative of the problem with much of the series' humor. It is a type of humor I call non-physical slapstick. Physical comedy is a legitimate form of art, but when it veers into kitsch, we call it slapstick. Humor is found in the hyperbolic violence of physical comedy when that violence is metaphorical of a real world annoyance. It might make us think to ourselves, "Sometimes I feel like taking the trash out is as annoying as being hit in the face with a rake." Slapstick tries to find its humor simply in the act of violence rather than a real world connection. Non-physical humor can, and does in this episode, lose that connection to the real world.

Did this episode make me laugh? Occasionally. But it was a collection of random jokes rather than a solid sitcom episode. I really want this series to succeed, but I can't will myself to give this episode more than a 1 out of 10. Hopefully the next several episodes fare better than Chuck's goldfish.

Objectionable Content: While this episode only contained three obscenities, it was rife with sexual humor.

Rating: 1 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)

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