This week on The Crazy Ones we relive some childhood memories courtesy of Sidney (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Simon (Robin Williams). Of course there’s nothing like nostalgia to sweeten those traumatic moments. Meanwhile, in the office we learn that Andrew (Hamish Linklater) is Zach’s (James Wolk) ‘ramora’. I wish that meant something more interesting than what it actually is. Let’s bitch.
In what seems to be a weekly trend for the show – we have another ‘campaign of the week’. Nothing says ‘product placement’ more deviously than inserting advertisers by featuring them as actual plot points. This week the firm gets nostalgic as they create an ad for Allstate Insurance, marking the milestones of life. Or in this case Simon and Sidney’s lives. Naturally those milestones aren’t as funny or touching as Simon remembers. When the focus groups attack the character in the ad that’s based on Simon, he gets upset and starts to realize that he wasn’t actually the cool dad; he was the crazy one. (see what I did there?)
This is by far the strongest storyline of the episode and delivers one the funniest montage that I have seen in a while. Watching Simon try to teach Sidney to drive is hilarious. That poor pigeon! Again, the strength of this storyline relies heavily on the relationship between father and daughter, and it shines bright (like a diamond – sorry I had to). Williams and Gellar are really settling into their groove with these characters and it’s a blast to watch.
Meanwhile, Zach and Andrew are paired up again and much like last week it delivers uninspired results. I like these actors and the characters are interesting if somewhat colourless so far. What bothers me is that they aren’t given great material to work with. This week was all about how Andrew seems to sponge off Zach’s leftovers. While this is a funny premise in theory, it just isn’t well executed. The jokes aren’t all that funny and some of the scenes fall flat. One of the main problems is that the writers/creators don’t seem to really know who these characters are and so we are left to piece things together. Unfortunately what we get are pieces from a few different puzzles. Simon and Sidney are interesting because their characters feel like they are lived-in and fully formed, even if we don’t know everything about them yet. My only hope is that we get a better sense about who Zach and Andrew are in the coming weeks and that the results paint a more complete and cohesive picture.
Speaking of colourless characters, this week Lauren (Amanda Setton) does what she does best: hover. On the bright side she is given some funny material; the whole schtick about giving her honest opinion is great. This is all well and good, but I do wish she was included more. We have Simon and Sidney, Alex and Zach, Lauren and… she’s just there in the background. Why not include her in a storyline? I know David E. Kelley likes his quirky secretaries and this was how Elaine (Jane Krakowski) began on Ally McBeal until she was given more to do. I just hope that Lauren gets to shine soon.
Maybe I’m being too harsh. This is only the third episode after all, but some shows are able to knock it out of the park right away. With the calibre of talent behind this show I know that it could be a lot stronger. The good thing is that the episodes are getting better and funnier as the weeks go on, so hopefully this upswing continues.
Funniest lines of the night:
- Simon: “I never knew you were scared. I mean scared enough to never drive? So that mug you gave me was wrong, I’m not the world’s best dad. Are all my mugs lies? Do I actually like Mondays?”
- Lauren: “I learned to drive when I was visiting my uncle in Syria. He got shot by the military police and I was the only one around to drive him to the hospital. Still, I think your experience was scarier.”
- Andrew: “I get that you’re going through a hard time right now and I’m sorry and I really wish I could console you…and other stuff. But I’m not that guy anymore. As a wise Spanish woman told me some 15 years ago, it’s not you, it’s yo.”
What did you guys think? Am I being too hard for a 3rd episode? Did you love the driving montage? Are you as confused as I am about Andrew and Zach? Sound off below.
The Crazy Ones airs Thursday nights at 9:30pm EST on CBS.