9JKL First Look Review: Call the landlord

9JKL.jpg

Chad White

9JKL
“Pilot”
Season 1, Episode 1

This is a First Look Review of CBS’s 9JKL starring Mark Feuerstein, Elliott Gould, Linda Lavin, Albert Tsai, Liza Lapira, David Walton, and Matt Murray.

Those little balls have been inside me.

I will not sugar coat my utter disdain for 9JKL. It’s pure multicam garbage that should’ve been gone with the days of the early 2000’s shows that managed to last less than half a full season order. This crapfest brings back an uneasy feeling like when NBC aired Mr. Robinson, Truth Be Told, and Crowded. It’s below what CBS can do with the same format they’ve had under control for years. Even Man with a Plan and Kevin Can Wait have some likeability here. 9JKL is an insult to the network, to any of its viewers and the actors who thought this would be a decent gig. I have so much hate for this show, it’s making me break several of my unwritten reviewing rules including but not limited to: writing in first person; being formal; remaining calm in tone; and constructive criticism among others. Here’s the verdict up top. Do not watch this shitshow.

Feuerstein stars and, sadly, wrote this show alongside his wife Dana Klein about his real struggles after moving next door to his parents. The actor is coming off of Royal Pains and has landed in my good graces with his role in Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later but this is a gigantic misstep. While the story is a cookie cutter sitcom mainstay (borrowing from the likes of Everybody Loves Raymond and others for example), its execution is simply abhorrent.

The script is grotesquely dull and ultimately shallow. Jokes are telegraphed minutes before the set up even occurs. Characters are caricatures of earlier, better iterations of sitcom characters. And good God the freaking exposition is gaudily shoved in our faces like an overbearing elderly mother feeding her already too portly shih tzu. It’s truly saddening CBS let this slip through the cracks.

Are you still considering on watching this garbage even as I bash it? Fine. Fair enough. It’s the viewer (and reviewer’s) job to remain objective. Maybe you like the cast. Elliott Gould of all people should attract anyone. Alas, he’s performing on hackneyed cylinders too; probably a holdover from his Mulaney days. Character actors Liza Lapira, Linda Lavin and David Walton do their best to make things look interesting but they can only do so much.

At least Feurerstein looks like he’s having fun. One scene is a montage – yes, this early in the series – wherein he tries to sneak past his mother’s apartment (by literally crawling, tiptoeing and other over the top/cartoony antics) only to be caught at the last second. Or how about how he’s got an important date but he’s got to pick up his brother’s baby, forcing him to wear a baby chest carrier to a fancy restaurant in a reveal that only angered me beyond belief? It’s an embarrassing few minutes in a compromising 22 minutes.

Should you watch 9JKL?

For every show and movie that’s passed through this website, I’ve tried to find something – ONE little thing – to like about it. 9JKL has nothing redeeming about itself. Avoid it.