I wanted to like TBS’ new sitcom Men At Work. First and foremost, That 70s Show is one of my all time favorite shows, so I’ve got an existing affinity for star Danny Masterson. It seemed like TBS wanted me to not like the show, though, because they INUNDATED viewers with commercials for the show and still do. I still tuned in for the first episode to see what the show was actually all about and got interested again when it turned out that the titular work in question happened to be a magazine. As some of you know, I used to work at a magazine so there’s another connection.
Unfortunately, though, the show just isn’t that good. I’ve seen three episodes by now (all three that are out there, I think) and I honestly laughed maybe once or twice per episode. Those particular jokes were pretty funny or came out of nowhere (or maybe they were only funny compared to everything else I was watching straight faced while the audience laughed). The problem I had with the first episode was that it all felt like a retread. Milo (Masterson) gets dumped by his girlfriend right away and his awesome bros try to make him feel better by going out to the bar and getting him laid. Meanwhile, the geeky girlfriended guy Neal struggles with trying to figure out how to do dirty talk with his girl. If you haven’t seen these plots one million times, I don’t know what shows you’ve been watching. Most of the jokes just felt tired and old and boring.
The other problem I had with the show is that two of the characters seem exactly the same, actually everyone but Neal is pretty much the same. Milo, Gibbs and Tyler are all rich, vapid, boring, cool dudes who hang out in bars, have devils threesomes and laugh at each other when they want to talk about feelings and emotions, Neal’s their geeky friend who’s just not as slick, but is essentially the same otherwise. What could have easily been an honest look at male friendships in a dying industry instead turns into awesome people doing awesome things and having problems you most likely can not related to. Worst of all? It’s not funny or new or original. I could watch really funny vapid people do stuff all day, but watching boring vapid people? I’m good.