Sunday, July 26, 2015

TV: The Jim Gaffigan Show...2 episodes deep

The Jim Gaffigan Show - Starring Jim Gaffigan, Ashley Williams, Michael Ian Black, Adam Goldberg.

By Kenny Howell

What if you took Jim Gaffigan's excellent stand up material and tried hard to fit it into a traditional family sitcom trope?

TV Land's The Jim Gaffigan Show is what happens. We are two episodes in and although each episode has had some laughs, it seems set up just to get to the next Jim Gaffigan joke. The cast are constantly setting it up for Gaffigan to deliver some of his great material which occasionally rings false in the show because of the extensive set up.

The general plot of the show is just Jim Gaffigan being Jim Gaffigan. He has five kids, just like in real life, and a wife that loves him but has to keep him in line. Which I assume is like in real life.

In the latest episode, Jim is dealing with the fact that he has a problem with overeating. While on tour, he eats an entire red velvet cake in his hotel room. This is, of course, one of the many hallmarks of Gaffigan's comedy, the food joke. He even wrote a book about it. And while the gag does get more than a few laughs, it just seems so forced.

If you look at something like Louie, which is based on Louis CK's comedy, you see how to successfully interweave a great stand up comedian's material into a show. I am not saying Jim Gaffigan should just make Louie, but Louie has a world that is created out of his comedy while Gaffigan's has been stuffed into a world of sitcom comedy that has existed for years. There is the wacky best friend (Adam Goldberg) that just doesn't get Gaffigan's family life, and the wife who is always trying to just get Gaffigan to be normal. It just doesn't ring true, and even though it is occasionally funny, Gaffigan probably deserves more. There's still time, as, like it says, we are only two episodes into the series. And the potential is there just because Gaffigan is such a talent in the comic world.

Rating: **1/2

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