So I normally don’t stray from my music articles, or even my hallowed TV show lineup, but when you hear about a show from someone who is personally on it (and he’s also a well known badass), then I tend to listen. I’m talking of course about comedic superstar Patrick Warburton. When I heard he and David Spade had another project together, I knew that I shouldn’t be worried. This new TV gem I’d like to have shine for you is CBS’ Rules of Engagement.
To break it down for you, the show is about relationships and its many stages brought to light through hilarity. Patrick Warburton (Family Guy’s Joe the cop) and Megyn Price (of Grounded for Life fame) play Jeff and Audrey, the shows veteran married couple. Oliver Hudson (known to most by his 16 episode stint on Dawson’s Creek) and Bianca Kajilch (known mostly for her role as Lisa Grier on Boston Public) play the shows naïve engaged couple; while the single but never lonely role of Russell, is rounded out by David Spade.
What I immediately loved about the show is that the actors chosen for the roles make it look so easy. This is what happens when you actually take the time as a producer and a writer to make the roles fit to who you select. I won’t name names like Michelle Ryan on The Bionic Woman or anything, but I’m sure you can think of some show that has been castrated David Eick or equivalent.
Speaking of producing and writing, I must also tip my hat to Cheri Tanimura, Barbara Stoll( producers) and Tom Hertz (main writer), who also gave us Spin City (starring Spade as well). Tom’s crown jewel of writing however is Rules of Engagement, probably because it just feels natural. Its situational humor doesn’t seem forced, but rather take it or leave it (and the take it is a pile of fresh Benjamin’s beneath your dream girl), never apologizing. At some points I even was surprised at how intense the script got during the latter half of season 2 and beyond. CBS might just be becoming the new Fox, in all the best ways of course. I took a few quotes from the show to give you a little taste of what made me ROFLcopter and LOLerskate around my bedroom:
Audrey (on sports): I tolerate it because you like it
Jeff: Huh....first time I’ve heard that outside the bedroom
Russell (in line at the theater): Where’ve you been, it’s three minutes till curtain!?
Audrey: Sorry, I had to blow Jeff off
Russell: Well what do you expect, he’s not 18 anymore..
Jeff (at his newly introduced friend): What? I gotta buncha black friends!
Audrey: The Knicks are not your friends.
The third season of this show just started, and airs every Monday at 9:30, and I am now convinced that this show should be included in my rotation along with Heroes. Gunfart asked me if it was like Arrested Development at all, and that’s a fair question. I would say that yes I get similar laughs at watching Rules of Engagement, but the humor isn’t as dark as Arrested Development. I think Warburton might be the only person who could hang with the Bluths.
I definitely think that this show is the known underdog of primetime; being liked a lot…but not loved just yet. I’m here to try and make that step to greatness of course. Patrick Warburton’s dark humor, and David Spade’s wits alone can carry this show, but we also have Megyn Price to feel comfortable with. Oliver and Bianca are for the most part fresh faces in the comedy scene, but I think we will be seeing more of them in the future of comedy.
If you’re looking for something that you and your significant other can watch together and actually get genuine laughs out of, this show might be for you. Who knows, you might actually learn something. For instance, when Mama Blanco and I make a bet and I win; I’ll be parade around in my skivvies, thrusting at her face doing the ‘Jeff Dance’.
Until next time my friends.