Robin Williams Returns to TV in The Crazy Ones
Chandler Kilgore-Parshall ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
From The Office to Better Off Ted, television has been familiar with the workplace comedies for years, as they portray the absurdity from being an employee of the office. The laughs are abundant and business is never done. The best way to explain this genre is to say that playing hard is essentially working hard. A contradiction to the old business motto, “Work hard. Play hard,” workplace sitcoms are so popular with audiences because everyone wishes their job could be as exciting as television makes it out to be.
CBS’ upcoming comedy, The Crazy Ones is a breath of fresh air for workplace comedies, with such quality and energy that you can’t find these days in the genre. Academy Award Winner Robin Williams returns to television as Simon Roberts, the unpredictable genius of his advertising agency, Roberts & Roberts. With his daughter, Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar) as a partner, she brings her professionalism to the company. Despite being polar opposites, the two Roberts have a strong bond that helps win or keep clients in the wackiest ways. And its pilot episode really defines the show’s formula.
Without spoiling the first episode, Roberts & Roberts must deliver a brand new commercial jingle for McDonald’s, or they lose the account. Simon and account executive Zach (James Wolk, from AMC’s Mad Men) employ the help of singer Kelly Clarkson but she has a different idea in mind for a pitch. From Simon and Zach’s “Drive Through Lovin’” jingle to the hilarious craziness that Williams delivers, Roberts & Roberts is a sandbox filled with a lot of hysterical situations with a bunch of quirky characters capable of delivering the laughs.
Both Robin Williams and James Wolk carry the episode with outstanding performances while the rest of the cast do a good job supporting the almost improvisational humor. And while Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character is meant to be a foil to Williams’ wacky ad guru, her performance felt very stale and lethargic. Sydney Roberts is supposed to be business savvy and driven, but there just wasn’t anything relatable that makes you want to root for her, including an absence of funny moments that could have been possible for her. However, the way Gellar expresses surprise, embarrassment and worry with her eyes was kind of funny. Hopefully as the season progresses we will see a more human side from Sydney, as the relationship between Sydney and her father is an interesting dynamic to explore.
The Crazy Ones is already standing out in CBS’ new fall lineup as a comedy hit. Robin Williams has always been an outstanding actor with a graceful sense of comedic timing that takes the forefront of the show with a great cast filled with fantastic potential. I have high hopes for this new sitcom and will definitely continue watching the antics found at the ad agency of Roberts & Roberts. Keep an eye out for The Crazy Ones premiering on Thursdays at 9 pm only on CBS!