You get Mom, I’ll take Dad

BY DEAN
ROBBINS

Multi-camera, laugh-track sitcoms have been in decline, but The Millers is one that works (7:30 p.m. Thursday, CBS). Nate (Will Arnett) and Debbie (Jayma Mays) have always kept their distance from their insufferable parents (Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale), but that becomes impossible when Mom and Dad break up. She moves in with Nate, he moves in with Debbie, and madness ensues.

Bridges does one of the best dumb acts I’ve ever seen on TV, while Martindale specializes in inappropriate behavior. Their fight about whether he masturbates correctly is one of the fall season’s funniest scene.

Ironside 9 P.m. WedNesdaY (Nbc) NBC resurrects the 1960s-70s series, with Blair Underwood in the Raymond Burr role of a wheelchair-bound detective. Oddly, Ironside doesn’t much concern itself with the psychological and physical challenges of a disabled cop.

The
wheelchair just seems like an accessory from the prop shop as our hero
behaves like many other TV cops: striking steely poses, bedding hot
babes, etc.

What really excites the filmmakers here is police brutality. They lionize Ironside and
his colleagues for torturing suspects, illegally entering residences,
even hanging people from rooftops. Hey, if the goal is catching
criminals, no method is too extreme, right?

Welcome to the Family 7:30 P.m. thursdaY (Nbc) The
parents of Molly (Ella Rae Peck), an underachieving white girl, are
overjoyed at her high school graduation. “Suck it, doubters!” her dad
exclaims. “She’s Arizona State’s problem now!” Meanwhile, the parents of
Junior (Joseph Haro), an overachieving Latino, are overjoyed for a
different reason. He’s giving his valedictorian’s speech and preparing
for a college career at Stanford. As he reads the speech from his
laptop, he gets a message from Molly: “I’m pregnant.”

Thus begins an excellent cultureclash sitcom.

The worse things go for these two, the angrier their parents will get, and the funnier Welcome to the Family will be.

Sean Saves the World 8 P.m. thursdaY (Nbc) Sean Hayes (Will and Grace) plays a gay single dad in this would-be kooky sitcom.

The problem is that it tries to be kooky in ways that would have made sense to Lucille Ball. The rest of us have moved on.

Hayes
hams it up with a mean boss (Thomas Lennon) and an overbearing mother
(Linda Lavin). He delivers his zingers at top volume, as if that might
make them funnier. To his loudmouth mom: “Your voice arrived here 10
minutes ago AND IT’S LOOKING FOR YOU!”

The Originals 8 P.m. tuesdaY (cW) Members
of a vampire clan are in the midst of a thousandyear spat that leads
them back home to New Orleans. There, they get involved in a turf battle
with witches and werewolves that, one senses, may take another thousand
years to resolve. Most viewers do not have that kind of time.

Various
immortal beings mope around the French Quarter with solemn expressions,
making portentous statements with an emphasis on every single word.
“I…will…not…be… manipulated,” promises vampirewerewolf hybrid Klaus
(Joseph Morgan), the most solemn of the bunch.

Schooled
in the supernatural soap opera of Twilight, the teenage target audience
may just enjoy this new drama. As for me, I…will…not…
watch…another…episode.

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