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Pilot Error: The Shitcom Storm Continues

Back when I started this column I did a quick overview of some pilots which I would like to revisit in more detail (also I have been digging out my copies and putting them online so there is video now too).

So lets dig into more Shitcoms.

Alligator Point was a shitcom pilot staring Nathan Fillion, James McDaniel, Park Overall, Jaime Pressly and Paula Marshall. There is a LOT of talent here for a show that is barely watchable.

The plot is that Fillion was a former Nascar driver who married his high school sweetheart (Pressly) years ago, and now works for her dead father at his seafood restaurant in the titular Alligator Point. Now divorced, and with the father dead, these exs own the restaurant together. Paula Marshall shows up as a big town doctor that just moved to Alligator Point and nothing funny happens.

NOTHING.

Made to air in 2003, I guess Fillion was already well aware that Firefly was a dead stick but for him to move in this direction where he plays a dumb yokel in a shitcom that was NEVER going to be anything shows he may not make the best choices. After this he would try to lead a 21 Jumpstreet retread called Hollywood Division before he finally finds Castle.

I will be looking at Hollywood Division at some point but back to Alligator Point… the level of humor is bland sitcom crap that THINKS it’s being edgy. For example a fishing boat is called “The Happy Hooker”… HAR HAR HAR. This is used as a running “look at how edgy we are” gag.

Fillion is way more talented than this, but then again I said that about Castle, where I feel his talent and charisma is simply wasted.

Ice is a NON-LAUGH TRACK comedy about an isolated research station in the arctic.

Edward Kerr, Michael Jeter and Leland Orser are the only actors I could put names too but a few other faces I knew from movies and whatnot. The Antarctic Research Station is filled with oddballs and lunatics who somehow manage to get their jobs done.

This pilot is somewhat odd as it is played out as if it is NOT a pilot but rather a mid-season episode of the show. Characters reference what would have been earlier episodes and the characters all act as if they have histories we as viewers are already meant to know.

This makes for a unique show and personally I liked it.

The comedy was actually funny with the odd sub-plots (a female penguin that has a crush on Kerr, Orser being obsessed with Star Trek, Jetter being “immune” to the cold etc…) this could really have been a cool (no pun intended) series. No IMDB listing for anyone involved in this which sucks as it was directed by video artist Ian Emes.

The Pool At Maddy Breakers arguably the worst shitcom pilot I have ever seen. Watching this pilot actually gave me dain bramage.

Okay, here it the plot (such as it is); 3 dumb as a stump “pretty” girls lead by Maddy Breaker were the total peak of coolness in high school. Everyone wanted to hang out at THE POOL AT MADDY BREAKER’S.

You were not cool if Maddy Breaker didn’t like you. Flash forward 10 years and all 3 girls are still dumb as dead cats but are depressed that they reached their peak in life as seniors in high school. A nerd they used to pick on is now more successful than them so they proceed to humiliate her to make themselves feel better.

That’s the pilot plus lots of painfully unfunny gags, Nicholas Brendon (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) shows just how little acting ability he really has as a friend to Maddy and Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries) as Maddy is so lifeless and boring and one not that only the cranked up laugh track would give you the slightest indication this was meant to be funny.

Made in 2003 by TV hack Gerry Cohen it’s no wonder no one has ever seen this before now.

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