TV reviews: ‘Worst Week,’ ‘Gary Unmarried’

“Worst Week” (Mondays, CBS): I laughed a lot at the pilot episode of this fast-paced sitcom, and I was impressed by its enthusiastic embracing of farce and slapstick. It’s a single-camera show (i.e., no studio audience) about a hapless man named Sam who meets, and consistently screws up in front of, his fiancee’s parents. Yes, it’s like “Meet the Parents” — except that unlike Greg Focker, Sam is a likable underdog whose eagerness to please is endearing, not annoying. So many sitcoms are ultimately about guys being screw-ups, so it’s nice to see one that admits up front that that’s all it’s about, and then runs with it. The pilot involved many delightful elements of farce (miscommunication, people presumed dead who are not dead, etc.), and while I got squirmy a few times when I realized how bad things were about to get for Sam, I soon started seeing that as one of the show’s virtues: It’s a hilarious story about a perpetual trainwreck, and thank goodness it’s happening to someone else and not me.

“Gary Unmarried” (Wednesdays, CBS): … And now, after that refreshing bit of humor, we’re back to the same old boring thing. “Gary Unmarried” stars Jay Mohr as a newly divorced housepainter sharing custody of his two children with his ex-wife (who’s now dating their marriage counselor, haw haw!). It’s another bumbling-dad/horny-men/sass-mouthed-teenagers/bitter-ex-wife TV show, and it stands apart from the thousand similar shows in no discernible way. I chuckled a couple times during the pilot — not enough to watch the show again.