One episode was provided for reviewing purposes prior to broadcast.
In an attempt to further extend its age demographic, TV Land is launching a pair of new half-hour comedies this summer with a bit of a younger-skewing, modern edge to them. The first is called The Jim Gaffigan Show, which follows in the long line of the sitcom legacy by detailing the daily ins-and-outs of its titular real-life character and all the shenanigans he gets into by being, well, an overweight, middle-aged, white guy.
Some may easily take to comparing The Jim Gaffigan Show to FX’s Louie, in both content and appearance, but it’s far from apt. I’m no fan of the latter’s brand of uncomfortable, shifting-in-your-seat humor, but his wit and huge willingness to self-deprecate on such an epic scale infused that show with a unique energy. The Jim Gaffigan Show has none of that. It’s twenty minutes of a fat dad eating his kid’s fudge-sicles, forgetting to deliver important paperwork, and palling around with his immature bestie. It’s According to Jim, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Home Improvement, except — and here’s the KO — it barely reaches the heights of enjoyment those shows experienced at even their collective creative worsts.
Gaffigan plays a version of himself living with his faux-wife Jeannie (Ashley Williams) and gaggle of bouncy-haired, screeching kids all bundled into their compact Manhattan apartment. Gaffigan is a comedian, but barely any mention of it is made, and we never really see him dealing with the ins-and-outs of the stand-up comedian lifestyle, ala Louie. Perhaps not an original approach, but at least it would have alleviated some of the stale family-in-turmoil plots the show sticks the Gaffigan clan into in its first episodes.
Having never seen any of Gaffigan’s stand-up before, I can’t speak for his delivery as a straight-up comedian, but as a character on a sitcom, he’s flat. Gaffigan and the show’s writers attempt to hide his oafishness behind post-modern millenialisms like his cool Manhattan abode or a few attempts at risque humor involving a child’s drawing of certain private parts, but in attempts at being both a classic- and modern-era sitcom, it successfully fails at being neither.