Yesterday, we took a look at NBC’s new sitcom slate. We found plenty to like and plenty to groan over. And while we’re not quite as enamored of Fox’s current sitcoms line-up, we can’t deny that they’re still the gold standard as far as cartoons for grown-ups are concerned. The network has signed up four new comedy series, half live-action and half animated. The class of 2011 includes new vehicles for Zooey Deschanel, Jaime Pressly, and Jonah Hill, as well as the small-screen return of Napoleon Dynamite. We rate the (vaguely hipster-oriented) shows from least to most promising, based on their promo videos, after the jump.
What is it? An animated series based on the 2004 comedy and voiced by the entire original cast.
Cons: First of all, we have to admit our bias — we hated Napoleon Dynamite. So the prospect of having to watch those characters stretch out already thin material into a weekly sitcom is not terribly exciting. If the promo is any indication, the jokes are basically the same ones we already saw in the movie, and they’re not funny this time, either.
The New Girl
What is it? Zooey Deschanel is a beautiful, glasses-wearing hipster who breaks up with her boyfriend. Because she’s friends with models, three guys agree to let her move in with them.
Pros: We like Zooey, sometimes in spite of ourselves.
Cons: This show suffers from all the obvious buzzword pitfalls — yup, she’s a quirky Manic Pixie Dream Girl. And her roommates are typical bros. Manufactured quasi-hilarity ensues.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
What is it? Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran are best friends and mothers (one married, one divorced) of typical mean girls.
Pros: Pressly and Finneran seem to have buddy-chemistry, the jokes look promising, and it’s always nice to see women doing physical comedy well.
Cons: First of all, that title — it sounds more like a support group than a sitcom. Why don’t we see more of the moms interacting with their bitchy daughters?
What is it? Creator Jonah Hill voices the title character, a dandyish, pint-size genius with two dads who must face his greatest challenge yet: elementary school.
Pros: Hill is generally pretty funny, and his delivery is right on. The concept is somewhat novel. We like the animation style, the dialog, and the glimpse of Allen’s burgeoning January-December romance with a feisty old lady.
Cons: A Family Guy producer is involved, so we do fear this will go in a “Stewie Griffin” direction.