Pictured left to right: Niall Cunningham as Tyler, Betsy Brandt as Heather, Giselle Eisenberg as Sophia, Dan Bakkedahl as Tim and Holly Barrett as Samantha. Photo: Eddy Chen/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Despite its vignette-form, Life in Pieces is a pretty classic sitcom. It features a big family — children, parents, grandparents — who tease, insult, annoy, and love each other. It involves three adults (not counting the parents) at different points in relationships — the older married couple, the younger “just had a baby” couple, the just-starting-out-a-relationship couple — so they can all give each other advice and learn from each others’ mistakes. It’s about trials and tribulations, the awkwardness of familial interactions, the weirdness of bringing in someone new to an established family dynamic, and, well, white people being white. (It is a CBS sitcom, after all.)
Apart from its slight change in format from the norm, there is nothing that sets Life in Pieces apart from the majority of lackluster and cheap family sitcoms that populate the television landscape, past or present. It is so reminiscent of Modern Family that it already feels stale. It’s a shame because the cast is superb, but the writing never really lets them prove this. Still, it’s a series that will surely work for CBS — it doesn’t exactly fill the void of How I Met Your Mother but it’s a somewhat adequate replacement — and it’s entirely possible that it will find its groove somewhere down the line, but I’m fine with ignoring it until that happens.
Life in Pieces premieres Monday, September 21 at 8:30 PM.