Tom Awesome’s Review Score: 9.75
CBS launched a terrifically funny show this year, and cancelled it after a single outstanding season. No, it’s not Man With a Plan or Kevin Can Wait starring a former Friends standout and Kevin James respectively. It’s not even Superior Donuts, starring whoever the hell is in that show. No, it’s my beloved The Great Indoors, starring Joel McHale. It’s the biggest traveshamockery since the untimely demise of Better Off Ted.
The now-departed Great Indoors followed outdoor reporter and man’s man Jack (played by McHale) coping with the modern age of media when his company, The Great Indoors magazine recalls him from the field and saddles him with a desk job. Instead of reporting on untamed beasts and unknown tribes around the world, Jack is forced to observe and adapt Jane Goodall-style with a bewildering new species: Millennials.
As a Gen-X sympathizing millennial-basher myself, there was a lot for me to enjoy in this show. Jack and the kids (played by my man Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Ko and Shaun Brown) learn to interact and rely on each other. Jack teaches them how to think critically, become better writers and even takes them to experience the outdoors. The kids teach Jack how to date online and use the internet.
I thought the show was flat-out hilarious, and was an intriguing look at the evolving workplace. I thought it provided an excellent representation of three generations struggling to understand each other. It even featured multiple workplace romance threads, from Mintz-Plasse falling in love with Ko and eventually becoming best friends with her boyfriend to Jack pursuing the bosses’ daughter, played by the amazingly charming Susannah Fielding.
After watching the finale, it’s hard to believe the writers thought the show was ending. It’s a bittersweet ending that would have set things up nicely for season two. One large issue feels unresolved, and while the show may not inspire a Firefly fan fervor, I am confident I’m not the only fan who will be frustrated with the lack of closure.
The Good: The show is hilarious and heart-warming. The cast had great chemistry, and even the bit players were very good in their roles. There were a number of laugh-out-loud moments, and you saw growth in every character and relationship. The show addressed real themes, like generations colliding in the workplace, how media is changing and sexuality.
The Bad: It got cancelled after one season, while that crap with Matt LeBlanc and Kevin James trudges on.
The Verdict: I would strongly recommend watching this show in whatever format you can find it – if/when it hits a streaming service on disk.