I wanted so much to like Carpoolers, the new sitcom on ABC Tuesday nights. I mean, I am one. A carpooler. I spend at least 90 minutes a day (most days) with two other guys driving to and from work. We talk about a lot of different things and it’s always amazed me how well we all get along given that our ages are each about 10 years apart (I get to be the old one). A lot of what goes on in our carpool (which will stay in carpool), is thought provoking, funny and mostly entertaining. We’re at our best when we’re inventing things, and you can find a lot of our best ideas in Kreblog’s excellent blog.
First, I have to admit I’ve only seen the first episode. A vacation during the height of premiere weeks has given me a serious case of DVR backlog. But I made it a point to watch the first episode as soon as I could and now I’m thinking I’d have been better off going to bed early. The four characters were broadly drawn, with some classic sitcom personalities (the philandering divorced guy, the p-w family guy, the insecure guy and the young newlywed guy). Done well, these personalities can lead to a successful run. But the Carpoolers all seemed shallow; maybe it’s the fact that it’s only been 22 minutes of TV so far and you can’t reveal much in the way of complexity, but I’m not holding my breath.
I think what disappointed me most was the scenes in the car. While we’ve been known to break out into song together (it’s a little hard because of the age differences – I can’t remember any words to songs written after 1979), we don’t cry. There’s no crying in carpool. And we don’t get real explicit about our certain parts of our private lives (who’s on top? Ewwww!). It also seems weird to me that these guys all work at different places and that there is special parking for carpoolers. That must be a California thing. Here in the east, we all work together and we park with the masses. It would be way cool, however, if the FE Everett turnpike would install a carpool lane. We’d be pretty lonely, but we’d shoot through.
What does work for me is the funny scenes of other carpoolers. Old carpoolers not moving with their blinker on. Rich carpoolers eating sushi. Chuckle. Chuckle. And the kid, Marmaduke, has his comedic moments, or maybe that should be moment. Interviewing on-line without pants. Nice.
I will give Carpoolers a few more rides before I kick them off my DVR list. They’d better develop some more creative plot lines and flesh out some interesting characters. I have read that Rebecca Romijn will be making a guest appearance later in the season. Wouldn’t mind having her in the carpool….