Stars: Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman, Martha MacIsaac, Andre Holland, Amara Miller, Benjamin Stockham and Bill Pullman
Writer: Jon Lovett
Director: Jason Winer
Network: NBC
Original Telecast: Dec. 17th, 2012

Chris Farley tried hard to emulate John Belushi before breaking out on his own in the 1990s and now Josh Gad (from the hit Broadway musical BOOK OF MORMON) is trying desperately to mimic Farley, only coming off as a third rate Belushi, without any of the charm both Belushi and Farley embodied. The format Gad is using is an ineptly scripted sitcom named 1600 PENN (which got a sneak preview after THE VOICE this week before it airs on Thursday nights in January). And, being that Gad is in fact listed as the lead (and also co-creator), the show is no magnum opus for Gad. Needless to say, if this is the best he’s got, then well, his best ain’t good enough.

Gad is Skip, the President’s ne’er do well son who is brought back to live at the White House because, well, seven years of college is just about as much as the President (Bill Pullman, looking very presidential) can take. Maybe, being at home, might jostle him a bit and by shear approximation jingle a bit of greatness in him. Not likely, though, with a pregnant daughter and two private schooled kids, the President already has his hands full, not too mention a lovely trophy wife First Lady (Jenna Elfman).

The show’s premise is a noble one: someone finally doing a comedy about life in The White House. However, 1600 PENN fails miserably . For one, it’s not funny. Two, the writing is superfluous, exceeding ridiculousness even for sitcom standards, which aren’t usually sky reaching. The show is a bad, very, very, bad SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE sketch that won’t end and then when it does, you pause and think what was the point of it. I mean if we are supposed to be amused, if we are supposed to laugh then how come it was no where near funny? The root of the problem is that the foundation of the show is not grounded by anything real. The characters are unrealizable, annoying, ridiculous, and the stupidest human beings to ever walk through the halls of the big white house on Pennsylvania Rd.

Just when the show nears its final minutes, it gets even worse when the son who probably can’t even spell his first name, somehow gathers together a summit meeting of sorts and rectifies an argument between two bickering countries, all before the President steps into the room. Never mind how he got there or how his lame philosophies manage to unite these two leaders, all that mattered in the end for this show is that “father” president walks in and couldn’t have been more pleased with his son’s doings. Way to go! Yea, right!

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Article: TV Review: 1600 PENN – “Putting Out Fires” – Series Premiere

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