Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Out of Practice" Reviews - Mixed Opinions

Cos News Service :
"The verdict: Disappointing. Out of Practice isn't totally out of order, but it's close. Since the series comes from the same creative team (Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd) who gave us so many funny seasons of Frasier, more was expected. And with such talented pros as Channing and Winkler as bickering exes and Paula Marshall as a tart-tongued lesbian, well, Practice should be a lot funnier. But instead of witty banter, there are too many bathroom humor lesbian cracks."

Myrtle Beach Online
"One might expect CBS' other offering, "Out of Practice," to be a bigger hit. It's positioned comfortably between "Two and a Half Men" and "CSI: Miami," and its pedigree is unassailable, coming from "Frasier" writers Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan, and featuring veterans Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing.
Tonight's episode is rife with insult gags. Sharper writing and characterizations should help it become worthy of its time slot and viewers' attentions."

Chicago Tribune:
" Though Gorham's the appealing center of the show, the delightful Ty Burrell, as Barnes' arrogant plastic-surgeon brother, steals every scene he's in. Given that this show comes from "Frasier" veterans Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd, "Practice" has the kind of easy flow that comes from veteran sitcom experts. The only weak spot is Stockard Channing, who's brassy and stiff as Barnes' recently divorced mom."

Philadelphia Inquirer

"Tonight's episode employs the same he's-talking-about-one-thing, she's-talking-about-another, and neither-one-knows-it farcical convention that was frequently featured in Frasier, and goes back at least to Moliere. These pros bring it off with panache.

Not the home run of How I Met Your Mother, Out of Practice nonetheless anchors a strong two-hour comedy block on Mondays that may make CBS's loss of Everybody Loves Raymond seem nothing more than a hiccup."

Beacon Journal
"Out of Practice follows a family of doctors, though not very amusingly. Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing provide some small laughs."

South Florida Sentinel:
"Out of Practice's marquee boasts Stockard Channing, Henry Winkler, Christopher Gorham, Paula Marshall and Ty Burrell, each with noteworthy credentials in TV or film. However, they're defeated by material that is loud, sophomoric, predictable and, most importantly, not very funny. This is really disappointing in that the show is being executive-produced by Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd, multiple Emmy winners for Frasier."

Gannett News Service

""Out of Practice" has a therapist (Christopher Gorham) feeling like a loser because his parents, brother and sister are all doctors. This is from the "Frasier" people with intelligent humor. Paula Marshall, Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing are great in support."

San Francisco Chronicle

""Out of Practice" is comedy mush. Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler, as two divorced doctors with three kids -- all but one a doctor (that's the funny twist) -- deliver the goods to CBS in a manner that will wrap much of the audience in a cocoon of warmed-over jokes that don't demand much attention or participation. Compared with that, Mark Russell is Lenny Bruce."

Joe Critic
"There aren’t many sitcoms that have that kind of fire power in their cast. Stockard Channing is surprisingly and tremendously funny, and even though Henry Winkler hung up his leather jacket years ago, Arrested Development has given him plenty of opportunities to hone his comedic skills."

Journal Sentinel

"But Winkler, who's been hilarious as the weaselly lawyer on "Arrested Development," is oddly muted here, while Channing is annoyingly shrill and hyperactive. Too bad she cut back on her "West Wing" appearances this season for this forgettable show."

Eclipse Magazine

"The writing for these relationships is pretty good, too. If the other combinations receive a bit of an upgrade, script-wise, ‘Out of Practice’ could actually be good. For now, though, the show is a few big laughs and a number of dead spots. It will deserve to be checked in on – if it survives more than a few weeks…

Grade: C+"

New York Times
"Stockard Channing plays his mother, Lydia, a prominent and overbearing surgeon who had a bitter divorce from his father, Stewart (Henry Winkler). Ms. Channing's timing is a bit askew in the pilot, but Ty Burrell, who plays Ben's older brother, Oliver, is deadpan and quite funny as a "Nip/Tuck"-style plastic surgeon."

NY Daily News
"As the parents, Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler are delightful. For once, CBS hasn't cast some TV veterans and given them nothing to do.

Channing delivers her lines as dry as a heat wave, and has some good ones to fire off. Asked her opinion of her daughter's new multicolored hairstyle, she replies: "You work in the ER, dear. People die there. You really want that hair to be the last thing they see?"

"A heavyweight scribe tribe ensures a high-grade professionalism in the assembly of "Out of Practice." Getting the prize CBS timeslot between "Two and a Half Men""Two And A Half Men" and "CSI: Miami," the team behind "Frasier," Joe Keenan and Christopher LloydChristopher Lloyd, has made an old-fashioned family laffer that arrives with well-defined characters, sharp writing (despite plenty of boob jokes) and Kelsey GrammerKelsey Grammer's solid direction. Show already feels like it's been on air for three seasons ... in a good way."

Washington Post
"Words like "dyke" and "knockers" in the pilot tarnish the show and indicate that the producers and writers are too willing to grovel. CBS should remember that "Raymond" sailed through all its happy years veritably smut-free and devoid of cynicism. It's easy to get a laugh comparing a blue French horn to a Smurf's phallus (don't ask), harder to do it without a cheap little shock."

Quad City Times
"Out of Practice (8:30 p.m. CBS, beginning Sept. 19) Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing play divorced doctors who try to nurse their children’s broken lives. It’s a comedy, but there’s a real dark spot in the pilot. Assessment: Won’t need life supports, but it is a dicey proposition. Grade: B-"

North West Arkansas
"Family of bickering doctors snipe and bicker and zing each other. Conventional gag set-up comedy wastes the talents of Henry Winkler, Stockard Channing and Paula Marshall."

TV Squad:
"Why, why, why... A cast this good should not be stuck in something this awful. Why Henry Winkler left Arrested Development I have no idea. The always spectacular, Emmy winning, Oscar nominated Stockard Channing pulled out of The West Wing for this?"

USA Today

"As they so often did on Frasier, Keenan and Lloyd have built their plot around a mini-farce of cross-purpose conversations. Simpler might have been wiser; the frantic pilot may be off-putting for some, despite some very funny lines.

You won't find actors more worthy of sitcom stardom than Channing and Winkler, and after many failed efforts, Marshall may finally have found a good match for her talents. Still, if this Practice succeeds, it will be because of the easy-to-like Gorham, who endows the show and this family with a touch of relatable humanity that would otherwise be missing"


"The dialogue is razor-sharp, the cast rock-solid and the premise -- a family of caregivers who can't take care of themselves -- rings hilariously true. This sitcom is just what the doctor ordered."

Kansas City Star
"“How I Met Your Mother” looks even better when compared with this shockingly unfunny sitcom airing an hour later on the same network. With a host of TV retreads (Henry Winkler, Stockard Channing, Paula Marshall) running in and out of the room spewing excruciating banter, this is “Master of the Universe,” 2005 edition. (You may recall that CBS bust from last year with John Goodman. Or like me, you may have seen an expert to have those memories repressed.)"

Miami Herald
"A purported sitcom, it draws no laughs (well, OK, one, when a character refers to her philandering husband's girlfriend as ''a 32-year-old freshly siliconed liposuctioned Frankenbimbo'') but does manage the impressive achievement of making Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler, playing Gorham's parents, thoroughly unlikable. I'm not sure that's an Emmy category yet, though."

Expert Outlook:
"Out of Practice" on CBS, with Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing as doctors in a dysfunctional family. "I get, oddly, that there may be enough snippets of truth here that it could work."

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