Herc's Seen NBC's FOUR KINGS!! Is It The Next SEINFELD Or The Next INSIDE SCHWARTZ??
It’s a sitcom about four hetero twentysomethings living under the same roof, from “Will & Grace” creators David Kohan & Max Mutchnick.
I hate sitcoms generally, but this season I find myself hating on a bunch of sitcoms starring former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” players. Every time I see “Kitchen Confidential,” “How I Met Your Mother” and now “Four Kings,” all I can think about is how much funnier Nick Brendon, Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green were as Xander, Willow and Oz.
“Four Kings” is the last and worst of this season’s Buffy-alum projects. Even Kohen & Mutchnick’s WB Melanie Griffith project, “Twins,” turns out to be more watchable.
But what matters Herc’s opinion?
The New York Times says:
"Four Kings," an NBC sitcom about four single straight men who share an apartment and a disinclination to grow up, sounds awful. It's not. Some of the dialogue is quite funny, and as a posse, the slacker bachelors are appealing. That's mostly because the series was created by Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, the duo behind "Will & Grace," that wicked, madcap look at urban gay life (which could be described as "Breakfront Mountain"). … "Four Kings" is not misogynistic like "Two and a Half Men" on CBS, nor is it as predictable as the mercifully canceled distaff version on ABC, "Hot Properties." The series has grace notes and some wit, but it is also the kind of sitcom that NBC audiences seem to have outgrown. The network must be hoping that viewers will regress right along with the show's characters.
The New York Daily News says:
… [by] premiering "Four Kings," a new sitcom from the creators of "Will & Grace," NBC has reestablished another Thursday night tradition: sticking another unfunny, almost unwatchable sitcom at 8:30. … Seth Green, who's almost always reliably entertaining, plays Barry. But he is saddled with such a repugnant character here that, for once, he's no fun to watch. Yet of the four leads - Josh Cooke as Ben, Todd Grinnell as Jason and Shane McRae as Bobby are the others - he's the most entertaining. … Usually, four kings indicate a strong hand. In this case, it's clear this new sitcom was given its post-"Will & Grace" slot as a sweetheart deal to its producers - and that this "Four Kings" is a hand that should be folded. As quickly as possible.
… "Four Kings," premiering tonight and created by the once-hot-now-Arctic-cold production team of David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, was ready to go last spring, but someone at NBC had the good sense to say, "Uh-oh - not so fast." Not so fast, indeed. "Four Kings" was dreadful then, and is dreadful now - the drab sort of Young Urban Sitcom that has provided incentive for millions to turn away from network TV. But why this is moving off the shelf now seems not so much a service to viewers as to the producers. Maybe in flush times, when "Will & Grace" was rockin' along, they nailed one of those deals in which a favored producer gets dibs on a desirable time period. A deal's a deal; NBC probably couldn't hold this one off any longer. That's all speculation. Maybe someone at NBC actually thinks "Kings" is fine. But probably not.
The Washington Post says:
…NBC offers a perfect example of the standard, no-surprise, dumbed-down, artificial, annoying, plastic, formulaic sitcom … They're just the same wandering souls we saw in "Diner" 20 years ago, only not as funny and much more self-conscious. … "Look at where we are," Barry marvels. "This is going to be great!" Oh, no it isn't. It's going to be loud, obvious and horribly predictable. Some of the zingers do have a hint of zing in them, but the fact that the boys mostly enjoy insulting one another, playing tricks on one another and socking one another makes them fairly insufferable as even vicarious companions. …
USA Today gives it two stars (out of four) and says:
… On the plus side, NBC revives one of its best traditions: the four-comedy, reality-free Thursday block that viewers counted on for 20 years. Unfortunately, the network has also fallen back on one of its worst traditions: filling the off-hours with subpar shows from producers of their hits. That bad habit gave us such gems as Veronica's Closet and Good Morning, Miami. And it now brings us Four Kings, which, like Miami, is an inferior product from Will & Grace producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. With Kings, the producers follow their sitcom pattern, stressing jokes over character and nonsense over common sense. On Will, that often leads to unexpected twists and big laughs, but a show with that approach needs to be very funny very often, because it can't fall back upon our fondness for the characters. …
…In a preposterous display of misplaced confidence, NBC sent out the first three episodes of its new Thursday night sitcom, "Four Kings." It took an act of kindness to make it to the second episode, and as for episode three tone deaf, desperate and driven to stupidity by demographics. It's clear that NBC wants the young male market to buy into "Four Kings." The series is littered with the type of one-liners seemingly mined from UPN's old "Shasta McNasty" or even NBC's own failed British import "Men Behaving Badly."' …
… paper-thin … the net has dealt itself an uninspired joker when it could desperately use an ace … "Four Kings" isn't a total dud, and as with "Will & Grace," its unrelenting silliness occasionally catches you off guard; nevertheless, it's the kind of nondescript half-hour that won't do much to re-establish NBC's "Must-See" credentials …
8:30 p.m. Thursday. NBC.
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Jan. 5, 2006, 1:17 a.m. CST
by John Zick
I am sick of Buffy alums picking terrible shows to perform on. They were brought up better than that
Jan. 5, 2006, 1:43 a.m. CST
by Bari Umenema
Gee what a surprise that this would air on NBCrapola. Great programming team they got there now especially for all the alleged "comedy" shows they air.
Jan. 5, 2006, 6:07 a.m. CST
what's funny is that the NYT's review is the outlier. but why you'd trust the NYT to advise on your tv viewing in the first place is beyond me.
Jan. 5, 2006, 6:18 a.m. CST
by The Wrong Guy
Better off giving us one for the Arrested Development episode they showed several nights ago.
Jan. 5, 2006, 6:55 a.m. CST
They would never, EVER, say anything bad about the people who brought us the god awful Will and Grace.
Jan. 5, 2006, 7:26 a.m. CST
TOGA! TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!
Jan. 5, 2006, 7:29 a.m. CST
Three episodes, maybe four. Then it gets pulled for some Everyone Loves Raymond reruns or some other crap. Way to take risks, network television!
Jan. 5, 2006, 7:33 a.m. CST
does anyone remember when a certain seinfeld episode when they got hooked on that show? i never got hooked on seinfeld, i just liked it because i like watching random stuff on a screen. it's a g.p at best.
Jan. 5, 2006, 7:45 a.m. CST
While generially prefering my comedies laugh track free (Family Guy, Scrubs, My Name Is Earl, Arrested Development, Entorouge) How I Met Your Mother has a sweetness to it that I find appealing. Plus Neil Patrick Harris rocks that show. I DO feel as if I stepped into a way-back machine when I watch it but it does not deserve a place on your sitcom wall of shame, Herc.
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST
You can just tell that no-talent ass-clown's been sitting on that joke for a couple weeks now, just looking for an excuse to unleash it upon the world. Yeesh.
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:49 a.m. CST
Let us all cry together.
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:58 a.m. CST
That show with Sara Gilbert & cousin Larry? When I hear a show is this bad I just have to watch it to see how bad it truly is.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:15 a.m. CST
They got hooked on Melrose Place, and Jerry was ashamed to admit he was hooked the most.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST
isn't that bad. Not Legen - dary comedy, but better than a lot of crap. One of the Four Kings leads was on Committed, which I thought was last year's HIMYM. As big a Seth Green fan as i am, I just can't see this being good though.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST
Yeah, NBC has a tradition of wedging a bad, uninspired show in the second slot of Thursday nights, but I personally think WILL & GRACE both sucks and blows, to quote Bart Simpson. That show is a fucking nightmare. How have they been working in a gay stereotype every episode for 10 years? And who the hell still watches it? I mean, besides the big name guest star they clumsily shoehorn in every week. So just tune in during the second hour... EARL and THE OFFICE is your real Must See TV.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST
I bet if Joss had a cameo, Herc would put it on his top ten list.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST
As any review invoking Jake Busey vehicle 'Shasta McNasty' deserves credit for being thorough. I'll probably end up watching the show tonight....fortunately NBC makes it easier to skip over Will & Grace by putting it at 8 Eastern. I'm just happy to get new episodes of Office and Earl!
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST
...those radio commercials NBC does with the two guys and a girl talking casually about all the "cool stuff" that NBC has on that night? I want to find the three people in those commercials and beat them with each others limbs.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:55 a.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST
Jan. 5, 2006, 10:10 a.m. CST
...worse than INSIDE SCHWARTZ, JESSE or SINGLE GUY even, was UNION SQUARE. Watching that show was about as funny as watching Grandpa have a heart attack.
Jan. 5, 2006, 10:38 a.m. CST
"Watching that show was about as funny as watching Grandpa have a heart attack." that made me laugh out loud. good call.
Jan. 5, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST
And I'll throw my hat in there with the people who like "How I Met Your Mother" too. It's got a nostalgic sort of sweetness to it that is undeniable, and it relies on one-liners far, far less than I would have expected from a laughtracked sitcom, so much so that it actually sort of caught me off guard the first time around.
Jan. 5, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST
If I ever saw "Union Square" I don't remember it but I thought "Emeril" was the worst show NBC ever aired.
Jan. 5, 2006, 11:02 a.m. CST
by Lou C.
... than have to sit through this crap. And that's saying A LOT. It's a shame that shows like Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Arrested Development struggle to get viewers, but crap like this gets rolled out year after year. Stilll, you'd think that networks would realize it pays to have an original hook - or original characters - to get a sitcom to payoff. My Name Is Earl has an original and interesting idea attached to it (along with fine performances) and at the very least, How I Met Your Mother has Neil Patrick Harris, which keeps me watching every week. Wow, never thought I'd say that, but Barney is one of the funniest characters on TV right now.
Jan. 5, 2006, 11:29 a.m. CST
Are you guys actually in 2030 with Bob Sagat, are do you all just feel melancholy when you think back to those misspent days of your youth back in 2005, when iPods and blogs ruled the earth, Iraq was our enemy, and love was in the air ?
Jan. 5, 2006, 12:41 p.m. CST
...that's not even close to what I said. "Nostalgic sort of sweetness" suddenly equals "nostalgia for the year 2005?"
Jan. 5, 2006, 12:44 p.m. CST
Good show. It's no "Committed," (gone in 13 episodes--thanks a lot, NBC), but it's a nice, fuzzy little 3-camera sitcom. And it inspired me to send Evites to the party in my pants.
Jan. 5, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST
by 3 Bag Enema
Agreed - that writer's a hack douche.
Jan. 5, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST
what's a breakfront?
Jan. 5, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST
Jan. 5, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST
by all rights, something as fresh as Arrested development should have revitalized the genre like The Cosby Show did in the '80's, but it has not. it be too long befor we hit CSI: Law & Order SUV Peoria and that genre falls flat, too. Personally, I can't wait. I'm ready to see more variety on network TV.
Jan. 5, 2006, 2:40 p.m. CST
Oh well. As for the pool, I think it will be Karen who makes the Brokeback joke.
Jan. 5, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST
I'm always a little disappointed when Herc doesn't use his stuff, they're classic. He's also a devout Arrested fan and writes a lot of informative shit about it.
Jan. 5, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST
by Blok Narpin
How I Met Your Mother is the funniest live action show on TV (Family Guy and American Dad still take the top honors). I haven't seen a live action sitcom this funny since Andy Richter Controls the Universe ended.
Jan. 5, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST
Your ridiculous shilling for a show that ended seasons ago really is becoming tedious. We get it - Buffy was a good show but you know what so was Cheers and Seinfeld and Arrested Development and they are all gone as well. Get over it already. And to the other haters that can't like anything unless it is cutting edge and has no laugh track - chill out. I love Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Extras and The Office (British version). But I also like/d Raymond and King of Queens and Two and a Half Men and Kitchen Confidential and How I Met your Mother and the Office (American version). There is a way for both cutting edge and stereotypical to exist. They are not mutually exclusive and you dont have to chose between one or the other to prove your intellectual superiority. Laugh tracks have their place in certain sitcoms and no place in others. You dont have to hate on something just to have something to hang your hat on. True some sitcoms are just bad but just because others aren't trying to be something cutting edge or blaze a new path doesn't mean they don't have the right to exist.
Jan. 5, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST
One more thing...Was anyone shocked that AD never caught on?Really shocked? I certainly wasn't. From ep. 1 it was clear that the level/style of humor AD was aiming for was too off center to ever catch on with most of the population. As much as I wish we lived in a world where shows could go on forever for a minority we live in a world where business rules and AD just wasn't cutting it numbers wise. Any of you on this board faced with the business decision ABC was faced with would have had to make the same decision. AD will be much better off on a smaller network.
Jan. 5, 2006, 7:37 p.m. CST
At least this is well named, cuz it's "fourking" stoopid.
Jan. 5, 2006, 7:43 p.m. CST
Sidius, while I agree with your lgic on ADs cancellation, it was on Fox, not ABC.
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:11 p.m. CST
by Voice O. Reason
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST
by Spaz Medicine
But am I the only one that enjoyed Kitchen Confidential?
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:41 p.m. CST
by Lefty Lefterson
I am totally with you on those radio ads NBC is putting out there. What's worse than idiot FM DJ's blathering on about nothing? PRETEND idiot FM DJ's blathering on about nothing. Worst. Ad campain. Ever.
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST
It's sort of fucked up that everyone has to explain that these guys are straight. Remember when it used to be a given?
Jan. 5, 2006, 8:48 p.m. CST
Are you chicks? I tried watching it once, and it was too chicky for this chick, so I'm a bit curious about the people who continued to watch it. I'm not bashing anyone for liking it, I'm just genuinely curious. Oh, and obligatory AD rules, everyone else droolz comment. Tobias for life! In fact, I forbade anyone from talking about anything but Arrested Development in this talkback from now on. This forbading will continue until there's a real AD talkback. I'm just kidding, I only have power over my hamster (mc hamster) and even she bites the shit out of me from time to time.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:02 p.m. CST
fills me full of loathing for NBC. Absolutely one of the alienating marketing campaign ever undertaken in any medium. "Oh, 'Four Kings,' yeah, that sounds so good!" "Are you watching 'Surface'? It's like a Spielberg film ever week!" Every time it airs, another bullet in NBC's foot.
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:28 p.m. CST
by Voice O. Reason
People who are too stupid to not realize the female DJ sounds nothing like the DJ they were listening to only seconds earlier?
Jan. 5, 2006, 9:44 p.m. CST
Actually, I heard one of these today (for the first time) and the annoying girl and guy in the ad sounded just like the annoying guy and girl (Eric & Cathy) that I've heard before on that station. I just thought that two unspeakably untalented jerks had sold out to NBC.
Jan. 5, 2006, 10:24 p.m. CST
by Big Bad Clone
I don't know any real morning radio crew that does not completely screw up the facts of anything. The fact that the fake djs know what channel, time and the stars should be a big enough tip that it's not real. Plus, who takes the advice of morning djs? Oh and I had to turn away from Four Kings after watching it a full minute. It makes Freddy look like Cheers.
Jan. 5, 2006, 11:07 p.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
Everytime those radio ads air, the baby Jesus gets a blistering diaper rash. Awful idea.
Jan. 6, 2006, 12:31 a.m. CST
by Alonzo Mosely
Do I get the job?
Jan. 6, 2006, 2:35 a.m. CST
I watch HIMYM solely for Neil Patrick Harris. I think he is a riot playing Barney. As for the rest of the characters, well......
Jan. 6, 2006, 5:36 a.m. CST
No, I'm not a chick. You can revoke my dude membership if you want...
Jan. 6, 2006, 7:28 a.m. CST
Check it out at rottentomatoes. The movie has "shocking bigotry." Is there nothing the Times can't ruin with their ultra PC brainless crap? If they reviewed Gone With the Wind Today, they'd give it an "F" for "shocking bigotry," story be damned! There's racism afoot!
Jan. 6, 2006, 8:24 a.m. CST
but it wasn't great either. It was ok. It could get better. There were a couple of good line-deliveries ("Betty's a burner" and the reaction shot at the word "bingo"). All in all I found it to be mediocre. But in no way is this show worse than Twins or Freddie. I might watch again, depending on what else is on between 8 & 9 on Thursday. If you have a half hour to kill at 8:30 on Thursday and don't want to do anything but watch tv, it wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.
Jan. 6, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST
The fade from when they were kids to them today, in the same kitchen, with the Grandmother's voiceover. It was forced and clumsy and unoriginal and uninspired and so very cheesy. Yeah, my buddies and I always stand in our kitchen facing the fourth wall with our arms around one another grinning like idiots.
Jan. 6, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST
thats all this sounds like, a lame NY entourage rip off...give me the real thing
Jan. 6, 2006, 10 a.m. CST
I knew I'd have half an hour to kill last night, waiting for W&G to be over, but I could have had an hour of free time if I'd skipped 4 Kings and been better off for it. Oh well, one less hour of conflicting shows once the holiday break is over. And Brendaham, I'm not a chick, but I found Barney's take on women hilarious. Of course, I like a lot of chick-friendly shows: Veronica Mars, Buffy, etc. Of course, there were a lot of cute chicks on Buffy, Alyson Hannigan is cute as a bunny, and Kristen Bell is quite the hottie as well.
Jan. 6, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST
Much better than that Miami show as well as the CBS Monday lineup (bar HIMYM which is raised to not bad by the performance from Doogie). It is also better than all of the ABC sitcoms. Kitchen Confidential was fairly entertaining as it had a talented cast but I don't remember laughing once, I do remember staring at Bonnie Sommerville's cleavage a hell of a lot though, she is fine.
Jan. 6, 2006, 10:19 a.m. CST
I had a half-laugh once at the 'Bingo' reaction, and that was it. I laughed more in the first 30 seconds of The Office then I did during that entire 30 minute turd.
Jan. 6, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST
I enjoy both of these shows. I love the characters on HIMYM. Barney is a riot. Lily and MArchall are sweet. Ted is so bumbling that is hilarious and Robin has this great biting sarcasm. I liked that KC had a dark comedy. My boyfriend worked in a restaurant for a long time, so he could really relate to it. He also loves HIMYM, so it's not just a chick thing. He comes home from work Moday nights, and the first thing he asks is if there was a new one. The show such great one liners. Legend-ary, Suit UP, Have you met Ted, the Slutty Pumpkin, The cockamouse. I don't like sitcoms, but those two are great. I don't know what Herc is talking about.
Jan. 6, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST
I don't think they are NBC commericals at all. I think CBS runs them. that would be the only logical reason for the classic commerical lines spoken like, "have you seen Joey this season? its SO good!" lmao! how retarded. It wouldn't be so bad if they were pimping shows that didn't suck. how about some My name is earl love? but no- we get "fear factor is back! i love that show, steve!" *sigh* NBC used to be awesome.
Jan. 7, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST
I watch Survivor. Infinitely more entertaining than this dreck. Why oh why can't Scrubs be on Thursday too ? In any event, the Earl / Office combo may go down as one of the best in history. "This boat is going down in five minutes. Wrap your head around that reality."
Jan. 8, 2006, 4:29 a.m. CST
Perhaps when W&G finally ends its run, Scrubs can come in to take its place on Thursdays. And NBC can go ahead and just sign off for half an hour at 8:30.
Jan. 8, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST
by Ender's Jeesh
The sitcom NBC needs at 8:30 but since no one will return a phone call to a non-gay, Republican, conservative I guess I'll just keep it to myself. I've had it since Seinfeld, but nobody wants it.
Jan. 8, 2006, 10:31 p.m. CST
Whats funny is imagining that somewhere in this country there is someone who finds them witty and fascinting. You know there has to be at least one. Everyday I notice an ad that seems to be put together by rolling some sort of 'hip generation x demographic buzzword' role playing dice. There's a commecial from Dell that comes to mind showing a college girl talking about what she can do with her new XPS. You know that one I'm talking about? ('I can make BLOGS and play my MP3's while doing my IM CHATTING) It was like some movie where the hypnotist controls you with certain phrases. 'When I say the word Belgium you will shot the prime minister'.
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