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Herc Says TRUST ME,
It’s No MAD MEN!!

Published at: Jan. 26, 2009, 10:43 p.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!!
A TNT hourlong about ad execs from writer-producers Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny (“Fastlane,” “Nip/Tuck,” “The Closer”), “Trust Me” stars 45-year-old Canadians Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”) and Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”), as well as Monica Potter (“Boston Legal”), Sarah Clarke (“24”), Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager”) and Griffin Dunne (“An Amercian Werewolf In London,” “After Hours”). To demonstrate how to do this kind of show correctly, I direct you to the 23-year-old Tom Hanks vehicle “Nothing In Common,” or even to the 27-year-old Tom Hanks sitcom “Bosom Buddies.” Tom Cavanagh is no Tom Hanks. As it is, this show tries very hard to manufacture comedy and yields (at least for me) nil laughter. The show’s creators apparently have an background in advertising, but you’d never know it from watching the series; too much of it smacks of miserable sitcom contrivance. And “Trust Me” is in no danger of making anyone forget about fellow basic cable advertising drama “Mad Men,” which is the best show in production at the moment and sits at the top of my season-pass manager. “Trust Me” is not permitted anywhere near the Tivo – and if it sneaks into my suggestions menu I will skip over it like a bad commercial. Entertainment Weekly says:
… Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack and Ed’s Tom Cavanagh individually seem like nice fellows, but together, as wisecracking admen, they are well-nigh insufferable. … They squabble with sitcom-style jokes — ''I’ve been carrying you so long, I have scoliosis'' — but this is an hour-long drama trying to cross Mad Men with Aaron Sorkin-style walk-and-talk dialogue. It’s a clever concept that curdles with cutesy self-consciousness. …
USA Today says:
… Though the script is the major problem, some blame must go to Cavanagh. He is among TV most naturally likable performers, but he has become locked in a man/child persona that's showing signs of wearing thin. He plays it well, and he has wrung some interesting, darker variations on the theme. But there comes a time when enough's enough, and this one may be it.
The New York Times says:
… clever and likeable — which, incidentally, is what most commercials try to be. … Mr. Cavanagh, who was mawkishly cute in the role of a small-town lawyer on “Ed,” here is more bearable as a charmingly glib, but mostly annoying, sidekick. … Ms. Potter, who is very, very funny but also touching, is one of the best things in the show. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… they chose the milieu to explore the creative process among a group of people with a collective-neuroses score high enough to maintain a smart and breezy comedy. Which "Trust Me" promises to be. …
The Chicago Tribune says:
… “Trust Me,” which perks along energetically but lacks emotional heft, may be one of those shows that stacks up on my TiVo, along with other shows I don’t get around to viewing. …
The Washington Post says:
… dumb, numbing soullessness. It has the emotional intricacy of a Ritz cracker. … they're a couple of goofs who jabber like parakeets and bicker like cranky codgers, a sort of summer-stock Felix and Oscar, only not funny. … Supposedly adding to the hilarity are Mike Damus and Geoffrey Arend as Tom and Hector, two smart-alecky scamps who sit around all day scoffing at co-workers and trading cracks that aren't remotely wise. Griffin Dunne, a serious actor who likes to take his roles seriously, seems out of place (more power to him) as Tony Mink, one of the confusing pyramid of bosses to whom our heroes answer.
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
After a series of solid doubles, TNT has finally smacked itself into the big leagues with its best drama to date … Right out of the gate, the series is surprisingly solid. What it ultimately becomes bears watching.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… a not-bad/not-great series that's more interesting for the ideas it puts forth than it is entertaining. …
The San Diego Union-Tribune says:
… starts off with a blast of promise, and then it just bobs away. … doesn't settle down long enough to make us care about any of it. …
The Boston Herald says:
… “Mad Men” without the smoking. And without a whiff of the talent, the imagination or the wit. … features grownups acting like 7 year olds in Gap clothes and either speaking fast or shouting at each other, a sign of actors trying to cover for the deficiencies of the script. “Trust Me,” there’s more entertainment to be had from watching a test pattern for an hour.…
The Boston Globe says:
… No, it's not "quality cable TV" or Top 10 list material, and it's marred by lapses into character cutesiness. But still, I liked it. It's likable. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… isn't going to be for every taste. It is, for one thing, profoundly pessimistic and contemptuous. But it masks the darkness in a stylistic sheen of witty patter and characters who arrive at the table surprisingly fully formed. …
Variety says:
… lacks a much-needed creative spark … qualifies as an underwhelming addition to the Turner channel's portfolio …
10 p.m. Monday. TNT.

What Would Kirk Do??

From The Guy Who Wrote The Making of Star Wars And The Guy Who Wrote Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays!!

Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 26, 2009, 3:21 a.m. CST

    first

    by electricjones

    trust me

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 3:28 a.m. CST

    'Mad Med' ?

    by spyro

    Never heard of it. Sounds like it could be a good show though. Could you give us some more info on it Herc ?

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 3:59 a.m. CST

    'Man Men' ?

    by spyro

    Wow - All these new shows Herc ! Tell us about that one !!

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 4:09 a.m. CST

    There's never been an accurate portrayal of modern advertising o

    by Det. John Kimble

    Because no advertiser would pay to run a spot on a show that shows the actual truth of advertising: most advertisers suck, and most ad agencies suck because most advertisers suck. I work in advertising, and I'm as big a hack as everybody else. But I've never thought what I do should be a TV show. Mad Men succeeds because it's not really about advertising: it's about human beings.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Say what you will, but Eric Mc

    by DanielKurland

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Say what you will, but Eric McCormack is great...

    by DanielKurland

    Very enjoyable to watch. Sorry for the double post.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 5:15 a.m. CST

    "It has the emotional intricacy of a Ritz cracker."

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    I'm stealing that line. Look for it when I review Transformers 2 this summer.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Det. John Kimble

    by Monkey Butler

    Try to find the Australian show The Gruen Transfer. It's basically a chat show, but it's as close as you'll get to a true representation of the advertising world on TV.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 6:10 a.m. CST

    kirk would shit his pants and lose his wig

    by ironic_name

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 6:53 a.m. CST

    ...apparently have an background in advertising

    by Bill Brasky

    Hey Herc, don't you actually 'write' for a living? So maybe those little squiggly green lines under your prose should warn you that you have FUCKED up the English language. You know, like the red ones that jump out at you when you try to spell limousine or camouflage...only these tell you that you should use “an” before a word that starts with a vowel and not a consonant. Like “an airplane” or “an optical illusion.”

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Was looking forward to it then heard it was a drama

    by catlettuce4

    The original promos made it look like a fun "buddy comedy," starring "Will" and "Ed." Now I hear it's a drama. No thanks. Who needs a drama about advertising that isn't "Mad Men"?

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 8:20 a.m. CST

    I still haven't checked out Mad Men

    by turketron

    I need to fire up some torrents and do a marathon...

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Just wondering if the U.S. version of

    by dogrobber

    'Life on Mars' has been cancelled? The commercials for 'Trust Me' keep showing Jason O'Mara, the actor who plays Sam Tyler. Is he part of the cast?

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Det. John Kimble

    by LegoKenobi

    i have a friend whose dad worked in advertising in new york city during the exact time period that mad men takes place in. he said that it's actually a very accurate show, except that (at least in his agency) nobody drank that much during the work day.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    GET TO KNOW DON DRAPER!!!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Seriously, if you haven't already, check out MAD MEN. It's one of the best (if not THE best) shows on TV right now.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Jeez, guy ...

    by TheCap

    ... don't sugar-coat it. Tell us what you REALLY think.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    everytime Christina Hendricks...

    by TinSpider

    has any screen time on Mad Men, I do a little sex wee. She is just one of the sexiest women ever.. especially with that 1960's look.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Thanks Monkey Butler

    by Det. John Kimble

    I'll hunt it down and mount it to the flatscreen on my wall.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Don't know what it is about these two

    by The McPoyle Clan

    they seem like nice guys, but I can't stand either one on screen. McCormack did do a good job playing a prick on Dead Like Me though.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Eric McCormack

    by skimn

    mentioned on Conan last week how he and Canvanagh got on the set and their chemistry led to ad libbing banter, that everyone loved.<p>Thats why there are directors. To direct. I'm sure they are nice guys, but I swear some actors fart, then say, "Do you smell that? A dozen roses!"