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Hercules Would Veto NBC’s New White House Sitcom 1600 PENN!!

I am – Hercules!!

A schticky, mostly unfunny new NBC sitcom scripted by three people with limited comedy-writing experience -- actor Josh Gad (“21,” “Back To You”), director Jason Winer (last year’s Russell Brand “Arthur” remake) and former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett -- “1600 Penn” follows an incumbent U.S. president, his kids and his new trophy wife.

It stars Bill Pullman (who played the president in “Independence Day” as well), Jenna Elfman (“Damages”) as the high-strung first lady, Martha MacIsaac (“Greek”) as the pregnant teen first daughter, and Gad as the underachieving twentysomething first son.

NBC may have greenlit it to series to make “Up All Night,” which resembles “1600” a bit in tone, seem funnier.

NBC’s “The West Wing,” back when it was winning the best drama Emmy four years in a row, was a much, much funnier show about the White House. “Veep” is a lot funnier too.

NBC offers a preview tonight, but it takes over the “Parks and Recreation” slot on Thursdays beginning next month.

Hitfix says:

... the three episodes I've seen rely a little too much on familiar sitcom tropes while hoping the setting will make them seem fresh. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... the big idea is to stock the White House with characters familiar from a thousand years of situation comedy. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... may not be as sophisticated as the hysterical HBO series "Veep," but it's still pretty funny when all the cylinders are firing. … 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... whether you find idiot man-boy humor hilarious or dull will determine your first impression of the show. Personally, I’m not a fan. …

The Boston Globe says:

... Skip’s idiocy — he has spent seven years in college — appears to be the show’s big draw, which is more like a big gnaw. …

The Boston Herald says:

... practically screams for prime-time impeachment. …

USA Today says:

... a sweet, silly comedy that represents NBC's attempt to shift toward sitcoms with broader popular appeal.…

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... It would be easy to watch Gad for 30 minutes straight, but it’s a testament to what 1600 Penn could become that the cast rises up to the material that the writers mine for them, much like Modern Family did, as the episodes roll out. …

Variety says:

... doesn't generate nearly enough highlights to merit a filibuster-proof yea vote, much less a ticker-tape parade. …

9:30 p.m. Monday. NBC.



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