Is Mr. Sunshine ABC Network’s Next “Hot” Sitcom?

In 2009, ABC Network launched Cougar Town, one of the funniest, most well-written sitcoms on television.   Courtney Cox (of Friends fame), and the rest of the ensemble cast brilliantly bring each character to life.  On the heels of Cougar Town’s success, ABC Network has once again gone back to the Friends well for their new sitcom, Mr. Sunshine, which stars Matthew Perry as Ben Donovan.

Perry’s character is the General Manager of the Sunshine Center, a second-rate sports arena in San Diego.  While the name of the character has changed, Ben Donovan could have easily been cast as Chandler Bing in his new career.  He is well-suited for this role, but Mr. Sunshine doesn’t shine as brightly as Cox does in Cougar Town, which is not necessarily an indictment of his acting ability.

The Cougar Town cast was as perfectly assembled as the cast of Friends was.  The roles of the characters on Mr. Sunshine are still being developed, but it didn’t take long to realize that Allison Janney’s character, Crystal Cohen (owner of the Sunshine Center), will be the one to receive most of the accolades if the show takes off.

Janney’s character is wildly inappropriate, has little to no filter and is almost as politically incorrect as Archie Bunker.  She plays the role perfectly, and even though she is not the focal point of the show, you can’t help but look forward to hearing what she will say next.

In the pilot episode, before hosting a charity event for Himalayan children because someone was bitten by one of the dogs at the Himalayan dog track that she invested in, Crystal Cohen wanted to make sure that the event would put her in a positive light.

“Now Alonzo” she said, “Make sure that you have a good mix of kids for the photo op.  You know…black, white…the Himalayas are in Asia, right?  Get me an Asian kid.  Oh, and I’m going to need some kind of trophy.  Have the Asian child hand me some kind of a trophy.”

In the second episode, a number of blind children were invited to attend a concert at the Sunshine Center.  Upon leaving the room full of blind children, Cohen very casually said…

“I envy the blind.  I sometimes think that I too would give my sight to play the piano that way.”

Overall, Mr. Sunshine is a quirky sitcom centered around a series of unlikely scenarios and sometimes outrageous dialog.  Because there is a different event each week at the Sunshine Center, there will be no shortage of potential storylines.

The show is not as clever or well-written as Cougar Town, but it has its share of laughs, and offers ABC Network the potential to fill a regular time slot with a sitcom anchored by another former Friends cast member.

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Posted on February 18, 2011, in Actors and Actresses, Sitcoms and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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