So far, I have seen a grand total of two new series - the pilots of The Big Bang Theory and Back to You. Is it a coincidence, you might ask, that the two I've seen are among those available for free download onto my iPod? No. No, it is not. I have, as of now, the premieres of Chuck, Reaper, and Bionic Woman sitting on my TiFaux. Not sure when I'll get to them - or to the season premieres of The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, My Name Is Earl, or The Office, all of which are, or will be, sitting waiting to be watched as well.
So - what of the two sitcoms?
Big Bang Theory
I've read a lot of complaints about how the nerds aren't "real." Seriously? How many sitcom characters are "real?" They may be one-dimensional, but so were (at first) Sam Malone, Cliffy, Frasier, Carla, Diane - to name just one show populated by broad types who probably didn't really accurately reflect actual people. The pilot of Big Bang Theory is by no means deep or brilliant, but it is a solid enough set up. The show that emerges from that pilot could be good, decent, or bad, but it's not doomed from the start by the fact that the "nerds" (or the dumb blond, for that matter) are stereotypes. and even in the pilot, the two main nerds show a very potential-laded chemistry, with the Asperger-lite qualities of Sheldon (I think it was Sheldon) coming across as a nice touch. That actor (yes, I am too lazy to look up his name, why do you ask?), has some very nice deliveries and line readings here as well. I'm not in love with this show, but I see potential.
Back to You
See the above? Same thing, pretty much. Decent, solid pilot that could lead to a great sitcom or a very weak one. On the plus side here are the expert stylings of Grammar and Heaton and Willard, who can take OK material and make it pretty good. And as so many critics have mocked the trite "Heaton's 10-year old is Grammar's kid!" twist of the pilot, I feel behooved to point out that both Heaton and Grammar managed to imbue that stock moment of discovery, when Grammar comes face to face with the daughter he never knew he had, with real, subtle emotion (albeit still sitcom-styled). I'll say it again. I'm not in love with this show, but I see potential.