The problem with “Mr. Mayor ”, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s new sitcom, isn’t Ted Danson himself. It’s the almost irresistible temptation to imagine that the new mayor of Los Angeles is secretly Sam Malone, or Michael the Architect, or the fictional Ted Danson from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” or whatever he played for. all those seasons of “CSI” As it stands, neither Danson’s impeccable timing nor his internal tub of charisma can make up for the squeaky similarity of “Mr. Mayor ”nor his bland central figure. Swap with one of those other guys, though, and as “Arrested Development” fictional Carl Weathers might say, “You’ve got a stew.
All this to say that, in the two episodes planned at least for the critics, there is a marked lack of meat in “Mr. Mayor ”, a sitcom with staggering levels of unsatisfied potential. His weaknesses are most apparent at the character level, a circumstance that makes his prominent cast as much a blessing as a liability, and which underscores the stereotypical nature of the premise. There is nothing wrong with a formula. This is especially true in the land of sitcoms. Formulas become familiar because they work, and that familiarity becomes fertile ground for experimentation, innovation, and meta-humor. “Mr. Mayor” will likely remind you of other sitcoms as you watch, and that’s a feature, not a bug; I imagine the phrase “30 Rock meets Parks & Rec” was tossed around a lot while the series The problem is not the nature of the series’ formula, but the fact that it looks like a formula and nothing else, and the presence of actors like Danson and Holly Hunter only makes making its hollow all the more apparent. ”It’s an experience that leads to thoughts like this: I bet“ Mr. Mayor ”would be great, if it was actually“ The Good Place ”.
That said, two episodes – and those two episodes will air consecutively, which essentially makes this a long pilot – aren’t much to do, so it’s possible, if not likely, that the series will live up to its premise. of crackerjack. . Billboard mogul Neil Bremer (Danson), a retired billionaire, decides to run for mayor of Los Angeles after the madness of 2020 caused the former mayor to melt, quit, jump in the nearest taxi and ask the taxi driver to drive straight into the ocean. His daughter Orly (Kyla Kenedy from “Speechless”) has also entered the political fray, running for the second-year presidency, and although her father’s position complicates matters, her frustration is nothing compared to that of ‘Arpi Meskimen (Hunter), a long-standing progressive town. Board member whose fury at the success of an inexperienced billionaire drives her to immediately call herself a full-time thorn in her side. It also makes her a problem for Bremer staff: Chief of Staff Mikaela Shaw (Vella Lovell of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), a social media prodigy who can’t believe she had this rich jester elected; perplexed strategist Tommy Tomás (Mike Cabellon); and Jayden Kwapis, a holdover from the last administration and a Kenneth the Page / Jerry Gergich hybrid played with a wonderfully laid back Bobby Moynihan air. Hijinks ensue.