CBS had high hopes of bringing a big name talent back to TV. And Robin Williams is a well loved big name, but right from the starting gate, the new David E. Kelley produced dramedy, THE CRAZY ONES, seemed like an ill fit for the CBS comedy lineup on Thursday night, with few real laughs, despite a very handsome production quality. THE CRAZY ONES always had a rich production look, and the scripts often seemed like pure genius, but somehow the show wasn’t much fun. Right from the first episode I was quick to vote thumbs down on the show, even writing to CBS how much I hated this new show, despite my love for Robin Williams, who always seemed too contained by the script here. Robin Williams is a rich talent who always does best when he’s allowed to be himself, and go into a comedy zone and just let the jokes flow. This script just boxed in Robin Williams too much.
As a movie, THE CRAZY ONES might have worked. Movies are a one-shot attempt to establish some premise and make it work compared to sit-coms which are half hour attempts to start with a premise and hang some jokes on for a few laughs and then another half hour comedy comes on. David E. Kelley had previous success stories with dramedy hits such as ALLY McBEAL, but THE CRAZY ONES always read like a MAD MEN wanna-be.
NBC’s attempt to bring Michael J. Fox miserably fell short. And likewise for CBS, Robin Williams had his immense talent wasted in the wrong script as well. Both networks discovered that bringing big name talent doesn’t work if the script is wrong,