Forecast on “Mr. Sunshine” still looks cloudy

By Tom Comi

One of the toughest things about watching TV is determining how many episodes you are willing to give a new show before deciding if you are going to add it to your coveted weekly viewing calendar.

That’s the dilemma I am currently facing with the comedy Mr. Sunshine (tonight, 9:30 pm ET). I’ve always been a fan of both Matthew Perry and Allison Janney, so I was excited when ABC announced that they were appearing together in show about the folks who run the day-to-day operations at a sports/entertainment arena.

I would be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that I have yet to find the comedy in the first few episodes of this situation-comedy. Delivering one-liners was Perry’s calling card on Friends, but his delivery seems forced and awkward in this new venture. And Janney, who we all remember as cerebral White House spokesperson C.J. Cregg on The West Wing, comes off as kind of a buffoon in her portrayal as the arena owner.

You would think there would be a ton of great plot ideas for a show that revolves around a facility that hosts everything from sporting events to the circus to rock concerts. Sadly, that has yet to be the case early on.

That said, I do understand that new sitcoms need some time to establish their characters and storylines, so I am willing to endure a few more episodes to allow the cast, writers and director to work out the kinks and find their stride.

In tonight’s episode, Perry’s character Ben (who runs the arena) tries to get to know his employees better in order to establish a better working relationship. This sounds like it has the potential to be pretty humorous, so this is one borderline fan who is hoping they pull it off.

If they don’t, I’d say there is only a 50-percent chance that Mr. Sunshine will be in my 7-day outlook.


Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC