The Telefile

The Exes: Don’t Mess With Exes

by Angel Cohn December 1, 2011 6:04 am
<I>The Exes</I>: Don’t Mess With Exes

The Exes is yet another predictable, banal addition to the TV Land lineup. It's got familiar faces (Kristen Johnston, Wayne Knight and Donald Faison). It's got a laugh track. It's got a quirky, but not edgy premise. It's a multi-camera comedy. It's got lame one-liner jokes. And it's the most sitcom-y sitcom that ever did live.

Kristen Johnston is a divorce attorney who helps out sad-sack men by hooking them up with an apartment she rents out. She's full-service that way. Faison and Knight (a.k.a Turk and Newman) live together in comfortable silence (Faison's a ladies' man; Knight is an avid eBay seller) but they reluctantly let Stuart (David Alan Basche) join their little club. Stuart is a little clingy, but he makes breakfast, so they deal with him.

I'd rather watch that show about Fran Drescher living with her gay ex-husband -- and that show was terrible. The Exes is just sad for all parties involved, particularly Eden (Kelly Stables), a teeny-tiny Kristen Chenoweth-clone who is there for "jokes" about being slutty and short. It's like someone took Samantha from Sex and the City and miniaturized everything about her, including her humor and raciness.

I watched the second episode in advance, since sometimes pilots are rough and anything with Donald Faison deserves a second chance, and I was remarkably disappointed. It's essentially a version of The Mary Tyler Moore Show's "Toulouse-Lautrec Is One of My Favorite Artists" with a lot of tall/short jokes at the expense of Johnson and a jockey, respectively, but completely devoid of the charm of that classic series (which also airs on TV Land). It's somehow worse than the first episode, with Stuart even less likable and more desperate.

I'm pretty sure I won't be giving The Exes a third shot. My love for Donald Faison runs deep (after all, I suffered through the last few seasons of Scrubs), but not that deep.

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