Preview: Our Thirties

Our Thirties

In the US: ABC, not yet scheduled (although TV.com reckons 1st September)

In the UK: Not yet acquired

Last sitcom of the day, Our Thirties (aka Our 30’s) is another Friends ‘homage’. Its simple premise is that people in their 30s have already done interesting things and have plenty of back-story, so a sitcom about a group of 30-year-olds will therefore be interesting. Plus kids are all on the Internet these days, leaving only people in their 30s watching tele.

It’s not a theory that holds much water. But Our 30’s does have one saving grace – Peter Serafinowicz. Yes, the voice of Darth Maul and star of Look Around You, Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and numerous other fabulous British comedies has made his way across the Atlantic to appear in a US sitcom. And doesn’t he do well?

Plot-wise, there’s not much happening with Our 30’s. It’s a group of friends. They live in San Francisco. One’s a commitment-phobe who’s finally making the plunge – of giving his long-time girlfriend a doorkey. Two have been married since they were 18, but they’ve just got divorced so they can live all the experiences they missed out on in their 20s. Another is getting married – to a gay guy. And the final two are happily single.

Serafinowicz plays a British guy who moved to the US to pick up girls – in the UK, he’s nothing special; in the US, he’s that exotic foreigner with the accent. Trouble is, he’s falling in love with a bartender who doesn’t want to know him – mainly because he’s forgotten about their one-night-stand 11 years previously.

It’s all acceptable stuff. There’s nothing too sparkling, but there are occasional moments of humour. There’s even the occasional directing flourish, but it’s studio audience + harsh lighting stuff for the most part.

As for the cast, most of them have the comedic timing of a Galapagos Islands tortoise, so it’s only really Serafinowicz who raises any laughs. But even his performance is flawed whenever he tries to do serious – clearly he knows that all is not well in Our 30’s.

If they can somehow make this the Peter Serafinowicz show, instead of an even-hander between seven not desperately interesting, not terribly convincing characters, it’ll do well. However, given the last sitcom with a token British actor (Teachers featuring Sarah Alexander) tanked after three episodes, the odds are not in this one’s favour.

UPDATE: This pilot hasn’t been picked up for series. Bad luck Peter!