Third-episode verdict: Cavemen

The Carusometer for Cavemen4-Major-Caruso

It’s a special, custom Carusometer for Cavemen, thanks to ABC’s somewhat interesting choice of shooting a pilot, deciding they didn’t like it that much and getting a load of other episodes shot to precede it. The pilot’s airing fifth, but since I’ve now seen three episodes with The Carusometer, I’m going to pass a third-episode verdict. This way, I’m not going to have to watch any more episodes.

The show’s simply not that funny. It occasionally has a few moments of intelligence, when it exposes stereotypes and racist behaviour through people’s attitudes to the cavemen – as well as the cavemen’s own attitudes. The characters are affable enough. But for the most part, it just doesn’t make you laugh. It’s just people chiselling away the word “black” in the scripts, replacing it with “cavemen”, and hoping we laugh at the cleverness of it all – and not notice that there aren’t any actors from ethnic minorities playing any significant parts, despite the show being about racism.

And yes, it’s another show about slackers. Why this sudden craze in programming, I wonder? And will anyone find a decent way of making it funny?

The Medium is Not Enough hereby declares Cavemen is a 4 or “Major Caruso” on The Carusometer quality scale. A Major Caruso corresponds to “a show that David Caruso might exec produce or star in after seeing an advert on television featuring cavemen. However, after deciding that cavemen are too dirty and too likely to vote Democrat, he changes the format of the show to be about a hard-working Polish actor, played by himself, who fights the terrible prejudice that exists in society towards people with red hair and who can’t act.”


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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