In the US: Fox, Wednesdays, 9.30pm ET/PT. Starts September 10th
There is a strange astral body that orbits the Fox network in the US. It’s called the "Galactic Ball of Sitcom Suckiness". It purges any Fox sitcom of even the slightest trace of comedy and makes you wish for the cold release of death as you watch it.
Now we have Do Not Disturb, which while initially sounding like a comedy about an intrepid working party looking at the small print of the Lisbon Treaty, is actually set in a hotel. Starring Jerry O’Connell (Jerry Maguire, Sliders, Carpoolers), one of the funny ones from The Class and no one else of real interest, it is exactly the same as every other offensively poor Fox sitcom you’ve ever seen.
DO NOT DISTURB (working title) is a hilarious workplace comedy set at one of New York City’s hottest and hippest hotels: The Inn. Named one of the Big Apple’s "10 Best Places to Stay," The Inn is just that – the "in" place to be, with its chic decor, stylish staff and celebrity clientele. Behind the scenes, however, the upstairs/downstairs dynamic tells quite a different story.
Is it any good?
Tell me you weren’t instantly awed by how poor that sounded. Because it is poor. It’s very, very poor indeed.
Filmed in front of the kind of studio audience/canned laughter machine that would probably whoop with hysterical laughter if Angolan mercenaries shot half of them then threatened to blowtorch the nether regions of everyone else, Do Not Disturb is the same multi-camera, studio sitcom that you’ve seen a zillion times before.
We have a stock range of stereotypes (the black woman, the gay guy, the dumb pretty woman, the fat woman, the dumb pretty guy) and then tries to be funny by making politically incorrect jokes. The pretty woman is only mean because she doesn’t eat anything; the gay guy is always on the phone to his boyfriend, saying things like "I wish I wasn’t the wife"; the black woman is always being sassy and waving her finger – and everyone’s always saying "Oh, you’re being sassy and waving your finger. Is it because you is black?"; and the fat woman is really nice and just wants to sing, but can’t because no one likes a fatty.
It’s only funny because it’s true! Oh wait, I’m getting a message. Apparently, it’s not. True or funny, that is.
Most of the show’s problems can be firmly levelled at the script, rather than the cast who are largely wasted. O’Connell has shown plenty of comic talent elsewhere, but here he’s playing his sexually harrassing, (fat) woman hating, tyrant boss as camp for some reason. But he’s not awful and neither is anyone else. It’s just they have nothing to work with.
Unless Fox decides to have the entire pilot re-written and the cast given characters to work with that couldn’t have been randomly generated from every other failed sitcom the US has ever produced, this is going to be something to avoid like a crazed monkey who’s just been dipped in the Ebola tank.
Here’s a video clip or two (UPDATE: Or four). You’ll see what I mean.