Mini-review: The Crazy Ones 1×1 (CBS)

That's the audience, they're talking about

The Crazy Ones

In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, CBS

There will come a point when you’re watching The Crazy Ones, some time quite early on in the episode, where you’ll begin to wish for the sweet release of death. Anything to avoid having to watch the rest of the horror. And given the episode is only half an hour long and you could naturally just turn off the TV, to make the viewer wish for death that quickly is an impressive feat.

The Crazy Ones is a great example of how not to do an advertising show. Mad Men has already shown us how to do one well; Trust Me was fine if not brilliant; this monstrosity gives us Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle-Gellar as father and daughter advertising executives ‘humorously’ trying to come up with ideas for inspiring adverts.

Except the writer isn’t one of the many talented individuals behind Mad Men, it’s David E Kelley, whose talent appears to have shrivelled up of late, giving us saccharine-coated, misogyny-laden war crime after war crime in the form of The Wedding Bells, Harry’s Law, Wonder Woman, Monday Mornings and now this.

The result is we have to endure Williams riffing on old McDonald’s adverts using material that was out-of-date 20 years ago while Gellar just fusses around like she has no personality beyond ‘daughter of Robin Williams’. She does get to punch something and hurt herself, just to show symbolically that she may have been Buffy Summers once, but you don’t have to worry about her being a strong woman in anything Kelley puts together.

Oh yes, there’s Kelly Clarkson singing about meat and sex. No, really, they got Kelly Clarkson in to twerk about beef patties. She agreed to that, too.

The show’s got 15.5m viewers, which shows that you can pretty much put hate crimes, pictures of goldfish or soothing images of pine trees on CBS and people will still watch it in droves. But for the sake of your sanity and your family, do not watch this. Even this trailer is a threat to your life and it’s all the best bits from the pilot.


  • 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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