When a network ditches their first attempt at shooting a pilot, you would assume their shiny new rendition would be clear of any problems that dogged their earlier take. Unfortunately, that seems to not be the case with ABC’s Cavemen. And while I didn’t see the original panned pilot for the show, I can’t imagine how it was possibly worse than what aired last night.
Cavemen is loosely based on the inventive (at the time, like 3 years ago) Geico commercials that featured cavemen living amongst today’s society. The premiere was not only a huge departure from the quick-and-dirty Geico skits, but it was pretty serious as well – seriously unfunny and still, after all those tweaks, seriously offensive.
The trio of cavemen – brothers Joel (Bill English), Andy (Sam Huntington) and their best friend Nick (Nick Kroll) – are barbaric buddies who work, chill out and date amongst other broad activities. They also deal with race issues, as if “Caveman” is the new stereotype. Fair enough, until this idea is hammered through your head with the force of an anvil.
The commercials worked not only because they were 30 seconds, but also due to the Cro-Magnons’ having a strong sense of class and maturity – no dice here. The cavemen are really no different than your average 30-something dude hanging out with his friends…but with extra tufts of facial hair. And while that may be fun for the actors involved, it’s not funny to viewers.
The axe has been dangling above this show even before the first script was finalized, and this stumble out the gates doesn’t help matters.
In the end Cavemen is lifeless, dull, generic and any other word that sounds boring. It’s a DOA fossil launched into unsuspecting TV sets worldwide. Catch it Tuesdays on ABC at 8:00 EST.