After trying to launch a brand around Conan that did not have the words “Tyler” and “Perry” attached to it, TBS finally had a moderate success with the recent renewal of Men At Work. Sure the show did not light the world on fire and was ignored by critics, but enough people did watch the traditional sitcom. The network tries to keep the momentum going tonight now that Men at Work had its finale last week with the introduction of Sullivan and Son.
Like the show whose timeslot it is taking over, Sullivan and Son is a traditional sitcom in the eightiest way possible. How eighties sitcom: The Wonder Years Dan Lauria plays the father. If that is not old school enough for you, the show also features Bill’s brother Brian Doyle-Murray. And it does not get more traditional than pluck the lead from a comedy club with minimal acting experience, in this case stand up Steve Byrne (who studied at my alma mater Kent State University).
On Sullivan and Son, Byrne is a successful corporate lawyer with the perfect job and perfect girlfriend who bringer her home to meet the family on his father’s birthday. It is while he is there he learns that his father (Lauria) had decided to sell the family bar which prompts Byrne to ditch his cushy New York lifestyle to move back to Pittsburg and buy the bar from his father. Unfortunate his girlfriend (played by the same actress that Kat Dennings nannied for on 2 Broke Girls) does not stick around because she was the most entertaining part of the premiere and much more entertaining than Byrne’s high school crush, and probable future love interest played by Valerie Azlynn (Welcome to the Captain).
Apparently the club in question is in the most racially diverse neighborhood in Pittsburg because it is patroned by every ethnicity you can think of (except for Indians; native or foreign), Byrne himself is a mix of Irish and Korean, while Murray plays the local racist who makes fun of all of them. And they are all brought together by their love of drink whenever they can. One of the first jokes is even a drinking while pregnant joke which is promptly followed up by a drunk EMT joke. Much like Men of Work, you probably will only want to tune in if you miss the more traditional sitcoms of the eighties and nineties. Or you just like watching people drink. Hey that worked for Cheers.
Sullican and Son airs Thursdays at 10:00 on TBS (with back to back episodes tonight).