Thursday, August 03, 2017

Previewing The Guest Book

Greg Garcia’s My Name Is Earl was the single funniest Pilot I have ever seen. I came away from watching first episode of Greg Garcia’s The Guest Book thinking, well that certainly was not the funniest thing I have ever seen. Actually I am not sure it was funny at all. But the thing is, The Guest Book is sort of an anthology with different people staying at a cottage. Sure the townspeople stay the same, but if you do not like one episode, the main characters will be gone by the next episode. Of course if you hate the townspeople, you are out of luck. The end of each episode even teases the next tenant involving a musical montage performed by a duo house band at the local strip bar. So when Rizzo talks about doing something to the chick from 24 that could land herself in jail, I figured, fine, I will give it another try.

The second episode opened with maybe the most creative “previous on” package that I can remember (except for Braindead’s musical recaps) which anyone who watches too much television and wants someone to talk about it with can relate to. Then what Rizzo ended up doing to the chick from 24 is something you will never guess. Then the episode end with, oh, hello Kellie Martin, where have you been? Becca Thatcher was a seminal figure of my youth, she then did ER. But where has she been since? (According to IMDB, she has basically been in made for television movie hell for almost two decades). Since she is the town’s cop, she is one of the few people who sticks around for the season. She sets a speed trap for the next group to stay at the cabin including the dude from Dexter, the chick from Casual, and the guy from You’re the Worst.

As you can guess so far, the weekly guests are a who’s who of actors you probably know but have no clue what their real names are: Abed from Community! Pam from The Office!! Mags Bennett from Justified!!! But it was not until the chick from My Name Is Earl shows up as a former porn star who is going on vacation for the first time with her new boyfriend and his kid that I realized I was really enjoying the show. That episode kicks off a string of great and weird episodes including an Alzheimer’s patient who new treatment goes to well and a guy who throws a surprise first date.

And maybe that is what I did not like about the first episode is that it was not as weird as the later episode in that it features the very worn out plot of guy and his overbearing wife. The final episode of the episode does not actually feature any new guests but the townspeople become front and center because of something big and shocking in the penultimate episode. But the ending left me hoping the Guest Book gets to get opened again for a second season. Hopefully Jason Lee can grow a bushy mustache by then for a cameo.

The Guest Book airs Thursdays at 10:00 on TBS.

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