Out of all the “Friends” to come back to the small screen Matthew Perry is by far my favorite friend. Oh sure I have enjoyed watching Courtney and her new friends drink gallons of wine every Wednesday night on Cougar Town and yes, I have discovered that I enjoy watching Matt LeBlanc play Matt LeBlanc in Episodes, but let’s face it, they are no Chandler Bing, no wait I meant to say they are no Ben Donovan. Oh who cares he’s back and I for one am thrilled about it.
It might be fair to say that Mr. Sunshine is a horribly written, produced, directed, and acted show and still none of that would matter to me because I am head over heels for every actor on the show. So yeah my opinion here is going to be a little biased. Thankfully for all the viewers that don’t do back flips every time Allison Janney is on the screen (mental backflips so count, I don’t care what anyone says) the show is good, damn good. The kind of good that makes you glad once again for the 30 minute comedy. And it has clowns people, clowns. Ooh and elephants and children being thrown at the clowns. It makes me want to quit my job so I can go work at a sports arena. Screw Disneyland. The Sunshine Center is the happiest place on earth. They have the circus and The Boss, I mean really does it get any better than that? Well except for the clowns unless they are the Killer Clowns from Outer Space variety I don’t have much use for them.
Mr. Sunshine centers around Ben Donovan, played by Matthew Perry, as the manager of a sports arena who has come to the realization that he is for all purposes a self-obsessed narcissist. Fun stuff I know. Which is ironic considering the people he works with can be seen the same way and yet he considers himself to be better than them, more caring and likable somehow and the thing is he manages to pull it off. The episode doesn’t end with the audience hoping he will fail and fall flat on his face. No we want him to see him grow as a person, just slowly.
Joining Ben is his boss and owner of the arena Crystal Cohen played by Allison Janney (The West Wing, Juno). Have I mentioned how much I adore Allison Janney? I have, well never mind then. His friends w/benefits coworker Alice played by Andrea Anders (Better Off Ted). A former basketball player turned all around happy PR guy Alonzo, played by James Lesure (Las Vegas). Crystal’s slow witted never before mentioned son Roman, played by Nate Torrence (She’s Out of my League).
Now Mr. Sunshine is not without it’s downsides. At times it feels as though we have seen Ben’s character before and it runs the risks of falling in to the Ross & Rachel trap. I don’t know about the rest of you but that is one trap that is so played out that I hope it never gets played again. While I have no problem with the person finding his way to being a better person I wonder how long it can last before you begin to feel as though we have “been there, seen that.” But the one thing this show has going for it that other comedies don’t have is an obsessive LOST superfan as an Executive Producer, Creator, and star of the show so I have a feeling we can expect lots of LOST easter eggs and former actors to find their way to the Sunshine Arena. My final rating is:
Time to start keeping up with this could be classic. If you don’t you’ll have no clue what all the cool kids are taking about.
Until next time,