HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
MARCH 18, 2005 15
JISIOI1 BRIAN MOYLAN
ABC's new Thursday night sitcom 'Jake in
Progress' wastes John Stamos in a cheap,
comedy-free 'Sex and the City' knockoff.
No signs of 'Progress'
"SEX AND THE CITY" WAS MORE
than a television show; it was a cultural
phenomenon. That statement may seem a
bit outrageous, but the now-defunct HBO
comedy about four women living and loving in New York really did influence how
America thinks about fashion, comedy
and women on television.
Now this successful formula, concocted
by gay creators Darren Star and Michael
Patrick King, is being borrowed by less
talented imitators, with miserable results.
ABC's "Jake in Progress" is being billed
as "Same city, different sex," which itself
is a rip-off of "The L Word's" smart marketing campaign "Same sex, different city."
"Jake" is meant to be "Sex and the
City" from a male perspective. ABC
offered a preview (two episodes) of the
sitcom last Sunday, March 6, before
debuting in its 8 p.m. time slot on
Thursday, March 17.
The show stars John Stamos (who is
aging quite well) as Jake Phillips, a slick
PR guy and king of the one-night stand
who generally charms his way through
life without encountering any obstacles.
For some reason that isn't fully developed,
Jake decides that there's got to be more to
life than quickie romances and sets out to
find a more substantial relationship.
While on this quest, he has to juggle
his needy celebrity clients, his pregnant
boss (the fabulous Wendie Malick from
"Just Shoot Me"), his married best friend
(Ian Gomez) and his weird, neurotic sidekick (Rick Hoffman).
"JAKE" ISN'T EVEN COOL ENOUGH
to be one of Carrie Bradshaw's (Sarah
Jessica Parker) castoffs. The character's
greatest problem is, like Carrie's Mr. Big,
he says he wants to change, but he reaUy
doesn't. While he's looking for "the one"
he keeps cycling through women, like in
the old days. Talk is cheap, Jakey-poo.
Also, the ensemble on "Jake" is not really an ensemble at all. Carrie was always
the anchor of "Sex," but it was equally
about her three friends and their relationships with men (and sometimes women)
and each other. But when the lead character's name is in the show's title and everyone else on screen merely serves to aid his
egomaniacal quest, it all falls short.
The show also suffers from severe
comedic anemia. "Sex," often sweet and
touching with its quirky, stylish characters, who were always fabulous, was
'Jake in Progress'
Thursdays at 7 pm.
John Stamos is the only attractive thing about ABC's
new Jake in Progress,' which airs Thursdays at 8 pm.
laugh-out-loud funny Through two
episodes of "Jake," be grateful if you
even crack a smile.
AND THEN THERE'S THE GAY ISSUE.
In the second episode, Jake wrestles with
his clients, "Three Gay-migos," a design
trio that is obviously an offshoot of
"Queer Eye's" Fab Five. One of the "Gay-
migos" is actually straight and has to
come out to his co-workers. The result is
a cute storyline where the tables are
reversed and the straight man has to
come out of the closet.
This plot could be appealing, but it is
ruined by the "Gay-migos," who are
stereotypical ly effeminate, even more so
than their real-life counterparts. And
just to really offend gay viewers, the
straight guy affects a lisp, a high-pitched
voice and sashays in his role as a gay
designer. Of course, he loses these qualities when being "true to himself" as a
"Jake," my darling, if you were reaUy
comfortable with gay people, there
wouldn't be a need for such simplistic
and predictably offensive gags.
The most offensive aspect of "Jake
and the City," however is that it dared to
compare itself to "Sex and the City." By
itself, it's just another mediocre network
sitcom. Next to "Sex," it is dwarfed in
"IN A WORD,
The Nen York, i
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Wednesday, March 23
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