KEVIN” CAN DO THE UNTHINKABLE ON AMC; NBC FALL TV REVIEW

KEVIN” CAN DO THE UNTHINKABLE ON AMC; NBC FALL TV REVIEW

A TV Review by Tim Riley

KEVIN CAN F**K HIMSELF” ON AMC

The shopworn premise of the sitcom that involves a loutish husband with a beautiful, long-suffering wife has been a staple of network television forever, but AMC network’s “Kevin Can F**K Himself” turns that on its ear.In style alone, this series differs from tradition as it alternates between multi-camera sitcom (complete with laugh track) and single-camera drama when the focus is on the beleaguered wife’s simmering despair. While the husband in this new series, Kevin McRoberts (Eric Petersen), is a jackass man-child, his wife Allison (Annie Murphy) becomes increasingly desperate to escape from a marriage that seems to have doomed her to a life of servitude.

In the blue-collar McRoberts household, Kevin is a cable guy whose aspiration is to move into fiber optics, while Allison works at a liquor store and dreams of becoming a homeowner in a better neighborhood.At their home in Worcester, Massachusetts, Kevin is so obsessed with Boston sports teams that he auditions candidates for a Tom Brady look-alike for an anniversary party and hangs out all the time with his dimwitted best friend Neil (Alex Bonifer) and his dad (Brian Howe).

Joining the men for much of the time spent in the McRoberts living room and kitchen is Neil’s hairstylist sister Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden), who seems more tolerant of the Neanderthal men. The tone of the series takes a darker turn when Allison is alone, either at home or wandering around town and going to work. Acquiescence to Kevin’s whims and reckless choices is replaced by acts of defiance and expressions of seething rage.Learning from Patty that Kevin has depleted her savings account and lied about their finances, Allison begins to plot revenge that is either wishful thinking or could lead down into a very dangerous rabbit hole. Kevin Can F**K Himself,” much like the show’s racy title, is outside the norm of a comedy centered on the oafish husband and the perfect housewife; it’s more like social commentary on how a scorned wife can deliver the middle finger to convention.

NBC FALL TV REVIEW

Information about the upcoming NBC fall season remains less than complete in its details, and maybe we can blame that on the pandemic as one more reason the natural order of things has been upended.Looking at the fall schedule, if it were not for legendary television producer Dick Wolf, who has created enough franchises for more than one network, NBC would have a gaping hole in its weekly lineup. Wolf’s “Law & Order” franchise, with its 30-year history, is the most successful brand in television. Thursday nights will run “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” with “Law & Order: For the Defense” joining as the newest entry.

For the Defense” takes an unflinching look inside a criminal defense firm. The series will put the lawyers – and the criminal justice system – under the microscope like only “Law & Order” can, delivering hard-hitting stories that provide a new vantage point on justice. A massive sinkhole in Los Angeles that pulls hundreds of people and buildings into an abyss is the premise for “La Brea,” where the victims find themselves in a perilous and mystifying primeval land.While the rest of the world is trying to solve the mystery of this catastrophe, one family that is torn apart by separating mother and son from father and daughter will have to figure out where they are and how to get back home.

Life is a series of choices, some good, some bad and others that could go either way. The heart-warming drama “Ordinary Joe” explores the three parallel lives of the main character (James Wolk) after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. Ordinary Joe” poses the question of how different life might look if you made your decision based on love, loyalty, or passion. We don’t know if the series would expect the audience to ponder their own choices, but maybe it will stimulate some self-reflection. For decades, NBC ran a comedy block on Thursday nights, but come this fall not only are Thursdays now in the Dick Wolf drama orbit but the network will not be filling any other nights with comedy series.Does this mean comedy is DOA at NBC? Not at all. The laughs are on hold until the midseason, at which time “Mr. Mayor,” “Kenan,” and “Young Rock” are expected to return. As a bonus, the final season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” drops after the flame goes out on the Summer Olympics.One new midseason series is the workplace comedy “American Auto,” where the executives at a Detroit automotive company flounder as they try to rediscover the company identity amidst a rapidly changing industry.

The aptly named “Ground Crew” is an ensemble comedy about a group of young Black friends trying to navigate the ups and downs of life and love in Los Angeles while spending a lot of time at their favorite wine bar.