In CBS’s new comedy, “The Stones,” Mr. and
Mrs. Stone are splitting up after 25 years of marriage but decide
to still live under the same roof. They drive each other nuts, just
not enough for either to want to move out or to stop having sex.
Also living in the house are the 20-something kids, creating a
bizarre dysfunctional mix that the show’s creators hope will
be funny. Unfortunately, the show falls flat on its face.

Judith Light (“Who’s the Boss”) returns to
sitcoms as brittle Barbara Stone with comedian Robert Klein
(“Mad About You”) playing her deadpan soon-to-be
ex-husband. The Stones’ fighting is pretty tame, with a major
bone of contention being a petty dislike of each other’s
unwanted body hair. Klein and Light are funny enough actors but are
seriously in need of some good writing. It seems like the Stones
would be perfectly happy staying married and just arguing
often.

In the pilot, the Stones tell their children that they are
divorcing during their own 25th wedding anniversary celebration.
This disturbs the grown son and daughter, prompting them to go home
and show their parents a slide show of happier times. Even after
this, the parents still decide to divorce and be friends with
benefits.

The younger generation of Stones doesn’t come off as well
as Barbara and Stan. Daughter Karly (Lindsay Sloane, “Bring
it On”) seems flighty and clueless when she’s supposed
to be smart and free-spirited. Her brother, Winston (Jay Baruchel,
“Undeclared”), is a brainy scientist who goes overboard
with the awkward dork act. He’s a neat-freak graduate student
who can barely speak to a member of the opposite sex, making it
obvious why he’s still living at home. Winston squeaks and
gestures wildly every time he talks, becoming more irritating with
every scene.

Regardless of bland writing and sub-par acting, “The
Stones” finds its biggest problem in its premise. Even though
they like to fight, the Stones still seem to be attracted to each
other and their divorce winds up feeling pointless. They might as
well still be married. Karly says in the pilot, “It’s
like everything changed, but nothing changed” and she’s
right. There’s no real change in the characters’
situations, so the show seems pointless and becomes very boring as
a result.

 

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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