“Worst Week”
Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.
CBS
1 out of 5 Stars

“Worst Week” may be TV’s most appropriately titled show.

CBS has yet again premiered a show with poor acting, an unoriginal plot and lame jokes. Yet, somehow this show will manage to stick around like a pesky fly because of its prime spot after the unexplainably successful “Two and a Half Men.”

“Worst Week” is about Sam, played by Kyle Bornheimer (“Blades of Glory”), a magazine editor who’s a nice guy with an unlucky streak. After proposing to his pregnant girlfriend, Mel (Erinn Hayes, “The Winner”), Sam has to tell his fiancée’s parents the news. There’s just one problem; whenever Sam is around Mel’s parents, all hell breaks loose. In a single episode, he crashes their car, urinates in their kitchen, and lights a portrait on fire. Suffice to say, the happy couple didn’t share their good news with Mel’s parents.

The premise is a poor emulation of “Meet the Parents,” except the lead character — believe it or not — is more endearing and manages to earn some genuine laughs. In the pilot episode of “Worst Week,” there wasn’t enough focus on Sam’s personality; therefore, he appears to be just a dumb guy making bad decisions. Like “Parents,” Sam gets in sticky situations that make him look like a perverse, bumbling idiot. These situations aren’t funny; they’re simply unwatchable. Seeing Sam leak on the family dinner in the middle of the night doesn’t get laughs here — it’s just downright crass.

“Worst Week,” the U.S. version of the BBC’s “Worst Week of My Life,” doesn’t deliver humor in a refreshing way. Instead, it regurgitates, somewhat literally, infantile humor that’s been used time and time again in low-brow comedy. While avoiding taking risks, the show delivers a formulated storyline with recycled jokes from successful movies in the same vein of “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” On top of its staleness, “Worst Week” is predictable. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out Sam is about to unleash outrageous mayhem when the camera pans to a candle next a portrait of Mel’s father.

The show’s one redeeming quality is Mel’s father, Dick, played by Kurtwood Smith. His character is reminiscent of his curmudgeonly portrayal of Red Forman on “That 70’s Show.” His sarcastic remarks and no-nonsense personality slightly offset the rest of trite characters and poor acting elsewhere. His angry reactions to Sam’s predicaments earn “Worst Week” its only laughs. Bornheimer’s physical comedy is upstaged by Smith’s dry act in almost every gag. Regrettably, Smith’s performance cannot solely save this train wreck of a show.

“Worst Week” is uninteresting due to its limited plot. Awkward — not to mention disgusting — situations won’t get any funnier with time. In order for the show to develop, it has to take a different direction, especially considering Sam and Mel have to eventually tell her parents their news. How many worst weeks can a guy really have? There’s only one way to find out how Sam will survive his future in-law’s wrath. Unfortunately when subjecting yourself to this show, you’ll risk lowering your own IQ.

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