TV Review: Ground Floor, Series Premiere

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When I first turned on Bill Lawrence’s (creator of Scrubs and Cougar Town) latest sitcom Ground Floor, I was instantly offended by the blaring laugh track. That’s mostly due to the fact that I recognized the writing was great and the comedic timing was spot on, but the laugh track was completely killing my enjoyment. Thankfully after a few minutes, I got so into the show that I started to notice the laugh track less and less.

I was delighted by every minute of Ground Floor, glad to see a new comedy sprouting into existence. This year I’ve felt a severe lack of good comedies, with two of my favs (Suburgatory and Cougar Town) with no start date in site yet, Happy Endings cancelled, 30 Rock over, and New Girl completely destroying itself, the only comedies I look forward to these days are Brooklyn Nine-Nine and of course, Parks and Recreation.

Ground Floor Ep. 102 "OFF TO THE RACES"8/15/2013 ph: Danny Feld

As a person completely consumed by a love for television who aspires to write one of these great sitcoms one day, I consider Bill Lawrence one of my heroes. And being the pessimist that I am, I was actually afraid Ground Floor was going to disappoint. The truth is, the only thing wrong with Ground Floor is its laugh track. The comedy on the show is subtle, smart, witty, a little weird (though a very mild weird for a Bill Lawrence show), and captivating. The laugh track taunts the audience, ruining the subtle humor that would more easily take with a moment of silence. Instead, the laugh comes before the joke hits me, and I end up amused, but thrown off and not laughing.

We already know Skylar Astin is a giant bouncy house of charisma from Pitch Perfect. His portrayal of Brody, the top floor business man who needs to find a little more fun in his life, is no different. His female counterpart, Briga Heelan absolutely dazzles as the ground floor maintenance department receptionist (I think?) who is just living a fun life and thinks the guys who work on the top floor seem sad. And of course, John C. McGinley finally returns to TV (okay, so he was in a few episodes of Burn Notice last year. But who watches that show, really?), playing Brody’s boss. Don’t worry your pretty little heads here, he is 100% just playing a rehash of Dr. Perry Cox. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

"GROUND FLOOR"PilotTBSPh: Hopper Stone

Surrounding these three is a cast of diverse, strange, and hilarious characters, all of whom bring something unique to the table. Between the way the show is shot and the laugh track, it has this very old school sitcom feel, but the jokes feel modern and true to our generation’s humor. This gives Ground Floor an original feel.

Okay let’s face it. I’m in love with this show.

Comedies can be tough to judge by the pilot because a lot of times the good ones start out bad, and the bad ones start out good. But my good buddy Bill Lawrence has a good track record, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Ground Floor has to offer the rest of the season.

Now, if they would just get rid of that effing laugh track. Plz. kthx.

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