Me, Myself, and I Series Premiere Plot Summary:
The new CBS sitcom looks at Alex Riley at three different points in his life — as a semi-awkward teenager (IT’s Jack Dylan Grazer) who just moved to LA and is trying to fit in, as a newly divorced inventor and father (Bobby Moynihan) who is down on his luck, and as a post-heart attack tech mogul (John Laroquette).
Me, Myself, and I is a pretty inventive (no pun intended) sitcom for CBS. It bounces between three time periods, features three leading men, and has more heart, and charm than anything on the network’s current slate of shows.
Me, Myself, and I could’ve easily been a hot mess, especially given the show’s penchant for predictability. Of course, young Alex was going to make the wrong move with the girl of dreams, of course present day Alex was going to fail at his business pitch, and of course, future Alex was going to suddenly retire after his heart attack. It was painfully obvious all of these things would happen, and it definitely hurts the premiere.
Yet, all of these predictable plot points could’ve been exacerbated with bad acting, and forced transitions. However, the time hopping runs smoothly as the show makes logical leaps between past, present, and future. Every hop is motivated, and everything ties together smoothly. Nothing is crowbarred in.
And let’s not completely condemn the script on this show either, the show eschews cliches — Alex’s future step dad (Brian Unger), and step brother are actually pretty nice people (more on the dad later), Alex has a very strong relationship with his daughter (both in present, and future), and the ‘friction’ between Alex and his CFO/best friend (Jaleel White) is pretty bromantic.
Given CBS’ track record for going for lay-ups with its sitcoms, it would’ve been way too easy (and safe) for Alex’s new family to be jerks, and he have a contentious relationship with his daughter, and best friend. Instead, we’re given a positive spin, which really shows the heart of the series — as in it actually has one, and isn’t one big, depressive snark fest.
However, what makes this show so enjoyable is the performances.
Jack Dylan Grazer, who was absolutely perfect as Eddie in IT, is the perfect combination of awkward, distrusting, and yet at the same time, a wide-eyed romantic. Bobby Moynihan, is the heart of the series. He portrays Alex as an extremely likable, yet knowingly flawed, and frustrated adult. It’s extremely hard not to love his version of Alex as he’s a sympathetic character, and relatable character. John Laroquette wasn’t given as much to do in this episode, but he delivers a reserved and graceful performance as the elder Riley.
However, the best performance of the episode may have been from Daily Show alumni, Brian Unger. Unger imbues such warmth, heart, and deadpan humor into his role as Alex’s stepfather. Again, he could’ve easily been played the character as a jerk, but Unger plays it warm, fatherly, and real. He absolutely kills it in a scene where it seems like he’s ripping Alex’s favorite player, Michael Jordan, but only to show that even the greats need to “keep shooting” — a mantra Alex uses his entire life.
This is such a genuine moment that we can all connect with, and that’s what makes this show so good. It’s one of the most relatable sitcoms on television. While we are examining three time periods at once, we’re still presented a very human, a very realistic portrayal, and a very believable portrayal of a man’s life. There’s no outlandish caricatures bouncing around the scenes, there’s no unbelievable moments of ‘humor’ that can only be found on TV. It’s all fairly realistic.
Me, Myself, and I is a fresh sitcom that deserves your attention. This show has crazy good upside based on this premiere, and if it keeps its focus on character, and delivering a charming, and heartfelt story week-in, and week-out, it’s going to do really well for itself.
Rating: 7 out of 10