Sunday, October 2, 2011

CBS Sitcom Gentleman has Laughs and a Message

David Hornsby and Kevin Dillon
How to Be a Gentleman, the new CBS sitcom, starts off with a bang, a big bang.  The network gave it the plum spot following The Big Bang Theory Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

I hope that's enough because there's an important message delivered through the comedy in this one.

In Gentleman, our hero is Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby, also creator, executive producer ), a young, refined columnist for a men's magazine reeling from the break-up of his engagement.  Now,  his boss, played by Dave Foley (News Radio), informs him that the mag's new owners are lowering its demographic to the least common denominator - those who don't read.

Andrew, thin, pale yet well-dressed with niceness and distinction, is forced to conform and sets off on a mission to man up - or down.

In the first episode he meets up with an old classmate, gym owner Kevin Dillon (Entourage) who becomes a life coach for macho.

Andrew is also prodded by his sister, Janet (24's Mary Lynn Rajskub) who recalls her brother's childhood schoolyard victimizations to spur him to toughness.  (Her side story is a bit messed up.  She has a wimpy husband who follows her as she has a fun-filled dinner with a male co-worker.)

How to Be a Gentleman might not be the best thing since the Sheldon and Leonard crew of nerds arrived at CBS, but it has a solid cast, decent writing and a worthy premise.

For those who miss having their phone calls returned and actual RSVPs, it's validating, yet bittersweet, and hopefully entertaining.  Gentleman offers a chuckle while reminding us of the lost art of manners and decorum, both missing of late from reel and real life.

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