Thursday, October 30, 2003

Now that we've had the first official cancellation of the Fall 2003 season, I suppose it's about time that I get on the ball and start reviewing some of them (before they're all gone)

And what better way to kick off the season of reviews than with the very first cancelled show, Luis, starring everyone's favorite Hey, It's That Guy!, Luis Guzmán. Now, I like Luis Guzmán as much as the next guy, and in most cases, significantly more. It certainly doesn't hurt that he tends to show up in the works of Steven Soderbergh and P. T. Anderson, but, even when appearing in lesser works, does an admirable job of improving the situation, which, really, is the sign of a truly impressive character actor.

So I shudder to think what this sitcom would be like if it starred, say, Paul Rodriguez as an irascible doughnut shop/apartment building owner. As it is, it's dreadful. Luis's daughter dates a listless white painter. Luis doesn't like him. Funny! Luis kicks him out of his apartment building. Funny! Luis comes to a reconciliation with his daughter. Touching!

It's pretty apparent that they're going for a tell-it-like-it-is All In The Family style sitcom, which has never been done well. Have you tried watching All In The Family lately? It hasn't aged well. In fact, I would hazard that of all the "beloved" sitcoms of the 70's and 80's it's the hardest to sit through today. If you're going to lift liberally from an old sitcom, make it a good one. Who wouldn't want to see Luis Guzmán find a sexy young djinni in a bottle? Or Luis Guzmán married to a witch? Or Luis Guzmán trapped on an island with Jim Backus (either a Weekend at Bernie's-style romp with Jim Backus' corpse or a digitally reanimated Jim Backus -- your call)? I should totally be a TV executive. Maybe my shows would stay on past October...

Rating: D- (I can't quite bring myself to give Luis Guzmán an 'F')

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees



Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip


The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State


13 Going On 30



Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper


Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case



Joan of Arcadia



Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island



To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeño Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life


Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar


Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club


The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland



The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito



Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down


Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes


That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos


Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center


American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides