Untitled Laura Steinel Comedy
Logline: Centers around Jane, who is caught between trying to manage her charmingly incompetent human resources department and a new eccentric CEO who dreams of bringing the New Jersey plastics plant into the future.
Cast: Judy Greer, Patton Oswalt
Creators: Laura Steinel (Writer / CoEP), Jeff Schaffer (D/EP), Sue Naegle (EP)
Studios: 20th Century Fox TV
This one will star Married’s Greer and stand-up extraordinaire Oswalt. It’s got a lackluster logline about managing an HR department within an old-school plastics company. Yuk. But The Office did great with a paper company, so I’ll keep an open mind.
Jane runs the HR department at a plastics company full of wacky employees. She has a kid. Her day is spent dealing with issues like tracking down a sandwich stealer. Coffee is mentioned often. Things change a bit when Sam (Oswalt) shows up on the scene, and threatens to change the culture by adding innovation (while wearing cycling gear). Will he succeed?
Office Comedies live and die by characterization. For example, Murphy Brown had insanely good characterization. So too does Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office, Parks and Recreation, etc. Laura Steinel’s pilot, unfortunately, comes up a little short. Characters are a little off, but not in the good/specific way where you want to see more of that characterization. I’m sure Greer will do great, but she is definitely stuck in the straight man role here. And Patton’s character does some good scenery chewing, but he never reaches Ron Swanson level.
This type of show is tough to predict though. The Office and Parks and Recreation took some time to find their footing. There’s not quite enough here to form an opinion one way or the other.