Being more of a movie fan whose television watching consists mostly of 70s and 80s TV reruns, if I get into something current on television it is either through word-of-mouth or channel surfing and finding something interesting to watch. Having watched some CBS show that must have been so interesting that I don't even remember which show it was, learning that Kevin James is coming back to series television with a new show is the first time in years I have looked forward to a TV show.
I like Kevin James as an actor for several reasons. Of course he is funny and does a lot of physical comedy, but he can also be touching and sympathetic in his performance, not coming off like someone who is interested in delivering the laugh while not caring whether they offended their audience. Along the same lines he is, in my opinion, a family-friendly presence among a dying breed in the world of entertainment. His movies are among the few I wouldn't hesitate to put on the TV when family and friends of all ages are around. I can't say the same for a lot of fare that's on TV at any time of the day.
I also cannot give a fair assessment of his new show from one episode. Positive or negative, one episode does not make a series and it takes a few episodes to get a feel for a show's staying power. Additionally as I had seen the CBS preview show hosted by Kevin James as well several promos for the show, I had seen much of this first episode already, and really want to kick myself for not allowing myself an undiluted first experience.
The premise of the show is Kevin plays...uhm...a guy named Kevin. He has just retired from the police force and is looking forward to his retirement "me" time, spending more time with his family and doing all those macho guy-things with his retired buddies.
Enter his eldest daughter who not only shows up with her boyfriend from college to introduce him to dad for the first time, but she also drops the bombshell that they are engaged. Oh, and there is a cherry on top as well: she is dropping out of college to support him while he is developing his "app" that will be the next big thing.
Yes, the boyfriend, though a nice guy who does care about Kevin's daughter, is a geek, and not the sports loving, beer swilling, macho kind of guy dad would like to hang out with, and frankly dad doesn't like the guy for that very reason. But Kevin does have a soft spot, and his daughter, her dreams, what makes her happy and, yes, even if that includes a boyfriend dad can't hang with, are more important than his plans for retirement.
Hence, Kevin Can Wait to enjoy his retirement plans while he lets his daughter and his soon to be son-in-law move into his home so she can continue with school. Naturally there are going to be adjustments, and potential entertainment value in those adjustments.
This first episode, though spoiled through my own fault of watching previews and promos, did offer quite a few chuckles still. It's much of the same character he played in Kings of Queens, but with three kids this time around and certainly different challenges as he has to be even more responsible, an entertaining choir in itself as Kevin James often and well portrays a 12 year boy trapped in an adult body.
No previews for me before next week's episode. The show looks promising so far. The pilot was solidly written. Kevin James' real life brother, Gary Valentine, is a part of the cast, as well a few familiar faces from shows and movies he has done. One of the advantages James has with bringing his friends along is they always seem to have fun together and that fun element spills into the audience. With the potential fun factor of Kevin James and friends, a fresh approach for him playing a father in an overall different situation, and so far some solid writing, it looks hopeful for another hit series for Kevin James.