Spotlight on ‘The Crazy Ones’

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On Wednesday night, Sarah Michelle Gellar received a People’s Choice Award for Best Actress in a New TV Series.  With the praise new comedy The Crazy Ones has been receiving, it’s obvious enough that she deserved it.

With Gellar’s failed return back to television back in 2011 with the CW’s Ringer, people were no doubt a little worried to see she had decided to return to TV again last year, but this time in a sitcom featuring Robin Williams playing her father.  Now Gellar had her funny moments on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but with her past, people might not expect her to appear in a comedy series.  After appearing in horror films I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, and Grudge, I think people have expected her to appear in darker content.  But Gellar pretty much proves everyone wrong with The Crazy Ones, a light-hearted comedy about the misadventures of an advertising agency.

Like most people, I was probably drawn to the show because of the idea of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams appearing together on screen.  The combination just seemed so odd to me, and I had to watch how it played out.  The result is surprisingly delightful.  Williams portrays Simon Roberts, the wacky head of ad agency based in New York City.  Gellar plays his daughter, Sydney, a 30-something workaholic and director at Simon’s agency.  The two are very close, as Simon has been a single father for most of Sydney’s life, and Sydney has always wanted to get into advertising like her father.  However, as with most sitcoms, the two are vastly different.  Simon, in true Robin Williams fashion,  often employs wacky stunts to come up with creative ideas and get jobs done.  Sydney, on the other hand, is more of a straight-laced character who, most of the time, demands order.  The result is a problematic love life.

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Other main characters include Andrew (Hamish Linklater), an awkward and a bit nerdy art director at the agency seeking a relationship with Sydney.  The two are close friends and she doesn’t appear to want to be more, but there are hints here and there.  Andrew’s friend, Zach (James Wolk), a copy writer, is Simon’s favorite employee, much to the dismay of Andrew.  He’s known for his charm and good looks.  Lauren (Amanda Setton) is the perky assistant that often helps with jobs.

The Crazy Ones has managed to employ a great cast.  With some dud movies in recent years, this is probably Robin Williams’  best role in a while.  With talented young actors by his side, this is an interesting effort that greatly pays off.  None of the characters are overly stereotypical or in a sense annoying.  They all work well together, with just enough of them to keep the show engaging, but not too much as to make the show too complicated.

The Crazy Ones isn’t exactly ingenious and it might not be as groundbreaking as say, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it’s nice to see Gellar back on TV with Williams at her side, and it’s nice to see a show I thought I’d like this season actually turn out to be successful.  You can expect at least a few more seasons out of Crazy Ones.  Catch it on Tuesday nights on CBS.

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