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Breaking In aired from April 2011 until ? on FOX.
FOX's Breaking In was a workplace comedy, that featured Christian Slater as Oz, the leader of a team of young oddballs. The team of genius talent and security experts included Cameron Price (Bret Harrison), Melanie Garcia (Odette Yustman), Cash Sparks (Alphonso McAuley), and Josh Armstrong (Trevor Moore).
Created by Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon, the comedy boasted Adam Sandler as executive producer, along with his aptly named Happy Madison Productions. Slater also served as a producer.
A Review from Variety
(Series -- Series; Fox, Wed. April 6, 9:30 p.m.)
By Brian Lowry
Harrison and Slater
Filmed in Los Angeles by Adam F. Goldberg Prods. and Happy Madison Prods. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers, Goldberg, Seth Gordon, Doug Robinson; producers, Christian Slater, Barbara Stoll; director, Gordon; writer, Goldberg; story by Goldberg, Gordon.
Oz - Christian Slater Cameron - Bret Harrison
Melanie - Odette Annable
Cash - Alphonso McAuley
Fox has inadvertently stumbled onto a companion for CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," bringing a certain nerd chic to "Breaking In," a breezy if familiar single-camera comedy. Barely a stone's throw from his role in "Reaper," Bret Harrison stars as the reluctant newbie recruited to a high-tech security team, with Christian Slater as his flinty-eyed boss/blackmailer. Although clever in spots and filled with pop-culture references, with its modest charms and well-trodden concept this comedic caper represents the kind of formula that has historically struggled to break out.
Writer Adam F. Goldberg certainly knows the territory, having worked on "Fanboys" and "Revenge of the Nerds." Here, the nerd du jour, Harrison's Cameron, is hacking his way through a free college education when confronted by Oz (Slater), who threatens to turn him in unless he agrees to become part of his secretive enterprise, Contra Security, which excels at exposing the vulnerabilities in clients' existing protection systems.
The operation itself is filled with stock characters, from the pretty girl (Odette Annable) who instantly catches Cameron's eye -- and, despite her perfect-for-him tech-savvy credentials, is drawn to a different kind of guy -- to geek-supreme Cash (Alphonso McAuley), whose useless skills include fluency in Klingon and a Han Solo outfit.
The initial assignment mostly functions as little more than an excuse to introduce the players, and despite a promising ensemble, therein lies some of the misgivings.
Although Harrison's baffled newcomer, Slater's mysterious honcho and the elaborate CalTech-style pranks have potential, there's cause to fear the gizmo-driven plots will become repetitive quickly. And while the pilot is fast-paced -- with rapid-fire flashes to visual gags, almost like one of Seth MacFarlane's animated Fox comedies -- it's not like the nerd-spy-girl template has enabled "Chuck" to hack its way into the hearts of Nielsen viewers (or at least, their peoplemeters).
Fox will provide "Breaking In" the extraordinary scheduling perk of following a 90-minute "American Idol" for its entire seven-week spring tryout, which is about as much love as a network can offer. And lord knows, after multiple misfires, such brinkmanship might be necessary to help Fox establish a live-action comedy.
Even so, if Cameron and company can figure out a method to rig DVRs or otherwise game the ratings system, they'd probably be well-advised to use it.
Camera, David Hennings, Chris Moseley; production designer, Shepherd Frankel; editor, Jonathan Corn; music, Michael Wandmacher; casting, Leslie Litt. 30 MIN.
With: Michael Rosenbaum, Trevor Moore, Jennifer Irwin
A Review from The New York Times
Devilish Job, for a Slacker or a Schemer
By MIKE HALE
Published: April 5, 2011
You might think that the young actor Bret Harrison, not yet 30, wouldn't have to worry too much about typecasting. But that would just mean that you haven't seen his new sitcom, Breaking In.
In his previous starring role, on the CW series Reaper, Mr. Harrison played a 21-year-old slacker forced to go to work for the Devil. On Breaking In on Fox he plays a 27-year-old perpetual student forced to go to work for Christian Slater.
That may sound facetious, but Oz, the wisecracking, scary boss played by Mr. Slater he runs a security company that breaks into potential clients houses and offices to prove they need its services is more than a little reminiscent of Ray Wise's Rat Pack-style Devil on Reaper.
Mr. Harrison, meanwhile, is playing practically the same character he did before, except that his brilliant hacker Cameron Price in the half-hour sitcom Breaking In warms to his job in a way that the angst-ridden soul collector Sam Oliver couldn't in the hourlong dramedy Reaper.
Is this familiarity a reason for contempt? Not really. Another thing the shows have in common is that they're charming largely because of Mr. Harrison's sheepish likability and eccentric. Breaking In isn't memorable in any way, but it's fast-paced and easy to watch, with some amusing secondary characters. It also stands out from the otherwise mundane relationship-and-workplace sitcoms thrown at us so far this year ( Perfect Couples, Traffic Light, Mr. Sunshine, Retired at 35 ).
Seth Gordon, who created the show with Adam F. Goldberg and directed the pilot, has an impressive set of sitcom directing credits: Parks and Recreation, Community, The Offic and Modern Family. He appears to have absorbed the primary lesson of those shows (especially Modern Family ), which is to keep the bodies and the dialogue moving quickly and precisely enough that the writing seems funnier than it really is.
He also knows how to highlight small but distinct performances, like those by Jennifer Irwin as the simpering gofer Carol and Michael Rosenbaum as Dutch, a domesticated Mad Max with a sentimental streak who's the inappropriate boyfriend of the office hottie. (Seeing Cameron for the first time, he says: Hey, you look smart. Could I have some urine? )
Cameron's colleagues in quasi crime are a predictable bunch the blowhard (a master of disguise), the bad girl (a safecracker) and the black guy (a childish genius) but Trevor Moore, Odette Annable and Alphonso McAuley give those parts shades of character. Mr. Moore's helpless outrage at Cameron's presence is particularly entertaining.
Mr. Slater has less to do than the other principals Oz exists mainly to goose the action by threatening and cajoling his minions and setting them off on absurd tasks. (In the pilot the team is sent to steal an exotic car from a potential client.) But he looks happy to be back in a comedy after the dolours of his last series, The Forgotten, in which he played an emotionally crippled ex-cop obsessed with identifying unclaimed murder victims.
It's Mr. Harrison, though, who carries most of the load in Breaking In, which makes its debut Wednesday on his 29th birthday. His aptitude for a certain kind of role he's the Michael Jordan of put-upon nice guys continues to serve him well. But he might want to consider playing the bad guy next time out.
Fox, Wednesday nights at 9:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 8:30, Central time.
Produced by Happy Madison Productions, Adam F. Goldberg Productions, Sethsquatch and Sony Pictures Television. Written by Adam F. Goldberg; pilot directed by Seth Gordon; Mr. Goldberg, Mr. Gordon and Doug Robinson, executive producers.
WITH: Christian Slater (Oz), Bret Harrison (Cameron), Odette Annable (Melanie), Alphonso McAuley (Cash), Jennifer Irwin (Carol), Michael Rosenbaum (Dutch) and Trevor Moore (Josh).
A Review from USA TODAY
'Breaking In' is no laughing matter
April 5, 2011
By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
Fox, Wednesday, 9:30 ET/PT
* * 1/2 out of four
You can't fault the cast, which is more than appealing enough. Slater, in particular, has his best series role yet as the manipulative, mysterious Oz. He gives a performance you might suspect was modeled on Charlie Sheen in his "Vatican assassin" phase, if you didn't know the show was shot and finished long before Sheen's meltdown.
As Cameron, the newbie hacker Oz blackmails into working for him, Bret Harrison takes the same likable "who me?" approach that worked for him in Reaper. Rounding out the team are Odette Annable as a safecracker Cameron crushes on; Alphonso McAuley as a prank-pulling gadget guru; and Trevor Moore as a master of disguise whom fans of The Office will recognize as sort-of-Dwight-light.
It's all pleasant enough tonight, as Cameron gets initiated into the team, which means stealing a couple of cars while finding his own flipped upside down. The show's attempt to turn Oz's "I'll allow it" into a catchphrase is a bit tiresome, but otherwise, the characters and the plot twists combine to make the time pass painlessly.
Unfortunately, a later episode that casts Alyssa Milano as a "cougar" takes on the kind of nasty, childishly dirty edge that is typical to Fox comedies. Even in these times when crude humor abounds, a joke about female grooming, which is trying so desperately to be adult, simply comes across as tastelessly juvenile.
You'd like to think that was a first for TV, but we all know that's not true.
A Review from The SF Gate
'Breaking In,' 'Workaholics' reviews
April 06, 2011|David Wiegand, Chronicle Staff Writer
If it's true that TV is increasingly the medium of choice for the over-50 crowd, Fox and Comedy Central haven't gotten the memo. The two networks take the wraps off new shows Wednesday night geared pointedly toward viewers who haven't started to save for their kids' college education.
After playing a young guy tricked into becoming a soul collector for Satan (Ray Wise) in ABC's "Reaper," Bret Harrison now finds himself playing an aging college student recruited by the manipulative head (Christian Slater) of Contra Security on the new sitcom "Breaking In," premiering Wednesday night on Fox.
As Cameron Price, Harrison is 27, has 12 majors and has registered as himself and a nonexistent twin in order to commandeer a double-size dorm room. His life plan is to stretch out his undergraduate career for another decade, then try the same ruse in graduate school.
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Meanwhile, he hacks into professors' computers to sell useful information to other students. When one of his customers turns out to be someone other than a student, Cameron is blackmailed into joining Slater's organization, which tests security systems for well-heeled clients and corporations.
If the show, created by Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon, sounds familiar, well, the premise is hardly new: From the movie "Sneakers" to TV series old and new, such as "It Takes a Thief" back in the Pleistocene Age and, more recently, "White Collar," the whole "not-so-bad-guys recruited to do good" concept has been done.
Harrison offers an appealing mix of callow innocence and smart-alecky savvy. Slater is as sly and oily as ever as Oz, doing his best young Jack Nicholson bit but deftly handling the comic repartee with Harrison and the other members of the security team, including sexy safecracker Melanie Green (Odette Annable), nerdy prankster "Cash" Sparks (Alphonso McAuley) and Trevor Moore, a member of the sketch comedy ensemble the Whitest Kids You Know, who plays Josh Armstrong here, Cameron's sometimes rival and reluctant collaborator. Michael Rosenbaum of "Smallville" is also on hand as Dutch, Melanie's total tool of a boyfriend.
Fox sent only a single episode to critics, which makes it difficult to assess a show's chances. While there are somewhat foreseeable plot developments (Cameron's falling for Melanie, but she's hooked on Dutch), the series does have an agreeable cast and clever writing, and perhaps enough of both qualities to go the distance.
For a page dedicated to Breaking In go to http://timvp.com/breakingin.html
For The Official Website of Christian Slater go to http://www.christianslater.com/
For a Website dedicated to Bret Harrison go http://www.bretharrison.com/
For a Website dedicated to Odette Annable go to http://odetteannable.org/
For a Website dedicated to Trevor Moore go to http://trevormoore.org/
For a Website dedicated to Michael Rosenbaum go to http://www.michaelrosenbaum.com/
To listen to the theme song of Breaking In go to http://www.televisiontunes.com/Breaking_In.html
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Keywords: Breaking In Logo