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Gary Unmarried aired from September 2008 until March 2010 on CBS.
GARY UNMARRIED starred Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall in a comedy about Gary Brooks, a single painting contractor who was trying to pursue a career in radio, and his controlling ex-wife, Allison, as they continued to face post-divorce mayhem after 15 years of marriage. He was the fun parent and she was the strict one. Together, they shared custody of their two children - Louise ( Laura Marano in the pilot and Kathryn Newton in the series) , a politically correct and environmentally conscious 12-year-old, and Tom ( Ryan Malgarini), their socially awkward 15-year-old son who was nervous around girls. In pursuit of post-marriage happiness, Gary strived to balance his eclectic world of an ex-wife, their two kids and a budding new career, all while trying to find the perfect mate.
A Review from Variety
(Series -- CBS, Wed. Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m.)
By BRIAN LOWRY
Filmed in Los Angeles by ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television. Executive producers, Ed Yeager, Ric Swartzlander, James Burrows; co-executive producers, Janae Bakken, Ira Ungerleider; producer, Dionne Kirschner; director, Burrows; writer, Yeager.
Gary Brooks - Jay Mohr
Allison Brooks - Paula Marshall
Vanessa Flood - Jaime King
Tom Brooks - Ryan Malgarini
Louise Brooks - Kathryn Newton
Dennis Lopez - Al Madrigal
Dr. Walter Krandall - Ed Begley Jr.
Boiled down to a personal ad -- and rest assured, there's about that much substance to it -- "Gary Unmarried" would read as follows: "Divorced white male seeks audience. Has two kids, quarrelsome ex-wife and one-night stand/possible g.f. Those looking for anything fresh, new or consistently amusing need not apply." Any takers? Based on the grainy snapshot otherwise known as the pilot, CBS shouldn't stay home waiting by the phone.
The series was originally dubbed "Project Gary," and the new title represents a modest improvement, but nothing else here is, including the late casting of Ed Begley Jr. as the divorced couple's touchy-feely marriage counselor. Jay Mohr brings what charm he can to Gary, whose shy 14-year-old son (Ryan Malgarini) worries that some girl is going to want him to "tap it," and whose 11-year-old daughter (Kathryn Newton) harbors improbable crushes on Al Gore and Gandhi.
Mostly, though, Gary trades insults with his ex-wife (Paula Marshall, who really needs to stop jumping into the sack with uninspired series) and stammers toward the beautiful young woman (Jaime King) with whom he's in bed when the premiere begins.
The prospects for transforming that slim premise into a satisfying show would seem less grim if those elements could survive a half-hour. Certainly, nothing in the prototype written by Ed Yeager -- rife with sex talk that tries but never quite rises to the level of smutty -- suggests there are vast humor reservoirs upon which to draw. Mohr, meanwhile, possesses some of the bad-boyish qualities of Charlie Sheen but lacks the support system that allowed "Two and a Half Men" to flourish -- even with director James Burrows' usually sure touch guiding them.
Unfortunately for "Gary," the series also won't be the beneficiary of that "Two and a Half Men" lead-in; instead, the show lands alongside the consistently funny but modestly rated "The New Adventures of Old Christine," as CBS tries to add laughs to a new night. Despite thematic similarities between the two programs (divorced couple still very much in each other's lives, jointly raising young children), the resemblance pretty much fizzles once the word "quality" arises.
Like most divorced dads, both the show and the guy would clearly be advised to lower expectations. Even so, extending "Gary's" mission to find love in a cold, cruel primetime world would appear well beyond its modest means.
Camera, Gary Baum; production designer, Michael Hynes; editor, Andy Chulack; casting, Bonnie Zane, Gayle Pillsbury. RUNNING TIME: 30 MIN.
A Review from The New York Daily News
Ex appeal may not be enough for 'Unmarried'
BY DAVID HINCKLEY
Wednesday, September 24th 2008, 4:00 AM
GARY UNMARRIED. Wednesday night at 8:30, CBS.
Sitcoms have been known to strike gold by putting a handful of likable people into a relatable situation and just letting them hang out and chat.
"Gary Unmarried," which stars Jay Mohr as Gary Brooks and Paula Marshall as his ex-wife, Allison, sets its goals around that level, and they aren't unreasonable.
But over the next few weeks, it needs to set off bigger sparks than it does tonight, or it could drop back into the ominous zone where viewers take it or leave it.
Mohr and Marshall are both viewer-friendly, he as a slightly dopey guy who owns a painting business and she as a sharp-tongued New Ager who says things like, "Bye, kids, have fun with your Dad. I never did."
Gary and Allison hang out more than they'd like to hang out because they have these two kids. But while they're entertaining together, the show needs other characters to avoid becoming just an endless exchange of the snarky things TV writers love to have exes say about each other.
The first added glue comes from Vanessa Flood (Jaime King), who is also divorced with a young son and has just started seeing Gary.
"Seeing" these days, of course, means she's just started sleeping with Gary. It's a mark of the times in television that we're far more likely to have a new character introduced in bed than, say, in the living room, so viewers also shouldn't be surprised when Gary's geek of a young teenage son, Tommy, uses casual sex slang in conversation with Dad.
Rounding out the team is Dr. Walter Krandall (Ed Begley Jr.), who for a time was Gary and Allison's marriage counselor.
The reason Krandall remains in the picture, well after his mission went unaccomplished, is the night's central gag, and when it arrives, it redirects the dynamic of the episode.
Krandall may well become a regular, which is good news because Begley plays him well. The character also could provide that off-center sitcom space that, for example, Peter Boyle gave to "Everybody Loves Raymond."
The domestic family jokes flow easily on "Gary Unmarried," another a good sign. When Allison muses that Tommy seems to be afraid of girls, Gary says, "He should be."
Domestic sparring can carry a lot of the load when a show otherwise has the right character chemistry, as "Raymond" or "Mad About You" proved.
Now "Gary" just has to make its nontraditional family compelling enough so we care enough to keep up with their doings. Tonight's opener gives it a shot.
A Review from USA TODAY
'Gary Unmarried' can make TV work
ABOUT THE SHOW
* * 1/2 (out of four)
BS, Wednesday, 8:30 ET/PT
By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
Blue-collar guys are in short sitcom supply these days.
So are sitcoms, which is part of the problem, and those we do have tend to shy away from folks who actually labor for a living.
Gary Unmarried hopes to fill that gap.
It would be nicer if it did so with a little more flair or originality. But the show is funny enough, and the performers and setup are solid enough to hope CBS will give this working-class comedy a little time to work.
Gary's best asset is the guy playing Gary: Jay Mohr, whose last sitcom star turn was as a sleazy movie producer in the critics' darling Action. Time and age have rounded out Mohr's sitcom edges and increased his chances of popular appeal, making him a surprisingly good fit for a guys-guy contractor buffeted, but not bowed, by his ex-wife and kids.
His problems tonight all stem from the opposite sex. His ex-wife (an amusing, well-cast Paula Marshall, who is better at being bitter than warm) is about to marry their therapist (Ed Begley Jr.). His son (Ryan Malgarini) is making the move from "virtual" girls to real ones. And Gary himself is putting the moves on the woman who hired him to paint her condo, fetchingly played by Jaime King.
The situations are standard-issue, but the twists Gary puts on them should stand the show in good stead. Gary and his ex may bicker, but they don't hate each other, and they both try to do what's best for the kids. And sometimes, Gary actually gets to be the one who knows best, a relief from those shows where the dad is always an idiot.
For tonight, at least, it works for me.
An Interview with Paula Marshall from TV Guide
PAULA MARSHALL ON SEASON EXTENSION, WORK WITH JAY, AND HER CAREER
By admin | December 1, 2008
Paula Marshall on Gary Unmarried
TVGuide.com: I know you were pulling hard for a full-season pick-up. How did it feel?
Paula Marshall: To be honest, it happened so late in the game, Jay and I were kinda mad! What do you mean we don't know yet?! I was trying to see if I could get a new kitchen! We were certainly happy, but it was a little anticlimactic.
TVGuide.com: After the first few times Gary held onto or built on Old Christine's audience, I started pestering CBS, but there never was any news.
Marshall: I know they were concerned about other shows - if they tell us, then they'll have to tell them, which I get. But to make a new TV show and have more and more people turn you on each week is almost unheard of. We're really fortunate to have this growing audience.
TVGuide.com: What's nice is that versus the typical show about former marrieds, we see Gary and Allison bickering but we also get glimpses of why they once made sense together.
Marshall: That's the loveliest part of the show. It's not just the bitter bitch of an ex-wife, which gosh darn it someone else could play better than me. I wanted to have that aspect of why they were together and stayed together so long. I personally think they were young, dated, got pregnant and tried to make the best of it before realizing they were different people.
TVGuide.com: Should a small part of us be rooting for Gary and Allison to get back together?
Marshall: I think so, and yet it's like when [Cheers'] Sam and Diane got together; it wasn't as much fun. You can get together and argue like [on Everybody Loves] Raymond, and I Love Lucy but what's happening these days is people get married, they have kids, they get divorced, and then they have to deal with it. A lot of my friends back home are like, Yeah, I do that! The drop-offs are awful! You always forget something! All those scenarios.
To watch some clips from Gary Unmarried go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gary+unmarried
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100104034849/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/garyunmarried.html
For the Official Website of Jay Mohr go to http://www.jaymohr.com/
For The Official Site of Ron Riggle go to http://www.robriggle.com/
To listen to the theme song from Gary Unmarried go to http://www.televisiontunes.com/Gary_Unmarried.html
� Date: Sat April 8, 2017 � Filesize: 44.2kb, 218.4kb � Dimensions: 1600 x 1281 �
Keywords: Jay Mohr, Joe Torre & Rob Riggle