Friday, January 11, 2013

Brutal 1600 Penn is (Josh) Gad Awful

Last night something inhumane happened on TV.

As you know, Cookie, that is I, will from time to time comment on television and programming.  It takes a great deal to move me to do so, but every once and a while something happens on TV that is so horrific that I cannot hold back.

Executives and the marketing people at NBC - the same network that does everything in its power to keep the brilliant Community from a full season - aired something called 1600 Penn, and to be fair, I sat through two whole episodes.

So reader, I know of what I speak of.

The words, and I mean by that the "G" kinda words that every one from six to sixty can read without blushing,  really escape me in describing how God awful this show is.

If comedy is hard, 1600 Penn is a brutal, a soul crushing 30 minutes of unfunny.  Gall bladder attack unfunny.

How bad is it?  Imagine the West Wing but without the talent or the writing.  Then you need to add in the painfully unfunny Baby Huey from cartoon lore.  And it would still be better than 1600 Penn.

Allegedly, this show is about the First Family.

But the nasty little secret behind Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman's brave facades is that they are nothing more than a charade to mask that this show is really about how annoying Josh Gad can be.

Gad, who is one of the "brains" behind this disaster, inserts himself into every possible scene, including ones in which the "pretend" President should be in charge.  He counsels his pregnant sister, he solves border disputes and he rages "USA, USA, USA!" as well.   He does just about everything that is unlikely, and none of it delivers a single laugh.  Worse, he is inserted into most of the scenes, whether it makes sense or not.

Now on the stage, as he was in The Book of Mormon, Gad's mugging and screeching voice probably illicit laughs.  On TV, he makes you want to turn off set.  

This viewer found himself pining for an episode of the equally unfunny "Whitney", the last NBC comedy to receive this type of media hype and build up "Must See TV" from NBC. By the way, has anyone noticed how Whitney has been allowed to quietly drift away from schedule?  So much for the HILARITY in that show.

What also makes 1600 Penn painful is that NBC is losing two of its best Thursday night shows, 30 Rock and The Office.  1600 Penn's writing is the type of writing that almost killed off the sitcom in the 1990s.  No wonder Tina Fey decided to end 30 Rock; it was to escape being the lead in for this asshat of a show.

Here's the good news.  Josh Gad's last sitcom, Back to You lasted one season, according to Wikipedia.  But for the life of me or the husband, who could only get through this show by taking NyQuil for his head cold, neither of us can remember that show.  Forgetting is easy.  Its the living through 1600 Penn that is hard.

I could continue to beat a dead horse, but I won't take a cue from Gad, who would beat a dead horse, so I shall wrap up my message to NBC with this statement:

Dear NBC,

1600 Penn is the type of show that makes me want to turn off the TV and sort socks.  Its the type of TV that makes HGTV's Love It or List It Pulitzer caliber material.  Never again in our house.

Warm, personal regards,



  1. I saw a commercial for this mess and instantly asked NBC for those Thirty Seconds of my life back.
    How brave that you actually sat through two shows .... and lived to tell the tale!

    1. I want to give everything around me the benefit of the doubt. You can't say that dislike kimche if you have never had it. I have had Kimche and I tell you it is as vile as its smell. I have watched 1600 Penn and can tell you that it is, by far less entertaining than My Mother the Car.

  2. Thanks for the warning, it's off the list.

  3. I watched about 1/2 of an episode. Really bad. Unfunny, unoriginal. Probably will be cancelled Valentine's Day.

  4. Is it wrong that Love it or List It (Nouvelle Addresse ou Nouvelle Déco after the voice dubbers get through with it here) is one of my favorite shows, because I'm a sucker for home improvement/real estate shows. before you ask, Lisa LaPorta and later Lynn Kegan were my reasons for loving Sell this House.