Standup comic Louie Anderson bows into the sitcom lineup with a weak, community-theater-style series opener penned by creators Matt Goldman and Anderson. Playing therapist Louie Lundgren and surrounded by supposedly amusing acquaintances, Anderson amply shows why he shouldn’t abandon standup gigs.
Locale is Duluth, Minn., and rotund Lundgren picks loquacious Gretchen (Kate Hodge) as a roommate to help pay for his new roof on his house. Just in from L.A., enjoying giving L.A. knocks, she sets up her own loose house rules about living under Louie’s faulty roof.
His best friend, detective Curt (Bryan Cranston), tries getting some sensible advice from Louie about his 14-year marriage to Sandy (Laura Innes), but doesn’t pull out much that’ll help.
Freshest character is Nancy Becker Kennedy as Louie’s wheelchair-bound assistant, Helen; if the series were going anywhere, she’d be along for more than just the ride. Another eccentric, Louie’s associate Dr. Jake (Paul Feig), is taken with Gretchen.
Assaad Kelada directed the flatteleplay without distinction. Tom Hiel and Scott Pinkerton have supplied a merry score. Taped before a studio audience, first episode may not be the best sample for the series, but it’s a distinct warning.