Random Years

Title and concept of "Random Years" are fabulous -- chronicling the lives of three guys struggling to find themselves in the post-college years could be a hoot as they attempt to leap forward into business and mature relationships or slither back under the covers and pretend they're kindergartners with bills and hormones.

With:
Alex - Will Friedle
Wiseman - Joshua Ackerman
Todd - Sean Murray
Casey - Natalia Cigliuti

Title and concept of “Random Years” are fabulous — chronicling the lives of three guys struggling to find themselves in the post-college years could be a hoot as they attempt to leap forward into business and mature relationships or slither back under the covers and pretend they’re kindergartners with bills and hormones. Show strikes a few humorous oddball notes — an overly aggressive woman on a date, for example — but generally the execution falls flat in this Gotham-set comedy that’s unlikely to register a Nielsen blip, especially considering its dreadful lead-in “As If.”

Alex (Will Friedle), Wiseman (Joshua Ackerman) and Todd (Sean Murray) occupy a loft that hasn’t been used since “My Two Dads” went off the air. Alex is trying to run a music Web site from one corner of the room; Wiseman plays the wacky neighbor part even though he’s inside the domicile; and Todd is the guy on the couch. Pilot — pretty much a day and night in the life — has Alex reuniting with a woman (Jennifer Morrison as Megan) with whom he spent one glorious week five years earlier. Wiseman plans to spend the night washing his “sexy sheets” and actually gets a date — with the obnoxiously loud woman. The quartet ends up at the same restaurant, where the circumstances prompt the men to run for their lives.

Their return home startles Todd and Casey (Natalia Cigliuti), the woman hired as a temp for the Web site. Todd’s there in his boxers and she’s wearing a different top, the result of several rounds of strip “Antiques Roadshow.” So as the slacker gets the girl, nice guy Alex is left bewildered and Wiseman is rethinking his approach to laundry.

None of the actors or the characters they play is particularly compelling aside from Cigliuti, who has a sharpness in her delivery and an attractiveness that could draw in the desired young male audience.

This comedy, though, is structured in an old-fashioned style — “Perfect Strangers,” anyone? — and the testosterone level is far too strong to make this attractive to a) females and b) most people over the age of 26. The writing from creators Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger does elicit some chuckles and clearly establishes the key players. There’s just little reason to return for a second visit.

Random Years

Series; UPN, Tues. March 5, 9:30 p.m.

Production: Taped in Los Angeles by Big Phone Prods. in association with Paramount Network Television. Executive producers, Judd Pillott, John Peaslee; supervising producers, Mike Lisbe, Nate Reger; producers, Dan Dugan, Mary Fukuto; director, Lee Shallat Chernel; writers, Lisbe, Reger.

Crew: Director of photography, Jerry Workman; production designer, Wendell Johnson; editor, Sharon Silverman; music, Bruce Miller, Jason Miller; casting, Tracy Kaplan. 30 MIN.

Cast: Alex - Will Friedle
Wiseman - Joshua Ackerman
Todd - Sean Murray
Casey - Natalia Cigliuti
With: Jennifer Morrison, Valerie Geffner, David Garry.

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