Original ideas are hard to come by in CBS’ “Still Standing.” Yet another sitcom about dumb men and the women who love them, laffer gains little mileage out of a collection of setups and punchlines that have turned up on every other family half-hour since the dawn of time. Affable Mark Addy is the potential charmer here — despite an awkward comfort level, he’s as cuddly as he is dopey — but there really is little reason to tune in unless you missed the same bits on “Yes, Dear,” “King of Queens” and “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the net’s Monday lineup that Eye execs are trying to safely complement.
Addy is Bill Miller, an overweight teddy bear who doesn’t hide from the fact that he sells toilets for a living. He’s married to high school sweetheart Judy (Jami Gertz), a working mother to the couple’s three children: Lauren (Renee Olstead), a precocious pre-teen who wants a belly-button ring; Brian (Taylor Ball), a studious geek who knows nothing about girls; and Tina (Soleil Borda), an adorable toddler who loves running around naked — whatever.
In “Still’s” debut, Judy’s sister, Linda (Jennifer Irwin), comes for dinner with her psychologist boyfriend. They convince Bill and Judy to play the Honesty game, and, of course, Bill says things he doesn’t mean. Meanwhile, Bill has convinced Brian that the only way to lure a lass is to be rebellious, so when sonny boy is eventually caught smoking at school, mom and dad arrive at the principal’s office to clear up the misunderstanding.
Really silly stuff here, and it’s up to Addy and Gertz to do most of the heavy lifting. That’s a mixed blessing: They both have their moments, but neither of them looks or sounds ready to carry the load. Gertz has recently taken on more dramatic roles (a guest stint on “ER,” “Gilda Radner: It’s Always Something”) and is more of a versatile supporting thesp. Brit Addy, who auds will know from “The Full Monty” and as Fred Flinstone in “Viva Rock Vegas,” is the more charismatic of the duet, even though he’s stiff one moment (probably because he’s trying to hide his accent) and stupidly funny the next.
Fall sked is jampacked with soft-and-innocent skeins, from the inane (“Family Affair”) to the returning greats (“The Bernie Mac Show”). “Still Standing” is right in the middle; neither unique nor edgy in its look and its execution, project — pilot was directed by Andrew Weyman and written by exec producers Joey Gutierrez and Diane Burroughs — lands a familiar thud but familiar is exactly what CBS is going for.