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May 12, 2006 | Comments ()


How Many Kings Does It Take to Make a Crappy Sitcom?


"Four Kings" / The TV Whore


May 12, 2006

TV Reviews | May 12, 2006 | Comments ()


NBC is attempting to resuscitate its whole “Must See TV” thing and, true to form, it has kept the 8:30 p.m. slot as its proverbial dumping ground. This year’s deposit is the alleged sitcom, “Four Kings.” The only reason I even know this thing is supposed to be a sitcom is because of the laugh track, which becomes increasingly annoying as the show plods along and you realize that this is absolutely not a laughing matter.

So the premise of the show is simple enough. The “Four Kings,” are four friends — Seth Green, and three other guys. We meet them at a laundromat because male friends always go do their laundry together. I suspect the entire purpose of this setting was simply for the following gem of witty repartee:

Some friend: Dude, can I piggyback on your load?

Some other friend: I’m not sure why, but don’t ever say that phrase to me again.

Strong!

Anyway, one of the friends learns that his grandma died and left him her posh New York apartment, and he asks the other three guys to move in with him because he doesn’t think his girlfriend is ready to live with him yet and he doesn’t want to live in a big place like this by himself and life is going to change for them all soon and they should do this while they still can and NBC should really just come to my house and stab my eyes out since that would be quicker and less painful.

Of course the other friends say yes. But apparently they have decided to each break up with their girlfriends, presumably so that they can be swinging singles when they move in together. So Seth Green Friend goes to breakup with his girlfriend (or rather, as he so hilariously puts it, “to dump her ass”), a busty mother of twins who enjoys tormenting Seth Green Friend. But — get this — she breaks up with him first! The laugh track is telling you to laugh now, so you better be laughing.

Meanwhile, Dumb Guy Friend is hanging out with his dumb blonde girlfriend and he says to her, while holding a guitar, “I have to go.” To which dumb blonde girlfriend says “You have to go? Oh, OK, do you want me to hold it for you so you can keep playing?” Obey the laugh track!

Cut to Formerly Fat Friend, who is at his gym informing his trainer that he’s freezing his membership, which of course leads to a wildly creative and original scene where he’s accused of cheating on his trainer and eventually comes clean about the fact that he’s been seeing another trainer on the West End. See, this works on two levels — there’s the hilarious gay subtext, as well as the parallel of him “breaking up” with his trainer while Seth Green Friend and Dumb Guy Friend are simultaneously breaking up with their ladies. The laugh track can’t tell you to appreciate the layers of comedy here, so you’ll have to do that on your own.

While all these hijinks are going on, Dead Grandma Friend is hanging out with his girlfriend and she tells him she thinks they should live together. He explains that he has already asked “the guys” to move in with him, but he’s got an easy solution. She should live with them all!

Cut to a new scene, which is by far the most groundbreaking thing about this show — the four friends appear to have a local little coffee shop where they hang out! So once they’re all at Not Central Perk, Dead Grandma Friend explains that his girlfriend gave him an ultimatum — live with her, without the guys, or they’re finished. Formerly Fat Friend and Dumb Guy Friend tell him to dump her because, you see: “You never choose a relationship over your buddies. It’s bro’s before ho’s!” But Seth Green Friend says he should choose the girlfriend because she’s special and Dead Grandma Friend won’t lose their friendship; they’ll just be mad for a while. The other friends acquiesce and of course Dead Grandma’ Friend then dumps his girlfriend because his friends had his best interest in mind while she, by giving her ultimatum, clearly only had her own best interest in mind. “Four Kings” is not just funny, my friends, but it’s also poignant. It’s a laugh track with heart!

And so now the four kings are living together, all single and ready for the hilarious times to ensue. Which I’ll have to take on faith, because there is no way that I’ll consider watching this garbage again.

Seth Frelich is a television columnist for Pajiba. He lives in Washignton, D.C. and couldn’t be happier that summer “intern season” is finally here.



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