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Please Let Do Not Disturb Be The Traditional Sitcom’s Final Nail

Intrigued by bad reviews like “Do Not Disturb makes ‘Til Death look like Seinfeld,” I checked out the new Fox hotel-based workplace comedy created by one of the writers of Arrested Development on Wednesday night. Maybe I’ve seen The TV Set too many times, but every time I watch a sitcom pilot it seems exactly like Call Me Crazy!, the fictional terrible sitcom David Duchovny’s labor-of-love pilot morphs into after he lets the studio execs ruin it.

Despite being directed by Jason Bateman, who is smart, Do Not Disturb is also a straight-up parody of its own mediocre genre. The characters are all typical sitcom archetypes (sassy black lady, dumb blonde, rich jerk boss) who deliver their always-expected punchlines in that cringey sitcom trying-to-hard way, and it’s painful to realize that many of the actors on the show seem familiar because they’re each in a new failed sitcom every fall. Like the guy from The Class, or the chick from Twins. Remember those shows? You won’t remember Do Not Disturb either. It sucks that Jerry O’Connell has gone to such lengths to promote it as issuing a public apology for calling his pregnant wife Rebecca Romijn “huge,” because even his last sitcom, Carpoolers, was better than this. The only actor who seems to be filling a non-stereotyped (yet still not funny) role is Jolene Purdy, but I don’t think this show is what Donnie Darko meant when he told her someday things were going to get better for her. But what do I (and real TV reviewers) know, when Two And A Half Men is just as bad and the #1 comedy on TV?