September 25, 2017

SHOWBUZZDAILY Series Premiere Review: “Me, Myself & I”


ME, MYSELF & I:  Monday 9:30PM on CBS – In the Queue

CBS’s ME, MYSELF & I is a gimmick sitcom, which CBS seems to regard as necessary for single camera comedies (see Life In Pieces, or don’t).  The high-concept here is more or less This Is Us with one-liners  As in the NBC hit, the action here takes place in multiple timelines, all revolving around Alex Riley, who physiologically somehow manages to be Jack Dylan Grazer at age 14, Bobby Moynihan at 40 (in 2017), and John Larroquette at 65.  (According to the internet, which knows all, Moynihan is 5 foot 7, and Larroquette is 9 inches taller, making one wonder what miracles of surgery are on the way in the future.)

All that bouncing around between timelines keeps Dan Kopelman’s pilot moving (he’s been a writer/producer on shows from Malcolm In the Middle to Galavant), but with minimal laughter, and with greeting-card level emotional content.  At 14, Alex is newly arrived with his mom at the house of wise stepdad Ron (Brian Unger) and affable stepbrother Justin (Christopher Paul Richards); Alex is a nerdy would-be inventor who falls instantly for high school babe Nori (Reylynn Caster).  At 40, Alex is divorced and at loose ends, living in a garage with young daughter Abby (Kelen Coleman), and still aspiring to being an inventor, in a business partnership with best bud Darryl (Jaleel White).  But not to worry, because by 65, Alex is rich, Abby is successful, Justin is Governor of California… and that lovely waitress at the nearby cafe is grown-up Nori (now Sharon Lawrence).

As This Is Us demonstrates, there’s plenty to be mined from the way people change over the decades, and as every time travel comedy from Back To the Future to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure has proved, the switches from one era to another can provide a steady supply of laughs.  Me, Myself & I, though, accomplishes neither.  The jokes are at the level of high school Alex, moving in for a big kiss with Nori, accidentally spitting his breath mint into her mouth, and middle-aged Alex fearing the worst when an ambulance is parked outside his house, only to discover that the paramedic is having an affair with his wife.  The sentiment is wincingly small-minded, the big lesson of the pilot being that since even the great Michael Jordan missed almost half of his shots, darn it, just keep on shooting.

As ridiculous as it is to have Moynihan and Larroquette play the same character, they’re both engaging performers, and pilot director Randall Einhorn keeps the different periods and characters clear and the transitions smooth.  Hardly anything in Me, Myself & I, though, feels ingenious or deeply felt; it’s a grab-bag of tropes connected by an elevator pitch.  With a medium-level lead-in likely from Kevin Can Wait (and then the responsibility of carrying an hour on its own once Thursday Night Football is done on CBS and the line-up reshuffles), and competition from The Voice and Dancing With the Stars, Me, Myself & I‘s own timeline may be very short.




About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."