There exist two types of bad television shows. First, you have those programs weighed down by a lame concept, such as an Emeril Lagasse sitcom or a reality-TV show exploiting children, that isn’t funny or entertaining and will probably be cancelled before the NBA starts up again. Most failed TV shows fall into this category.
Then there are the rare shows that transcend the question of, “Gee, I wonder when they’ll cancel this,” and make one wonder, “Just how stupid is my species?” Producers almost seem to be mocking viewers with these shows, taunting them with a show so stupid it makes even the Everybody Loves Raymond crowd annoyed. The last show of this variety was CBS’ Baby Bob, a TV show revolving around a talking baby (really) that made America wonder, “Is it OK to throw a newborn off a bridge if said child makes wisecracks about the Los Angeles Lakers?”
Now comes Cavemen. Some exec over at ABC thought the network’s fall lineup needed… brace yourself… a show about the GEICO Cavemen facing discrimination in the modern world. Seriously, what? How many tabs of LSD do you have to pop to green-light that? Some Internet reports claim the show’s pilot may have been the worst pilot ever to be picked up by a network. But hey, we’ll give it a fair chance. At least until ABC comes to its senses and cancels the show mid-joke to air more riveting footage, maybe a loop of that dog who skateboards.
But why a liveblog? Think of it this way: One could only see the Berlin Wall fall once, the Hale-Bopp Comet once or Janet Jackson’s nipple saga once. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a show as stupid in concept as Cavemen premiere after this, so we should celebrate the moment, and preserve it for future generations. Especially if future generations think the Berries and Cream freak deserves a sitcom.
7:00 — The opening “theme” plays. A bunch of historic pictures, edited to include Cavemen, flash by. So weak. And, onto the show. The Cavemen are talking about The Flintstones, and how offensive the show is. Until they note one of their brethren is dunk-dialing an ex. College kids will love this. Thus far, this show is immensely boring.
7:02 — These Cavemen do all sorts of smart stuff, like crossword puzzles, text messaging and writing dissertations! We soon find out one of the Caveman works at an Ikea-like store, loaded with those funny dots the Swedes put over their words to confuse us. Apparently, one of the Cavemen is gonna get it on with a chick at the store — in front of a kid. Oh, and the local weather guy is a Caveman. I really want a back story on this.
7:05 — An R. Kelly closet joke. Sweet, so timely. Tonight’s theme — interracial dating (err, species?). One Caveman wants to date a “homosapien,” but his prehistoric buds think it’s wrong. I can’t wait for the episode about the Jurassic 6.
7:10 — First set of commercials over, back to this lovely show. The first scene features two of the Cavemen (the really smart one and the clingy one) ordering coffee. This show has officially blown its joke supply. We get it, they have money and know what e-mail is. But wait, they also have to confront discrimination at the hands of those evil, evil white people, who are offended by their “primal grunting.” And…they play the Wii. Great product placement Nintendo… couldn’t get a spot on a CW show?
7:13 — Another commercial. This show is living up to all the dire hype. I have no idea what the real plot here is (several intertwining relationships), and the jokes are far and few… OK, they don’t really exist. I’m skipping a class to do this, and I’ve never felt guiltier about something in my life.
7:16 — “Keep your penis in your genus.” Wow, please cancel this show now. With half the show over, the plot finally emerges — interspecies dating has a lot of issues. But now the Cavemen are squabbling about love and life. Similar to the commercials, these characters thrive on anger about being Cavemen. And they also play squash! I play squash… me and Caveman are both extremely… affluent, I guess? Guess I need a new sport.
7:20 – An extended squash scene. How many Cavemen exist in this universe? There seem to be a lot, but where do they come from? Is there a whole country of Cavemen? A continent? I wonder… while this Snickers commercial involving a Viking and a pilgrim just eclipsed this show in funny. All in 10 seconds.
7:23 — The Cavemen…they are still angry and snarky to one another. Joel, the one dating the human, interrupts his gal’s “girl’s night.” And her friends welcome him with open arms! Ahhh, humans are good people, and don’t discriminate to Grizzly Adams wannabes. Oh, she has a Caveman fetish, fascinating. The Cavemen now resolve their problems with one another at the bar, until one of them mentions she might have fetish for Cave-folk. Oh shoot, future episodes are set. And….it ends. Like that. Suddenly. One of the most abrupt and terrible endings for a show I’ve seen in a long time.
Conclusion – I’ve waited several hours to write this, mainly so I could digest all Cavemen has offered me. The show lived up to all it’s shoe-high expectations – nearly no plot, plenty of “Cavemen actually do upscale stuff humor” and OK make-up design. Much like the similarly doomed Baby Bob, Cavemen failed to do anything interesting, even with a premise so ridiculous one would think they could come up with….something original, and not recycled sitcom storylines.
Comedian George Lopez, whose sitcom was scrapped from ABC, said “So, a chicano can’t be on TV, but a caveman can?” Many internetters claim the plight of the Cavemen mimicks that of most minorities in the United States. But why anoit a show social commentary when it is as interesting as a PBS telathon? Cavemen is one of the dumbest shows ever to grace network television, and to even pretend it adds anything to society only gives it significace it doesn’t deserve.
So, how long will it last? I’m giving it….oh, it’s still on the schedule? Two more episodes before they just show reruns of According to Jim.