25 February 2011
By Rachael Nisenkier // TV
The first two episodes of Mr. Sunshine were fine. They featured witty, snappy writing and Matthew Perry at his Chandler-esque goodness. On top of that, Allison Janney was all sorts of wonderful as his whacked-out boss and the premise was pretty decent. But the show had yet to gel into something that seemed sustainably funny over the long haul. My biggest problem was that the supporting characters (with the exception of Janney) all seemed too one-note or undefined to really capture my attention. They were either playing a character trait as though it were a character (happy! cynical. CRAZY! Stupid!) or they were boring me.
Until episode number three. I’m not saying the show is all the way there yet, but for the first time Mr. Sunshine really felt like a show that knew what to do with the awesome actors it has filling in its supporting cast. With a plot that allowed Alice (Andrea Anders) to give in to the crazy competitive, just-this-side-of-craziness that she perfected on Better Off Ted, and another that actually gave flaws and personality (outside of chipper) to Alonso (James Lesure), Mr. Sunshine finally seemed like more than just a showcase for Perry.
On top of that, I was actually invested in the budding romance between office psycho Heather (Portia Doubleday) and nitwit Roman (Nate Torrence). They played Heather just the right mixture of intriguing, grounded and crazy pants, and Roman is starting to show more capacity for adult interaction than originally indicated.
If Mr. Sunshine can continue to hit this sweet spot of character development and laughs, I’ve got to second Kelly’s call for it to get the ratings that my dearly departed Better Off Ted never did.