Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Pity the Fool

Mr. T is back on TV. I have to admit, I would watch anything with Mr. T on it. If it was a show with Mr. T just sitting on a stool and talking, I'm there. A cooking show where all he makes is cheeseburgers--I'm there. You can get the picture. I am a huge Mr. T fan. He is perhaps the funniest tough guy to ever get on TV. Whether he is telling someone to stop the jibber jabber (a Mr. T trademark expression) or running around calling everybody a fool, Mr. T is just the best.
In his new show on TVLand, Mr. T helps people with their problems. And he does it with his own inimitable Mr. T style. For example, in one episode, a car dealership is struggling, so they call in Mr. T to raise morale. He motivates the staff and even helps sell a couple cars himself. Nothing is funnier than Mr. T helping his customer negotiate with the dealership's sales manager.
Another episode featured Mr. T helping out a dance school. The parents and the dance school teacher/proprietor were at odds. He helped them all get on the same page for the benefit of the kids.
Each episode has a "warm fuzzy" factor of 10+. Mr. T is like a big old teddy bear. Listening to him speak, though, he either has fantastic writers, or he is a much more educated man than he has portrayed in the past. He quotes classic literature and philosophers equally well.
But the show does have some serious flaws. In the dance show, the kids welcomed him like he was a pop star. Since he has been more or less out of the spotlight for the last 20 years, it just seemed so contrived. Sure, Mr. T was a big star, but these kids had never seen him on TV except on TVLand repeats. And even then, the show is only on once a day during the week. I just don't believe these kids had any idea who he is. Maybe it's just the skeptic in me.
And, Mr. T does get a little corny as he actually participates in the dance recital. He organizes a car wash and goes out into the street to draw people into the car wash. He is pretty funny yelling at the cars as they go by.
I've seen 3 episodes, so far. Each one is as great as the next. Mr. T helps a real estate office in Brooklyn, a dance studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and a car dealership (I think it was in NYC.)
Overall, though, the show is great. It's hard to rate it due to my absolute nearly child-like admiration for Mr. T.
It is a very solid 8.6. The only reason it didn't rate higher is because it is on so many times (like all basic cable programming) and it is hard to look forward to it when I never really know when it is on. Or what episode is going to be repeated endlessly. Have I mentioned that I like Mr. T?

A quick review of my ratings system:
10--a prime show. The Sopranos or 24 would rate a 10.
9-- definately worth watching. Think South Park or Seinfeld re-runs. Not as funny as the first time, but still great TV fare.
8-- Pretty darn good stuff. If you can't be home, you'd consider setting up the VCR. Some solid 8's would be Earl, or Everybody Hates Chris.
7-- Not quite good enough to tape. But you can look forward to watching. The Office is the first show that comes to mind as a 7.
6-- Now we get into the shows that are ok, but only a first choice if other shows are re-runs. You won't mind watching a 6 at a different time. Britcoms are 6's.
5-- Think of a movie you liked, but have seen a dozen times or more. You'd choose the movie over the program, then the program is a 5. Mash and almost everything on TVLAND has become a 5.
4-- Crappy show, but with some redeeming quality, like it features hot chicks. Any show with Pam Anderson would be a 4.
3-- Only worth watching if the only alternative is infommercials. Fishing shows are 3.
2-- About the same as a good infommercial. QVC is a 2.
1-- Infommercials, unless they are The Knife Collector Show. They sell swords!