Tv Review: B Positive Season 1 Episode 1

bpositives01e01When it was announced that Thomas Middleditch was doing a Chuck Lorre produced CBS sitcom I was genuinely surprised as he always seemed like the kind of alternative comic who’d have no interest doing something so mainstream. I also hoped that due to his casting it would be a little different for a CBS comedy, which is normally home to very, very bland affairs most of the time, and for once that is actually the case.

The whole thing revolves around Drew (Middleditch) learning that he’s in renal failure and in desperate need of a new kidney. Drew’s in trouble though as it looks like no one wants to give him one, and his home life’s a mess as he’s divorced from his wife Julia (Sara Rue) and his kid Maddy (Izzy G.) thinks he’s all a bit of a weirdo. But when he goes to a friend’s wedding he meets old school friend Gina (Annaleigh Ashford) and she drunkenly offers him her kidney.

Drew’s almost Woody Allen-esque in his nervous ways while Gina’s a loud, abrasive type, so yes, this is an odd couple kind of affair, even if the two of them aren’t romantically involved (yet). The supporting cast is pretty strong too, including You’re The Worst’s Kether Donohue as Gina’s friend Leanne, though given how great a comedic actress she is I can’t help but wish she was the series lead.

It’s quite an odd affair at times, and occasionally quite dark and twisted, with Drew praying to God that he’d have no issue with his parents dying if it meant him living, while the opening sequence is an unusual work with a selection of animated paintings which feature singing organs, and Gina is a quirky creation in general, and if it can carry on being unpredictable and slightly weird than it’s a show I’d be happy to keep watching.

That said if you only even watched two minutes of it you’d be aware that it’s undoubtedly a network comedy, though there’s enough going on here to suggest it’ll be slightly better than the normal fare. How long that will apply for is open to question, it’s very rare for even the good examples (Mom, and um, I’m struggling to think of another one now) to stay fun for more than a few years before they become formulaic, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be the rare example that bucks the trend.

★★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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