Sometimes I do wonder if the powers that be at TV networks are smoking something. It’s the only rational explanation to justify the bore that is Kevin Can’t Wait being given the nod for 24 episodes – and being renewed for a second season nogal.
In this exciting era of TV, when writers are blowing viewers’ minds with ingenious scripts while casting directors ensure actors are paired with the right roles, this show was clearly given the nod because it has Kevin James attached to it as creator, executive producer and actor.
After forcing myself through the 21 minutes of episode one, I couldn’t help but wish that the creators, at the very least, had tried to keep up with the leading comedies à la Black-ish, Modern Family, The Middle or Fresh off the Boat.
The objective of a comedy, especially one that homes in on dysfunctional families, is to be funny and relatable. That’s where casting plays a crucial hand, too.
Before viewers think I’m being unfair to Kevin Can’t Wait, let me explain why it didn’t work for me. There isn’t much chemistry between James and Hayes and this makes it hard to accept them as husband and wife in the series. In his previous long-running series, The King of Queens, Leah Remini was completely believable as his other half. The banter between the two, often derailing into nagging territory, had viewers in stitches.
In this new show, though, it appears as if James and Hayes are just going through their lines and have forgotten to inject emotion into their delivery.
Even with the inclusion of three kids and the twist – Kevin retiring from law enforcement and becoming a bit more hands-on around the house – I became increasingly impatient for the situational comedy to gain some sort of traction.
But all I got was mediocrity and forced comedy at its worst.And the whole go-cart racing scene with grown-ass men, accompanied by their kids, shooting each other with paint guns was neither cute nor funny.
Maybe James should stick to big-screen work. He is more of a hoot and far more entertaining in that space, as has been proven with Hitch, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Hotel Transylvania and True Memoirs of an International Assassin.
● Kevin Can’t Wait airs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Wednesdays at 8pm.