The time has come again. The summer sun has set. The days grow colder and the nights grow longer and we fill those nights with new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks have unleashed a flurry of new programs to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months and beyond. So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to. I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for…
THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition)
Kevin Can Wait (Mondays on CBS)
Here we go I guess.
Kevin Can Wait is the new Kevin James sitcom. It’s called Kevin Can Wait because… well, I don’t really know. Because it’s a fun play on words? I guess? I can’t seem to find any meaning behind the title. I mean… well, let’s parse this out, shall we?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Kevin James plays a chubby, sarcastic husband (named Kevin), who is married to a smart, loving, beautiful, younger woman who is way out of his league (Donna, who is played by a horribly underutilized Erinn Hayes). What makes this different from King of Queens? Well, for one thing, there are children in this one. I don’t think the King of Queens ever had any kids, but I’m also not an expert on King of Queens. Unfortunately. The central conceit is this – Kevin has retired from his career as a police officer, but he’s about to discover that dealing with his family may end up being a full time job! That probably sounds like a joke but that’s literally the show.
Oh! Maybe it’s like… heaven is retirement… and retirement will just have to wait, because Kevin still has things to deal with. Ergo, Kevin Can Wait. Nah, that’s probably giving the show too much credit. Which I really don’t want to do.
On the topic of giving this show too much credit… It’s not a particularly funny show (surprise surprise). There was one moment – one singular joke – that made me smile. I turned to my roommate and said “Okay, that one got me”. I felt… burning shame. And I threw up in my mouth a little bit as I said it. And then I asked God for forgiveness and He said “Heaven can wait. Kevin cannot.” JK, that didn’t happen. It doesn’t even make sense as a joke. Which is a great way of describing Kevin Can Wait in one sentence.
Oh, and there’s a “hot dog and beer” restaurant named “Frankensteins” or “Frank ‘n Steins”. Either way… not bad. B-.
Oh, never mind. A cursory Google search reveals that there are approximately 9 restaurants in the continental United States that already employ that naming convention, two of which are permanently closed. RIP Frank-n-Stein in Ferndale, WA and Frank & Steins in Winter Park, FL.
I guess if someone were to ask me to definitively answer the question “Why is this show called Kevin Can Wait?”, I would say that it was simply… the easiest pun you could make with the name Kevin. That, or it relates to the following exchange between Kevin and his wife Donna when she’s going over his retirement budget (that’s a real plot point!):
Donna: “Did you really buy a fast pass for the water park?”
Kevin: “Yeah, I’m retired, I’m not waiting in lines.”
You see, the show is all about Kevin learning to take things slower and – no, it was definitely the easiest pun.
Erin Hayes deserves better than “hot sitcom wife purgatory”.