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So you've seen all of the new shows this fall - but what about the ones that didn't make the cut? For the next 30 days we're going to take a "first look" at a collection of 30 pilots that didn't land on the 2009-10 season schedule. Are there any gems that got passed over or are they all deservedly locked in the networks' vaults? Stay tuned.
WAITING TO DIE (CBS)
(written by Chad Kultgen & Will Sasso; directed by Ted Wass; TRT: 19:54)
What is it? A multi-camera comedy about two simple guys who are happy with their lives - no matter how bad it might look from the outside.
Who was behind it?: Chad Kultgen and Will Sasso ("MADtv") wrote the pilot script, which was directed by sitcom veteran Ted Wass ("Brothers"). It was also yet another pilot from the executive producing trio of Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.
The plot in a nutshell: Best friends/roommates Jeff ("Romantically Challanged's" Josh Lawson) and Lonnie ("Carpoolers's" T.J. Miller) don't do much of anything - literally. Except for doing the bare minimum at their jobs at Nutridome, the guys' ambitions are limited to playing "Rock Band," drinking beer and watching UFC on pay-per-view. You see, they've decided to do the absolute least that society asks of them. And thus while the world at large - including their married pal Simon ("Back to You's" Josh Gad) - may think they're nuts, they're pretty happy. Said lifestyle however gets disrupted when Simon asks them for a small favor - show up on Friday to watch him renew his vows to Kristy ("Curb Your Ethusiasm's" Jillian Bell) so she can recreate their wedding photos.
It seems that Kristy hopes to win Oprah's million dollar second honeymoon giveaway and the clincher to her submission video (I know, I wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading here either) is duplicating the aforementioned group shot. Jeff and Lonnie of course will have none of this, citing their work commitments. Simon however convinces their boss/fellow high school acquaintance Donald (B.J. Bales, looking and acting like he's fresh from the set of Justin Timberlake's "Dick in a Box" video) to give them the time off, the caveat being he gets to tag along and that there's some clocks ("girls who know what time it is") there. "Crisis" averted, Simon is equally frustrated to find out the guys don't have any suits from the past decade ("I can count the veins in your penis," Simon says after seeing Jeff in his high school era suit).
Jeff says they can't buy new ones since he's used his "mandelchuck" (annual rule that can only be vetoed by another mandelchuck) to forbid them from buying any goods or services from a store. (Seriously, I wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading here either.) Thankfully they find a loophole (they may not be able to buy them but they can steal them) and actually make it to the ceremony... only to ruin the pictures when they try to remove the security tags, spraying blue dye everywhere. Yup that's pretty much it. Oh, the guys also have a hot neighbor named Brandi (Sarah Wright) that stops buy to borrow half and half after her nightly binges. And Lonnie apparently has been dating a girl named Tina for the past 12 years however we never meet her. Now that's it.
What works: I guess somewhere in here is an interesting dynamic about whether you're happier by getting married, having kids, etc. or living on your own and doing what you want...
What doesn't: ...but boy if it isn't buried under a pile of weak jokes and a limp noodle plot (again, just try and make it through the above). "Wait, you're renewing your vows?" Lonnie asks. "Listen, if they're about to expire you should just let them run out." Other "gems" include Jeff and Donald lip syncing to Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" not once, but twice; Donald upon seeing Simon: "What are you doing in my store, we sell supplements here not Vagisils!"; or Kristy upon seeing that Jeff and Lonnie made it: "It's an Oprah honeymoon miracle!" It's all very bland and predictable as Jeff and Lonnie occupy both ends of the idiot spectrum (the former's certain about things that make him look like one; the latter's uncertain about things that make him look like one). I don't know, unless watching someone shampoo their head with dish soap because they ran out of regular soap is your cup of tea...
The bottom line: ...you're going to be pretty bored.