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Despite an already guaranteed Season 2, TV Land's limp Nobodies might just stay that way


The no ones of Nobodies: Hugh Davidson, Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf. TV Land photo

Premiering: Wednesday, March 29th at 9 p.m. (central) on TV Land
Starring: Hugh Davidson, Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf
Produced by: Hugh Davidson, Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Michael McDonald

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A trio of real-life Hollywood grovelers all play themselves in TV Land’s Nobodies, which can be desperately amusing at times but too often comes off as just desperate.

Not that it matters what a TV critic might think. Months before the Wednesday, March 29th premiere of its first season, TV Land ordered a 12-episode Season 2 of Nobodies. It doesn’t hurt, of course, when the co-executive producers include Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone, along with the series’ three Brand X stars.

McCarthy and Falcone also pop in and out as themselves, as do the likes of Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, Bob Odenkirk and Kristen Bell.

Still, the first five episodes made available for review are underwhelming and under-achieving. The misadventures of Hugh Davidson, Rachel Ramras and Larry Dorf consistently come off as too slight to carry their weight. Languishing as writers on a fictional animated Nickelodeon show called The Fartlemans, they yearn to be taken seriously and think they have just the right vehicle with their screenplay for Mr. First Lady. But repeated roadblocks and seeming dead ends conspire against them while McCarthy’s potential participation, with Falcone in the title role, keep the trio’s flickering hopes alive. After a while it gets more than a little tiresome.

Dorf is particularly off-putting as a madcap, over-the-top, hopefully in large part fictional version of himself. Otherwise, who in their right mind would work with this guy, let alone be his friend? Yet he’s somehow been married for 11 years in addition to forging a union with Davidson and Ramras.

Davidson tends to be the voice of reason while frazzled single mom Ramras, whose ex-husband now has a gay lover, gets very messily drunk in Episodes 2 and 5. When not aggravating each other or continuing to pitch Mr. First Lady, the three of them hang out at The Groundings comedy club as hapless second-raters to the likes of Rudolph (Episode 1) and Wiig (Episode 5). Dorf has so aggravated Wiig that she tells him he’d be the perfect host -- and winner -- of her fake-proposed Buttholes reality series. Too much of the humor in Nobodies tends to be tied to the anal cavity. But at least there’s a logical sponsor tie-in, namely Gas X.

It’s hard to envision Nobodies sustaining itself for even one season, let alone another one. The bumbling efforts to make Mr. First Lady a fame-and-fortune feature film already seem played out after just the first few episodes.

“I laughed my itty bitty nuts off reading your movie,” Falcone says gamely in Episode 3. Good for him, but seldom the case for the rest of us.


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