'Ground Floor' review: Could rise to the top

John C. McGinley, left, plays the bombastic boss

John C. McGinley, left, plays the bombastic boss to money manager Skylar Astin in TBS' new comedy "Ground Floor," premiering Nov. 14 on TBS. (Credit: MCT )

COMEDY SERIES "Ground Floor"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Thursday night at 10 on TBS

WHAT IT'S ABOUT What do we want from sitcoms, really? Some relatable characters, some lively lines, entertaining conflict, a few surprises, a bit of satisfying emotion? Give me that, and I'll even tolerate lines like "I say 'Yahtzee' when I get turned on."


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Welcome to "Ground Floor," the latest from TBS, and from "Scrubs" mastermind Bill Lawrence, who brings along that show's medical overlord, John C. McGinley, here the banking overlord of central go-getter Skylar Astin ("Pitch Perfect"). The eager young biz whiz has a one-nighter with spunky "ground floor" support-staffer Briga Heelan (Holly from Lawrence's "Cougar Town"). And despite their upstairs-downstairs mismatch, they seem suited for each other long-term.

MY SAY One thing you can say for Lawrence, he knows how to make something out of what seems like nothing. From "Spin City" to "Scrubs" to "Cougar Town," he collects charismatic cast members, concocts clever dialogue and sharp attitudes and weaves them all around inventive and even sentimental situations.

He scores again here, with an instantly appealing ensemble, from Astin's "soulless upstairs tool" to Rory Scovel as the downstairs dude from "a very competitive community college."

Lawrence's characters don't trade rhythmic punchlines. They converse in talk bursts and unexpected pauses, leaving you awaiting what they'll spout next. Cigars fall from the sky. The scarf police come on the scene.

And all's well in sitcomland.

BOTTOM LINE The networks really should pay attention.

GRADE A-

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