'We Are Men' review: Moronic

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From left, Jerry O'Connell, Tony Shalhoub, Chris Smith

From left, Jerry O'Connell, Tony Shalhoub, Chris Smith and Kal Penn in a scene from "We Are Men." Photo Credit: AP

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THE SHOW "We Are Men"

WHEN | WHERE Monoday night at 8:30 on CBS/2

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WHAT IT'S ABOUT "There are defining moments in life that change everything," Carter (Chris Smith) says in voice-over. Among those would be getting abandoned at the altar, which happens to Carter. Afterward, he moves into a "quality short-term housing complex, where he meets Frank (Tony Shalhoub), Gil (Kal Penn) and Stuart (Jerry O'Connell), all of whom have been married, in some instances multiple times. They happily explain the virtues of unmarried life to Carter -- endless dating, no one telling them what to do, getting drunk poolside, hanging out whenever they darn well feel it and so on. The newbie remains skeptical.

MY SAY What's happened to this fall's crop of new comedies? Most reach for laughs and grasp air instead while demolishing viewer brain cells in the process. Where's the next "Modern Family" or "How I Met Your Mother" or "30 Rock"? Beats me, friend. There's an overall listlessness to the field, even a fatalism, as if some already know they won't be around next year, so what difference does it make? This is a long windup for a short discussion on yet another disappointment, but "We Are Men" seems representative of the point, even if it will likely survive (CBS? 8:30 Mondays? That's hitting the sitcom lottery.) It's the tired guys will be guys trope dusted off for one of TV's pre-eminent comic actors, Tony Shalhoub, who can't even break through the smog of mediocrity that's enveloped him here. The cast is likable enough, and there are occasional flashes that hint at something better. Showrunner and creator Rob Greenberg is a real talent ("Frasier," "How I Met Your Mother") who knows quality from gruel. "Men" can do better. "Men" has to do better, if only to salvage a 2013 crop that already looks unsalvageable.

BOTTOM LINE We Are Morons.


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