THE SHOW “Angie Tribeca”
WHEN|WHERE Premieres Sunday night at 9 on TBS, beginning a 10-episode, 25-hour marathon ending Monday night at 10. The show’s regular launch is Jan. 25.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones) is a tough LAPD detective forced to work with a new partner, J Geils (Hayes MacArthur). Her boss, Chief Atkins (Jere Burns), insists. At least Angie’s other colleagues have her back, including fellow detective Danny Tanner (Deon Cole) and funky medical examiner, Dr. Monica Scholls (Andree Vermeulen). That other ME, Dr. Edelweiss (Alfred Molina)? He’s funky, too.
Produced and created by Hollywood power couple Steve and Nancy Carell (who do not star), this farce is mostly written by some other seasoned producers, including Ira Ungerleider (“Friends”) and has star cameos (including Gary Cole, John Michael Higgins, Laura Bell Bundy and many others) each episode. In a nod to Netflix-style binge-programming, 10 episodes will be repeated — sans commercials — through Monday night.
MY SAY The spirit of Mel Brooks is alive and well and — oh, and by the way, Mel is fine, too. At 89, he’s still producing, lecturing, and doing just fine. (He thanks you for asking.) But his glorious spirit is what counts here, and it’s baked deep into the ridiculous bones of “Angie Tribeca.” There are certainly plenty of other farcical antecedents to this — “Airplane!,” all the “Naked Guns,” “Sledge Hammer,” a strong whiskey breath whiff of “Reno 911,” too.
But “Get Smart” is the original model. Brooks and Buck Henry’s ’60s spoof of the bumbling spy was never not funny because some things are simply funny forever — sight gags and wordplay alongside or abetting the pervasive inalienable sense that the world may be insane but the show you are watching is far more insane. Everyone associated with “Angie Tribeca” — the first-rate cast, guest stars, and veteran producers and directors — appear to have carefully studied and mastered the original source code for this specific type of comedy. Mostly they all look like they’re having a good time. You will, too.
The tricks of this craft are here in abundance, but nicely polished with some original, up-to-date twists. Of course, it doesn’t take long for Angie, J and Atkins to go undercover as pilots on an “airplane”; naturally, neither J nor the chief know how to “drive” the thing so they ask — who else? — Siri. Wordplay is constant: Someone accused of stealing a portrait is charged with “grand theft arto.” And when you’re told to “grab a seat” in the world of “Angie,” you literally grab a seat.
Even Mel would approve.
BOTTOM LINE Funny, occasionally very funny. The regulars, Jones and MacArthur, are perfectly cast, so are the semi-regulars Vermeulen, Burns, Cole and Molina.