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'Happy Together' review:  Bland, harmless, forgettable sitcom

Felix Mallard (l), Amber Stevens West and Damon

Felix Mallard (l), Amber Stevens West and Damon Wayans Jr. star in CBS' "Happy Together."   Photo Credit: CBS/Cliff Lipson

THE SERIES “Happy Together”

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday at 8:30 p.m. on CBS/2

WHAT IT’S ABOUT Jake (Damon Wayans Jr.) is an accountant and his wife, Claire (Amber Stevens West), is a restaurant designer. They’re settled, happy, contented, and then comes the knock at their door: A client of Jake’s, pop superstar Cooper James (Australian newcomer Felix Mallard), needs a place to crash to escape the paparazzi. Suddenly, Claire and Jake’s little family grows by one.

MY SAY As CBS finally diversifies its comedies after years of neglect, there will be some baby steps forward and some baby steps back. “Happy Together” is the backward variety. Like “Man with a Plan,” which has been moved to midseason and which this replaces on the Monday-night schedule, “ Happy Together” is neither memorable nor offensive, but just there — a heaping plate of sitcom mashed potatoes that works as comfort food and not much else.

“Happy Together” is a variation on “The Neighborhood” premise — white guy comes to live with black family, fish-outta-water jokes ensue. But unlike “Neighborhood,” “Happy Together” is race-blind as opposed to race-based. Claire and Jake could be Anybody or Any Race — South Asian, Asian, white, doesn’t matter. They’re the married, settled nerds, while Cooper’s the Beebs. It and they get winded after just 22 minutes.

Wayans is a good comic actor who’s had some real TV success (“Happy Endings”) and so is West (“The Carmichael Show”). That bodes well. It’s the pilot that doesn’t.

BOTTOM LINE Bland, harmless, forgettable.

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