WHEN | WHERE Premieres Wednesday night at 10 on TV Land
WHAT IT’S ABOUT George Lopez is forever in search of a suit that fits. His ABC familycom, “George Lopez,” had to iron out his bug-eyed entry into acting. His late-night talkfest, “Lopez Tonight,” gave way after host TBS copped cooler kid Conan. And his FX adult comedy, “Saint George,” pulling Lopez between his Latina mom and Anglo ex-wife, never nailed a comfortable style.
Now the comic tackles fame, race and class on TV Land’s new “Lopez,” essentially playing himself in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-land. In this week’s pilot half-hour, George clashes with neighbors, cruises with his homeboys, hits his daughter’s exclusive school, hangs with Snoop Dogg and dives into the deep end of social media.
MY SAY That’s a lot to cover, and the changing cars of the show’s opening credits — Lopez in a low rider, then a luxury SUV — reflect how our star keeps trying things on. Should “Lopez” go big and broad with cultural comedy, trafficking so hard in stereotypes they seem all the more absurd? Or stay subtle and let its less-enlightened characters hang themselves? “Lopez” can’t decide, overloading its pilot with maid/valet/parole jokes (those crazy Mexicans!) vs. “white-man problems” (as described by Lopez’s black opening-act pal, Maronzio Vance). Next week’s thread, with Lopez getting a pet (“Dogs, they don’t use Twitter!”), backs off the sledgehammer, but fails to find solid footing for ongoing appeal.
BOTTOM LINE Provocative idea, needs more profound execution.