Review: The First Comedy Family ‘1600 Penn’ May Win With Heart


This week,’s New TV Preview Week is celebrating our favorite (and least favorite) spring premieres by doing what we do best: watching them in advance and letting you know if they’re worth your time. Start here: spoiling is good for you.

Just like the political way, NBC’s new comedy series about the first family has done its share of advertising leading up to the big premiere. But compared to actual politics and debates, this new series about the Gilchrest crew may actually last longer than one election term. The dysfunctional family has two reasons for that: it has heart and it has Josh Gad. Many may have its doubts about the show that will just be repeating its premiere tonight, Jan. 10, but that doesn’t mean a comedy centered on family and simply set in 1600 Penncan’t surpass expectations. Who says you can’t like a show that simply promises a laugh for 30 minutes each week? Not everything has to be so complicated with groundbreaking storylines.

As the first daughter, Becca, announces she’s pregnant [Martha MacIsaac], and the son Skip [Gad] returns from school to basically be watched over, you know anything can happen. There’s no party affliation, and the setting of the White House is interesting because there’s no excuse in order to keep them there–that’s where they work and that’s what they call home. Plus, serving also as co-creator, Gad is fantastic to watch. It’s a clear opening for audiences to get more familiar with him, and frankly, no one else would be able to play the part so well.

Other reasons to watch? Jenna Elfman’s banter shows she’s more than just a trophy wife, and why wouldn’t you want to catch Bill Pullman playing the president once again? Hello! Independence Day fans, anyone?


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