BuddyTV Fall 2008 Preview: Do Not Disturb
BuddyTV Fall 2008 Preview: Do Not Disturb
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Wednesday, September 10, 9:30pm

Cast: Jerry O'Connell, Niecy Nash, Jolene Purdy, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Molly Stanton

Premise: An upscale New York City hotel is run by an egotistical ladies man (O'Connell) who butts heads with the brash woman who operates the day-to-day operations of the maintenance staff.

I got a chance to see the original pilot, though now it's being reshot, which will hopefully be the right move.  There are many elements of Do Not Disturb that work very well, but the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts.

The show is created by Abraham Higginbottom and the pilot was directed by Jason Bateman, both from Arrested Development, and that sense of humor shines through sporadically in some very clever lines of dialogue.  The problem is that while I laughed aloud several times while watching it, the time between laughs wasn't so enjoyable.

O'Connell and Nash bring very different energies to a show and it looks like it may take them several episodes to find just the right rhythm to play off each other rather than against each other.  Below them are the self-centered ditz (Stanton) and her gay best friend (Ferguson).  If you're a fan of Jack and Karen from Will and Grace or Mark and Amanda from Ugly Betty, you will instantly recognize this relationship.

The other major player is the heavyset receptionist (Purdy) who dreams of working at the front desk.  It's here where the show starts to establish itself as something other than a traditional workplace sitcom.  Do Not Disturb actually deals with the issue of discrimination against the overweight in a funny and surprisingly realistic manner.  The show isn't some fantasy where everyone does the right thing and there's no bias against anyone.

Do Not Disturb has a lot of potential.  The creator is great, the cast is solid, and Niecy Nash is incredibly funny, as anyone who watches Reno 911 already knows.  If FOX gives the show a chance, it could develop into something genuinely worth watching. It all depends on whether the cast, crew and network are willing to put in that effort.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)
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