USA's Sirens, is a charming albeit uneven comedy that has equal parts Scrubs office bromance and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia raunchiness while still feeling like an original concoction. Not all of the jokes come to life, but there's plenty of funny and fresh storylines that you'll laugh plenty--even in the deader moments.
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Focusing on the unruly antics of three Chicago Paramedics, Sirens is slightly tamer compared to the comedies you might catch on FX or Showtime, but is still a major step forward in developing USA as a noteworthy comedic player in the cable landscape. The show's strengths aren't built upon its crudeness in grossly detailing the length and girth of horse penises or discussing hypothetical threesomes with A-List actresses. Rather, the bulk of the humor stems the honest and realistic relationships shared between the paramedics and their romantic counterparts.
Self-assured and laid back Johnny Farrell (Michael Mosley) leads the ambulatory crew while navigating his on-again off-again relationship with police officer, Theresa Kelly (Jessica McNamee). Both are likable and reasonably good looking, but there's also a strong sense of real world chemistry between the pair even though their relationship is in constant
flux. Farrell and Kelly are both obviously a good fit for each other, but they still have to deal with that other pressing thing known as "the real world" before fulling committing. Who knew that an honest portrayal of a relationship would come from a freshman cable comedy?
Farrell's colleagues Hank St. Clare (Kevin Daniels) and Brian Czyk (Kevin Bigley) too are likable and relatable. St. Clare is the more masculine of the crew, and Czyk possesses a bizarre Crispin Glover vibe. But neither are obnoxious or redundant to be chalked up as one note characters, they're just a fleshed out as Farrell despite less screen time. McNamee and Bigley are the early standouts in the series for having a bit more flair than their colleagues. But the cast is still well rounded enough to make the comedy shine through their interpersonal interactions without anyone desperately trying to hog the spotlight.
Workplace comedies can be a difficult sell, as there is a brooding need to quickly develop characters who are stuck in the same situation week after week. But there is a refreshing confidence present in USA's Sirens. The show is willing to bank on its seemingly normal characters' ability to generate laughs in unfamiliar situations. These EMT's may be fish out of water, but Sirens took a big step forward and made the water funnier than the fish. Wherever there's a medical emergency in Chicago, or lack of emergency rather, you can be assured that these paramedics will find themselves knee deep in enough outlandish yet realistic scenarios to keep the show healthfully fun and fitting.
Sirens is taking it slow, a welcoming sight for a freshman comedy where its TV peers are desperately trying to make a loud name for themselves. The show isn't revolutionary and may appear lifeless at times, with many joke attempts flat-lining on arrival. But give it enough patience and Sirens will certainly push other TV traffic aside into your regular viewing lineup.
Sirens premieres Thursday, March 6 at 10pm on USA.
(Image courtesy of USA)